The son of R. A. J. and Jessie Bell Hewat, Richard Alexander Hewat's father was co-founder of Strong, Hewat and Company. "Alex" Hewat was one of five brothers from Briggsville, Massachusetts who fought in the Great War. He was a "crack end" on Tad Jones' undefeated football team at Exeter Academy in 1915. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in June 1917 and was posted to 19 Squadron in September. Scoring his third victory on 26 October 1917, his SPAD VII was hit by ground fire and Hewat received a head wound. When he recovered, he was reassigned to 87 Squadron and returned to France in April 1918. Flying the Sopwith Dolphin, Hewat scored three more victories before he was killed in action, probably shot down by Hermann Leptien.