Donald Stewart was born in Vancouver B.C. He served with the Royal Canadian Navy Merchant fleet. Growing up Donald had been a sea cadet and he always admired sailors. As it was wartime and all of his friends had signed up, he wanted to do his part. So Donald had to go through basic training and then he was assigned as a gunner on a defensively-equipped merchant ship. Donald’s first task was to get his ship from Quebec to the Mediterranean sea to get supplies to Europe. Donald then boarded another ship and set sail to the Indian Ocean. When they were torpedoed in the Ganges River, all of the survivors were taken into a Japanese prison camp. The navy informed his parents, with deep regrets, that Stewart had died at sea. It turned out another sailor with the same name had been killed in action. His grieving parents back in British Columbia held a church memorial service. Two years later he returned and everyone was surprised to see that he was still alive!
Donald was interviewed in his room at Sunnybrook by 2010 Crestwood graduates Sam Wasserman, Maria Garcia, and Lauren Weingarten. He was visited again in 2012 by Michael Lawee, Ryan Kroon, and Justin Bowen, and again in November 2013 by Savannah Yutman, Patrick Helou, and Asya Hocaoglu.
- 1. Donald Stewart - Prewar Memories
- 2. Joining the Navy; Training
- 3. The First Ship; Passing the Time
- 4. The Invasion of Italy
- 5. A Personal Story - Meeting his Future Wife in Venice
- 6. Time as a POW
- 7. Regrets and Healing; D-Day and VE Day
- 8. Returning to Canada; Life after the War; Remembrance Day