When he was filming "It's a Wonderful Life," he would sometimes need to leave the set because of PTSD "shakes." Though he never talked about it, the other actors knew and patiently waited until he could come on the set again.
He had been a squadron leader, and that, he said, was the greatest cause of his stress, feeling that he was responsible for all those guys, for those who didn't make it back.
"You get much farther with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone."
In 1943, Bronson enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces and served in the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Squadron, and in 1945 as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress aerial gunner with the Guam-based 61st Bombardment Squadron[1 within the 39th Bombardment Group, which conducted combat missions against the Japanese home islands. He flew 25 missions and received a Purple Heart for wounds received in battle.
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