In March 1941 actor James Stewart enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. After Pearl Harbor because of his experience as a civilian pilot, he was accepted as an aviation cadet and commissioned. After training in multi-engine aircraft, he was assigned as an instructor pilot in B-17s. In 1943 he finally got a combat assignment and transferred to the 445th Bombardment Group to check out in B-24s and beco…me a squadrons operations officer. Before the group went overseas he had been given command of a squadron. After arriving in England, he flew twenty combat missions then was promoted and moved to a staff position with the 2nd Combat Wing of the 2nd Air Division. By the time the war ended he had risen to the rank of full colonel. After the war he remained in the reserves and was promoted to Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve. He refused to discuss his wartime experiences with anyone who had not been in the military and although he made several aviation movies, he refused to be in a war movie because he did not believe they represented combat the way it really was.
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