Remembering Life And Death As A World War II Fighter Pilot
By James Donahue
Among the strange stories possibly supporting belief in reincarnation is that of
James Leininger, a teenager living in Lafayette, Louisiana. Leininger has
grown up with vivid memories of dying a fiery death in the cockpit of a Corsair in the midst of an aerial dogfight with the
Japanese over the Pacific Ocean.
Leininger even knows the name he had in his past life, and where and when he died. His family
believes he was formerly on this Earth as Lt. James McCready Huston and that his plane was shot down near Iwo Jima in 1945.
What are the proofs? News reporters were fascinated by Leininger’s story when he was
only six and experiencing vivid dreams of his death experience. His parents said he had an unusual interest in World War II
vintage aircraft and possessed a knowledge of these planes that astounded the family.
The boy’s mother, Andrea Leininger, said he began having nightmares when he was about
two years old. She said he would scream “airplane crash, on fire, little man can’t get out.”
The parents took James to Carol Bowman, a counselor and therapist, who encouraged the boy
to talk about his memories. Bowman told news reporters she believes that the spirits of the dead can return in the bodies
of newborn children. She said James was at an age when former lives are most easily recalled. Eventually the nightmares went
away but young Leininger’s memories became more detailed.
Among the information that came from the boy’s lips was that he was flying a Corsair
from a boat named the Natoma and that it had been struck in the engine by a Japanese aircraft. He knew this because the other
plane had a sun painted on its side. He complained about the Corsair having frequent flat tires. He said his first name was
James and his best friend was a man named Jack Larson.
Research by the family revealed that the Corsair, an aircraft especially designed with folding
wings to accommodate storage on the lower decks of World War II aircraft carriers, were known for blowing tires when coming
in for landings.
The research revealed that an escort carrier called the USS Natoma Bay existed and was involved
in the Battle of Iwo Jima. During that battle 21 members of the ship’s crew perished. Only one of them had a first name
of James. He was Lt. James Huston who died when his plane was hit in the engine by Japanese antiaircraft fire on March 3,
1945, and sent down in flames. The crash was witnessed by Huston’s fellow flier Jack Larson.
Are the vivid memories of a little boy growing up in Louisiana proof of reincarnation? Some
believe that our spirits return over and over again to occupy new bodies after death. Others like to believe that we have
a choice between returning or going on into the light after our time is over.
Whatever the truth, Leininger’s story strongly suggests that there truly exists a life
after death. If our fate is to return to this planet in yet another body, then we suggest that the urgency of caring for the
planet, the Mother that provides for us, is more urgent that we may have ever thought.
Her death from overpopulation, pollution and the ravaging by greedy profiteers and the potential
extinction of all life may be much more serious than anyone can imagine.