A heroic pilot who takes risks is killed and becomes an unseen teacher of another pilot who falls in love with his sweetheart.
Pete Sandidge (Spencer Tracy) makes a crash landing while on fire. He answers children's questions and says what it is like in the sky. Pete has a date with Dorinda (Irene Dunne), who also makes a dangerous landing. Lt. Col. Nails Kilpatrick (James Gleason) reprimands Pete for bombing at 1,000 feet. Dorinda tells Pete not to be such a hero, and he gives her a dress. Nails promotes Pete and transfers him to Scotland. Dorinda in her new dress dances with Pete, and she asks him to marry her. Pete and Al Yackey (Ward Bond) in Scotland miss Dorinda. She arrives and urges Pete to train pilots in the US because his number is up. Pete reluctantly agrees. Al says there is a German carrier, and Pete kisses Dorinda goodbye. Pete is hit but bombs the carrier before crashing in the sea.
Al tells Dorinda that pilots never die. In the clouds Pete meets the late Dick Rumney (Barry Nelson) and realizes he is dead. His new commander (Lionel Barrymore) tells Pete he will help people. Living people can't see or hear Pete and Rumney. Pete works with Ted Randall (Van Johnson), a millionaire by giving advice. Pete also helps football star Rourke (Don DeFore). Pete urges Ted to socialize, and Ted calls a lonely soldier's mother for him. Nails tells Al that Dorinda is back, and Al finds that she still misses Pete. Al urges Dorinda to go out. Pete comments as he sees Al and Dorinda, who meets Ted.
Dorinda comes back and asks Al about Ted. Planes attack, and Ted shoots down some. Ted misses the one who died, and he reminds Dorinda of Pete. Nails promotes Ted, who asks Dorinda to marry him. Al orders Ted to lead his new squadron. Pete urges Ted to show off in the air, and he is sent before Nails, who gives him a dangerous mission. Rumney takes Pete to his boss, who calls Pete jealous and speaks of freedom in the future. Pete says he will do his job. Pete tells Dorinda he loves her and says goodbye. Dorinda calls Ted Pete and says she won't marry him. Al tells Dorinda that Ted has to blow up a Japanese ammunition dump. She takes off in his plane, and Pete tries to influence her to go back. She goes through anti-aircraft fire, and Pete urges to go up higher, speaking of love and the living. Dorinda goes back, and Pete sets her free to be with Ted.
This spiritual story depicts two worlds and presents
poignant ironies as they interact. Both the living and the dead
learn how to let go of previous attachments.