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 Author  Topic: Lt. Ray Shafer
Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Sep 4, 2021 - 6:17am
In 1942, Shafer entered the United States Navy as a naval intelligence officer and later served on PT boats. He participated in over 80 combat missions during World War II on PT boats as commanding officer of PT-359 and later as executive officer of Squadron 27. As Squadron XO, Shafer sailed aboard PT-375, one of the first PT boats to penetrate the defenses of Manila Bay, Philippines, during the Battle of Manila. Shafer earned the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, as well as the rank of lieutenant during his tour in the Pacific theater. This is a framed piece that was donated to my exhibit and signed by Shafer to a former crewmember

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Scott C

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Scott C   Send Email To Scott C Posted on: Sep 4, 2021 - 3:27pm
Frank, any idea what shapp $ refers to. I would appreciate the the cartoon more if I knew. thanks.

Scott Campbell 2nd gen,PT 248
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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Sep 4, 2021 - 3:43pm
Shafer served as the 39th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1967 to 1971. Prior to that, he served as the 23rd Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania from 1963 to 1967 and a Pennsylvania State Senator from 1959 to 1962. He was a national leader of the moderate wing of the Republican Party in the late 1960s. I am sure this had something to do with that but not sure


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PRJM3

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PRJM3   Send Email To PRJM3 Posted on: Sep 4, 2021 - 7:34pm
My father was in RON 27 and stayed in touch with Ray Shaffer until Shaffer's passing in 2006. They were both lawyers from western Pennsylvania, ex-RON 27, and regularly attended the PT boat reunions each year. I guess you would say they were friends rather than just ex-comrades in arms. Dad would talk on occasion about Shaffer's political campaigns and I believe he also knew David L. Lawrence, long term Pittsburgh mayor and governor (Democrat) just before Shaffer.

In the 1966 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election Shaffer ran against Milton Shapp of Philadelphia, and prevailed. I never asked Dad who he voted for, but I'm guessing it was Shaffer even though Dad was a Democrat. Shaffer led a long-needed revision of the Pennsylvania constitution, instituted many improvements to highways and other infrastructure, education and healthcare. He proposed a state income tax to fund the state budget that was in bad shape before his election. The income tax didn't pass but he did institute an increase in the state sales tax.

Some websites say that Shaffer was a one-term governor because he did the unforgiveable for a Republican; he raised taxes. Although the revisions to the state constitution he led allowed governors to serve two terms, his term was governed by the constitution in effect when he took office and he could only serve one term. But he probably was un-electable anyway. His Lieutenant Governor was the Republican candidate for Governor in the next election, and although he was not in favor of a state income tax he was supposedly tainted by Shaffer's position. In reality, the economic decline of Pennsylvania was laid at Shaffer's feet and no Republican would likely have won. Milton Shapp ran again and was elected. Shapp instituted a flat income tax in Pennsylvania, finishing what Shaffer had proposed.

At first I thought the "Shapp $" in the drawing had something to do with the income tax but it didn't make sense in the context of a PT 359 drawing. I did some research on Shapp just now and it turns out that he was a self-made multi-millionaire (when a million $ meant something) and he outspent Shaffer by a large margin during the 1966 gubernatorial election. So, the smiling Shaffer on the 359 is successfully dodging the campaign dollar bombs lobbed by Shapp. There appears to be a pin with PT 359 on it with the drawing and I'm guessing that was a campaign button for Shaffer. I don't remember that pin during the election. As you may recall, PT Boaters were quite popular in political campaigns at that time.

The drawing and its campaign connections reminded me of a RON 27 story my Dad told me. When Shaffer was RON 27 XO and my Dad was commanding the 361 there was a minor incident that involved both of them. It was nothing untoward, just kind of embarrassing and actually funny. When Shaffer decided to run for governor he called Dad, the only other person in Pennsylvania that knew about it, and strongly suggested that the story never see the light of day. Dad agreed. In hindsight it could have had political implications similar to the John Kerry Swift Boat imbroglio but on a much smaller scale, I've thought about telling the story here several times but oan hesitant about 'telling tales'. At one point there was a memorial website to Ray Shaffer maintained by a family member and I was going to contact them about going public with the story. But the site disappeared a few years ago. Does anyone have a contact for members of his family?

Randy McConnell (Randall J. McConnell III)

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Sep 5, 2021 - 6:24am
Thanks so much Randy for the detailed insight into Mr. Shafer and the contents of the framed piece. I had kept in tough with Ray for a while and even spoke with him a few times in the Nursing home. He was a great guy for sure. The pin you speak about was used in his Election campaign as he sent one to me before he passed. I am enclosing a photo of the entire pin with cardboard base as it appeared back then during the campaign

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jvYRk.jpg


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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Sep 7, 2021 - 10:26am
Neat story about Mr. Shafer (who bears a marked resemblance to L.B.J. in that cartoon).


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