Harvey Stewart is a native Alabamian who enlisted in the U.S. Army in December 1945. After being discharged he attended Jacksonville State University and was commissioned in the Unites States Army in 1951. That same year he served in the Korean War.
Major Stewart distinguished himself on June 10th 1965 while serving in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date a Vietnamese hamlet was over-ran by a regimental size force of Viet Cong and a nearby military compound came under intense enemy fire. Several attempts to reinforce the compound failed and a decision was made to evacuate the troops holding the position. Major Stewart volunteered to lead a rescue group through a heavy volume of hostile fire and once on the ground established defensive firing positions and began loading the besieged troops into his evacuation aircraft. One of the rescue helicopters received direct hits, which caused damage so severe the craft had to be abandoned. Major Stewart then piloted his overloaded and battle damaged helicopter back through the murderous barrage and successfully effected the safe evacuation of the compound defenders.
For his extraordinary heroism Major Stewart was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation’s second highest award for heroism.
While serving in Vietnam in 1965, Major Stewart was alerted to the cries of five Vietnamese civilians, who were swimming, being washed out to sea. Without regard for his own safety he rushed into the rough waters and despite an extreme undercurrent he personally rescued two of the victims. He then administered artificial respiration to one of the victims restoring the stricken individuals breathing.
For his unselfish act of bravery Major Stewart was awarded the Soldiers Medal.
On June 12th 1965, Major Stewart distinguished himself by heroic action with the 118th Aviation Battalion while serving in Vietnam. On that date Major Stewart was advised of an Air Force pilot who had bailed out of his aircraft in enemy held territory. With complete disregard for his personal safety Major Stewart landed his helicopter in the vicinity of the crash site. Spotting the pilot, who appeared to be deceased, Major Stewart moved closer but was wounded by enemy small arms fire. Major Stewart returned to his aircraft and despite his injuries, insisted on returning to the co-pilots seat and led his company in an assault into the area. Only after the mission was complete did Major Stewart allow his wounds to be treated.
For his heroic action on that date Major Stewart was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with valor.
On June 10th, 1965 Major Stewart distinguished himself while commanding a battalion lift force airlifting relief forces into a besieged hamlet in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date, with complete disregard for his personal safety, he attempted to affect the rescue of a helicopter that had crashed in the landing zone after receiving enemy fire. His own aircraft was heavily damaged yet he continued the rescue attempt until the stricken aircraft on the ground exploded. Major Stewart then made numerous firing passes over the area to assist the besieged ground force until his fuel situation became so critical he had to depart the area.
For his heroism while participating in aerial flight Major Stewart was awarded the Air Medal with Valor.
In July of 1970 Lieutenant Colonel Stewart distinguished himself on two occasions while serving as a Senior Advisor with the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Colonel Stewart directed the capture of an enemy weapons cache and the insertion of troops into the area. One of the insertion aircraft crashed into the jungle and Colonel Stewart, with total disregard for his personal safety, directed his aircraft over the treetops to establish effective command and control of the ground situation. His decisive actions saved the lives of many South Vietnamese soldiers.
For his heroism while participating in aerial flight Colonel Stewart was awarded his second and third Air Medals with Valor.
Harvey Stewart was also decorated with two Purple Heart Medals... For being twice wounded during his service in Vietnam. He retired with the rank of Colonel in 1975 after serving for more than twenty-eight years.