Seaton Schroeder was born in Washington, D.C., on 17 August 1849 and entered the Naval Academy in 1864. He served with the Pacific Fleet in 1868 and 1869 under Admiral John Rodgers in screw sloop, Benicia, and fought in the Salt River near Seoul, Korea. His sea tours took him to Alaska, Japan, and the Philippines in Saginaw, to the West Indies in Canandaigua, and on a world cruise on Swatara.
After specializing in hydrographic duties for 11 years, he spent two years in the Office of Naval Intelligence where he helped develop the Driggs-Schroeder rapid-fire gun. He returned to sea in 1890 as the Commanding Officer of Vesuvius. In 1893, he began a three-year tour as ordnance officer for the Washington Navy Yard and as the recorder of the Board of Inspection and Survey; and joined the Board as a member in 1894.
Following his appointment as executive officer of battleship, Massachusetts, he participated in the American blockade of Santiago, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War and was advanced three numbers in rank "for eminent and conspicuous conduct in battle" during five engagements between 31 May and 4 July 1898.
He was appointed Naval governor of Guam on 19 July 1900, and there commanded Yosemite and later, Brutus, On 1 May 1903, Schroeder became Chief Intelligence Officer of the Navy. He assumed command of battleship, Virginia,, upon her first commissioning on 7 May 1906 and afterwards commanded various divisions in the Atlantic Fleet.
Promoted to Rear Admiral in 1908, he hoisted his flag on Connecticut when he took command of the Atlantic Fleet on 8 March 1909. Two months later, he was assigned to the General Board and subsequently placed on the retired list on 17 August 1911.
Rear Admiral Schroeder was recalled to active duty in 1912 to prepare a new signal book, and again in World War I to serve as Chief Hydrographer and the Navy representative on the United States Geographic Board. He died at the Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C., on 19 October 1922.
Schroeder (DD-501) was laid down on 25 June 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearney, N.J.; launched on 11 November 1942; sponsored by Miss Grace Wainwright Schroeder; and commissioned on 1 January 1943, Comdr. J. T. Bowers in command.
Schroeder provided escort for two separate carriers making shakedown cruises to the Caribbean and a convoy of merchant ships bound for Casablanca before steaming to the Pacific.
After an overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard, she steamed west and joined Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 25 at Pearl Harbor on 28 July 1943. Schroeder assisted in screening the carrier task force which attacked Marcus Island on 1 September. While bombarding Wake Island early the next month, she was taken under fire for the first time but suffered no casualties.
After the Wake Island bombardment, Schroeder sailed to the New Hebrides Islands for training with amphibious forces. In early November, she joined the Gilbert Islands invasion force. On the morning of 20 November, Schroeder was in the bombardment group that shelled the eastern coast of Tarawa Atoll. She entered the lagoon early the next morning to provide fire support to the marines ashore. In addition to fire support, the DD also acted as a first aid ship for wounded marines. Schroeder departed Tarawa on the 24th for Pearl Harbor, for repairs, as she had damaged her screws on a coral reef in the lagoon.
Schroeder was back with her division, on 1 February 1944, when it screened transports and provided fire support for the assault on Kwajalein Island. She remained in the Marshalls for several weeks and, from 20 to 24 February, bombarded Maloelap and Wptje Atolls. On 1 March, she sailed to the New Hebrides Islands where she participated in more training exercises.
On 20 March, Schroeder and her division bombarded Japanese coast defenses at Kavieng, New Ireland, with nearly 900 rounds of ammunition; departing for Efate in the evening.
Schroeder loaded ammunition at Espiritu Santo and, on 1 April, escorted Pocomoke and S.S. Red Rover to Guadalcanal; joined a merchant convoy there, and escorted it to Milne Bay, New Guinea. Later in the month, she participated in the bombardment of enemy positions at Hollandia; and, then screened transports and LST's at Humboldt Bay. She performed fighter director duties until the 30th when she departed with a convoy for Cape Sudest and, later, to Buna.
Schroeder operated in the Purvis Bay-Guadalcanal area until she departed for Kwajalein, on 4 June, as a unit of Task Group (TG) 53.1. The TG was at Eniwe-tok on the 28th where Schroeder underwent a period of upkeep and logistics.
On 11 July, the DD and her division departed for the Mariana Islands. From 16 to 20 July, the division bombarded the Tumon area of Guam. Schroeder then served on picket duty until 4 August when she escorted a convoy back to Eniwetok. After returning to Espiritu Santo for a period of upkeep and logistics, she sailed for Humboldt Bay on 22 August.
Schroeder was assigned to TG 77.5 which sortied, on 13 September, for the invasion of Morotai, Netherlands East Indies. She screened LST's in their approach to Pitoe Bay and then served on picket duty until departing for Humboldt Bay on the 21st.
The destroyer sailed, on 13 October, with TF 78 for Panoan Island, P.I. She entered Leyte Gulf at midnight, 19 October, with a group of transports; and, the next morning, began performing ASW and fighter director duties. On the 25th, she withdrew from the area and sailed for San Francisco. She arrived there on 23 November and underwent a period of overhaul and availability.
On 11 January 1945, Schroeder moved down the coast to San Diego. Departing there on the 20th, the veteran destroyer was back in Ulithi on 7 February, where she joined TF 58, the Fast Carrier Task Force. The task force sortied on 10 February. On the 16th and 17th, the carriers launched attacks against airfields, aircraft factories, and shipping in the Tokyo area. The next day, the flattops launched strikes against the Volcano Islands in preparation for the forthcoming assault against that Japanese bastion.
Schroeder returned to Ulithi in early March; but, by the 23d, was again operating off the Japanese home islands. Detached from the task group on the 31st, she and Murray (DD-576) proceeded to Ulithi. She sailed from there on 10 April as a unit of TG 50.8, which was proceeding to Okinawa to support the landings there. On the 16th, the DD, supporting the landing on le Shima, was at general quarters nine different times to repel enemy air attacks. Five days later, Schroeder, with DesDiv 49, bombarded the western side of Minami Daito Shima. The bombardment caused many fires ashore but brought no return gunfire from the enemy positions.
Schroeder returned to Ulithi, from 27 April to 9 May, for a period of upkeep, replenishment, and recreation. She rejoined the fast carriers three days later as they conducted bombing and photographic missions over Kyushu. Four days later, they supported the troops on southern Okinawa.
Task Force 58 entered San Pedro Bay, on 13 June, for an upkeep period. It sortied on 1 July; and, on the 10th, the carriers launched sustained strikes against Tokyo. On 17-18 July, strikes were launched against targets in the Tokyo-Yokohama area. On the 31st, Schroeder shelled Shimizu, Honshu Island.
On 6 September, with hostilities ended, the task force entered Tokyo Bay and dissolved its units. Schroeder was ordered to join TF 11 at Okinawa and proceed to Pearl Harbor. She departed Pearl Harbor, on 1 October, with orders assigning her to the east coast. On 2 November 1945, the destroyer entered the Charleston, (S.C.) Navy Yard and prepared for deactivation.
Schroeder was decommissioned on 29 April 1946 and placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She remained in reserve until 1 October 1972 when she was struck from the Navy list. Schroeder was sold to Southern Materials Co., Ltd., New Orleans, La., on 1 January 1974.
Schroeder received 10 battle stars for World War II.