Commander and bomber pilot
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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