Reincarnation: Little Boy Claims He’s a World War II Fighter Pilot

Reincarnation: Little Boy Claims He’s a World War II Fighter Pilot

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Most of us at some point in our lives have had uncanny experiences that we cannot explain. Whether it’s being at a place or event familiar to us, but never actually having been there, or recounting a set of circumstances eerily familiar, although never actually having experienced them.

The French call it “Déjà vu”, which translates to “already seen”, meaning that a person has a feeling they’ve done something that they’ve already lived through, without actually living through it.

However, another possibility may be the experience you’re feeling of familiarity may have already happened to you in another lifetime.


According to Bruce and Andrea Leininger, co-authors of the critically acclaimed true story titled “Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot”.

The book chronicles in detail how their 2-year old son, James, began having nightmares of being shot down in a fighter plane during WWII. After several months of this, Bruce was finally able to figure out what their son was saying. “I was able to finally determine what he was saying. And he was saying, ‘Airplane crash on fire, little man can’t get out’.”

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Andrea recalls back to when James was about 4 or 5 years old, they saw a model WWII airplane in a toy store window and Andrea referenced the “bomb” under the plane.

James quickly turned to his mom, correcting her, “That’s not a bomb, Mummy,” he replied. “That’s a drop tank.” Just a toddler talking like he was a military historian. How had he known about the gas tank used by aircraft to extend their range?

As the nightmares continued, she asked him, “Who is the little man?

Me,” he answered.

His father asked, “What happened to your plane?

James replied, “It crashed on fire.”

Why did your plane crash?



It got shot,” he said.

Who shot your plane?

James made a disgusted face. “The Japanese!” he said, with indignation.

He said he knew it was the Japanese because of “the big red sun“. Was he describing the Japanese symbol of the rising sun painted on their warplanes that American pilots refer to as “meatballs”?

Tentatively, Andrea began to suggest reincarnation. Perhaps, James had lived a past life? Bruce reacted angrily. There must be a rational explanation for all this.

As James got older the dreams continued, becoming more and more definitive. Until one day, James, who had just celebrated his 11th birthday, began reciting military jargon to his parents who couldn’t understand how their son was able to get that sort of slang information, usually reserved for a bygone generation of WWII veterans.

During this time, young James began also drawing pictures of airplanes crashing, along with naming a ship called the “Natoma Bay” and a fighter pilot he “flew with” named Jack. Bruce immediately went on the Internet and verified that there was such a ship named the “USS Natoma Bay” along with a fighter pilot onboard named Jack Larson.

Even more astounding, the description James gave of the fighter pilot being shot down matched identically to the event that killed fighter pilot James McReady Huston Jr. of Pennsylvania, in March of 1945.

Although there were some minor discrepancies as to the exact aircraft McReady Huston was flying on that fateful day (a FM2 Wildcat rather than Corsairs), the substance of his dreams were eerily accurate.

James’ father even went as far as to talk to actual veterans who had been on the USS Natoma Bay and took his son to a reunion of the Natoma Bay pilots, where James eerily identified one of the attendees and called him by name. Another spooky detail was that James had three toy action figures he called “Billy, Walter and Leon”. Coincidentally, it turned out that McReady Huston had three squad mates named Leon Conner, Walter Devlin and Billie Peeler, who had also died in battle.