Former history curator to speak on World War I pilots from S.C. at Sumter County Genealogical Society meeting Sept. 18



Fritz Hamer, who retired from the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum in Columbia where he served as curator of history and archivist, will speak at the next membership meeting of the Sumter County Genealogical Society at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, in the fellowship hall of Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 Haynsworth St.

Hamer will speak on World War I pilots from South Carolina including Ervin Shaw of Alcolu and Sumter and Elliott White Springs of Fort Mill. Shaw Air Force Base was named after Shaw.

Hamer received his education at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and the University of South Carolina. He has worked in the museum field since the 1980s. He spent 25 years at the South Carolina State Museum followed by a short time at the South Caroliniana Library at USC. Over the years he has researched and helped develop many exhibitions and programs related to South Carolina and military history. He curated an exhibition on S.C. and the home front in World War II and another on the same topic for World War I. Besides his interest in military subjects, he also developed an exhibition on college football history in the Palmetto State. He has co-edited a series of articles on S.C. in the Civil War and Reconstruction and a book on the impact of the Charleston Navy Yard in World War II. One of his favorite topics is the German prisoner of war experience in South Carolina during the Second World War on which he has published two articles.

Refreshments will follow Hamer's presentation. The society meets monthly from September through May. Visitors are welcome to attend. Admission is free to the public. Interested persons can join the society. Membership includes four newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. Annual dues are $30 for an individual membership and $35 for a family. Readers can call the Society's Research Center for additional information at (803) 774-3901.