Thursday, April 18, 2024

Avenue of Heroes: Vice Admiral Harry Schrader


Location: Third & E Avenue, Coronado, CA
Vice Admiral Harry Schrader, Banner Location: Third & E Avenue, Coronado, CA

Vice Admiral Harry Schrader
By Jerry Greenspan and Mary Schrader

If ever there was a man born to Naval Command, Harry C. Schrader, Jr. was that man. In 1985, after a brilliant 32-year career, Harry retired as Vice Admiral, to his beloved Coronado.

Born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin August 4, 1932, as a young boy Harry dreamed of joining the Navy. He fulfilled that dream when he enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1949. In 1951 he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and then continued his education earning a Master of Science degree in Physics from the Naval Post Graduate School in 1963 where he focused on nuclear physics and plasma. His specialty training included Nuclear Power School and Submarine School.

Vice Admiral Schrader’s career varied widely. He commanded both submarines and ships, served in Vietnam’s waters; saw duty in the seas surrounding Russia, China and the bays and oceans of most military hotspots. He was a pioneer in the development of nuclear power submarines

In 1960 he served as Launch Operations Officer for the first Polaris missile launch aboard the USS Observation Island. He went on to command the USS Tawasa and served on the USS Scamp, where he earned his dolphins, and served as executive officer of the USS Thomas Edison. In 1970, he assumed command of the Blue Crew of the USS Alexander Hamilton where he conducted six Polaris deterrent patrols earning him and his crew the Providence Plantation Council Award.

In late 1972, Harry became commanding officer of the USS Andrew Jackson and in 1973 he commenced a two-year tour of duty as commanding officer of the USS Howard W. Gilmore, which was home ported in La Maddalena, Sardinia.

He transferred to surface forces, and moved to Coronado, in 1975 as commanding officer of the USS LONG BEACH, the first nuclear powered cruiser stationed at North Island. During this duty, he was selected for Flag rank. His first flag assignment came in 1978 as director of MLSF, Amphibious, Mine and Advanced Naval Vehicles Ship Division, in the office of Chief of Naval Operations. As a Rear Admiral, he was the Navy’s director of new ship acquisitions where he helped modernize gas turbines and nuclear propulsion systems. In this position he sponsored the construction of eight ship classes. In 1980 he served as Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group One and Commander, Surface Combatant Force, U.S. Seventh Fleet, during deployment.

In his final Naval duty, he served as Commander, Naval Surface Force US Pacific Fleet at Coronado Amphibious Base. Here he was promoted to Vice Admiral, serving the Navy and representing the Coronado community. He retired in July 1985, having commanded more than 180 ships and 75,000 Naval personnel.

VADM Schrader had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and two Meritorious Service Medals.

After retiring from naval service, Harry continued work in the field of surface ship and submarine design as Program Manager for the Middle East, NATO and Europe Autonatics Division of Rockwell International. In 1987, he founded his own consulting firm, Coronado Technology International, specializing in technical and marketing consulting services and international cooperation agreements.

Throughout his life, Harry was known for his infectious, friendly smile and his eternal optimism. His candor, enthusiasm, incisiveness and drive made him a natural leader and a true warrior. His love of the sea was reinforced by his 24 years of residence on Coronado, where he could share friends and adventures with his the two most important people in his life: his wife Carol and daughter Mary.

Family and Mayor Tanaka at November 2015 Veterans Day Dedication ceremony
Family and Mayor Tanaka at November 2015 Veterans Day Dedication ceremony

He died April 19, 1998 at his home in Coronado. Vice Admiral Harry C. Schrader, Jr. was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery and is survived by his daughter, Mary. Her son, Harry, carries his name.



Visit more Hero Biographies:

More Local News