U.S. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS
Hall of Fame
Colonel Stuart A. Hamilton
Colonel Stuart A. Hamilton transferred to the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) in 1929. Before WWII, he established the CWS departmental chemical office in the Philippines. During the opening months of the war he oversaw the control of gas warfare planning and chemical supplies and equipment in the Far East Theater.
By February 1942, Colonel Hamilton was assigned as Chief, Chemical Officer, U.S. Army Forces, Far East. Under his supervision, Chemical Soldiers in the besieged Philippines continued to augment American warfighter capabilities on Bataan and Corregidor that significantly impacted both the duration and ferocity of the American defenses. Their program of gathering, evaluating, and forwarding enemy chemical warfare materials also provided a wealth of intelligence that greatly assisted the Allies.
Rather than evacuate from the Philippines, Colonel Hamilton remained at his post and was captured by the Japanese on 7 May 1942. After surviving the “Bataan Death March” he was forced into an internment camp as a Prisoner of War (POW), where he continued to provide leadership to other Chemical Soldiers. He remained a POW until 24 October 1945. The conditions of his captivity, most significantly, malnutrition, left him in ill health and forced his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1947.
Colonel Hamilton was never able to regain his health and later died on 24 July 1956 at age 63.