The Jimmy Stewart You Never Knew: World War II Squadron Commander

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. For the next half century, Stewart refused to discuss his combat experiences and took the story of his service to the grave.

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In Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe, author Robert Matzen presents the first in-depth look at Stewart’s life as a Squadron Commander in the skies over Germany, and, his return to Hollywood the changed man who embarked on production of America’s most beloved holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life. 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 from 1943-45. What emerges is the story of a Jimmy Stewart you never knew, a story more fantastic than any he brought to the screen.

Matzen joined Glenn on radio Thursday to talk about Mission and the life of one of America's most beloved and iconic cinema stars.

Read below or listen to the full segment for answers to these questions:

• Did Matzen reveal any skeletons that ruined Glenn's view of Stewart?

• Which relatives of Stewart's fought in the Civil War?

• Were the snowy scenes in It's a Wonderful Life shot in the Mojave Desert?

• How did the war change Stewart as a man?

• How many missions did Stewart fly and which one cracked his plane in half?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

GLENN: Hello, and welcome -- welcome to the program. I was reading an article about Jimmy Stewart. This new book out that's called Mission. And I learned some stuff about Jimmy Stewart that I really wasn't aware of and especially what was happening with him when he came back to film --

PAT: Glenn, don't you know me?

GLENN: Yeah. Okay.

PAT: Don't you know me, Glenn?

GLENN: So when he was filming that, he and Frank Capra were going through PTSD, which nobody talked about back then.

PAT: Uh-uh.

GLENN: And Jimmy Stewart was quite an amazing guy. Robert Matzen is the author of Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe. And we wanted to get him on.

Robert, welcome to the program. How are you?

ROBERT: I'm great. Thanks for having me on.

GLENN: You bet.

So tell me what we don't know about Jimmy Stewart.

ROBERT: Well, in the context of It's a Wonderful Life, he had just come back from the most horrific combat experiences over the skies of Europe that you could imagine.

GLENN: Now, he was not -- he was not -- you know, as a celebrity, he could have gone and done anything over in World War II. But he didn't. He really signed up and was like, "No, I really want to fight."

ROBERT: Yeah. He -- the war department and Hollywood both wanted to keep him stateside, of course, because nothing good could come of a Hollywood star being shot down over Germany.

PAT: That's for sure.

ROBERT: So he had to buck those headwinds to get overseas, and he managed to do it. It took him two years.

PAT: And so what -- what exactly was his job when he was over there? What did he do? You said in the skies over Europe. He wasn't a pilot, was he?

ROBERT: He was a pilot. He was a bomber pilot.

PAT: He was a pilot. Wow.

ROBERT: He had been a private pilot in his Hollywood years. That was the first thing he did when he earned a Hollywood paycheck, was learn to fly, and then he bought his own plane. And so he was ready. He wanted to serve. And he wanted to serve as an Army pilot, and that's exactly what he did.

And at first, he was training other pilots stateside that was eating him alive. He wanted to go fight. And finally he did get a combat assignment as a squadron commander in a heavy bomb group that went over to England in 1943.

PAT: This guy was almost too good to be true, wasn't he? An American patriot. American hero. A tremendous actor. Married to the same woman virtually his whole life. Right? No major scandals that we know of. Am I --

GLENN: And if we do, we don't necessarily want to know about them.

PAT: Right.

GLENN: I mean, this is a book -- I want to read it over the Christmas holiday. Because I love Jimmy Stewart. Is this -- are you going to wreck him for me?

ROBERT: No, I'm not going to wreck him for you. I went into this project neutral on the guy. I mean, not a fan, per se. Everybody loves It's a Wonderful Life. Well, almost everybody.

But I grew to admire him tremendously, through learning about the 20 combat missions that he went through and what he was like when he came back. You know, refusing to talk about what it was like over there.

GLENN: So when he was on the set -- because Frank Capra -- what was Frank Capra doing the war?

ROBERT: And Frank Capra was making patriotic films. Films to let Americans know what was going on overseas. Who the enemy was. What our boys were doing over there.

