Maybe he was trying to make up for "not doing enough" in his own mind? Who knows.
Compare that to the typical Hollywood actor these days.
“On June 8, 1969, those Marines were trapped in an ambush that claimed the life of actor Jimmy Stewart’s stepson, Marine 1st Lt. Ron McLean.”
I think he was getting some payback.
Jimmy has always been a serious favorite of mine. A big part of that (aside from obvious acting talent) is the fact that he was a real hero who risked his life as a military pilot. “Flight of the Phoenix” is one of my alltime Favs! I could watch it once a month.
Aside: I always wondered about the ending of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Everybody brings in their own money to save George and all...then he gets the word from his brother that his old friend has authorized him $8000 (covering the whole debt). I always figured that all the people would say “well you’re covered now George...I want my moeny back”. Some would say they put in more than they really did. Uncle Billy would get flustered and it would end up in a brawl :-)