Tuesday, June 28, 2016

PFC James Lavaille Stuart

courtesy of Joy Riggers
PFC James Lavaille Stuart was born 30 Oct 1917 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the youngest of the 6 children born to Thomas Otis and and Emily Ann (Rowlands) Stuart. His father was a printer who would work for several newspapers and end his career in the field at Smith Brothers Company in Pittsburgh. The family would live at 173 Montclair Street in Chartiers, 173 Clairhaven in Pittsburgh, and finally owning a home just a block or 2 away at 1226 Elmont Street in 1940. The last was valued at $3200 in 1940 and in 1939 Thomas had reportedly earned $1800 as a printer. Although he was 22-years old, James was still unemployed when he registered for the draft in 1940 perhaps because his education had not progressed beyond grammar school.

James voluntarily enlisted in the army on 4 Mar 1942. After his basic military training he was sent to England and assigned to I Company 116th Infantry. PVT Stuart trained with that unit for the planned amphibious assault and took part in the D-Day landings on 6 Jun 1944. PVT Stuart was promoted to PFC on 24 Jun 1944. He continued to fight with the unit until killed in action on or about 28 Jun 1944. There is some question as to the date and circumstances of his death. Apparently he was last seen on the 28th but he was not reported as missing in action until 30 Jun 1944 and he was not dropped from the rolls until 8 Sep 1944 when the unit was fighting in Brest, France. At some point an army clerk apparently erroneously recorded the date as 28 Feb 1945. 

PFC Stuart's body has never been found. He is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Brittany American Cemetery.

James' father served as a PVT in B Battery Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Spanish American War. James' brothers also served. Charles Orr Stuart and Jesse Reid Stuart served in the U.S. Army during WW2.

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