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Shipmate Eulogizes Colonel Stewart
By Ed Black, as printed in The Norwood News, July 29, 1992

 Col. James W. Stewert

    Col. James W. (Jim) Stewart, age 65, U.S. Army (Ret.) died at his home in Norwood (Piney Point) Friday morning after a lengthy illness.

    In 1943, Jim entered the U. S. Navy at Raleigh and received his training at Bainbridge, Maryland, later going to Norfolk, Virginia. for Destroyer Escort school.

    October 1, 1943 he was assigned to the crew of the USS Rich D. E. 695 which was being commissioned in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    He served on the USS Rich as an enlisted man.

    The USS Rich DE 695 made several convoy trips to Europe, in addition to a couple from American ports to Panama and one to Argentia, Newfoundland.

    The USS Rich participated in the Omaha Beach invasion on June 6, 1944.

    On the morning of June 8, while attempting to aid a stricken destroyer at Utah Beach the USS Rich was literally blown to pieces from underwater German anti-magnetic mines, resulting in heavy loss of life and serious injuries to most of the few survivors.

    After hospitalization, Stewart was assigned to the USS Farquar DE139 where he served as a radio operator.

    Transferred later to the USS Woolsey DD43 he remained there until war's end.

    Having engaged more invasions and enemy conflict, he received honorable mention for rendering aid to stricken shipmates and attempts to get them off the sinking vessel.

    He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds inflicted while on board the Rich.

    Shortly after the hostilities ceased, Jim joined the Army Reserve and was activated for duty in Korea where he received a battlefield commission. Remaining in the Army he was assigned to Europe in several capacities.

    During the Viet Nam conflict, he made three tours of duty there with the famed Green Berets and later retired as as a Lt. Col. from the military service.


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