Feature: Jimmy Stewart

Jimmy Stewart
Film fans will definitely remember Jimmy Stewart who have appeared in over 92 films, TV shows, and other entertainment productions during his entire career since 1932 to 1991.  Five of his movies were included in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest American films. The films include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rear Window and Vertigo.

But other than being popular in the entertainment world, this guy is also a military bad ass like other celebrities featured in the secret celebrity badasses post.

Read on for more notable features about Jimmy Stewart!

Thunderbird Field No. 1

Stewart, along with other Hollywood stars invested in Thunderbird Field No. 1, which became a training ground for pilots during World War 2.

Thunderbird Field No. 1


27 Years in Military Service

James Stewart military service

from 1940 to 1968

First American movie star to enlist in World War II in 1940

old hollywood in color

However, he did not pass Army requirements because he was underweight for his height.


In 1941, he was accepted into the United States Army Air Corps commission.

james stewart USAAC

He already had a college degree as well as pilot license then.


Winning Your Wings

The government wanted him to be a face to encourage more civilians to enlist.

winning your wings

The documentary with a clip featuring him resulted into 150,000 more recruits.

He was first assigned to Mather Field as an instructor for Air Force recruits.

Lt. James Stewart

Oath as a 2nd Lieutenant

James Stewart 2nd Lt.

Squad Commander

He ascended into the rank of a captain and was assigned as a squad commander while still remaining an instructor.

 Jimmy Stewart squadron

Bomber Pilot

Stewart wanted to be part of the action though

James Stewart Lt. Colonel Executive Officer 2nd Bombardment Wing, July 23rd 1944

Lt. Colonel Executive Officer 2nd Bombardment Wing, July 23rd 1944


He was promoted to Major in 1944 after several bombing missions

major james stewart

Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing of the Eighth Air Force

This was after 20 flying missions

US Squadron Major Jimmy Stewart

Image was during his time as a squadron major

Promotion from Private to Colonel in 4 Years

He was only one of the few Americans who was promoted from private to colonel in just four years.

Colonel James Stewart

1957, Maine, USA

Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS


Distinguished Flying Cross

Because of his efforts, he received the distinguished flying cross twice for his combat actions.

James Stewart Distinguished Flying Cross


Croix de Guerre from the French Government

James Stewart received the Croix de Guerre

As a Colonel, he received the Croix de Guerre from the French government for his military service in Europe

World War II Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters

He was one of the notable recipients of this award.

World War II Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters

Here’s a clearer although smaller version:

World War II Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters


Time Magazine Cover

Time Magazine Cover James Stewart


He planned on switching to commercial, private flying in case his career halts after the war.

James Stewart Time Magazine

But he still received notable projects in the entertainment world long after the war was over.

Brigadier General Air Force Reserve

He also continued to serve through the United States Army reserve after the war.

James Stewart Wearing Brigadier General Uniform


He joined as a non-duty observer on a bombing mission in 1966 during the Vietnam conflict.

Brigadier General James Stewart Vietnam conflict

Marriage to Gloria Hatrick McLean

Unlike troubled Hollywood star marriages, Stewart remained married to his wife from 1949 until her death in 1994, three years before he also died.

james stewart gloria hatrick mclean


Applause for the life of Jimmy Stewart!

Jimmy Stewart

James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997)

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