Skip to main content

Archives at The Museum of Flight

James C. Stewart Fighter Ace Collection

Identifier: 2002-02-13-1098
The James C. Stewart Fighter Ace Collection documents Lt. Col. Stewart's life in the military from his enlistment in 1943 to his retirement in 1966, and also includes a small amount of personal materials. The collection is separated into three series by format: Photographic materials, Textual materials, and Audiovisual materials.

Series I., Photographic material, is 1.8 cubic feet of approximately 1500 photographs, as well as negatives and slides. There are also two empty photograph albums, which previously housed some of the photographs in this collection. The albums were disassembled for preservation reasons prior to their arrival at the museum; it is unclear which photographs were in these two albums but they have been retained to show the original housing and the captions on the pages within the albums. Most of the photographs are black-and-white, with some color images. Sizes vary, ranging from 2x2" to 11x17". Many images have very brief captions or inscriptions, noting locations, names, and dates. Stewart seems to have been an avid photographer and took many of the photographs in this collection himself. In general, the photographs are organized by subject, with the subjects organized into roughly chronological order.

The bulk of the photographs is comprised of both group and individual portraits depicting the squadrons and pilots in the VIII Fighter Command during World War II. Squadrons featured include the 61st, 62rd, and 63rd Fighter Squadrons of the 56th Pursuit Group, as well as the individual pilots from within these squadrons. Other pilots and squadrons are also included, although appear to be unidentified as to which unit. Assorted military aircraft, both in flight and on the ground, are also included in the photographs. There is also a series of images of a Messerschmitt Me 210 being shot down by Stewart, his first aerial victory.

Other topics covered include cadet training, including the daily activities of cadets; aerial and scenic photographs of Europe, including Great Britain and France; souvenir images and photographic postcards from various locations, such as Paris, France, and of assorted aircraft; and casual photographs of military officers engaging in "R & R" [rest and relaxation] and sight-seeing in Europe and Asia. The collection also includes personal photographs of family and friends, as well as images from a 1961 air show in Farnborough (England). Please note that Folder 28 contains slides which feature erotic imagery and nudity.

Series II., Textual material, is approximately 1.55 cubic feet and is primarily comprised of official military records from the 1940s-1966. The documents in this series are organized according to type, and each type is organized roughly chronologically. The exception to this are the materials in Folders 9-12. The documents in these folders were removed from their original binding and the original reverse chronological order was retained.

Many of the documents are personnel records for Lt. Col. Stewart, including his flight record, some medical records, military orders and memos, and promotion letters. Also included are numerous documents related to the orders and activities of the various Air Force divisions Lt. Col. Stewart was active in. There is also a small amount of military-related ephemera, including maps of Europe, an undated cartoon titled "I can't understand it! My altimeter read 4300 ft.! The ground is where you hit it!", procedure and pilot check lists, and foreign paper currency. There is a small amount of personal documents, including Stewart's high school student record (1935-1937), a membership card for the Boy Scouts, assorted clippings about Stewart, and copies of birth certificates for Jacqueline Caye (Bossong) Stewart (New York) and James Clarence Stewart (California).

Also included is a scrapbook box that contains the contents, in original order, of the scrapbook kept by Lt. Col. Stewart's mother during and after World War II. The contents include clippings about wartime activities, Lt. Col. Stewart's letters home to his family, photographs, souvenir postcards, and news items related to the wedding of Lt. Col. Stewart and Jacqueline Bossong.

Series III., Audiovisual Materials, contains six films dating from around the late 1940s to early 1960s. The films range in length from around five minutes long to around 15 minutes. Three of these films contain travel footage of England, France, Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. One contains home movies of the Stewart family holiday celebrations. Two of the films contain footage of strafing and aerial combat from World War II.


  • 1919-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1940-1960


Language of Materials

There is a very small amount of ephemera in Chinese and/or Japanese. All other materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


3.35 Cubic Feet (3 full-width letter size document boxes, 2 full-width legal size document boxes, 1 half-width legal size document box, and 2 flat boxes)


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.

Biographical Note: James C. Stewart

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.


