The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » George Arthur Stewart, Jr.

"The average Marine lost 20 to 30 pounds…" (Audio interview, 25:04)

   George Arthur Stewart, Jr.
Placeholder Image
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: K Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Service Location: Parris Island, South Carolina; Jacksonville, North Carolina; Virginia Beach, Virginia; New Zealand; Fiji; Guadalcanal (Marshall Islands); Australia; New Guinea; Pacific Theater
Rank: Sergeant
View Full Description

Sergeant George Arthur Stewart’s love of football--or, rather, a partially swollen knee that lingered after the last high school game of the season--may have changed his life. After failing the Navy’s physical, he joined the Marine Corps in December 1941, given a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and departed for the Pacific Theater following training. As part of the 1st Marine Division, he was in the thick of both the action as well as the intense food shortages on Guadalcanal; in his oral history interview, he recalls catching lizards for meat. Wounded while walking point in a patrol, he spent a hellish night on his own in the jungle before being evacuated to safety. After recuperating in Australia, he took part in the Battle of Cape Gloucester in New Guinea, where he was wounded again, this time in the arm. The injury and subsequent bone infection were so severe that he was eventually sent back to the States and discharged in 1944.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (57 min.)
More like this
»Guadalcanal: 75 Years Later
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Hearing about attack on Pearl Harbor; going down to the Federal Building to enlist in the Navy; failing the physical; passing the Navy physical, which was administered by the same doctor. (03:08) Lack of rations; catching lizards to cook and eat; losing weight. (01:41) Always having plenty of water; point man on patrol; wounded; being left behind. (02:26)
Wounded while on Cape Gloucester; arm was wounded; being given blood and morphine. (03:12)  

Home » George Arthur Stewart, Jr.
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us