LOUIS SHANE, JR., LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Louis Shane, Jr. '26

Date of birth: September 23, 1904

Date of death: February 11, 1942

Age: 37

Lucky Bag

From the 1926 Lucky Bag:

Loss

1926 Shane 1.jpg

Louis was lost when USS Shark (SS 174) was sunk, possibly on February 11, 1942, by a Japanese destroyer.

His wife, Marjorie, was listed as next of kin. She sponsored USS Shark (SSN 591) in 1961 and lived to the age of 96. (The commissioning page makes repeated reference to John Shane, grandson of Louis and Marjorie. Unable to find name of their child(ren).)

Louis's mother also survived him; his father, Louis Sr. ('97), died on December 15, 1941.

There is a memorial to USS Shark (SS 174) in Oklahoma. Louis has one memory marker in Maine and another in Maryland.

Early Career

From US Militaria Forum:

Following his commissioning in 1926, Ens. Louis Shane, Jr. was assigned to the battleship USS New Mexico. In 1927 he was transferred to the Pacific Coast Communications Office, 12th Naval District, Naval Operating Base, San Francisco. In 1928 he was to the USS Moody; in 1930 to his first submarine, S-25, Submarine Div. 11. In 1932, Lt. (j.g.) Louis Shane, Jr. was assigned to the USS Oglala, flag Battle Fleet Mine force; in 1933 he was under instruction at the Naval Academy. In 1935 he was assigned to the submarine USS Cachalot, Submarine Force, US Fleet, as X.O. and First Lieutenant. Promoted to lieutenant, he was assigned as X.O. and engineering officer on the USS Cuttlefish. From 1939 to 1940, he was resident inspector of machinery at the Fairbanks Morse factory in Beloit, Wisconsin and received orders in June 1940 to the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2). Louis Shane, Jr. was promoted to lieutenant commander on 1 April 1941 and received his first command, the Porpoise-class submarine USS Shark (SS-174). The 298’, 25’ draft Shark, the fifth ship to bear the name of the feared undersea predator, had been launched in 1935 and commissioned in January 1936 at the New London, CT submarine base.

From Fleet Organization:

  • Resident Inspector of Naval Material Works Fairbanks Morse Co Beliot 1 Jan 1939 - 1 Jul 1940
  • Duty USS Lexington (CV-2) 1 Nov 1940
  • Captain USS Shark (SS-174) 17 Apr 1941 - Feb 1942
  • Lieutenant 1 Jul 1936
  • Lieutenant Commander 1 Apr 1941

Wartime Service

Shark's most notable mission was the transport of Admiral Thomas C. Hart ('97), Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet, from Manila to Soerabaja, Java. Admiral Hart was a classmate of Louis's father; they also served together on their first ship, USS Massachusetts (BB 2). The admiral embarked approximately a dozen staff at 0200 on December 26, 1941; they reached their destination on January 1, 1943.

Remembrances

Excerpt of Shark's commissioning ceremony speech delivered by Admiral Russell, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, on February 9, 1961:

It is always an honor for a sailor to participate in the commissioning of a new fighting ship, and it is particularly so for me in this case, because of the deep regard and close friendship I held for the commanding officer of a previous Shark. I speak of Lieutenant Commander Louis Shane, Jr., who commanded Shark Number 4, the SS-174, in the early rugged days of World War II in the fighting around the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. World War II found that Shark in the southwest Pacific and one of her early tasks was to move Admiral Hart, Commander of the Asiatic Fleet, from Manila to Suerabaja. She was then assigned the task of attacking targets of opportunity in the Molucca Sea. During one of these war patrols, she was depth charged a number of times and apparently had a hot time in the Molucca Sea and around Celebes Island until the 7th of February 1942 when the last communication was received from her. From all evidence available after the war, Shark was lost as a result of a depth charge attack on 11 February off Manedo, a town in the Northern Celebes.

All of us in the Navy, I am sure, retain a very vivid memory of the circumstances under which we first joined the service. I joined the Navy in company with Louis Shane. Louis, son of Captain Shane, Inspector of Naval Machinery of the shipyard in our hometown of Tacoma, Washington; Ted Rimer, the son of a Coast Guard officer; and I, were the three appointments to the Naval Academy made by our local congressman in the year 1922. As classmates at the Naval Academy and close friends in Service thereafter, I greatly admired Louis Shane. We have the honor of having his wife Marjorie here today. She was the gracious lady who sponsored this ship when launched last March.

Today as we commission Shark Number 6, we return to the active list a well-remembered and cherished name. In creating a new Shark we honor those gallant ships of the past which have borne that name, and we especially pay tribute to the heroic crews who manned them.


Class of 1926

Louis is one of 36 members of the Class of 1926 in Memorial Hall.