Biography derived from collection materials and donor information.
Historical Note: 56th Pursuit Group Many items in this collection are associated with Lt. Col. Stewart's activities during the World War II. He spent much of his time as part of the 56th Pursuit Group, which was activated on January 15, 1941 at Savannah Army Air Base (Georgia). The group moved to the Charlotte Army Air Base (North Carolina) in May 1941, where they were equipped with a small number of Bell P-39 Airacobra and Curtiss P-40 Warhawk aircraft. The Group was then selected to train with the new Republic P-47B Thunderbolt, and they received the first aircraft in June 1942. The Group then moved to Bridgeport Municipal Airport (Connecticut) on July 7, 1942 and continued testing and training with early P-47s. With the Second World War ramping up, the group was assigned to overseas duty in December 1942. They landed in England in early 1943 and the pilots were organized into three fighter squadrons, and the 56th Pursuit Group was rebranded as the 56th Fighter Group. The three squadrons were:
  • 61st Pursuit Squadron
  • 62rd Pursuit Squadron
  • 63rd Pursuit Squadron
The 56th was organized as a combat unit with a high turnover in personnel. It was one of four fighter groups sent to England in the summer of 1942 as part of the Bolero buildup. Major Hubert A. "Hub" Zemke, a pre-war Air Corps pilot with experience as a combat observer with the RAF, became group commander on September 18, 1942.

The 56th Fighter Group sailed from New York on the RMS Queen Elizabeth on January 6, 1943. Their first station was at RAF Kings Cliffe in Cambridgeshire. The 56th was one of three P-47 groups in England, and the only one to previously train on the Thunderbolt, which had proved itself flyable but full of troublesome quirks and defects. The 56th ran many successful missions, and fought all over the European Theater during the war, including participation in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. The group was inactivated from its active war duty in October 1945, but has continued to serve in air defense and various active conflicts throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Its current incarnation is as the 56th Operations Support Squadron, which is stationed at Luke Air Force Base (Arizona).

Sources and Further Reading:

Hess, William N. Zemke's Wolfpack: the 56th Fighter Group in World War II. Stillwater, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1992.

McLaren, David R. Beware the Thunderbolt!: the 56th Fighter Group in World War II. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Shiffer Publishers, 1994.

Zemke, Hub and Roger A. Freeman. Zemke's Wolf Pack : the Story of Hub Zemke and the 56th Fighter Group in the Skies over Europe. New York : Orion Books, 1989.
Historical Note: American Fighter Aces Association The American Fighter Aces Association (AFAA) was founded in 1960 to recognize the 1,450 combat pilots that received a special distinction of becoming an ace by destroying five (5) or more hostile aircraft in air-to-air combat. This includes aces in both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam. The AFAA lists its objectives and purposes as "to preserve and promote the distinguished heritage of the American combat fighter Ace; to preserve the spirit of loyalty, fellowship and responsibility that motivates Fighter Aces; to support the understanding of and demand for sound, progressive aerospace weapons systems which will guarantee the security and peace of the United States; to encourage and stimulate young men and women to enter the aerospace field; and to sponsor educational programs designed to increase and broaden public knowledge of aerospace technology." The AFAA sponsors an academic scholarship fund for youths who are primarily descendants of American Fighter Aces and fosters youth programs encouraging patriotism. Additional programs include award programs, such as the annual presentation of the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award at the United States Air Force Academy and for outstanding fighter pilot "lead-in" trainee graduates from the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The AFAA is affliated with The Museum of Flight (TMOF), the proud home of the AFAA.

Source and Further Reading:

Custodial History

The James C. Stewart Fighter Ace Collection is a part of the American Fighter Aces Association (AFAA) Collection, which came to The Museum of Flight from the Champlin Fighter Museum in Mesa, Arizona when it closed in 2003. Stewart donated his collection to the AFAA in 1994.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.

