Silver Star To Sykesville Soldier

July 12, 1945

T. Sgt. James A. Stewart Gets Award For Heroic First Aid, Rescue Work

T. Sgt. James A. Stewart, former Sykesville barber, who entered the Army on January 28, 1943, and served to the European theatre for eight months, came home this week with the Silver Star, one of three men from this community known to have been awarded that prized decoration. The two other Silver Star holders here are 1st Sgt. William Bandorick, veteran of 17 years’ Army service who has just returned from the European area, and Lt. Gerald B. Lyons, who was killed in the South Pacific.

Sgt. Stewart arrived in New York on July 5 and is enjoying a 30-day furlough before reporting to Fort Meade for re-assignmeng. At various times during his service overseas, he was in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg and Germany. Besides the Silver Star, he wears the Good Conduct medal and the E. T. O, service ribbon with two battle stars, the latter for participation in the fighting in Central Germany and the Rhineland. He has 62 points.

The local soldier belonged to the Medical Department of the 89th Chemical Mortar Battalion of the Ninth Army. This army was in the 21st Army Group under the British General Montgomery in Germany when the war ended. Fortunately, in this war the Germans did not resort to the sue of poison gas, but the Allies were well prepared, “just in case.” Chief function of Sgt. Stewart’s chemical unit was to lay down smoke screens, concealing the movements of advancing infantry divisions. His outfit was under constant fire for 63 days. Infantry divisions supported by the 89th Chemical Mortar Battalion were the 29th, 30th, 35th, 75th, 79th and 82nd and the 2nd Air Borne division.

Silver Star Citation

Sgt. Stewart was awarded theSilver Star, according to a citation signed by Maj. Gen. A. C. Gillen, Jr., commanding general of the 13th Corps, before distinguishing himself by gallantry in action in connection with military operations against the enemy in Germany on 25 March, 1945.

“During an intense enemy artillery barrage,” the citation continued, the then T.-5 Stewart, “with complete disregard for his own safety, administered first aid to a wounded man until the building was ignited by an incendiary shell, whereupon he helped to carry the man across an open field to the aid station. His outstanding courage and consideration for the welfare of his comrade reflects great credit on the military service of the United States.”

The burning building mentioned in the citation was the chemical mortar unit’s ammunition dump and contained 1700 rounds of TNT and white phosphorus. The man Sgt. Stewart aided turned out to be a Cpt. Barnhart, of New Castle, Pa., who worked in Baltimore and occasionally visited his friend, Dale Wineberg, in Sykesville. He recovered and returned to action.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: