Technician 4th Grade James A. Stewart, buried at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery
West Virginia native Technician 4th Grade James A. Stewart, was the youngest of a family of eight. An acclaimed baseball player, he volunteered for the Army while working for a paper mill. Known as Aubrey (his middle name) by his family, he was assigned to the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, a segregated African American unit.
After he arrived in Europe in January 1944, Aubrey wrote to his family regularly. In what would be his last letter, he sent the family a Christmas package knowing that they probably would not get in time, but "better late than never." Stewart would be reported missing on Dec. 17 during the Battle of the Bulge.
At the start of the Bulge, the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion was stationed about 11 miles behind the front lines, supporting the 106th Infantry Division. As the German advance made rapid progress, the Battalion began to withdraw, but C Battery and the Service Battery remained in place at the request of the 106th Division. The morning of the 17th, the Service Battery was cut off as it attempted to withdraw to St. Vith; its members were either killed or captured with the exception of 11 soldiers who escaped into the woods. Stewart amongst them.
The group found refuge in the nearby forest and later arrived in the village of Wereth, where a villager fed the group and helped them hide in a barn, until a neighbor informed a nearby German unit. All soldiers surrendered. Their mangled bodies were found the next day in a field just next to the barn where they had their final meal.
This atrocious act would later be known as the Wereth Massacre.
He and six of his brothers-in-arms are buried at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Belgium:
. Pvt. Curtis Adams, buried Plot C Row 11 Grave 41
. Pfc. George Davis, buried Plot D Row 10 Grave 61
. Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Forte, buried Plot C, Row 11, Grave 55
. Pvt. Nathanial Moss, buried Plot F, Row 10, Grave 8
. Pfc. George W. Moten, buried Plot E, Row 10, Grave 29
. Tec. 4th Grade James A. Stewart, buried Plot C, Row 11, Grave 2
. Pfc. Due W. Turner, buried Plot F, Row 5, Grave 9
. Cpl. Mager Bradley, repatriated
. Cpl. Robert Green, repatriated
. Pfc. James L. Leatherwood, repatriated
. Sgt. William Edward Pritchett, repatriated