Separated Materials

The following items were separated from the archival materials and are kept in Objects storage:

  • Type A-9 Flying Helmet
  • RAF Type G Oxygen Mask
  • Foot locker
  • Shadow box containing nine (9) World War II medals and one (1) USAF Command Pilot's Wings.
  • Type B-6 Flying Helmet
  • RAF Type "C" Flying Helmet
  • Type A-14 Oxygen Mask
  • Type HS-18 Radio Receiver and Type HB-7 Headset
  • Type MBU-3/P Oxygen Mask
  • Type G3A Flight Suit, "G" Suit
  • Two (2) 20mm ammunition
  • Two (2) Dark Blue Utility Shirts
  • Seven (7) Silk Escape Maps with Case
  • Sizing Packet for the HGU-2/P Flying Helmet
  • Three (3) E-3A Personal Survival Kits
  • Personal Survival Fishing Kit
  • M-1940 Military Identification Tags
  • Carbon Dioxide Canister
  • Matches in waterproof match case
  • Type M-1936 "Mussette Bag"
  • M-1938 Canvas Leggings
  • Two (2) spare pads for flying helmets
  • Unit Patch
  • WKO projector lamp in box
  • Ikon film splicer in box
  • Red leather [glasses?] case
  • Index

    This is an index of the pilots who are identified in the photographs contained in the James C. Stewart Fighter Ace Collection. Their pictures can be found in Folders 3, 7-12 and 18 of the Photographs series. These names are taken from the inscriptions on the back of the photographs. They are not a complete representation of the people featured in this collection, and are presented in alphabetical order.

