Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot

Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot

3.9 29
by Starr Smith
     
 

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Of all the celebrities who served their country during World War II -and they were legion -Jimmy Stewart was unique. On December 7th, when the attack on Pearl Harbor woke so many others to the reality of war, Stewart was already in uniform - as a private on guard duty south of San Francisco at the Army Air Corps Moffet Field. Seeing war on the horizon, Jimmy

Overview

Of all the celebrities who served their country during World War II -and they were legion -Jimmy Stewart was unique. On December 7th, when the attack on Pearl Harbor woke so many others to the reality of war, Stewart was already in uniform - as a private on guard duty south of San Francisco at the Army Air Corps Moffet Field. Seeing war on the horizon, Jimmy Stewart, at the height of his fame after Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and his Oscar-winning turn in The Phadelphia Story in 1940, had enlisted several months earlier.

Jimmy Stewart, Bomber Pilot chronicles his long journey to become a bomber pilot in combat. Author Starr Smith, the intelligence officer assigned to the movie star, recounts how Stewart's first battles were with the Air Corps high command, who insisted on keeping the naturally talented pilot out of harm's way as an instructor pilot for B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators. By 1944, however, Stewart managed to get assigned to a Liberator squadron that was deploying to England to join the mighty Eighth Air Force. Once in the thick of it, he rose to command his own squadron and flew twenty combat missions, including one to Berlin.

“My father would feel honored by this book.” —Kelly Stewart Harcourt, daughter of Jimmy Stewart "

We would have made Jimmy a group commander [equivalent to an army regiment] if the war had lasted another month." - General Jimmy Doolittle. "

An excellent biography of a distinguished airman and fine human being." - Roger Freeman, author of The Mighty Eighth: A History of the U.S. 8th Air Force. "

How wonderful it is that Starr Smith has finally directed a literary light on the personal history of Jimmy Stewart. . . . I welcomed Starr's book. It is needed and wanted. Bravo!" - Gay Talese. "

This is a very well researched and written book. . . . It fills a place in history about no mere actor but a courageous and selfless man, Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart, USAF." - General Michael E. Ryan, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

“I have met a few movie stars, but of them all, I think that Jimmy Stewart was most like those modest heroes he portrayed. Now journalist Starr Smith has raised the curtain on Stewart’s gallant service as a bomber pilot and air combat commander in World War II.” —Walter Cronkite, from the Foreword

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
WWII History, March 2007

“It goes without saying that James Maitland Stewart was one of Hollywood’s greatest and most enduring stars. Be he was also an American patriod of the first order … Veteran journalist Starr Smith has captured the true essence of the man in this superbly written and profusely illustrated biography … With so many of the current generation of Hollywood stars decidedly antiwar and antimilitary, this book is a refreshing, nostalgic look back at a time when personal fame, money and safety took a back-seat to the ideals of duty, honor and country. Not to be missed.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760328248
Publisher:
Zenith Press
Publication date:
11/15/2006
Edition description:
First
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
201,979
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

What People are saying about this

Gay Talese
How wonderful it is that Starr Smith has finally directed a literary light on the personal history of Jimmy Stewart. I welcomed Starr’s book. It’s needed and wanted. Bravo!
noted author & journalist
Walter Cronkite
I have met a few movie stars, but of them all, I think that Jimmy Stewart was most like those modest heroes he portrayed. Now journalist Starr Smith has raised the curtain on Stewart’s gallant service as a bomber pilot and air combat commander in World War II.
from the Foreword
From the Publisher
Montgomery Advertiser“The book is an easy and compelling read … Smith has told an important story and told it extremely well. He has done an exemplary job of telling the other side of Stewart’s remarkable life and his devotion to ‘duty, honor and country.’ Far more than a tribute to Stewart, Smith has given us a window on what patriotism is all about. It is a timely chronicle.” St. Croix Review, October/Nov. 2006“…this is an important book that should be on the reading list of all officers, senior non-commissioned officers, and cadets or midshipmen in all of the armed services.”

