MUS2c Robert K. Shaw


MUS2c Robert K. Shaw

Robert K. “Bobby” Shaw was born Oct. 3, 1922, the son of Thomas Thuel Saw, an oil refinery worker, and Edna Killough Shaw, a homemaker.

While he was in high school in Pasadena, Texas southeast of Houston, Bobby Shaw excelled as a trombonist in band and orchestra. He also worked as a parking lot attendant at a theater.

Mr. Shaw joined the Navy the autumn after his 1940 graduation and by the next January was assigned to the U.S. Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C. He became a member of the U.S.S. Arizona band.  Bandmates nicknamed him “Peepee.”

He was a musician and petty officer second class when he died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. All 21 band members were killed after they rushed to their battle station in the ammunition hoist below the 14-inch guns of turret No. 2 near where a Japanese bomb ignited a black powder magazine, destroying the forward half of the ship. 

Mr. Shaw is buried at the O’ahu Cemetery in Honolulu.

Bobby Shaw Middle School in Pasadena was named in his honor in February 2008.

Many public records say Mr. Shaw’s middle name was Kar, but a niece, Liz West, says it was just the letter K. So many people asked what the K stood for that he said Kar and that name sometimes stuck.

Sources:  Pasadena Independent School District; Census; grave marker; Navy muster rolls; “USS Arizona’s Last Band” by Molly Kent; “At ‘Em Arizona,” the ship’s newspaper. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM