James Stewart

1926 (Approximate) -

RAF 609 Squadron

Thank you to David Poissant for telling me more about James A. Stewart, DFC, ONB, with the following information coming from David. See the links below for more information as well as photos.

Jim was RAF, having joined in his native Scotland, but has lived in St. Andrews, New Brunswick for years; note his Order of New Brunswick.

He flew Hurricanes at first, as protection for merchant vessels that gave him the unique experience of catapult launching for flight; a one-way trip, as there was no way to get back to the launch ship except to bale out after the flight and be fished out of the sea!

Jim later transferred to 609 Squadron RAF flying Typhoons and was shot down near Roen, France during an attack on motor transport and tanks; he managed to avoid capture for a number of months with the resistance, but was betrayed by a Gestapo infiltrator to the resistance group. That led, eventually, to Jim being incarcerated with a number of other allied flyers in Buchenwald, a Gestapo prison. It was here that a high-ranking Luftwaffe officer learned of the group and had them transferred to Stalag Luft III, just before their scheduled execution.

James A. Stewart earned the DFC and the Investiture was held at Buckingham Palace on December 11, 1945. He married Jan Oswald on September 28, 1946. They lived in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. He wrote a memoir for his grandchildren in 1999. The memoir is included in the book We That are Left....Remember New Brunswickers in the Air Force, edited by Valerie Evans, in 2002, published by the 250 RCAF (Saint John) Wing Air Association of Canada.

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