Flying Officer George Alexander Stewart


This file on Flying Officer George Alexander Stewart consists of two articles from the Guelph Mercury newspaper and a fine piece from Robert Owen Charles Stewart of the R.A.F., who served with George Alexander in Burma.






Geo. Stewart, of Morriston, Home on Leave

Young Airman Has Over 2,000 Hours in Air to His Credit


from the Guelph Mercury newspaper for November 20th 1942.


With more than 2,000 flying hours to his credit, Flight Sergeant George Stewart, R.C.A.F., Morriston, is enjoying a furlough at his home at the present time.


He is a son of Mrs. Margaret Stewart, Morriston.  Born in that village, Flt-Sgt. Stewart was educated there and later graduated from the Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute in 1936.  Prior to enlisting, he was engaged as a commercial pilot, and accumulated over 800 hours in the air before becoming a member of the air force.


Enlisting in May 1940, in Toronto, he trained at Montreal, Trenton, Jarvis, Mossbank Saskatchewan, Dauphin Manitoba, and Dunnville Ontario.  He has just completed a special course at the latter school.  During the two and a half years that Flight Sergeant Stewart has been in the R.C.A.F., he has flown virtually every known make of fighter and bomber plane.


On one occasion at Dauphin Manitoba, the engine of his plane went “dead” just as the machine was taking to the air at 140 miles per hour.  He managed to land in a nearby field, the plane suffering only minor damage.  His greatest desire is to get overseas and get into action against the Nazis.






Veteran of Burma War, Flying Officer G. Stewart Killed




Flying Officer Stewart



Flying Officer George Alexander Stewart, 26, son of Mrs. Margaret Stewart and the late Harvey Stewart, Morriston was killed in active service on Saturday June 2nd  1945, somewhere in India, his mother has been notified.



Flying Officer Stewart enlisted at Toronto in May 1940 and trained in Montreal, Mossbank Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Dunnville, as a pilot.  Prior to joining the air force, he had taken flying lessons in Kitchener and had a commercial license.


          Going overseas in November 1942, Flying Officer Stewart was in England for a year before being sent to Burma.  Up to the end of the war in Europe, he was unable to send home information as to his activities in India but in the last letter that his mother received from him, the censorship had been lifted.


          “We landed in Bombay”, he wrote.  “There we spent two weeks before we were posted to Poona for a four-month refresher course.  Here we were at jungle school in the mountains.”




Among the succeeding postings of Flying Officer Stewart, was one to Calcutta.  Then the monsoons forced them to move back and his squadron was converted from Hurricanes to Thunderbolt fighter-bombers.  These Thunderbolts had overload petrol tanks which fitted them for long sorties over Burma.  While he was in India, Flying Officer Stewart was promoted from flight sergeant to pilot officer and later to flying officer.  Moved back to Assam, Flying Officer Stewart was driven to a spot near Nepal where there was a great deal of fighting.  He took part in the battle for Mandalay and the establishing of a bridgehead across the Irrawaddy.  "We were moved again to the place we are now," he continued in his letter.  “Last month we did such a good job on the Japanese headquarters and killed so many Japanese, that the army that went in when we had finished, presented our squadron with a Japanese sword.”


Over Rangoon


“Then, the highlight this month was Rangoon, but we didn't meet with much resistance there because the Japanese had moved out.  I saw from the air, the world famous pagoda in Rangoon with its gold roof.”


          Flying Officer Stewart was to have had a leave in April, which had not yet been granted, but which he was looking for every day.  The letter was dated May 18th.


          Married in January 1940 to Louise Pfeffer of Milverton, near Stratford, Flying Officer Stewart had one daughter, Diane, who is four years old.  Mrs. Stewart is now living in Milverton.  Surviving Flying Officer Stewart, in addition to his wife and mother, are two brothers and four sisters.






Robert Stewart of the R.A.F. and Geordie Stewart of the R.C.A.F.



Robert Owen Charles Stewart was born in Toton, near Southhampton in Hampshire, England on August 24, 1920.  He volunteered to join the Royal Air Force in 1939/40 and served with 957 Squadron, which was a barrage balloon squadron.  They were stationed at Bristol and then at Southhampton, on barges, which the German Luftwaffe was bombing heavily in an attempt to destroy the docks. 


Early in 1943, he was posted to Burma.  They travelled by ship around South Africa to India, which they crossed by train, stopping along the way to cut trees to fuel the train.  Once in Burma, they were attached to a squadron with Canadian pilots, among which was Flying Officer George Stewart from Puslinch, Ontario.  Robert Stewart was ground crew.   He didn’t like flying much because when the Japanese retreated, the ground crew would have to load all the equipment into Dakotas and fly forward to use the captured airfields.  The Dakotas were heavily loaded and could hardly get off the ground.


Geordie Stewart would joke with him that there wasn’t room for two Stewarts in the squadron.  Robert said that he was very sad when Geordie didn’t return from a mission one day.


Robert Stewart served to the end of World War II and received a Burma Star.  He died on January 12, 2001 at the age of eighty.  We are sincerely grateful to his son, Robert Stewart, for providing this information.



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