Guy C. Shoaf
Rank: Sergeant
Name

Guy C. Shoaf


Nationality
American

Unit
2 Battalion HQ & F Company

Location
Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

Date
June 6th, 1944

Survived the war?
Wounded but survived

US Rangers
US Rangers

Guy leads the way

Guy Claude Shoaf was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania on 3 March 1917. He was the son of Aldwin Clyde Shoaf and Mabel Dama (Paden) Shoaf. Guy grew up with 3 brothers and 2 sisters. His dad worked in the insurance and real estate business most of his working life. Guy attended Grammar School in New Castle. Guy graduated from New Castle High School in 1938. By 1940 he was still living home and was in business with his older brother Dale marketing retail dairy products.

Guy was inducted into the service 16 May 1942 in Erie, Pennsylvania. His draft card stated he was 6’1” and 187 lbs. His army serial number was: 33271173. He would do his initial basic training in the States. At some point he boarded a ship headed for England. He shows up in the detached service Ranger Group of Headquarters A Company pool of trainees. On 22 May 1944 Guy joined Headquarters Company. Guy was with the Rangers on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

Pointe du Hoc, June 6th, D-Day

Before the 5th Ranger Battalion landing on Dog White sector on Omaha Beach, during the Invasion of Normandy, the 2nd Ranger Battalion scaled the 90-foot (27 m) cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, a few miles to the west, to destroy a five-gun battery of captured French Canon de 155 mm GPF guns. The gun positions were empty on the day and the weapons had been removed some time before to allow the construction of casements in their place. Under constant fire during their climb, they encountered only a small company of Germans on the cliffs and subsequently discovered a group of field artillery weapons in trees some 1.000 yards (910 m) to the rear. The guns were disabled and destroyed, and the Rangers then cut and held the main road for two days before being relieved. All whilst being reinforced by members of the 5th Ranger Battalion who arrived at 6pm on the 6th of June from Omaha Beach. More 5th Ranger units arrived by sea on the 7th of June when some of their wounded along with German prisoners were taken away to the waiting ships.

Mopping up

Shortly after the mop up of enemy troops at Normandy Guy was transferred to F Company they were in Colombieres, France at that time. Guy had the military Occupation of rifleman (MOS 745). The 2nd Rangers mission was to capture the German occupied submarine Port of Brest in France. On the 5th of September 1944 the Rangers need more reinforcement so more Rangers were taken from Able Company leaving 1 officer and 5 men to keep the Germans in their Kergolleau dugouts so they dressed up 14 Russians to make an appearance of strength to the dugout guarding Force.

The next day September 6 at 0830 AM the Battalion moved against the Germans at Hill 63. Behind heavy preparatory fire Baker, Dog and Easy companies attacked abreast with Fox Company in reserve. Arnold with Able and Charlie Company launched a diversionary attack. This was a day of heavy fighting under fire from German self propelled 75mm and 88mm guns. By late afternoon force Slater had gained 1,000 yds. Germans fleeing shelter ran under the guns of Able and Charlie, the latter killing 5 Germans. Twenty two more were captured of the garrison. At the close of the day the attack had killed sixty enemy and captured another forty. Only one Ranger was killed and nineteen were wounded. Ranger Shoaf was one of them. He earned a Purple Heart because of a scrapnel wound in his thigh. He was transported to the hospital and spent 6 days recovering. He was back on duty on 12th of September 1944.

Guy was transferred back into Headquarters Company while the Battalion was stationed in Belgium. He was still classified as a rifleman. By the time the battalion reached Schmidthof, Germany PVT Guy Shoaf and best buddy Jimmy Storm were promoted to PFC on 8 January 1945. By this time they were driving light trucks and also were part of the motorcycle messenger crew.

With the war winding down the Rangers had a chance to enjoy some rest. Then on the 29th of June 1945 the entire Pool of the motorcycle crew was sent on detached service with the 8th Armored Division. There were seven 2nd Rangers that went Shoaf, Storm, Lefferts, Myers, Berke, Stojkov and Holliday all had an MOS of 378 Motorcyclist. Jimmy Storm returned on the 20th of August and the other six returned on August 29th. They were in Holysov, Czech.

On 24 September 1945 while at Camp Brooklyn the motorcycle boys went AWOL for seven hours. The war in Europe had ended and the boys probably took a few liberties. The Battalion spent some time relaxing and getting some much earned rest. By 16 October 1945 the 2nd Rangers left Camp Lucky Strike and were transported to the Port of La Havre, France. They headed home on the USS West Point. After 7 days at sea the 2nd Battalion pulled into Hampton Roads, Virginia. They were transported to Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia. The 2nd Rangers were disbanded on 23 October 1945.

