From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Wilson Shafer, Jr. '45

Date of birth: July 9, 1923

Date of death: August 26, 1949

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1945 Lucky Bag:


Bill was lost at sea near Greenland while involved in the rescue of the crew of USS Cochino (SS 345) on August 25, 1949. He was serving aboard USS Tusk (SS 426) and was one of six men swept overboard and not recovered.

From the Terre Haute Star on August 27, 1949:

Lieut. (JG) Wilson Manley Shafer Jr., one of six Navy men reported dead yesterday in heroic submarine rescue operations in stormy Arctic waters, was a former Terre Haute resident. The Star learned last night through Terre Haute friends of the man. He was known as Bill Shafer by his many friends here.

He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson M. Shafer. who were residents of Terre Haute for about; 115 years. The Shafers now reside in Stamford, Conn. Mr. Shafer was office manager of the Quaker Maid Company while in Terre Haute. The family resided at 20 North Thirty-fourth Street.

+ + +

LIEUTENANT Shafer was graduated from Wiley High School with the class of 1941 and immediately entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. He was appointed to the academy by former Representative Noble Johnson.

Active in young people's work here, young Shafer had been a member of the Boy Scout Troop at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and later was a member and a leader in the Sea Scout Troop of the church.

A member of St. Stephen's Church, he had been a member of the boys’ choir of the church. He also had been active in the Sunday School and the young people's groups of the church.

Following his graduation from the naval academy in June, 1944, Lieutenant Shafer joined the fleet. He saw action in World War II in the Pacific theater of operations, having served aboard the carrier U.S.S. Yorktown.

+ + +

UPON COMPLETION of his present cruise with the submarine Tusk in September he had planned to wed Miss India Horton of Darien, Conn. Their wedding engagement was announced last Spring.

Miss Horton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alden Horton. is secretary to Dr. James Madison Wood, president emeritus of Stephens College. She is a graduate of Stephens’ College, Columbia, Mo.

Surviving, besides the parents, is a sister, Ann Shafer, a junior at the University of Michigan.

An extensive article on the loss of Cochino is posted here.

Related Articles

John Bock '45 and Everett Herman '45 were also in 2nd Company.

Class of 1945

Wilson is one of 59 members of the Class of 1945 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.