  • Adrianse, Capt. Lyle A. "Poop"
  • Aggers, Lt. William R.
  • Allison, Lt. Dick
  • Anderson, Lt. Milton "Andy"
  • Auctschuler
  • Auton, Brigadier General Jesse
  • Baker, Gordon E. "Eno"
  • Barnum, Capt. Eugene E. "Jean"
  • Barron, Lt. Lewis
  • Belk
  • Bennett, Capt. Joseph H. "Joe"
  • Berquist, "Berk"
  • Bevins, Lt. Hiram O.
  • Biales, "Al"
  • Blake
  • Bowie, Tom
  • Brainard
  • Brooks, Lt. Norman E.
  • Brower, Col. Lawrence
  • Browne, Capt. John D. "Jack"
  • Bryant, Lt. John Pope
  • Burke, Capt. Sylvester V. "Sy"
  • Canizaries, Lt. Arlington Ward
  • Carcione, Lt. Anthony R. "Tony"
  • Carter, Major James R. "Jim"
  • Cavallo, Lt. Anthony S.
  • Chase
  • Chattaway
  • Christenson, Capt. Frederick J.
  • Clamp, Capt. Charles C.
  • Comstock, Col. Harold E. "Bunny"
  • Conger, Major Paul A.
  • Cook, Capt. Walter V. "Walt"
  • Coronios, 2nd Lt. Harry
  • Craig, Capt. Horace C. "Pappy"
  • Curtis, Capt. Joseph R. "Joe"
  • Dade, Lt. Col. Lucian A. "Pete"
  • Dauphin, Capt. Ray "Nick"
  • Davis, Al
  • Day, Lt. Voorhis H.
  • Derby, "Stat"
  • Dimmick
  • Dishiel
  • Doherty, "Shep"
  • Doolittle, General James Harold "Jimmy"
  • Durrance, V. H.
  • Dyar, Roger B.
  • Eastwood, Ralph
  • Eaves, John B. "Johnny"
  • Eby, Merle C.
  • Egan, Capt. Joseph L. "Joe"
  • Foster, Lt. Justus D.
  • Frederick, Lt. Walter R.
  • Funcheon, Lt. Donald M. "Don"
  • Gabreski, Capt. Francis S. "Gabby"
  • Garth
  • Gentile, Dominic Salvatore, 1920-1951
  • Gerick, Capt. Steven N. "Steve"
  • Ginn
  • Goldstein, Lt. George C.
  • Golresk, Francis S.
  • Goodfleisch, Major Donald M. "Goody"
  • Guggel
  • Hall, Capt. George F.
  • Hamilton, Lt. Samuel D.
  • Harrison, Capt. Charles R. "Hairs"
  • Heinaman
  • Herin
  • Holtmier
  • Hornig, George R. "Doc"
  • Horton, Jack
  • Howard, Chuck
  • Huger, 1st lt. Killian L. "Pop"
  • Hunter, Maj. Gen. Frank O.
  • Janson, Lt. William H.
  • Johnson, Major Gerald W. "Jerry"
  • Johnson, Major Ralph A.
  • Johnson, Major Robert S. "Bob"
  • Jones, Capt. James M.
  • Keen, Capt. Robert J.
  • Kelly, 2nd Lt. W. Neil
  • Klibbe, Lt. Frank W.
  • Knafelz, Lt. Albert P.
  • Lamb, Major Robert A. "Bob"
  • Landry, Col. Robert H.
  • Langley, Ellis
  • Lanowski, 1st Lt. Witold "Lanny"
  • Little
  • Ludwig, Lt. Vance P.
  • Mahurin, Capt. Walker M. "Bud"
  • Marshall
  • May
  • McCauley, Capt. Frank E. "Mac"
  • McClure, Capt. John C.
  • McCollom, Major Lauren G.
  • McMinn, Lt. Evan D. "Mac"
  • Melchen
  • Moore
  • Morrill, 2nd Lt. Stanley B.
  • Mudge, Capt. Richard H. "Dick"
  • Mussey, Lt. Claude E.
  • Nelson
  • Neyland, Lt. Praeger
  • O'Neill, Capt. Eugene W. "Jean"
  • Ordway, John
  • Owens
  • Patton, Lt. John A. "Pat"
  • Perry, 2nd Lt. Joseph H.
  • Peterson
  • Petty, Raymond
  • Phillips
  • Porowski, Lt. Isadore T.
  • Powers, Capt. Joseph H. "Joe"
  • Pruden, 2nd Lt. Harry J.
  • Quirk, Major Michael J. "Mike"
  • Rankin, 2nd Lt. Robert J.
  • Reed, Lt. Charles W.
  • Renwick, Major Donald D. "Doc"
  • Rickenbocker [likely a misspelling of Rickenbacker, Eddie]
  • Roberts, Lt. Robill "Robbie"
  • Robey, Lt. Archie R.
  • Robinson, "Tubby"
  • Saux, Lt. Conway
  • Sawyer
  • Sayers, "Maiden Swoon"
  • Schilling, Lt. Col. David C.
  • Schrauer, Herb
  • Schreiber, Major Leroy A. "Schreib"
  • Shultz, Capt. Glen D.,
  • Sission
  • Smith, Lt. Bernard R.
  • Smith, Major Donovon F. "Dieppe Don"
  • Smith, Lt. Col. Leslie C. "Les"
  • Spaatz, Carl A.
  • Splaney
  • Sterling
  • Stewart, Lt. Roach S., Jr.
  • Stewart, Lt. Col. James C. "Jim"
  • Stirling, Joe P.
  • Stultz, Lt. Robert
  • Stover, Lt. Robert
  • Stream
  • Studer
  • Sugas, Lt. Arthur "Art"
  • Teddemier, Don
  • Thayer
  • Thomas
  • Thomson, "Dick"
  • Tracy, "Trace"
  • Truluck, Capt. John H. "Lucky"
  • Tucker
  • Tukey, Capt. Philip E., Jr.
  • Urick
  • Valenta, Lt. Irvin E.
  • Van Abel, Lt. Wilfred
  • Wakefield
  • Walroth
  • Waugh
  • Weatherbee, Capt. Robert H.
  • Wigel
  • Williamson, Major Felix D. "Willie"
  • Witold, 1st Lt.
  • Wood
  • Wright, Vic "Oprs"
  • Zemke, Col. Hubert A.
  • Processing Information

    The original order, if one existed, is unknown. The order implemented by the AFAA has been retained. The photograph albums and binders of personnel records were dismantled by the AFAA, for preservation reasons.
    Guide to the James C. Stewart Fighter Ace Collection
    Completed - Level 3
    L. Zaborowski, J. Parent, N. Davis
    Description rules
    Language of description
    Edition statement
    6th Edition

    Revision Statements

    • 2014, 2018,: This finding aid has been revised to reflect updated DACS and Museum of Flight standards.
    • 2018 November: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.
    • 2018 December: Films were added to inventory.
    • 2019 July: updated Related Materials, Processing Information.
    • 2019 September: updated subject terms.
    • 2020 April: updated Related Materials.
    • 2021 June: updated information about films.

    Repository Details

    Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

    9404 East Marginal Way South
    Seattle Washington 98108-4097

    The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
    Contact us with a research request