WALTER J. STEWART, III, CAPT, USAF
Walter Stewart, III '55
Date of birth: March 3, 1932
Date of death: September 22, 1963
From the 1955 Lucky Bag:
"Jay" was lost on September 22, 1963 when the C-133A he was aboard crashed shortly after taking off from Dover AFB, Delaware. He was the "2nd pilot" and was a member of the 1st Air Transport Squadron.
Prior to the Naval Academy he had been an enlisted sailor; his appointment was from "Naval Reserve" and his "pay entry date" was earlier than that of his classmates. It's unclear when he left the Navy for the Air Force; he was listed as a naval aviator (LTjg) in the Navy Registers from 1957, 1958, and 1959. He is not listed in the 1960 edition.
Memorial Hall Error
Walter Jones "Jay" Stewart, III, is listed in Memorial Hall as a LTjg, USN. The Register of Alumni gives his date of death as July 1, 1959, with no rank, service, or other details.
The preponderance of the evidence, however, is that he had transferred to the Air Force at some point after 1959 and was killed in 1963 as detailed above. The date of birth on his headstone is an exact match for the Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1957 (through 1959), and compares well with the Annual Register of the United States Naval Academy 1952-1953 (admitted July 2, 1951 at age 19 years 4 months). His father's obituaries in Shipmate and Arlington National Cemetery both give details of his loss.
The only mention of Jay's loss in Shipmate is in January 1964, where he is listed without rank or service as "deceased."
Evidence (and lack thereof) that gives us pause:
- The Air Force Register of 1964 does not list his death. However, only one officer aboard is so listed (and his name is misspelled). There is no mention of any of the men lost in the 1965 edition.
- Cannot find him in any Register, Navy or Air Force, after 1959. Several of his crewmates are also absent, though; not sure what to make of this.
- His father's obituary in the December 1998 Shipmate does not mention him being an alumni.