Ray Shafer Home | Biography | Resources | Credits

From 1942 to 1945, Ray Shafer served in the U.S. Navy, in Naval Intelligence and as a P.T. Boat skipper in the South Pacific. Shafer was the first commanding officer of PT 359 and was eventually promoted to full lieutenant and appointed executive officer of the entire Squadron 27. More than eighty combat missions, particularly the heroic rescue of seventeen paratroopers stranded under Japanese fire, earned him the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Commendation for Meritorious Service.

Lt. (jg) Raymond P. Shafer on board PT-375 after rescue of soldiers from Corregidor. Shafer was then Exec. Officer of Squadron 27.
Taken 16 Feb 1945. Navy Department photo no. 80-G-328123.
Lt.(jg) Raymond P. Shafer in rubber raft (forward) during rescue of paratroopers who failed to make the top of the rock in the invasion of Corregidor Island, Philippines.
Taken 16 Feb 1945. Navy Department photo no. 80-G-73308.

Ray Shafer also commanded the boat that brought General MacArthur back to Corregidor, personally escorting him ashore to fulfill the famous promise: "I shall return."

The newspaper clipping reads:
The first American PT boats to penetrate Manila Bay were a group commanded by Lieutenant Ray Shafer, of Meadville, Pa. They dashed past Corregidor during the night of Feb. 13, penetrating to within three miles of Manila Breakwater. Lieutenant Franklin Rogers, of Irvington, N.J., and Lieutenant (j.g.) Fred Binder, of Absecon, N.J., were among the boat commanders. They drew fire from Corregidor and Fort Hughes on the way out.

Below are candid photos of McArthur and the crew of PT-375.

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