Colonel James Stewart arriving in the United States from Europe, August 31, 1945.
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Jimmy Stewart in uniform, waving.

Credit: Image donated by Corbis-Bettmann

On August 31, 1945, Jimmy Stewart received a hero's welcome when he arrived in New York on the Queen Elizabeth. Initially denied enlistment for being five pounds under weight, Stewart flew twenty combat missions during the war and was then appointed Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing of the Eighth Air Force. The year after his return, Stewart would star as George Bailey in Frank Capra's Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life.

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