Three American servicemen are returning home from World War Two. They hitch a ride in the same B-17 bomber that will take them all back to their Middle American home town of Boone City. The three men are Fred Derry (Dana Andrews), Al Stephenson (Fredric March) and Homer Parrish (Harold Russell). The men represent the three different services (Air Force, Army and Navy), with Fred an Air Force officer and bombardier, Al an army sergeant and Homer a sailor. The three men all have the same general problems with returning to civilian life, as well as their own specific problems relating to their individual circumstances.