Cincinnati Post, May 29, 2006“The reader looking for stories about Jimmy Stewart's remarkable movie career will not find them here. Likewise, the reader looking for some salacious expose of Mr. Stewart's private life will search for it in vain in Mr. Smith's book. What you will find is a first-rate and first-hand account of a chapter in Jimmy Stewart's life about which little has been written. This was a Jimmy Stewart very few people knew, and yet it was a time that, by his own admission, had more impact on his life than any other.” Evergreen Quarterly, April 2006 “…an engrossing tribute that is as well-written as it is well-deserved.”

Military Trader, August 2006 “Starr Smith has written a colorful and detailed account of Jimmy Stewart’s air force service that illuminates a sometimes overlooked facet of one of America’s most beloved actors.” Cybermodeler Online, July 2006“Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot is a well-written book that will provide a unique look into some operation history and the characteristics of a quiet man that is an icon of a true American hero. This title is highly recommended!”

Roger A. Freeman
. . (This book) is an excellent biography of a distinguished airman and fine human being. . . . not a Hollywood star in uniform but a dedicated officer whose primary interest was the campaign of the Eighth Air Force. It is the work of a very accomplished writer. . . (one) who really knows his craft. When you turn the last page, you cannot but have a clear understanding of Jimmy Stewart’s character.
air power historian and author, The Mighty Eighth
Kelly Stewart Harcourt
My father would feel honored by this book.
daughter of Jimmy Stewart
Jimmy Doolittle
We would have made Jimmy a group commander if the war had lasted another month.
General, World War II commander of the Eighth Air Force in England
Wayne Flynt
Jimmy Stewart was that rare public man who performed his duty without calling attention to himself. . . . Stewart has found his biographer in Starr Smith, a man who knew Stewart, who knew the World War II Army Air Corps, and who surely knows how to write.
Professor of History, Auburn University
Michael E. Ryan
This is a very well-researched and written book. Starr Smith has filled it with personal anecdotes about a World War II hero. It fills a place in history about no mere actor, but a courageous and selfless man.
Retired General and former Chief of Staff, United States Air Force

Meet the Author

Starr Smith is an international journalist and author who has chronicled his adventures to more than one hundred countries. Smith was a combat intelligence officer with the Eighth Air Force in England during World War II, and later served on General Eisenhower’s press staff at his London and Paris headquarters.

After the war, Smith worked with the military’s top brass, including Anderson, Arnold, Doolittle, Eaker, Kenney, Spaatz, and other great World War II leaders and generals. He has been a correspondent for NBC Radio, a reporter for Newsweek, and his byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines from six continents.

Smith’s books include Only the Days are Long and Starr Smith’s Southern Scenes. He lives in Montgomery, Alabama.

