Intermission Story (8) – Jimmy Stewart

Commander and bomber pilot

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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6 thoughts on “Intermission Story (8) – Jimmy Stewart”

  1. Thank you, Ned. Many were unaware of the trauma Mr. Stewart went through during his life.

    1. Was news to me – remember Jim Brown, my buddy’s father, not having a night without nightmares until a year before he died when he was just 58 years old.

    2. War is an awful state of affairs that humans just can’t seem to avoid. What horrors we do inflict on ourselves!!

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