Joseph Bryant Stewart
U. S. Army Engineers
Warrant Officer Joseph Bryant Stewart, U. S. Army Ret. is buried at Garden of Memories in Tampa, Florida
My father was an army career man. He signed up at the age of 21 and, after basic training, was shipped to Hawaii. Nice gig, except that this was 1940. Years later, he told me that on December 7, 1941, he was coming out of the mess hall after breakfast when a squadron of Japanese planes flew overhead. One dropped a bomb on a nearby water tower. Dad said he figured the pilot thought it was a fuel tank. From his perch on the mountain top in Schofield Barracks, Dad gazed below at the devastation in Pearl Harbor.
Now a master sergeant, he was shipped stateside and assigned to train new recruits, which he did for about 18 months. In 1943, he was shipped to England, where he waited … and waited. As part of the Army Corps of Engineers, he used to say that he built bridges for the enemy to blow up, so on June 6, 1944, he was on a landing craft in the “second wave” of D-Day, going into Omaha Beach to clear the way for the infantry and to build bridges across Europe.
He survived two theaters of World War II, and actually got out of the army for a few months, but he loved military life and so had re-upped in the late 1940s when he met my mom. After I was born, he did two tours in Korea and Mom and I joined him in Japan when he was stationed there. In all, Dad spent 22 years in the Army before retiring to Florida. The story of Warrant Officer Joseph Bryant Stewart, U. S. Army, Retired is the story of so many young men and women in all branches of service. Whether volunteer or draftee, they did their best to keep the rest of us safe and free.
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