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.
27 Years in Military Service
from 1940 to 1968
First American movie star to enlist in World War II in 1940
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.
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.
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.
Oath as a 2nd Lieutenant
He ascended into the rank of a captain and was assigned as a squad commander while still remaining an instructor.
Stewart wanted to be part of the action though
Lt. Colonel Executive Officer 2nd Bombardment Wing, July 23rd 1944
He was promoted to Major in 1944 after several bombing missions
Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing of the Eighth Air Force
This was after 20 flying missions
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.
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.
Croix de Guerre from the French Government
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.
Here’s a clearer although smaller version:
Time Magazine Cover
He planned on switching to commercial, private flying in case his career halts after the war.
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.
He joined as a non-duty observer on a bombing mission in 1966 during the 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.
Applause for the life of Jimmy Stewart!
James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997)