Monday, July 28, 2014

Military Monday (July 28, 2014) -- Two Scituate, Rhode Island WWII Honor Roll Memorials?

Arnold G. Tew, Jr. circa 1945 in Navy Reserve uniform as LTJG.

As I have mentioned elsewhere on The Prism, my father was a 1944 graduate of Kings Point, the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Great Neck, New York. The site of the Academy is the former 12-acre estate of Walter Chrysler named "Forker House." 

Kings Point was dedicated on September 30, 1943 by FDR, who stated, "the Academy serves the Merchant Marine as West Point serves the Army and Annapolis the Navy."  From 1942 - 1945, Kings Point graduated 6,895 officers.  During World War II, 1 in 26 merchant mariners were killed while implementing the greatest sealift in history.  This made the percentage of war-related deaths for merchant mariners higher than the percentage in all the other U.S. services -- but the mariner death rate was kept secret during the war so that the enemy would not know what success they were having in targeting supply ships AND so that the nation could continue to attract mariners into service.  

Merchant Marine midshipmen have served in every major conflict in which the U.S. has been involved since WWII and as a result the Kings Point regiment is entitled and privileged to display a regimental battle standard; the USMMA is the only Federal Service Academy granted the right to do so. 

This past weekend while visiting my parents, I obtained some wartime photographs I had never seen before -- including the one of my father shown above in his uniform. Among the other photos was the following snap shot of a World War II Honor Roll memorial erected in Scituate, Rhode Island.

The Scituate Honor Roll for World War II shown immediately above has a somewhat temporary look dominated as it is by white picket fencing. I do not know the date of the photograph or the precise location in Scituate where it was (and perhaps still is?) located, so I would welcome further information from anyone who might know more about the picket fenced Honor Roll. 

Some web research did disclose that the Rhode Island Reading Room page at shows photographs of the war memorial and honor rolls for the Civil War, WWI and WWII erected by Scituate, Rhode Island.  A photograph of the bronze WWII Honor Roll with an enlarged section showing many names on the Honor Roll follows.

Unless someone can shed more light on the white picket fence WWII Honor Roll erected by Scituate, it appears that the picket fenced Honor Roll might very well have have been temporary and that it was replaced by the more common stone and bronze plaque design shown at the Rhode Island Reading Room.  In the close-up of the plaque depicted immediately above, my father's name -- Arnold G. Tew, Jr. -- can be seen listed among those being honored. "John A. Tew" listed two lines below my father is his younger brother, who served in the U.S. Navy toward the end of WWII. 

Edward Tew listed between my father and his brother is Edward N. Tew, the 3rd cousin of my father and his brother.  Edward was the son of Frederick Browning Tew, Jr. (1890 - 1983), a long-time reporter for the Providence Journal, and his wife, Jessie E. Brewster (1894 -    ). Edward enlisted in the Army in Providence on September 9, 1943.  He died in Vermont on February 15, 1985.

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Photographs of Arnold G. Tew, Jr. and the picket fenced Scituate, R.I. WWII Honor Roll in the personal collection of the author.

Photograph of the Scituate, R.I. WWII Honor Roll plaque by Beth Hurd (2004) as posted at . Close-up of the plaque cropped from Beth Hurd's photography by the author.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. My guess is that the "Picket Fence Memorial", being wooden, needed replacement or maintenance over time and the more permanent stone marker was erected. Just a guess. I remember the town of Holden, Massachusetts had a wooden Honor Roll that was eventually replaced with a stone and bronze marker.

  2. I've no clue about the fence, but am wondering if you called the cemetery dept. or parks div. for Scituate, maybe somebody would know. I'm sure this memorial is maintained. I know you'll get the information you need.