Stewart, Donald David, SSgt

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Primary Unit
1965-1965, 315th Air Commando Group, Troop Carrier
Service Years
1959 - 1965
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

20 kb

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
1937
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Donald Stewart-Family to remember Stewart, Donald David, SSgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Coats, NC
Last Address
Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam

Casualty Date
Dec 11, 1965
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Phu Yen
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Lakeside Memorial Gardens - Lillington, North Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
04E 011

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Gold Star


 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  1965, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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 Ribbon Bar


Aircrew Enlisted (Basic)



 
 Unit Assignments
309th Air Commando Squadron, Troop Carrier315th Air Commando Group, Troop Carrier
  1965-1965, 309th Air Commando Squadron, Troop Carrier
  1965-1965, 315th Air Commando Group, Troop Carrier
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 Vietnam War
 Colleges Attended 
Campbell University
  1959-1963, Campbell University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
C-123 Provider  
  1965-1965, C-123 Provider
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Lillington, N.C. ‚?? A Harnett County veteran is coming home this Veterans Day after more than 50 years.

Staff Sgt. Donald Stewart, of Coats, was serving in the Vietnam War when he was killed in action in a plane crash on Dec. 11, 1965, in Ph√ļ Y√™n, Vietnam. He left behind a wife, Wandra Raynor, and an unborn daughter, Donna, who have been working to bring his remains home. Stewart will be the focal point of this year‚??s Harnett County Veterans Day program on Nov. 11 at Veterans Memorial Park in Lillington. It will be followed by a memorial ceremony for Stewart and the burial of his remains, which have been held in Hawaii since they were recovered from Vietnam.

Following the plane crash that killed Stewart, four crew members and 81 Vietnamese troops who were fighting with the Americans, all remains that could be found from the crash were collected. Decades later, Raynor was told her husband‚??s remains had been identified and had been buried in Arlington. She went to the memorial service but "never felt good about it."¬† There was just something that kept bugging me, and I don't know what," she said. Stewart‚??s daughter and his brother provided DNA samples and recently, some remains that were found after the fact were identified as Stewart‚??s. ‚??The story of Staff Sgt. Stewart and what his family went through to bring his remains back home is amazing and I hope that in the future, the families of all veterans whose remains are still missing will see them returned home," said Veterans Council President Amy Noel.

Noel said the remains will be flown by the U.S. Air Force from Hawaii to Dover, Del., and then to Raleigh where members of several area veterans motorcycle groups will escort the remains back to Harnett County to be buried. She said this year‚??s event will also be special because of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. ‚??It‚??s especially important that we recognize our veterans of the Vietnam War because of what they went through when they first came home,‚?? she said. ‚??Our soldiers who served in other wars were applauded when they came home and these veterans deserve the same recognition.‚??

The Veterans Day Ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park beside the Harnett County Courthouse in Lillington. The ceremony will feature guest speakers as well as the unveiling of the county‚??s Vietnam War Memorial, which includes Stewart‚??s name. His daughter will be presented with the medals her father earned during his service. A traveling version of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., will also be on display before and during the ceremony. The ceremony will conclude with the laying of a wreath while Taps is played. Once the ceremony ends, refreshments will be served in the Harnett County Commons Area.

The Veterans Day Parade will begin at 1 p.m. in Downtown Lillington with the line-up beginning at noon. The parade will start on 10th Street and end on West Lofton Street. Stewart‚??s family will serve as the grand marshals for this year‚??s parade, along with any Vietnam veterans who would like to participate. After the parade, the public is invited to reconvene for a memorial ceremony for Stewart, followed by the burial of his remains. He will be buried by the U.S. Air Force with full military honors. Noel said she would love for this year‚??s Veterans Day program to be the largest since Harnett County began commemorating the occasion in 2002.

‚??I want everyone in Harnett County to know and appreciate what these veterans have done and continue to do for them,‚?? she said.


SSGT Stewart was a member of the 315th Air Commando Group and was flying in a C-123B that crashed into a mountain in South Vietnam.  He was 28 years old.  His remains along with those of his crewmates are buried in Arlington and he is memorialized at Lakeside Memorial Gardens in Angier, NC.

He, the crew and passengers were lost while flying from Pleiku AB to Tuy Hoa AB, on a C-123B Provider( #56-4376). The aircraft originated out of Tan Son Nhut AB where the 309th was stationed at the time. (This was probably a "Mule Train" operation.)

Narrative: The C-123B contacted trees on a ridge line and entered a spin, crashing 1000 feet below. The ridge line had an elevation of about 4000 feet and was probably barely visible with low ceilings between 50 and 1000 feet and rain showers. The aircraft crashed 32 km (20 miles) west of Tuy Hoa. All crew and passengers, 85 souls, were killed. The aircraft was found by ARVN troops. The crew's remains were repatriated and interred in Arlington in 1974.

The crew
Maj. Robert M. Horsky, pilot
Capt. George P. McKnight, co-pilot
SSgt. Mercedes P. Salinas
SSgt. Donald D. Stewart

Passengers 81 ARVN troops.
   
Comments/Citation
US Air Force SSGT Donald David Stewart, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Coats, NC.

US Air Force Staff Sergeant Donald David Stewart was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Air Force, SSGT Stewart served our country until December 11th, 1965 in Pleiku, South Vietnam. He was 28 years old and was married. It was reported that Donald died when his plane crashed. His body was recovered. Donald was born on January 22nd, 1937 in Coats, North Carolina. SSGT Stewart is on panel 04E, line 011 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

Fellow Air Commando: Donald Stewart was a member of the 315th Air Commando Group flying C-123B Provider's out of Tan Son Nhut Air Base, RVN. His aircraft, serial number 56-4376, crashed into a mountain while flying in low cloud 20 miles west of Tuy Hoa. The crew of four and 81 ARVN paratroopers were KIA in the crash. They are remembered. Dennis Lewis, dwlvnv@aol.com.

The war in Vietnam has claimed the first life of a young serviceman from Harnett County after the family of Staff Sergeant Donald David Stewart of Coats as notified this weekend that he has been declared officially dead by the US Air Force. Staff Sergeant Stewart was killed when the place he was a crew member in crashed into the side of a mountain while participating in a combat raid in Vietnam. The popular serviceman, the husband of Mrs Wanda Adams Stewart, formerly of Angier, was first reported missing in action on December 11th. Last Friday, January 14th, the family received the official notification that Stewart had been declared dead. Sergeant Stewart died without having ever seen his first child, a ten-month-old baby daughter named Donna. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time pending further notification from the Air Force. The arrangements are indefinite as the plane Stewart was on has been found, but his body hasn't been recovered. Stewart was the son of Mrs Odell Hasty of Coats and Robert G Stewart Sr, also of Coats. Surviving in addition to his wife and daughter and parents are; a brother, Robert G Stewart Jr, of Coats; two sisters, Mrs Ted Alfred of Dunn and Mrs Jim Nelson of Fayetteville; and his Step-Father, Odell Hasty of Coats.    

He was the Husband of Mrs Wanda M Stewart, Route 1, Coats, North Carolina. Father to Donna Jean Stewart. Son of Robert Glyn Stewart Sr and Mrs Pearl Evelyn Hough Stewart.

He served with the 309th Air Commando Squadron, 315th Air Cargo Group, 13th Air Force.

Some of his awards and decorations include The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Purple Heart Medal, The Air Medal with Thirteen Oak Leaf Clusters, The Air Force Commendation Medal, The National Defense Service Medal(s), The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal(s).
   
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