Guide to the Joseph Lester Stewart Papers, RG 45

Listed by: Dieter C. Ullrich
Date: June 2003

Date Span:

4 cubic feet; 3000 items.

Number of Boxes:
8 Legal Sized Document Boxes

Historical or Biographical Sketch:
Colonel Joseph L. Stewart, USMC, was born in Newton, Alabama on May 31, 1915. He holds a B. S. degree from Auburn University Auburn, Alabama, graduating in 1937. In 1938, upon completion of the Marine Corps Basic School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was assigned to:, the USS California with home port on the West Coast. During the spring of 1939 the California transited the Panama Canal and participated in Fleet Exercise Twenty in the Atlantic. He was transferred in 1939 to the 1st Platoon "C" Co. 1st BN 6th Marines, Pan Diego, California as Commanding Officer. In April 1941, he was assigned as a student in the Battery Officer's Course, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He then served as Commanding Officer "B" Battery 1st BN 10th Marines initially at San Diego and upon the outbreak of World War 11, on 3 January 1942, deployed with the 1st Marine Brigade to Samoa. Returning from Samoa in September 1942, he was assigned to the Field Officer's Artillery Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

In 1943, he served for several months as Commanding Officer of the Artillery Battalion, Training Center, at Camp Pendleton, California before being assigned to attend Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Upon completion of the course, he became Assistant G-3 Amphibious Corps Pacific Fleet at, San Diego and in the Aleutians where he participated in training U. S. and Canadian Army units for the landing at Kiska. In September of 1943, he became Executive Officer, G-3 Section, 5th Amphibious Corps, and thereafter participated in numerous major amphibious operations taking place in the Central Pacific: planning for Tarawa, planning and execution of Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. In 1945, he became G-3 of the 5th Amphibious Corps during the occupation of Japan at Sasebo. For Saipan-Tinian campaigns, he was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat V and was specifically cited, among other things, for having developed the first Supporting Arms Coordination Center. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V for the Iwo Jima operation.

In February 1946, he was appointed instructor in the Senior School at the Marine Corps School at Quantico, Virginia. After 3 1/2 years as an instructor, he was assigned Assistant G-3 1st Maxine Division, Camp Pendleton in 1949, and subsequently he became Commanding Officer of the 1st BN 5th Marines. In July 1950, he became G-3 of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, which deployed and participated in the intensive actions in the Pusan perimeter in Korea. For this service, he was cited with the Legion of Merit with Combat V, At Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir, he was Executive Officer of the 5th Marines. In these actions, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V and the Silver Star for heroic and meritorious actions against the enemy. During the spring offensive of 1951 in Korea, he was Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and later again the Executive Officer of the 5th Marines. After Korea, he became Assistant G-3 and then G-3 of FMFPAC at Pearl Harbor from1951 to 1953, where he continued to be actively involved with Korean operations and was awarded the Korean ULCHI Medal with Silver Star by the Korean Government. In September 1953 he became Head G-4 Plans and Operations Branch, Headquarters U. S. Marine Corps, Washington, D. C.

In 1956-57 Colonel Stewart was a student at the National War College. Upon completion of this duty he was assigned to the NATO staff, Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, at Norfolk, Va., as Deputy Director of Plans. September of 1959, he was ordered to become G-3 FMFLANT, also at Norfolk. He then became the Director, Senior School, Quantico, Virginia from June 1959 to May 1960 when he became Deputy Director of the Marine Corps Educational Center. After serving briefly as Director, Marine Corps Educational Center in September and October 1961, he resumed his assignment as Deputy Director of the Center.

A complete summary of his medals and awards are as follows: Silver Star, Legion of Merit with gold star (and two Combat V), Bronze Star with gold star (and two Combat V), Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with three stars, Navy Unit Commendation with one star, American Service Defense Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four stars, American Campaign Medal, Victory Medal World War II, Navy Occupation Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with four stars, United Nations Service Medal, Korean ULCHI-Medal with silver star, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

Scope and Content:
Consists of materials documenting the military career of Joseph Lester Stewart as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Inludes military and non-military correspondence; official Marine papers, 1936-1965; action reports, particularly during the Korean War; diaries covering action 1943-1944 and 1950-1951; and photographs.

Item list:
Box 1

Box 2 Box 3 Box 4 Box 5 Box 6 Box 7 Box 8

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