Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army Air Forces 1
Birth:
20 May 1908 2
Indiana, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh 3
Death:
02 Jul 1997 2
Beverly Hills, CA 1
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Pictures & Records (11)

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Publicity portrait of James Stewart, 20 May 1908 – 2 July 1997
Publicity portrait of James Stewart, 20 May 1908 – 2 July 1997
Publicity portrait of James Stewart, 1947. (credit: Courtesy of the Margare
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French Honor Colonel Stewart. Colonel James M. Stewart, Of Indiana, Pa., Former Screen Star, Now Stationed In England, Receives The Croix De Guerre With Palm From Lt. Gen. Martial Valin, Chief Of Staff For The French A.F. During A Colorful Ceremony Honor
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Jimmy Stewart served in World War 2.
Jimmy Stewart LIFE Magazine Cover 1945
Jimmy Stewart LIFE Magazine Cover 1945
James "Jimmy" and Gloria Stewart
James "Jimmy" and Gloria Stewart
Jimmy Stewart marries Gloria McLean, 1949
James "Jimmy"  Stewart
James "Jimmy" Stewart
He served as Air Force Reserve commander of Dobbins Air Reserve Base in the early 1950s. In 1966, Brigadier General James Stewart flew as a non-duty observer in a B-52 on a bombing mission during the Vietnam war. At the time of his B-52 flight, he refused the release of any publicity regarding his participation as he did not want it treated as a stunt, but as part of his job as an officer in the Air Force Reserve. After 27 years of service, Stewart retired from the Air Force on May 31, 1968.
James "Jimmy"  Stewart
James "Jimmy" Stewart
JIMMY in The Naked Spur (1953)
James "Jimmy"  Stewart
James "Jimmy" Stewart
A plaque in honor of James Stewart's spirit of humanitarianism in Griffith Park, Los Angeles.
James "Jimmy"  Stewart
James "Jimmy" Stewart
A plaque in honor of James Stewart's spirit of humanitarianism in Griffith Park, Los Angeles.
Brig. Gen. James Maitland Stewart
Brig. Gen. James Maitland Stewart
Jimmy Stewart served as a Brigadier General in the US Army Air Force and Reserves.
RobertPowellHowardJr&JimmyStewart.jpg
RobertPowellHowardJr&JimmyStewart.jpg
RobertPowellHowardJr&JimmyStewart.jpg - all rights reserved

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Personal Details

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Full Name:
James Maitland Stewart 4
Full Name:
James M Stewart 3
Also known as:
Jimmy Stewart 4
Birth:
20 May 1908 3
Indiana, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh 4
male 4
Death:
02 Jul 1997 3
Beverly Hills, CA 1
Cause: Blood clot in lung 1
Residence:
Last Residence: Beverly Hills, CA 3
Edit
Birth:
Mother: Elizabeth Ruth Stewart (née Jackson) 1
Father: Alexander Maitland Stewart 1
Marriage:
Gloria Hatrick McLean 5
09 Aug 1949 5
Spouse Death Date: 16 Feb 1994 1
Edit

