From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Shaffer, III '30

Date of birth: June 20, 1909

Date of death: April 8, 1944

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1930 Lucky Bag:


John was lost on April 8, 1944, when he succumbed to wounds sustained the previous day during a successful attack on the German submarine U-856. He was the commanding officer of USS Champlin (DD 601).

His wife was listed as next of kin. John has a memory marker in Arkansas.

A note at Find A Grave indicates John was aboard USS Arizona (BB 39) at the time of her destruction on December 7, 1941.

Legion of Merit

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Legion of Merit (Posthumously) to Commander John J. Shaffer, III (NSN: 0-63162), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding Officer of a United States Navy Destroyer during action against a U-boat in the Atlantic on 7 April 1944. Commander Shaffer made repeated sound attacks and forced the submarine to the surface. He continued the attack with gunfire and finally rammed the submarine. Determined that contact should not be lost, he conned his vessel from an exposed position and sustained a wound which resulted in his death the next day.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 329 (August 1944)
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander

Class of 1930

John is one of 42 members of the Class of 1930 on Virtual Memorial Hall.