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Publisher's Summary

In March 1941 Jimmy Stewart, America's boy next door and recent Academy Award winner, left fame and fortune behind and joined the United States Army Air Corps to fulfill his family mission and serve his country. He rose from private to colonel and participated in 20 often-brutal World War II combat missions over Germany and France. In mere months the war took away his boyish looks as he faced near-death experiences and the loss of men under his command. The war finally won, he returned home with millions of other veterans to face an uncertain future, suffering what we now know as PTSD. Younger stars like Gregory Peck were now getting roles that might have been Stewart's, and he didn't know if he would ever work in Hollywood again. Then came It's a Wonderful Life.
For the next half century, Stewart refused to discuss his combat experiences and took the story of his service to the grave. Mission presents the first in-depth look at Stewart's life as a squadron commander in the skies over Germany, his return to Hollywood, and the changed man who embarked on production of America's most beloved holiday classic.
Author Robert Matzen sifted through thousands of Air Force combat reports and the Stewart personnel files; interviewed surviving aviators who flew with Stewart; visited the James Stewart Papers at Brigham Young University; flew in the cockpits of the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator; and walked the earth of air bases in England used by Stewart in his combat missions of 1943-45. What emerges in Mission is the story of a Jimmy Stewart you never knew until now - a story more fantastic than any he brought to the screen.
©2016 Robert Matzen (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By David on 05-09-17

Penetrating Telling of Jimmy Stewart's War Years

I have read one other biography of Jimmy Stewart as well as approximately 100 books on The War. This story of Jimmy Stewart's time in Hollywood prior to the war and his service during the war was extensive and very well written. It especially captured the toll the War took on Jimmy Stewart as he flew bomber missions over Germany. And the narrator was excellent. He read the book with feeling and depth that matched the material well. He was much better than most narrators of non-fiction audio books.

I highly recommend this book to everyone but especially those who are interested in World War II as well as the Golden Era of Hollywood and one of it's greatest actors and a great patriot.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By C. P. Rolston on 05-04-17

An absolute must for every Jimmy Stewart fan

You know how this story will end and still you are left hanging on every word! Like so many WWII veterans, there was a side to Jimmy Stewart that only those who served with him knew. This is that story. I've always liked him for his work as an actor. Now I love and respect him as a true hero of the war.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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