You know that World War II plays a pivotal role in the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life. If Uncle Billy hadn’t been so excited about Harry Bailey’s getting the Medal of Honor, he wouldn’t have unwittingly wrapped $8,000 of building and loan money into Potter’s newspaper. That set up the crisis that brought the angel Clarence to help George Bailey.
There’s a scene in the 1946 film in which Joseph, the angel briefing Clarence on George’s life, tells how the folks of Bedford Falls contributed to the war effort. I’ve come up with a quiz on that. The answers will be in next week’s blog. No Googling! Here goes:
1. Bert the cop was wounded and got the Silver Star in which campaign?
(c) North Africa
2. Ernie the cab driver went to Europe and:
(a) landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day
(b) parachuted into France
(c) surrendered to the Germans at Bastogne
(d) bailed out of a burning B-17 bomber
3. Mr. Gower and Uncle Billy worked on the home front:
(a) supervising scrap metal drives
(b) collecting rubber
(c) swindling war widows
(d) selling war bonds
4. Potter the banker used his authority in the town to:
(a) enforce rationing
(b) hound air raid wardens
(c) head the draft board
(d) audit the USO’s tangled finances
5. George Bailey couldn’t serve in the military because:
(a) He couldn’t hear out of one ear.
(b) He was brain-injured from the time Gower slapped him around in the drug store.
(c) As head of the building and loan, he was in a job critical to the war effort.
(d) He didn’t want to leave Bedford Falls.
6. Sam Wainwright made a fortune in:
(a) chocolate for troop rations
(b) nylon for parachutes
(c) plastic hoods for planes
(d) the black market for gas rationing
7. Navy flier Harry Bailey, the Medal of Honor recipient, shot down how many enemy planes?
(a) Eight, one as it was about to dive into an aircraft carrier with famed correspondent Ernie Pyle aboard
(b) Ten as they were about to drop bombs on a Bob Hope USO show
(c) Fifteen, two as they were about to crash into a transport full of U.S. soldiers
(d) Just one, but it was carrying Adm. Yamomoto, the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack
8. Mary, George’s wife, did her part by:
(a) Going off to work as Sam Wainwright’s secretary
(b) Working at the library
(c) Running the USO
(d) Scanning the sky for enemy planes
9. Mary’s brother Marty helped capture:
(a) a German U-boat
(c) the Remagen bridge
(d) a rogue American scientist building a secret weapon for the Nazis
10. Ma Bailey and Mrs. Hatch:
(a) sang and danced at the USO
(b) hoarded ration coupons
(c) joined the Red Cross and sewed
(d) badgered Potter