So his experience wasn't like Jim's. But Frank was away for four years from Hollywood, and Jim was away for five. I mean, Jim slammed the door on Hollywood and left it behind.

And so he's coming back as, really, a middle-aged man. There's a photo in the book that's a before shot in 1942 of this fresh-faced Jimmy Stewart. Just got his wings. Second lieutenant.

Two years later, he looks like a haggard old man. By then, it looks like 14 combat missions in three months. So when -- by the time they reached the set of its a wonderful life, they were both feeling, "This is make or break for me." If I don't make this work, my career is over. They were both thinking that.

And so the set was extremely tense. It was nothing like you would think it would be.

GLENN: So it was shot in California. The snowy scene is happening in California in the middle of June. Right?

ROBERT: In the Mojave Desert. At 90 degrees. That's right.

GLENN: In the desert.

PAT: Jeez. Wow.

ROBERT: Yeah.

GLENN: And I got the impression from what the story -- I don't even remember where I read this, but it was about your book. And I got the impression that that was -- it was just rife with problems.

ROBERT: Well, that particular scene was shot at the RKO ranch in Encino. And they had to really invent a new type of snow that could withstand the heat and could still be slushy, could still look and feel like snow. So, yeah, I mean, it was a tough shoot.

But the whole movie -- if you look at the movie, it's an extravagant picture with a tremendous number of setups. They re-created that whole main street of Bedford Falls. A lot of interior shots -- everything that was -- all the bridge sequences where Clarence jumps in the water and Jim jumps in, those were all done in the studio. And that took weeks to get it right. Capra was a perfectionist. A lot went into that movie.

GLENN: And did they have any idea -- did Jimmy Stewart have any idea of what that movie was going to be at the end of it?

ROBERT: No. He was disappointed in how it turned out. He was always a populist in the sense that if the public liked his picture, he liked his picture. If the public didn't react like he wanted, then he didn't like the picture.

And It's a Wonderful Life was made right at the end of the war. You know, a war-weary America I don't think was ready for this particular picture, and it took another ten years before it was embraced. And that was by television. And that's when Jim started to warm up to it, when everybody else did.

GLENN: How did he change -- how did the war change him overall as a man?

ROBERT: Before the war, I spent a fair amount of time talking about his romantic adventures with A-List Hollywood actresses. And he went through all of them.

GLENN: He was a player? Jimmy Stewart was a player?

ROBERT: He was a player. Big-time.

JEFFY: He told you he wasn't going to ruin him for you.

(laughter)

GLENN: Wow. I had no idea.

ROBERT: Yeah.

GLENN: Player. Okay.

ROBERT: Because here he is -- he's 6-4 and 140 pounds.

PAT: Jeez.

ROBERT: And he thought he was just this gangly guy that no one would find attractive. So he had to prove to himself that he was attractive. That was his pre-war thing.

But when he came back, he realized how superficial that was. He didn't need to prove that to himself anymore. He had also proved the other thing that he needed to prove, which was that he was brave enough to represent the Stewart family. And that's what Mission is really all about, is his family mission to serve their country. And he proved that to himself.

So he came back as a mature person who had been seasoned by all this death and devastation. And that's why he was ready to settle down. And he did it beautifully. And he also carved this career that emphasized the darker side of him that had come out of the war. This hardened, tough man came out of the war. And he started to play tough roles.

GLENN: What do you mean his family -- his family had a long history of war --

ROBERT: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: -- heroes?

ROBERT: Both of his grandfathers were in the Civil War. One of them was a hero of the second day of Gettysburg, at Little Round Top. And the other one served with Custer in the Shenandoah Valley. And so -- and that grandfather also named James M. Stewart lived into the 1930s. And Jim learned all about war from someone who saw Lee surrender to Grant at Appomattox.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: Do these kind of guys exist anymore?

ROBERT: You know, I've been asked that.

And Pat Tillman comes to mind, you know. Someone who just walked away from a very successful public career to serve. But they are few and far between. But even in Jim's time, they were few and far between.

