Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Austin C. Shofner

Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of North Main St. (U.S. 82) and Florida Short Route, Shelbyville, TN
County: Bedford
Coordinates: N 35° 29.24    W 086° 27.56
  35.48733333    -86.45933333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Because Shofner and his compatriots brought home stark evidence of Japanese atrocities, the United States and their allies were compelled to alter their strategy in WWII. These reports of Japanese atrocities ignited an urgency to resolve the war against Japan more quickly. In response to these reports relayed by Shofner and his men, the allied nations developed operation to take the war directly to the Japanese homeland. Thereafter, the war in the Pacific was fought with the same priority as the war in Europe. With a new expedient strategy, the Allies shortened the war and saved countless thousands of lives.

In 1944, Shofner returned to the Pacific Theater. During the campaign to liberate the Philippines, Shofner assisted the General of the Armies, Douglas MacArthur, and his forces. Thought Shofner's personal reconnaissance behind enemy lines and his liaison with guerrillas leaders, Shofner helped rescue over 500 American and Allied prisoners slated for death in the Japanese prison camp at Cabanuatuan. In addition, Shofner commanded Marine battalions in the battles for Pelellu and Okinawa.

For his service in WWII, Shofner was awarded the Army's Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit with V for Valor, two Silver Stars, the Bronze Star with V, two Purple Hearts and the Chinese Cloud and Banner, along with numerous campaign and service medals.

In 1959, Shofner retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a Brigadier General and returned home to Bedford County.

Erected by Tennessee Chapter First Marine Division Association.