Shaw grew up in Graceville, Florida and attended Florida State College for Women
(now Florida State University). In 1942, She took a job with the War Department.
Shaw worked for the Army Air Forces at Large, 65th Sub-depot in
In May of 1943, the Civil Aeronautics Administration accepted Shaw
as an air traffic controller trainee. She trained at the Municipal Airport in
Atlanta, Georgia, and was assigned to the Air Traffic Control Center in
Jacksonville, Florida. After 16 months as an air traffic controller, Shaw
resigned and returned to work for the War Department, this time as a
classification analyst with the Harbor Defenses of Pensacola.
Frances Shaw's husband, Alfred Shaw, was present at the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor. He was a destroyer tender aboard the USS Whitney.