Russell Salter Shaw, Jr. was born in Attleboro, MA and lived in Plainville for the past 15 years of his life.
He was a staff sergeant in the Army Air Corps during World War II, serving as a gunner serving as a tail gunner on a B-24 Liberator Bomber.
On June 13, 1944, his plane was shot down while returning to his base in Italy after a bombing mission over Munich, Germany. The craft was badly damaged by enemy fire, which killed the pilot and co-pilot, and the crew bailed out into the Adriatic Sea. Italian fascists brought the men to shore, and the Germans took them prisoners. Russell spent 13 months as a POW in Germany until General Patton's men liberated his camp.
A letter to his mother, dated July 1944 read, "I suppose it came as quite a shock when you got the telegram that I was missing in action. I hope it was not too long before they told you I am a prisoner of war. Most of the crew is here together and we are being treated OK. I could use towels, toothpaste and soap, canned preserves and candy. The Red Cross gives us packages every week and we cook our own meals. Give my love to everyone and tell them I am OK."
After the war, was an electrician for the former Dodgeville Finishing Company for many years and later for the Slater Dye Works of Pawtucket before retiring in 1991. His and his wife of 50 years, Thelma, raised two daughters, Bonnie Croteau and Debra Davignon.