DEWITT W. SHUMWAY, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Dewitt Shumway '32

Date of birth: October 31, 1909

Date of death: April 4, 1946

Age: 36

Lucky Bag

From the 1932 Lucky Bag:

Obituary

1932 Shumway 1.jpg

From Find A Grave:

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Shumway was designated naval aviator #4243 in 1936. Graduated from US Naval Academy, Class of 1932. Was awarded two Navy Crosses and two Distinguished Flying Crosses during World War II. Was involved in the Battle of Midway as the executive officer of Bombing Squadron Three (VB-3).

Commander Shumway and eight other officers and enlisted men were killed on Culebra Island when aircraft from the aircraft carrier USS Tarawa (CV-40) accidently bombed an observation tower located near the weapons range.

Shumway was the son of Harold Rouse and Pearl May Wood Shumway. In addition to his mother and sister Mrs. Ruth (Joseph) Dalton, he left his widow, the former Miss Helen Diane Battle and son David.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander DeWitt Wood Shumway (NSN: 0-71403), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber and Acting Commander of Bombing Squadron THREE (VB-3), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 - 6 June 1942. Lieutenant Commander Shumway led his squadron in a vigorous dive-bombing assault against Japanese naval units, in the face of concentrated anti-aircraft fire and powerful fighter opposition, and pressed home his attack with courageous aggressiveness and utter disregard for his own personal safety. His capable initiative and inspiring leadership contributed to the high state of combat efficiency which enabled his squadron to score at least five direct hits on an enemy aircraft carrier. Lieutenant Commander Shumway's inspiring leadership and the valiant devotion to duty of his command contributed in large measure to the outstanding success of these vital missions and reflect great credit upon the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 3013 (July 16, 1942)
Action Date: June 4 - 6, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander DeWitt Wood Shumway (NSN: 0-71403), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Squadron Commander of Bombing Squadron THREE (VB-3), attached to the U.S.S. SARATOGA (CV-3), during the operations of the U.S. Naval forces against a Japanese Naval Task Force in the Solomon Islands area on 24 August 1942. Without regard for intense anti-aircraft fire and air opposition, he led his squadron in a dive bombing attack with precision, vigor and heroic determination. In so doing he contributed to an extraordinary measure to the glorious destruction of a Japanese aircraft carrier.

Action Date: August 24, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3)
Division: U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3)

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander DeWitt Wood Shumway (NSN: 0-71403), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism while participating in aerial flight in the line of his profession, as Squadron Commander Bombing Squadron THREE (VB-3), embarked in the U.S.S. SARATOGA (CV-3), during operations of the U.S. Naval forces against the Japanese occupied Solomon Islands on 7 August 1942. He led his squadron in three determined and effective dive bombing and strafing attacks against enemy land installations and troop concentrations, thereby assisting in completely silencing enemy opposition and assuring the success of our landing operations without undue casualties. In so doing he contributed in an extraordinary measure to the successful and glorious invasion of our forces in that area. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: August 7, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3)
Division: U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3)


Class of 1932

Dewitt is one of 52 members of the Class of 1932 in Memorial Hall.