GLENN: Because most people, they just -- they would do their rounds, and they would be seen in the uniform. They would raise money. Raise awareness. And not actually go in and fight.

Was it -- was he a believer in what he was fighting against or just a believer of what he was fighting for?

ROBERT: Boy, that's a great question.

Both. I think both. He was a tremendous believer in the cause. And it was the happiest time in his life, he said that often. He said he was never happier than doing this righteous thing for this righteous cause.

GLENN: That was -- I mean, being a pilot in World War II, it was quite surprising that he lived, honestly. I mean, how many missions did he fly?

ROBERT: He flew 20 exactly. And at one point, on one of his missions, on February 25th, 1944, an anti-aircraft shell hit the flight deck of his B-24 Liberator and blew a hole between his feet, two feet across. And his map case fell out the hole and went down to Germany. And that was one mission too many. When he landed that plane, it cracked in half.

I mean, that's just -- that was his closest brush with death. But he had more than that. And that's what people just don't know. That's the guy -- that's his backstory, when you watch It's a Wonderful Life. He had just been there. And he had just done that.

GLENN: Hmm. Robert Matzen, thank you for the time that you spent on looking at this man's life and telling us the truth about who he really was. Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert Matzen. Great gift for anybody like me who just loves Jimmy Stewart and loves a good story of history that you've never heard before. Robert Matzen. Mission is the name of the book.

Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

ROBERT: Thanks, Glenn.

GLENN: You bet. God bless.

Featured Image: Lt. Gen. Valin, Chief of Staff, French Air Force, awarding Croix De Guerre with palm to Col. James Stewart (Photo: US Air Force).

Nearly two years after the January 6 riot at the Capitol, the mystery of who planted two pipe bombs outside the Republican and Democratic National Committee offices remains unsolved. Thankfully, the bombs were found and disabled before they could cause any harm, but with their potential for devastating consequences — not to mention the massive investigations into all things relating to Jan.6 — why does it seem like this story has practically fallen off the face of the earth?

No one in the corporate media has even tried to look into it, and the government's narrative that the bombs were meant to be a diversion for the Capitol riot doesn't make sense when you look at the timeline of events.

So, on this week's episode of "Glenn TV," Glenn Beck broke down the timeline of events that led up to the discovery of the bombs and how the facts appear to point toward one sinister conclusion:

  • Security footage reportedly shows that the two pipe bombs were planted in front of the DNC and RNC the day before the riot.
  • Neither bomb was concealed.
  • Then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris entered the DNC headquarters at approximately 11: 30 am on January 6.
  • At approximately 12:40 pm on January 6, the first pipe bomb was discovered sitting in plain sight outside the DNC headquarters, raising questions as to why the incoming vice president didn't have better security.
  • The pipe bomb had a one-hour kitchen timer that had apparently stopped with 20 minutes left on the timer. (Remember, the bombs were planted on January 5.)
  • The Secret Service reportedly erased their communications from January 5t and January 6 by "accident."

"It doesn't really hit you unless you look at it as a timeline, and then you're like, 'wait a minute that doesn't seem right.' The unsolved mystery of the pipe bomb has been used by the government to show that January 6 riot was part of a larger coordinated attack ... that the bombs were a diversion to get the Capitol police away from the Capitol," Glenn explained.

"But the bomb had a one-hour timer and it was planted at 8 p.m. the night before. So the bomb would have to go off the night before at about 9 p.m. on January 5. How's that a diversion? It's not physically even possible."

Watch the video clip below to hear more or find the full episode of "Unsolved Mysteries: 7 Deep-State SECRETS Biden Wants Buried" here.


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The Biden administration has weaponized the federal government against the American people. But officials have hidden most of their attacks behind a secretive and cavernous bureaucracy.

