Intermission Story (8) – Jimmy Stewart

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This post is an extraordinary account of Jimmy Stewart and his military service.

Pacific Paratrooper

James Maitland Stewart

Jimmy Stewart suffered such extreme PTSD after being a bomber pilot in World War II that he acted out his mental distress during ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.  Stewart played George Bailey in the classic movie and channeled his anger and guilt into the scenes where he rages at his family.

Stewart was haunted by ‘a thousand black memories’ from his time as an Air Force commanding officer that he took with him back to Hollywood after the war.  Pilots who flew with him said that became ‘Flak Happy’ during World War II, a term to describe what is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Stewart wrestled with the guilt of killing civilians in bomb raids over France and Germany including one instance where they destroyed the wrong city by mistake.

Stewart felt responsible for the death of his men and especially one bloodbath where…

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20 thoughts on “Intermission Story (8) – Jimmy Stewart

  1. What an interesting article, thank you for sharing. I knew Jimmy Stewart was a Pilot in WWII but I didn’t know he continued to fly until 1966, in Vietnam. He never told anyone and didn’t show it in his movies that he had PTSD. He was the most remarkable actor, just amazing. K D

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  2. I was really trying to avoid reading this. As an Army brat and wife, it hits close to home and I know what PTSD looks like. I did not know any of these facts about Jimmy Stewart but then I’m not usually searching out details of celebrity lives. I got the sense of him from his roles as an actor and appeared to be a fine man. This article puts a whole new light on him. Thank you for sharing it.

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