Chester Shaw, Class of 1937

June 23, 2000
Santa Paula High School
By B. J. Harding, President, SPUHS Alumni Association Son of Alphonso and Vanise Shaw, Chester came to SPUHS in 1934. He recalls his favorite subjects were math and auto shop. His buddies at school were Lawrence Hawkins, Carl Paul and Raymond Shelton.Upon graduation in 1937, Chester moved to Los Angeles and entered a trade school to learn sheet metalwork on aircraft. He then went to work for Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach.In 1942, Chester was with the Engineering Department of the Army Air Base in Long Beach working as an aircraft sheet metal worker. He was promoted to shift foreman, and then transferred to the San Bernardino Air Service Command as supervisor in charge of the modification work on the wings of P-38s. This was a project of removing the sheet metal section on the wings of the P-38s and installing an inner cooling system in the wing panels. After installation, the outer skin of the wings was replaced and the wings were then reattached to the planes and they were put back into military service.It was here in San Bernardino that Chester found the love of his life, Mary Jeanne Dwyer of Colorado Springs, Colorado. They were married, and this union has lasted 57 years. To them was born a daughter, Mary Jane, now Wuertz, who has given them a grandson.At this time in his life, Uncle Sam decided he needed Chester’s talents and he was trained as an electrician to work on the 90 millimeter antiaircraft guns. He was as technical sargent in the 32nd Brigade, Anti-aircraft Division, and saw duty in the Philippines at Manila and the island of Leyte.
In 1946 Chester was in the U.S. Army at Headquarters Anti-aircraft Command in Fort Bliss, Texas as a range section operator. Following the war, in 1947 he was back at San Bernardino Air Force Base in Riverside. In October 1949 he was promoted to sheet metal inspector.In 1953 Chester was back at Douglas in Long Beach as an Air Force Plan representative, and monitored contract compliance. In 1960 he accepted a position with the Space and Missile Systems Division of the U.S. Air Force at El Segundo. In 1963 he was trained in a transportation management seminar at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and later another course at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.When Chester retired in 1974, he was presented with a plaque of recognition for 32 years civilian service with the United States Air Force. He then worked part time as a real estate broker and tax preparer.Chester and Mary are now retired and are spending their time with family and special friends and seeing the world. They have toured the U.S.A., Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, China, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Mexico, and have even been to the North Pole.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.