I spent some 45 minutes “websurfing” for more background info on James Stewart, having read Pacific Paratrooper’s post. He, like many others carried with them the horrors of total war; kept their feelings bottled up, and never discussed their experiences.
Stewart commanded a squadron of B-24’s; although the B-24 has been in the shadow of the more famous B-17, they bore the vicious onslaught of the Luftwaffe just as much, and suffered grievous losses.
From the 458th Bombardment Group:
“Often compared with the better-known Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 was a more modern design with a higher top speed, greater range, and a heavier bomb load; it was also more difficult to fly, with heavy control forces and poor formation-flying characteristics. Popular opinion among aircrews and general staffs tended to favor the B-17’s rugged qualities above all other considerations in the European Theater. The placement of the B-24’s fuel tanks throughout the upper fuselage and its lightweight construction, designed to increase range and optimize assembly line production, made the aircraft vulnerable to battle damage. The B-24 was notorious among American aircrews for its tendency to catch fire. Its high fuselage-mounted “Davis wing” also meant it was dangerous to ditch or belly land, since the fuselage tended to break apart.”
Stewart with his crew by the B-24 “Lady Shamrock”
Below address contains the only photo I could locate of this B-24; their copyright prevents copying this image. Use the menu: Hover the cursor over “Photographs”, then Aircraft, finally 445th Aircraft, then click on it.
It is number 51 in a series of 171 images.