Guy returned to civilian life in New Castle, Pennsylvania and in 1948 he married Eileen Hammond. He was a partner in Shoaf Brothers Dairy and worked as a salesman for Lawson Products, a hardware supplier. He was a member of VFW Post 252 in Ellwood City and the Rangers Association. He loved spending time with his family and enjoyed reading and being outdoors.

After the war

After the war, Guy remained friends with Jimmy Storm who he knew as “Cricket.” One of Guy’s daughters remembered Cricket’s visits. She thought he was God because he was sitting in her dad’s chair with a dog in his lap and her mother, Eileen never allowed animals in the house. Another daughter looked forward to Jimmy's visits because he brought candy for all of them. She also said Guy and Jimmy got into a lot of trouble together, they were Rangers after all!

Guy was survived by four daughters and three sons-in-law, Sherry and Paul Ubry, Lori and Gary Henry, Leann and Sam Orrico, and Dama Shoaf of Canonsburg, Pa.; two sisters, Jean McGuire and Lois McCartney; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Gary E. Shoaf; and three brothers, Paul Shoaf, Ray Shoaf and Dale Shoaf.

Death

Guy C. Shoaf died in Jameson Memorial Hospital on 3 September 2007 at the age of 90. He was laid to rest at Castle View Memorial Gardens in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

The Rangers on D-Day

Major General Lucian Truscott of the U.S. Army was a liaison officer with the British General Staff. In 1942 he submitted a proposal to General George Marshall that an American unit be set up "along the lines of the British Commandos". Five Ranger Battalions would be organized in the European Theatre including the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th; the 6th would be organized in the Pacific Theatre. The 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Ranger Battalions were “Ghost” formations, which were part of the deception plan known as “Operation Quicksilver.”

On June 19, 1942 the 1st Ranger Battalion was sanctioned, recruited, and began training in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. Eighty percent of the original Rangers came from the 34th Infantry Division.

A select fifty or so of the first U.S. Rangers were dispersed through the British Commandos for the Dieppe Raid in August 1942; these were the first American soldiers to see ground combat in the European theater.

Together with the ensuing 3rd and 4th Ranger Battalions they fought in North Africa and Italy commanded by Colonel William Orlando Darby until the Battle of Cisterna (29 January 1944) when most of the Rangers of the 1st and 3rd Battalions were captured. Of the 767 men in the battalions 761 were killed or captured. The remaining Rangers were absorbed into the Canadian-American First Special Service Force under Brigadier General Robert T. Frederick. They were then instrumental in operations in and around the Anzio beachhead that followed Operation Shingle.

The Rangers' motto

On 6 June 1944, during the assault landing on Dog White sector of Omaha Beach as part of the invasion of Normandy, then-Brigadier General Norman Cota (assistant division commander of the 29th Infantry Division) approached Major Max Schneider, Commanding Officer of the 5th Ranger Battalion and asked "What outfit is this?", Schneider answered "5th Rangers, Sir!" To this, Cota replied "Well, goddamnit, if you're Rangers, lead the way!" From this, the Ranger motto "Rangers lead the way!" was born.

Veteran's personal medals
Bronze Star
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Purple Heart
Victory Medal
Victory Medal
EAMEC Medal
EAMEC Medal
French Croix de Guerre
French Croix de Guerre
Veteran's personal file
Combat Infantry Badge
Combat Infantry Badge

Rangers lead the way!

  • Presidential Unit Citation
    Presidential Unit Citation for Pointe du Hoc
    Presidential Unit Citation for Pointe du Hoc

    Rangers Storm and Shoaf. Picture: Lori DeAngeles
    Rangers Storm and Shoaf. Picture: Lori DeAngeles
    Rangers Berke on the left, Guy in the middle and an unknow Ranger at the right
    Rangers Berke on the left, Guy in the middle and an unknow Ranger at the right
    Guy in his uniform wearing his oversea stripes
    Guy in his uniform wearing his oversea stripes
    Portrait of Guy
    Portrait of Guy
    Guy's draft papers
    Guy's draft papers
    • 3 September 2007
    • Castle View Memorial Gardens
    • New Castle, Pennsylvania

    Remember each and every sacrifice, made for your freedom!

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