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

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".

Excellent memoir.


  1. Wow das ist so cool! Ich kann nicht warte fur das Buch!

  2. This is uber kool! I met Walter Schroder at the Quonsett Air Museum during the military vechicle show. He had some books on the protection and fortifications in Rhode Island during the WWI to WWII time frame. He is a really nice man and I hope that he comes in for our class someday!
    I read this blog to my parents and my dad met him for a claim at his house. I think that my dad will buy his looks very interessante!

  3. Das ist cool. Ich lerne über die in der Geschichte

  4. Dies war ein guter Weg zur Geschichte lernen

  5. Das ist wirklich cool! Konnte er es in der deutschen 2 und sprechen? Ich denke, wir würden eine Menge lernen, und wir würden die Geschichte viel besser verstehen. Hat er Artefakte übrig?

  6. Mein Opa hat das! He showed me once when I was at his house. He explained it a little but I recognized the cover right away. My dad and my Grandpa have read it. They said it was really good!

  7. That is really interesting. I'm definitely going to check out his book now.

  8. Ich wünsche Walter Schröder würde in meine Klasse kommen. Ich wusste nie, es war so ein historisches Gebäude so nah. Ich möchte diesen Ort in Newport zu besuchen.

  9. This looks so cool i'll have to go and visit that, du bist cool!


  10. This looks really cool. I think i'll visit that i love historical stuff. I've seen a lot of museums and mansions in newport but not this one. My dad read that book and said it was good.

  11. I love historical stuff and museums, I can't wait to go down there and read his book

  12. I've heard of several stories like this before, but this is probably the first one I've heard that's about an American, much less a Rhode Islander. Very interesting!

  13. This is very cool and seems interesting. I will have to look into the book and visit there in Newport!

  14. That place looks extremly interesting. Its has such interseting memorobilia

  15. das its cool ! I want to go and check it out