There are so many unsolved mysteries that Joe Biden and the Democrats not only refuse to answer, but in some cases appear as though they are ACTIVELY trying to cover up. Like what happened on January 6? Who is Ray Epps? Who planted the pipe bombs? What’s in Biden’s executive order on elections? What happened to the SCOTUS Dobbs leaker? What’s the COVID origin story? What’s happening with crypto, FTX, and the Central Bank Digital Currency?

These are just a few of the unsolved mysteries that we need to DEMAND answers on. On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck outlines a chalkboard that will leave you convinced the DOJ and FBI are LYING to the American people. The more secrets the Deep State holds, the more its power over us grows.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

Unsolved Mysteries: 7 Deep-State SECRETS Biden Wants Buried | Glenn TV | Ep 238

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'I NEVER thought I'd talk about this': Was Glenn Beck's CHILLING dream actually a WARNING?

(Left) Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images/(Right) Video screenshot

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck decided to share a very unusual, extremely vivid dream he had ten years ago — a dream he thought he'd never talk about on the air until he began to see it as a warning that we should all know about.

"I never ever thought I would talk about this on the air, but I feel compelled to tell you that seasons have changed again, and it is becoming more and more apparent. You need to know what you're dealing with," Glenn began.

"If you are a long-time listener of this program, you know that one of the reasons I left New York ... was that I had a medical condition. Part of it was brought on by no REM sleep for about 10 years ... and for 10 years, I never had a dream," he explained. "However, during this period I had what could be described as a dream. I do not believe it was."

"In this 'dream' ... I am in a hallway of the White House. And I'm walking into a big room where there's a bunch of cubicles, and people look up like, 'who's walking in?' There are people behind me, but I don't know who they are yet. I just know I'm being pushed forward by them," Glenn continued. "I realize that everybody in the White House is terrified of who's ever behind me ... I glance back and I see people that are in uniforms that I've never seen before. I have seen them since, but that will be for some other time...."

"So, these guys in the uniforms are in the hallway, and one guy says, 'him, him, and him, take them out' ... and I'm the only one still sitting at the table. They go out ... then I hear three gunshots and they say, 'yeah, that happened pretty quickly for them. However, you, we're going to get to know ... because you really have no idea who you're dealing with.' And that's when one of them ... ripped off his face and he was Satan. Or, he was a demon, okay? Horrifying. Then I wake up."

Glenn went on to explain that, while the dream was so vivid and disturbing that he thought about it almost daily for well over a year, it was what happened next — during a discussion with a prominent religious leader — that really hinted his "dream" might actually have been a vision of the future and a warning.

"I will never forget it, and I will never dismiss it," Glenn said of what he learned. "I'm sharing it with you today because you must not dismiss what you're dealing with. We are not in a battle [of] politics ... our whole culture has become evil."

"You have to get to a point where you are going to choose a side. There will be no one left on the benches, and if you think you can sit it out you will end up on the wrong side. I urge you to know who you serve. This is a different time in human experience. This is not normal. None of this is normal," he warned.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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'The Fedcoin is HERE': Glenn Beck reveals what the Fed was up to while YOU weren’t watching

Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While Americans were preparing for Thanksgiving last Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Reserve moved forward with its "Central Bank Digital Currency" program, and that wasn't the only controversial policy that was rolled out while you weren’t watching.

On the radio program, Glenn Beck reviewed the latest financial stories you may have missed over the holiday weekend, including how Biden's pause on student loan payments may be extended again and yet another sketchy Hunter Biden investment.

"You might have missed what happened Wednesday afternoon at the Fed," Glenn began. "They started their CBDC, Central Bank Digital Currency. Yes, the Fedcoin is here. Now they rolled it out on Wednesday — I mean, that was the only day they could do it, you know, because they've been denying that any of this stuff was happening. But they could only get it [launched] when no one was paying attention. So they rolled it out, and it's in its beta test now."

"By the way, India just rolled out its retail pilot program for digital rupees as well. But don't worry," he continued. "Maybe we should start having the conversation of, 'Gosh, this looks like the mark of the beast.' I mean, doesn't it? But surely it's not. Of course not. Not from the U.S. government. They never do anything underhanded or evil. Never."

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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