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Intermission Story (8) – Jimmy Stewart

January 5, 2018

I’ve always liked Jimmy Stewart. I never realized he had so much to deal with. My mother often said my dad came back from the war different. It wasn’t until I was grown up that I considered he might have had PTSD. ~ Connie

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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  1. Thank you very much for sharing this story. I found many had no idea what this well-liked man went through.

    • I didn’t which was the reason I used it for a Faith Filled Friday post. I’ve saved it so I can look at it again. Thank you for sharing it.

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