Rhode Island’s contribution to World War II vastly exceeded its small size. Newport’s and Aquidneck Island’s contributions alone included the nation’s most important torpedo production facilities, a naval training station for some 500,000 sailors, and a PT boat training center at Melville. Civilians, including for the first time many women, did their part by manufacturing military equipment and warships.
On Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 5:30 pm, the Newport Historical Society will host co-authors Christian McBurney and Brian Wallin, who will give a joint lecture on their new book World War II Rhode Island. The state was declared a vital war zone, and tensions were high. People panicked with the news of an imminent air raid by German bombers just two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Hear about this event as well as the sinking of a German U-boat off Point Judith in the waning days of the war during their presentation.
Christian McBurney, an independent historian, has written seven history books on Rhode Island and/or the Revolutionary War, and is the founder and publisher of a Rhode Island history blog, www.smallstatehistory.com. Brian L. Wallin, a former radio-television reporter-anchor and hospital administrator, is a trustee of the Varnum Armory, a regular contributor to www.smallstatebighistory.com, and a frequent lecturer on Rhode Island history.
“World War II Rhode Island” takes place at the NHS Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI, and costs $5 per person, $1 for NHS members, active and retired military with ID. Please RSVP.
Photo credit: Naval trainees in the Pre-Commissioning School at the Naval Training Station, circa 1944. Naval War College Museum.