World War II 1

Branch:
Army Air Forces 2
Joined:
22 Mar 1941 6
Retired:
31 May 1968 1
Service Branch:
Army, Air Force 1
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Occupation:
Actor,WW2 Veteran 4
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Education:
Institution: Princeton University 1
Place: Princeton, NJ 1
From: 1928 1
To: 1932 1
Education:
Institution: Mercersburg Academy (High School) 7
Place: Mercersburg, PA 7
To: 1928 7
Acting Awards:
Academy Award: 1941 Best Actor (Philadelphia Story) 8
Academy Award: 1985 Honorary Award (Lifetime Achievement) 8
American Film Institute: 1980 Lifetime Achievement 8
Berlin International: 1982 Honorary Golden Bear (Lifetime Achievement) 8
Berlin International Film Festival: 1962Silver Bear - Best Actor (Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation) 8
Golden Globe: 1965 Cecil B. DeMille Award (Lifetime Achievement) 8
Golden Globe: 1974 Best TV Actor - Drama (Hawkins) 8
Kennedy Center Honors: 1983 Lifetime Achievement 8
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts: 1990 Lifetime Achievement 8
National Association of Theater Owners: 1990 Lifetime Achievementt 8
National Board of Review: 1990 Lifetime Achievement 8
NYFCC: 1939 Best Actor (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) 8
NYFCC: 1959 Best Actor (Anatomy of a Murder) 8
Palm Springs International Film Festival: 1992 Lifetime Achievement 8
San Sebastian International Film Festival: 1958 Silver Shell Best Actor (Vertigo) 8
Screen Actors Guild Award: 1968 Lifetime Achievement 8
Venice Film Festival: 1959 Volpi Cup Best Actor (Anatomy of a Murder) 8
Military Awards:
Award: Armed Forces Reserve Medal 8
Award: US Air Force Presidential Unit Citation 8
Award: Presidential Medal of Freedom 8
Award: WWII Victory Medal 1
Award: European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal 1
Award: American Campaign Medal 1
Award: American Defense Service Medal 1
Award: Army Commendation Medal 1
Award: Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak leaf cluster 1
Award: Air Force Distinguished Service Medal 1
Award: Croix de Guerre Medal 9
Date: 1944 9
Movie:
Awards: Nominated for 5 Oscars. 10
Director: Frank Capra 10
Release date: 07 Jan 1947 10
Title: It's a Wonderful Life 10
On cover of LIFE magazine:
24 Sep 1945 11
Social Security:
Card Issued: Unknown Code (PE) 3
Social Security Number: ***-**-8879 3

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Stories

GREAT ACTOR,Mr Stewart will always be memorable.He served his country as well.I hate to say it but they just dont make em like that no more.In life some people will stand out far above others.I have always seen them as true leaders,with a heart of gold.James Stewart was just such a man.

Brig. Gen. James Maitland Stewart (USAAC PILOT)

England

Most only know him as a famous actor who played roles as a military officer, a cowboy, a famous band leader, a
businessman and a politician.  But few seem to know the true story behind the fascinating military career of one of
this country's greatest actors.  Jimmy Stewart led a very successful career as a bomber pilot and command level
officer during WWII.  This page is dedicated to the memory of Jimmy Stewart, his military career, and those who
served with him during WWII in the skies above Europe.
This is one of the few pages on my site which does not show something from my collection.  It is simply a tribute to a
great American actor, a distinguished veteran and an All-American role model.
While establishing his reputation as an actor, the rest of the world was about to go to war.
German occupation in numerous countries in the early part of 1940 led Congress on
September 16, 1940 to pass the Selective Service Bill, “the draft.”  This bill called for 900,000
men between the ages of 20 and 36 to be drafted each year.  Stewart’s draft number was 310.  
When his number was called and he appeared at Draft Board No. 245 in West Los Angeles in
February 1941, the 6’3” Stewart weighed only 138 pounds, 5 pounds under the acceptable
weight level.  He was turned down for service.  Stewart wanted to fly and serve his country but
by May of 1941 he would have been too old to get into flight school.

He went home ate everything he could that was fattening and went back and enlisted in the
Army Air Corps, he passed the physical with an ounce to spare and began his military service
as a private.  While others tried to avoid the draft, he actually wanted to serve in the military and
was the first Hollywood star to enter military service prior or during WWII.   

Interested in aviation as a child, he had taken his first flight while still in Indiana from one of the
barnstorming pilots that used to travel the Midwest.  As a successful actor in 1935 Jimmy was
able to afford flying lessons.  He received his civilian pilot’s license in 1935, and bought his first
airplane.  In 1938 he obtained his commercial pilot’s license.  He often flew cross country to
visit his parents in Pennsylvania, navigating by the railroad tracks.

