Harold D. Shannon, born on 16 September 1892 at Chicago, Illinois, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 17 October 1913 and served in Mexico in 1914. On 5 July 1917, he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve and was subsequently commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. From October 1917 through the end of World War I, he served in France and was awarded the Silver Star and the Croix de Guerre for his actions during the Belleau Wood Campaign. In October 1919, he returned to the United States.

Over the next 20 years, he served at various stations in the United States and completed tours in Santo Domingo, Nicaragua, and the Panama Canal Zone. In July 1941, he was transferred from San Diego to Pearl Harbor; and, in September 1941, to Midway Island. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership in the defense of that island during the Battle of Midway.

Col. Shannon remained on Midway into August. He was then transferred to Pearl Harbor and, in October, to San Diego, where he died on 16 February 1943.

The first Shannon retained her former name during her service in the United States Navy; the second was named for Col. Harold D. Shannon.