Elden D. Stuart (1945/01/09)
"Eldon fought a good fight. He finished his course and he kept the faith," noted the Santa Cruz Riptide.
Elden Dean Stuart was born on May 10, 1919, in Santa Cruz, California, to Mr. and Mrs. Herbert R. Stuart. The Stuart family was large, consisting of Elden, his brothers Arden, Will, Rolland and Herbert, and sisters Bessie, Laura Bell and Grace Marie. The family lived on Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz. Elden completed nearby elementary schools and one year at Santa Cruz High School. Upon completion of his formal education, he worked for the Santa Cruz Fruit Packing Company and later joined his brothers working at the cement plant in Davenport.
About 1935 Elden Stuart married Barbara Jean Guyman. A daughter, Bonnie Lee, was born to the couple in 1936 and a son, Arden, in 1940. At this time Stuart was working as a commercial vehicle driver.
Elden Stuart was inducted into the US Army in San Francisco as a private on April 24, 1943. After basic and advanced infantry training, he was assigned to the 163rd Regiment of the 41st Infantry Division serving in the Pacific Theater.
Stuart's division left for Australia on July 15, 1943, and upon arrival made preparations for the Salamaua campaign; its objective being to rid a number a small South Pacific Islands of the remaining Japanese troops. Between 1943 and 1944, Hollandia, Wake and Biak Islands, and other centers of enemy control were liberated.
During 1944, Sergeant Elden Dean Stuart contracted an unspecified jungle disease and after undergoing an infusion of blood plasma that gave him sufficient strength to travel, he was invalided home on December 1, 1944. On December 28, Eldon underwent an emergency operation at Fort Ord, California, from which he died on January 9, 1945.
Following his funeral, he was buried in the Oakwood Memorial Park in Santa Cruz. Eldon was awarded the Infantryman's Medal.
(NARA2; WIKI, 41st Infantry Division SCSn January 10, 1945, SCR February 23, 1945 -6)