In the military, he was to make extensive use of his civilian pilot’s training.  In March 1941 at age
32, he reported for duty as Private James Stewart at Fort McArthur and was assigned to the
Army Air Corps at Moffett Field.  To comply with the regulations of the Air Corps proficiency
board, Stewart required additional 100 flying hours and bought them at a nearby field, at his
own expense.  He then took and passed a very stiff proficiency board examination.

In January 1942 Stewart was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant.  He was then sent to Mather
Field in California as a four engine instructor, this included both the B-17 and B-24 heavy
bombers.  Much to his dismay, Stewart stayed stateside for almost two years working as a flight
instructor, until commanding officers finally yielded to his request to be sent overseas.  
In November 1943, now a Captain and Operations Officer for the 703rd Bomb Squadron, 445th
Bombardment Group of the Eighth Air Force, he arrived in Tibenham, England.  In March of
1944 he was transferred to the 453rd Bombardment Group at Old Buckenham (Old Buc).   
Throughout his combat career, Stewart flew as lead pilot in B-24 Liberators.   

Stewart’s war record included 20 combat missions as command pilot over enemy territory,
including raids deep into Germany to Berlin.  He didn't fly the milk runs, and his missions
included bombing raids to Berlin, Brunswick, Bremen, Frankfurt, and Schweinfurt.  His most
memorable mission, Stewart served as the flight leader of a 1000 plain raid to Berlin.  He was
awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with three
Oak Leaf Clusters, and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.

By the end of the war he had risen to the rank of Colonel.  After the war he remained with the
US Air Force Reserves and was eventually promoted to Brigadier General in 1959.  In 1966, he
participated in a bombing strike in Vietnam, as an observer on a B-52 bomber.  He retired from
the Air Force in 1968 and received the Distinguished Service Medal and ultimately, the
Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Upon returning to Hollywood, Stewart took a brief vacation, spending time in his home town
with his parents.  He then returned to Hollywood and made his first post-war movie, "
It's a
Wonderful Life"
in 1946.

In August 1943 he was finally assigned to the 445th Bombardment Group at Sioux City AAB, Iowa, first as Operations Officer of the 703rd Bombardment Squadron and then as its commander, at the rank of Captain. In December, the 445th Bombardment Group flew its B-24 Liberator bombers to RAF Tibenham, England and immediately began combat operations. While flying missions over Germany, Stewart was promoted to Major. In March 1944, he was transferred as group operations officer to the 453rd Bombardment Group, a new B-24 unit that had been experiencing difficulties. As a means to inspire his new group, Stewart flew as command pilot in the lead B-24 on numerous missions deep into Nazi-occupied Europe. These missions went uncounted at Stewart's orders. His "official" total is listed as 20 and is limited to those with the 445th. In 1944, he twice received the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in combat and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. He also received the Air Medal with three oak leaf

clusters. In July 1944, after flying 20 combat missions, Stewart was made Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing of the Eighth Air Force. Before the war ended, he was promoted to colonel, one of very few Americans to rise from private to colonel in four years.

Brig Gen James "Jimmy" M Streart

1945

A brief overview Stewart's military career:
Served overseas 21 months
Completed 20 combat missions
Awarded six battle stars
Served with the Air Force Reserves
Promoted to Brigadier General , July 1959
Retired 1968
Awarded Distinguished Service Medal 1968
Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom 1985

Medals awarded to BGen. Stewart:
Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Commendation Medal
American Defense Service Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Service Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
Presidential Medal of Freedom

Met the General at March AFB in the early 1960's , I was a Jet Mechanic crewing  T-33 Shooting Star's at the time.  Brig. General Stewart was in the  Reserves at the  time and would com to March Air Base , just out of Riverside, Calif to fly the SAC Bomder's  B-47's at that time(he appeared in  a film about SAC  and the B-47's about that time).  Being a reserve  pilot he was required to get flight time and would come over and get time in our birds. I was  Privileged to have been able to strap him in and out of the cockpit and send him off and greet him back.  He was always in good spirit and very  cordial to all of us and well liked.  I had always felt he was a great actor and military officer. 

 

to me and all the crews there.

 

   to strap him in to the cockpit several times

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