• LeadingAge New York


Herkimer, NY – Mary Shaw Mamrosh, 99 years old, and resident of Valley Health Services, recalls memories of her brother, Roger A. Shaw, as the nation recognizes the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion, otherwise known as the invasion of Normandy Beach, which happened on June 6, 1944. Mamrosh’s brother, Roger A. Shaw, Army Sergeant, served at Normandy Beach, and she talks about his military service and view of D-Day on what was the largest subaqueous invasion in military history. Roger A. Shaw, was 17 months younger than his sister. Both went to Frankfort Central High School, Frankfort, NY. Roger graduated in 1938 at age 15 years old. Shortly after that, he was anxious to serve in the military. He started by volunteering his time with the Air Force, Marines and the Navy. However, these branches of the service would not enlist him because he was color-blind. The Army did not impose this restriction with Shaw and so he enlisted at the age of 19 years old. He went from Cadet to Private First Class and then to the rank of Sergeant during his time served. When the United States was entering World War II, and just after the pre-emptive strike on Pearl Harbor, Shaw was ready to be involved and serve his country. Mamrosh says Roger spoke despondently about the day his landing barge arrived on the beach in Normandy. It was devastating for him to see so much death of his ‘brothers in arms’ – many who were literally cut into two pieces. Mamrosh says this affected him greatly and for years he did not want to speak about this tragic experience. The United States military used the term D-Day to reflect the launch of a mission that combined the forces of 156,115 U.S., British and Canadian troops, 6, 939 ships and landing vessels, 2,395 aircraft and 867 gliders with airborne troops {https://www/}. This invasion stretched out over five sections of beachfront. Shaw left the Army in 1945 on an honorable discharge. He later passed away in 1983 from cancer of the throat. Mamrosh’s brother-in-law, Robert Dodge, a Lieutenant in the Air Force, was also overseas in 1944. His plane was shot down over Germany. Mamrosh says her brother was a talented man. He played the accordion and the trumpet in his band, Roger and the Legionnaires. Shaw’s wife, Virginia McCoy Shaw, was also in the band and played the drums. They often played at a small place on Route 8 in New York State. Shaw also appeared in the musical, The Pinafore, performing at the Town Hall, Frankfort, NY. Shaw and Virginia had three children together, Cheryl, Roger and Jeffrey. He also worked at Mele Manufacturing, had an electrician background, and traveled, often overseas for work, to such places as Paris, France. Mamrosh says her brother’s experience affected her greatly because it distressed her mother immensely. Mamrosh was very close with her mother. During the time of this invasion, Mamrosh was also fighting her own healthcare issues at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Utica. She spent the next eight months suffering from Rheumatic Bacterial Endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the inner lining of the heart muscle. The inner lining also covers the valves of the heart. She indicates between her brother being involved with World War II and herself being hospitalized, Mamrosh’s mother literally turned gray overnight. Mamrosh says the Sisters of St. Elizabeth called her a miracle to be able to survive this illness.

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