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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Stewart, James Clarence, 1919-2004



  • Existence: 1919-2004

Lt. Col. James C. Stewart was born in Corona, California on March 2, 1919. After graduating from Chaffee College (Ontario, Calif.) he joined the Army Air Force as an aviation cadet and graduated from flying school in August 1940. He reentered the Army Air Force as a commissioned officer in 1940 and was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group primarily used Republic P-47 Thunderbolts at the time, and continued to fly them for the duration of the World War II.

The Group was stationed in England starting in January 1943 and commenced operational flying in April. Stewart recorded 12.5 victories during the operations he participated in throughout Europe, which included campaigns in Normandy, northern France, the Rhineland, Central Europe, and the Ardennes/Alsace. Stewart received many awards during the World War II, including the United States’ second highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross. He was assigned as Commander of the 61st Fighter Squadron from January to April 15, 1944, and then finally assigned to the VIII Fighter Command where he planned fighter support for the 8th Air Force bomber missions.

After the war, Lt. Col. Stewart married Jacqueline Caye Bossong (b. December 29, 1925 in Brooklyn, New York). He went into the Air Force Reserves and worked in the hosiery industry for a few years. During this time he also earned a Bachelor of Laws from Southwestern University in Los Angeles, California, and was accepted to the California State Bar in 1954. He returned to active duty in 1953 and continued to serve in the Air Force until his final retirement in 1966. This period included time spent flying North American F-86 Sabre jets in Korea.

Little is known of Lt. Col. Stewart's activities after he retired from the Armed Forces, though we do know that he spent some time living in California and Arizona. He died Sept. 3, 2004 in San Jose, California.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

James C. Stewart Fighter Ace Collection

Identifier: 2002-02-13-1098
Abstract Lt. Col. James C. Stewart (1919-2004) was born in Corona, California. He joined the Army Air Force, graduated from flying school in August 1940, and was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group which was stationed in England during World War II. The collection primarily covers Lt. Col. Stewart's 1943-1966 military service with military records, personal documents, photographs, clippings, assorted ephemera, and films.

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