Sunday, December 5, 2010
Newport's ARTILLERY COMPANY and Armory/Museum
Have you ever stepped into the Greek Revival structure at 23 Clarke Street in Newport? This museum, was listed in 1972 in the National Register of Historic Places. It was chartered in 1741 by Britain's King George II, making it the oldest continually chartered organization in the US.
Besides containing weapons, such as original Paul Revere cannons, it also has uniforms of very famous people, including:
• Colin Powell
• Dwight D. Eisenhower
• James Montgomery
• Lord Mountbatten
• Anwar Sadat
• King Hussein
• Admiral Nimitz
• Walter K. Schroder
Wow, right?! Since we have no chance of meeting the people behind those uniforms, this Museum preserves the uniforms for us, right?
OR? Actually, someone on that list is our very neighbor. Former Jamestown resident and author, Walter Schroder and his wife have recently moved to North Kingstown. He has visited our German classes, and showed us some of his war memorabilia. Believe me: My students were mesmerized! His personal story is simply fascinating, and he has a very receptive, genuine, and articulate presentation style, as well.
Actually, his first book is an autobiography, entitled "Stars and Swastikas: The Boy Who Wore Two Uniforms". I include an Amazon customer review of this book below.
Mr. Schroder has written four other local-interest, and war-related books, the last being a youth novel portraying a drummer boy, who accompanied his father's Hessian regiment to Newport and beyond. This German Regiment had been hired to fight alongside the British forces in our War for Independence in the late 1770's. The novel should soon be published.
Schroder's other three published books are
1. "The Hessian Occupation of Newport and Rhode Island, 1776-1779",
2. "Davisville and the Seabees," and
3. "Defenses of Narragansett Bay in World War II" currently in its 9th printing, and initially written for the RI Bicentennial Foundation in 1980.
Isn't it interesting to have such an important neighbor here at NKHS? We can also read his books, and even visit his uniforms in Newport.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews of "Stars and Swastikas" from Amazon.com
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Memoir Of Man Who Served On Both Sides., Sept 20, 2004
By John P. Rooney "John" (Massachusetts)
This review is from: Stars and Swastikas: The Boy Who Wore Two Uniforms (Hardcover)
"Stars And Swastikas" by Walter Schroder. Subtitled: "The Boy Who Wore Two Uniforms". Archon Books, 1992.
This is a personal memoir of a young German boy, born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, but growing up in Germany during the Second World War.
During the Great Depression, the parents of Walter Schroder returned to Germany for economical reasons. So, young Walter had to adjust to using the German language every day in school and was "tagged" as an outsider because of his accent.
As the Second World War wore on, Walter Schroder was fundamentally drafted in the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, which had responsibility for anti-aircraft weapons. The book begins with the end of the war and the capture of Schroder's Luftwaffe unit by British troops, with his subsequent incarceration in a British POW camp. Schroder used his ability to speak English, (even though he sounded like a "Yank"), to help himself and his fellow prisoners.
Then, it was discovered that he was born in the United States, one thing leads to another, and he is set free in England, returns to the Continent where he joins the Untied States Army, and before he reaches the age of 21 years, he has served both Germany and the U.S., both "Stars And Swastikas".