"You can live a long time in three days -- sometimes when you're in a tight spot, you can live a year in ten seconds." US Army Air Force Major Bob Collins (Robert Cummings), Captain "Shakespeare" Anders (Don Defore), and Lt. "Handsome" Janoshek (Charles Drake) are three happy-go-lucky combat pilots, decorated heroes who are on a tour promoting War Bonds. Their public relations representative from the Treasury Department, Ivy Hotchkiss (Lizabeth Scott), finds at first that can't do much more than tag along, picking up after them and observing their carousing, especially Collins, who seems to have a wide array of female acquaintances in every city they visit. Indeed, although she says little about it, their carousing is out-of-proportion to their circumstances -- yes, their current mission involves a lot of cramped traveling cross-country. shaking hands, endless speechifying, and even more endless listening to tributes to the heroism of the air corps, all of which gets boring and tiring very fast; but these men act like they're burning the candle at both ends, almost manic in their pursuit of women and laughs, and just as devoted to the three of them enjoying anything they do together, past the point of pilots' usual comraderie. They go so far as to sneak out ahead of one extremely important rally, but eventually Ivy gets them to straighten up and fly right, at least when they're supposed to, and the trio -- who has taken a liking to her for being such as good sport -- agrees to behave, at least when they're supposed to be meeting the public. After a few more misunderstandings, some of them comical, she actually gets to like the trio; the four of them become friends, and Ivy starts getting especially close to Bob, despite his womanizing ways -- but whenever she asks Handsome and Shakespeare about Bob's story, they get very close-mouthed and vague. She doesn't think too much of it, enjoying the time she's having with them, until the truth is accidentally dumped in her lap by a well-meaning medical officer (Rhys Williams) -- that Bob, for all of his freewheeling, happy-go-lucky outlook on life and love, is terminally ill. She suddenly understands their behavior and the true depth of the friendship that Handsome and Shakespeare share with him -- she's also nearly shattered, but she dares not let Bob know that she knows, for fear of destroying what little time he has left. The trio at last becomes a true foursome, bound together around Bob and Ivy.
by Bruce Eder synopsis