MISSION: JIMMY STEWART AND THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE
Robert Matzen, author of Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe will discuss his book at Mac's on Saturday, November 12th at 7 p.m.
Jimmy Stewart in World War II: An Untold Story
In March 1941 Jimmy Stewart, America’s boy next door, made headlines by giving up his Hollywood career and joining the U.S. Army Air Corps. Once in the service, Stewart remained behind the perimeters of Army air bases serving his country. At war’s end he refused to discuss what had happened “over there,” and remained tight-lipped about it to the end of his life. In effect, Jimmy Stewart took the story of his military service with him to the grave.
Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe tells that story by presenting the first in-depth look behind the scenes at Jimmy Stewart, the Academy Awardwinning star flying in the skies over Germany, and, ultimately, his return to Hollywood as the changed man who embarked on production of his first post-war film, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Following up on his award-winning bestseller Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3, Robert Matzen researched the Records of the Army Air Forces to recreate the 20 combat missions Stewart flew over Europe. Matzen took to the skies in the cockpits of the bombers piloted by Stewart; interviewed aviators who flew with him; explored Stewart’s personal papers; and walked the earth of the air bases that served as home to Stewart in his missions. The result is a vivid account of Jimmy Stewart’s 15 brutal months of combat. Matzen takes the story further to tell of others in the fight for Europe—pilots in Stewart’s command; German aviators contesting the Mighty Eighth; and civilians caught in the crossfire of a global struggle. What emerges in Mission is the story of a Jimmy Stewart you never really knew—until now.