Jimmy Stewart: Introduction (01:43)
Stewart, born in Indiana, was fascinated with magic tricks and aviation. He became famous for acting and enlisted in the Army after Congress passed the draft in 1940.
Stewart's Youth (02:25)
Stewart, born in 1908, was the only son of Alex and Bessie Stewart. He bought a 15 minute flight on a barnstormer, igniting his love of aviation; Charles Lindbergh inspired him.
Stewart's Early Career (02:03)
Stewart began acting after graduating from Princeton in 1932 and learned how to fly. By 1936, he was an experienced airplane owner who often flew home to visit family. Hitler promoted his Socialist Party at the 1936 Olympic Games.
Dawn of WWII (03:33)
The rise of the Luftwaffe caught the attention of the American military and civilians were encouraged to learn how to fly. Stewart enlisted in the Army, infuriating MGM Studios.
Actor in the Air Corps (03:02)
Stewart asked for no publicity. He completed flight training in November 1941, but did not immediately receive orders. In January 1942, Stewart received a commission and orders to active duty; he wanted combat.
Bomber Commander (02:14)
Stewart's commanding officer received orders to classify Stewart as static personnel; Stewart was assigned as an instructor pilot at Gowen Field. Stewart received a transfer to the 445th Bombardment Group and finally received combat orders.
Stewart's Tour of Duty (02:42)
Stewart flew 20 combat missions and rose to the rank of colonel; Col. Ramsay Potts presented Stewart with the Flying Cross. Stewart returned to the U.S. in September 1945; he did not allow Hollywood to use his war record to promote films.
Accomplishments after the War (02:34)
In 1946, Stewart starred in "It's a Wonderful Life," and helped establish the Air Force Association. See a clip from "Wing Ding '48." Stewart married Gloria Hatrick McLean in 1949.
Stewart's Later Life (02:39)
Stewart visited airmen during the Korean War and was promoted to Brigadier General in 1959. He and his wife visited their son during a Good Will Tour to Vietnam; Ron died three months later. Stewart received an honorary Oscar in 1985 and has a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Jimmy Stewart (00:29)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Jimmy Stewart
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