From:  Marc Yablonka

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Hi Bob, 
Jimmy Stewart was, as they say, "The Real Deal," wasn't he? 
Marc Phillip Yablonka


James Stewart - Actor and BGEN, USAF

February 2021

    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated: February 28, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Ya got me, Doug.  I always thought he was Army.  Failed to thoroughly research it. 
Ken Kalish

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    From:  Frank Rogers

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Born in Paris.  Died in California of cancer in 2006 age 60.​​

    From:  Dick Ellis

   Dated: February 26, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

I helped escort him in Washington during President Reagan’s second inaugural ceremony in January of 1985 when it was colder than Alaska and most everything was held inside.  His official escort was a beautiful blond Air Force Colonel who was assistant to the Director of AFNursing.  As a full bird, she got through all the military hurdles and as a representative of the Inauguration Committee I handled any political problems.  They were very down to earth and friendly.  I told General Stewart I had been with AFVN and the dates and he looked over and said, “Ahhhh, I just missed ya!”  He and the President were friends....can you imagine the movie stars ?? of today.

    From:  Stan Pratt

   Dated: March 2, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Marc, 
Thanks for sharing this story. 
Thinking more about that night, Tan Son Nhut was a very scary place to be that night.  Most of the people there manning the defensive positions had never been under fire before.  Arms rooms were locked and the officers with the keys for the most part were in their BOQ in Saigon.  The soldiers walking perimeter guard were armed with M14’s and three rounds of ammunition each.  The nearest VC mortar position to our camp on the base was in a cemetery a short distance from the area patrolled by our poorly armed perimeter guards. 
The photographers in camp that night had lots of weapons and ammunition.  It did not taker long for someone to shoot the lock off the two arms rooms in the camp and issue of ammunition and weapons to all the signal folks in the camp.  This scared me more than those lobbing mortar rounds into the base. 
There were large fires burning in the petrol storage area as a result of mortar hits.  Three of us took off across the interior of the base in a jeep to do what we were trained, take photographs.  In route to the area we picked up Horst who was walking toward the flames. 
There were many trigger happy soldiers about on the field now armed to the teeth all of us in the jeep believed that the biggest threat to our mission was not the mortar rounds coming in but rather those scared soldiers wandering around expecting a ground attach. 
Stan 



Facebook Posting about James Stewart's B-52 Flight over Vietnam


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    From:  Frank Rogers

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

People did not know he was Stewart’s son because he was adopted and had the name of his biological father.

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    From:  Bob Morecook

   Dated: February 26, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Great story, Dickie! best wishes

Bob

    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Army, through and through.

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    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

His son, an Army helicopter pilot, was killed two weeks after Mr. Stewart left VN. 
Ken Kalish

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    From:  Bob Morecook

   Dated: February 28, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

damn shame x 55,000

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    From:  Stan Pratt

   Dated: March 1, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Morning Marc, 
I do not recall having met her.  I met quite a few briefly during my time there, most are faint memories and no names.  Two I do remember quite well however were Horst Faas a German reporter and Jack Foisie who was with the LA times.  Horst was riding with several of us in a jeep down the main runway at Tan Son Nhut when an A1E emerged from the smoke headed right toward us.  Became relatively good friends with Jack, to the point that he took me along with Paul Updike an army mopic camera man and Vincent Calarco another still photographer out to dinner at a restaurant called Francois which was on top of the hill at the south end of the beach in Nha Trang.  I do not recall exactly what we had done for Jack but he wanted to take us all out for a lobster dinner.  When the waiter showed him the lobsters he told them that those would not do.  He wanted the two largest lobsters they had available.  They came out with two tails that must have been 20 inches or more in length.  As much of our diet had consisted of “C” Rations the lobster dinner was truly amazing. 
Stan

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    From:  Stan Pratt

   Dated: February 26, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Dick, Thanks for sharing this.  I do not believe that there are any in Hollywood today who can hold a candle to him.  I was on a combat operation either with the 173rd Abn. Or the 101st. Abn on the day that he flew that mission.  As the day dawned we were all mounted up and ready to go, waiting for the B52 mission to do their work first.  A gray damp day was dawning then suddenly the ground rumbled and shook and then it started to get dark again and finally ash started to rain down on us.  Before we moved out there was an inch or more of the stuff covering the ground, us and our equipment.  Once cleared we moved slowly into the area.  There was absolutely nothing left, where once there had been jungle, now nothing larger than a toothpick remained.  I now wonder if this was the operation he flew in. 
Stan Pratt 
Former Combat Still Photographer 
593rd Signal Photo. 1965-66


AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  Doug Offenbacher

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Marine 1st Lt Ron McLean, step-son of Jimmy Stewart. 
Everyone following this thread should read this article, an accurate account of Stewart’s step-son’s death. No mention of his being a helicopter pilot, he was a Marine infantry first lieutenant and was on his first recon patrol in the DMZ. Being new to recon, he turned over command of his team to an experienced corporal and took a rear position as a rifleman. He had a premonition he would die on this patrol. It’s a fascinating and detailed account of survival against unexpected and overwhelming odds. The timing of his son’s death, June 8, '69, confirms he died shortly after Stewart’s taped interview at the station in Saigon. Start reading and you won’t stop. A real war story. 
https://www.historynet.com/jimmy-stewarts-stepson-ambushed-in-dmz.htm 
Doug Offenbacher

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    From:  Marc Yablonka

   Dated: February 25, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Had no idea he flew a B-52 mission over Vietnam! 
https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/20-february-1966/?fbclid=IwAR3KQguoSGduvEO7BTXIq3dPI9F4b06db18w93EGnPGBJUr5nMV2tDwu-Ec


    From:  Doug Offenbacher

   Dated: February 28, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Marine 1st Lt Ronald McLean, step-son of Jimmy Stewart, KIA VN 1944-69.

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    From:  Steve Pennington

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

It was his step son, a Marine who was killed.

SLP

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    From:  Marc Yablonka

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Hi Stan, 
Hope all's well. Just curious, when you were out with the 173rd, did you ever run into French photographer Catherine Leroy? She jumped with the 173rd in "Operation Junction City" and, as you know, is in my book. 
Marc


    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated: February 25, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

He did that just after visiting the Saigon studio. 
Ken Kalish


    From:  Bob Morecook

   Dated: February 26, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Hi Marc That is cool! In fact you just gave me goose bumps. I figured he was in the rear with the gear.

Bob


    From:  Doug Offenbacher

   Dated: February 26, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

According to the article, Stewart’s final flight over VN was Feb 66. He was interviewed by Paul Baldridge in the Hong Tap Tu TV studio in late 68 or early 69 (can’t remember exactly). He would have been about 58 at that time and was a little unstable, I helped him step up on a raised platform where they sat. His wife was with him and sat in the colonel’s office watching AFVN as his interview was taped. This was also the moment we (due to the program director's error) ran Eisenhower’s obit –– a bit prematurely –– prompting an immediate reaction from MAC-V as well as Stewart’s wife, a good friend of Mamie Eisenhower. As I heard it, she was distraught not to be there for her friend. 
Doug Offenbacher


    From:  Frank Rogers

   Dated: February 27, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

Wait, wasn’t Stewart’s son a Marine ?

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    From:  Bob Morecook

   Dated: February 26, 2021

Subject:  James Stewart, B. Gen., USAF

choy oy! LOL wish i coulda seen that and got my photo with him My mother woulda died to see it. She always talked about him being the real thing

Bob M