Robert Stewart

Obituary of Robert Ross Stewart

Stewart, Robert Ross, Major USAF Ret., 81 of St. Petersburg, died Monday March 12, 2001. Born in Porter County, Indiana, he retired here in 1970. Major Stewart was a decorated WWII bomber pilot, a six-year veteran of the Strategic Air Command SAC, and was a member of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery ?Jolly Green Giants? helicopter group in the Vietnam conflict. During his Vietnam combat tour, the Major earned the Bronze Star and 14 Air Medals. He flew 88 combat sorties and was credited with nine combat saves. Among his many other commendations, Major Stewart was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses during his 28-year service career. Major Stewart worked his way through college in a steel mill in Gary, Indiana, and as a draftsman at the Kingsbury Ordinance Plant. He received his Bachelor?s degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 1946. He later worked at Dow Chemical Company until his return to active duty during the Korean conflict. He was trained in Thermo-nuclear weapons delivery in 1955, and received his Master?s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1963. For the next five years he worked at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM. Following his service in Southeast Asia, Major Stewart retired from Mac Dill AFB in 1970. He had an avid interest in history. He was a member of the Retired Officer?s Association, the 98th Bomb Group Veterans? Association, the B26 Marauder Historical Society, the SAC B47 Thousand Hour Club, and a member of the St. Petersburg Museum of History where he assisted in cataloging their military collection. Major Stewart is survived by his six children; Margaret Stewart of Randolph, MA, Robert Stewart of St. Petersburg, John Stewart of Largo, Laura A. Stewart of St. Petersburg, Mary Stewart Atkinson of Safety Harbor, and Thomas Stewart of St. Petersburg; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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