Harold Ralph Stewart
|HOME OF RECORD
1020 West 61st Street, Kansas City, MO
originally Tucson, AZ
|NEXT OF KIN
Wife, Mrs. Dorothy T. Stewart
|DATE OF BIRTH
May 28, 1918
|DATE OF LOSS
February 14, 1943
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
Missing In Action
Declared Dead January 10, 1946
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Lieutenant Harold R. Stewart was a Marine fighter pilot assigned to VMF-124. He flew combat missions out of Guadalcanal in support of the campaign for the northern Solomon Islands.
On 14 February 1943, VMF-124 was assigned to provide an escort for heavy bombers striking Japanese ships off Bougainville. In the ensuing “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” eight American aircraft were lost. One was F4U-1 02249, piloted by Lt. Stewart, which was shot down by Japanese aircraft.
Lieutenant Stewart was declared dead on 10 January 1946.
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
Evergreen Memorial Park, Tucson, AZ
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for more information about this Marine.
Stewart’s plane was racked with machine-gun fire diagonally across the main fuel cell. When Stewart rejoined me after the melee, I could see the gasoline spraying out of the numerous bullet holes. He appeared to be okay. After approximately ten minutes with us his fuel gave out, he waved goodbye and nosed down to the water from about 20,000 feet. The Zeros then followed him down, shooting at him all the while. He made a successful water landing and I thought I could see a yellow spot (his life raft) beside the cockpit. However, the Zeros continued to strafe him. We never heard from Stewart again.
– Lt. Lloyd B. Pearson, VMF-124, quoted in Barrett Tillman’s Corsair: The F4U in World War II and Korea.
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