Starr Smith is an international journalist and author who has chronicled his adventures to more than one hundred countries. Smith was a combat intelligence officer with the Eighth Air Force in England during World War II, and later served on General Eisenhower's press staff at his London and Paris headquarters.After the war, Smith worked with the military's top brass, including Anderson, Arnold, Doolittle, Eaker, Kenney, Spaatz, and other great World War II leaders and generals. He has been a correspondent for NBC Radio, a reporter for Newsweek, and his byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines from six continents.Smith's other books include Only the Days are Long and Starr Smith's Southern Scenes. He lives in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Jimmy Stewart 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
AirRaceAddict More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, and previously knowing some of Jimmy Stewart's Military aviation background , I was shocked to learn how much I really did not know about the man. His wishes to serve his country after Pearl Harbor overrode the lure of the safety, glamour, and women of Hollywood. He did everything the right way, refusing to use his celebrity status to get what he wanted. He exhibited his leadership skills as a bomber Instructor Pilot in the deserts of Idaho and Utah, and as a courageous Combat Pilot and eventually Wing Commander of his unit in Europe. He served in the Air War over Europe for three years and returned with "his boys" on the ship, rather than fly home in luxury. He was humble, God fearing, family loving, and was the Great American that we can only hope to be. I always loved him as an actor, but now I have a whole new perspective of his life and values he lived by. Wonderful story with many lessons in Patriotism, humility, humor, faith, and family. for us all. It was very easy to read and very difficult to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to see another book on Jimmy Stewart come out. I read the almost 300-page book in three days. This book was written by a man that worked with Stewart while in the 8th Air Force in England. There are some wonderful memories by men in his outfit of the kind of strong and effective leadership that Stewart showed as well as many personal reflections of that time. I have read and seen many things documenting Stewart's life but most of them have his military career as just a side note. I learned many new things about this legend after reading Smith's book. Stewart was a true American hero in every sense of the word. He gave up his salary and status as one of the most well known actors in the world for a $21 a month salary in the Army Air Corps. He became one of the men and flew 20 extremely dangerous missions (to the dismay of his commanders and his boss at MGM who put up a road block when Stewart first approached him with the idea to fight) and won countless medals and honors, ending the war as a colonel and retiring with the rank of brigadier general. He didn't want to sit idly by to sell war bonds or entertain the troops and was in the thick of the action flying over Nazi Germany. I don't think any popular movie star would risk their life to do that in this day and age. Stewart didn't have to do it, HE WANTED TO. Starr Smith shows us a Stewart that many didn't get to see: briefing the pilots, planning missions, and piloting a B-24. There is also a wonderful, short tribute by Stewart's daughter Kelly Stewart Harcourt as well as personal reflections of her father. The Eighth Air Force was the most powerful (and most important) group of flying men in the entire world. This is not only a tribute to Jimmy Stewart but also to all the men that sacrificed their lives for our freedom during World War II. Without that sacrifice, the world would be very different today and I'm eternally grateful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most of us have heard of all the film actors who joined the war effort after 12-7-1941, becoming instant Officers, most in the entertainment field making training films for the military or promoting the War Bond campaine. But there were a few who didn't wait to be called, but actively sought out and prepared themselves to fight this war. Jimmy Stewart was one of these, taking flying lessons on his own and enlisting in the Army as a Private. He would ultimately earn the rank of Brig.General in the Air Force. Steward shuned the spot light and publisidy while serving as a B-24 Pilot flying as a group leader in some of the toughist bombing missions of the war in Europe. When we think of Hero's Like Gen. Jimmy Doolitle, and Lt. Audie Murphy, you must put Brig.Gen. James M. Stewart right up there with the best of the best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Learned quite a bit about Jimmy Stewart. A true American hero and symbol for what true patriotism is for love of country. A real stand-up guy. A role model for all and especially for Hollywood and our younger generation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic read. I throughly enjoy reading this book. My uncle was a gunner on a B-24, and this brought home a lot of his experiences
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whether you are a Jimmy Stewart fan, or a WWII fan this book is for you. It tells the tale of an American who risked all to defend his country. A great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, well written. Good to read what a great personality he was off stage in wartime England
TCBX2 More than 1 year ago
Very informative about a major part of the life of Jimmy Stewart that goes to the heart of not the actor but the man behind the actor.
BritAllie More than 1 year ago
A good read about an exceptional individual.  This is about Jimmy Stewart's service and his incredible humility.  This book highlights the fact that as much as we know about a person, there is always more we don't know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3 stars
Loumar More than 1 year ago
I have always been a huge fan of Jimmy Stewart and after purchasing Bomber Pilot I am an even bigger fan if that is possible. Not only a great actor but also one of our many WWII heroes.
PeaceG More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to delve into this topic but although the content read smoothly I found it could not capture my attention. I chose to pick up another book to better use my time. I only got a quarter through the book. I may go back to it in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always been a fan of Jimmy Stewart but as I read the book, I became a much bigger fan. This wonderful man was such a Patriot and did things during the war that surprised and made me feel so proud of him. Never realized how such a humble man, great actor could accomplish what he did and people not be aware. He has my deepest respect. Thank you for making this known!
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