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Charles A. Stewart, Jr., Papers, 1939-1946

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Identifier: A3017

Title: Charles A. Stewart, Jr., Papers, 1939-1946


Charles Albert Stewart, Jr. was born October 1, 1921 in St. Louis, Missouri to parents Charles A. Stewart, Sr. and Grace Stewart. He had one brother, Robert Stewart. Charles A. Stewart, Jr. attended Hadley Technical High School in St. Louis, Missouri before joining the U.S. Marine Corps on January 15, 1940. He began his training in San Diego, California, followed by eight months of service in Tianjin, China. He was captured as a prisoner of war by the Japanese on December 8, 1941 while serving as an American Embassy Guard in Beijing, China. His four years of imprisonment by the Japanese in China included time at Woosung Prison Camp, Ward Road Jail, torture at the Japanese “Bridge House,” and two failed escape attempts before he was liberated by U.S. rescue teams on August 18, 1945. He married Delores H. Peterson on April 2, 1946 in Randolph County, Arkansas, before settling in St. Louis, Missouri. He died June 6, 1978 in Houston, Texas.

The collection consists of correspondence from Charles A. Stewart Jr., to his family, various newspaper articles and clippings, and a scrapbook, that document his military service during World War II and his time as a prisoner of war. The collection, which ranges in date from 1939-1946, is divided into correspondence, scrapbook, and newspaper articles, and arranged chronologically within each section. The correspondence includes letters from Charles A. Stewart Jr. to his family in which he discusses general conditions as a prisoner of war, but without detail presumably due to censorship. The correspondence also includes a letter from Commander Winfield Scott Cunningham, with whom Charles A. Stewart Jr. was briefly imprisoned. The scrapbook, presumably put together by Mrs. Grace Stewart, was donated unbound and the original order has been lost. It includes photographs of Charles A. Stewart Jr. during his service and World War II ephemera. The scrapbook also includes a signed letter, dated November 29, 1945, from President Harry S. Truman to Charles A. Stewart Jr. that expresses gratitude for Stewart’s military service. The newspaper articles headline pivotal moments of World War II before and after the United States’ declaration of war.

3 boxes

Cite as: Charles A. Stewart, Jr., Papers, Missouri History Museum Archives, St. Louis.

Rights: UND


Dates: 1939-1946

Type(s): Documentary Artifacts

Maker/Creator: Stewart, Charles A., Jr., 1921-1978

Subjects: Armed Forces
World War, 1939-1945
Prisoners of war


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