In Paris, John-Boy becomes a witness to the ongoing carnage of land mines, even though the war in Europe is over, and writes an article for Stars & Stripes to publicize the need for their removal. While in Paris, he falls in love but must return home to Walton's Mountain.
Cindy has a premonition of Ben being captured by the Japanese--which proves to be true when the family receives a telegram saying he is a prisoner of war.
The Walton family hears of the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and awaits word of the Japanese Army's surrender. Jason, home on leave but believing he will soon be sent to the South Pacific, alienates his girlfriend. Ben and his buddy Norm are prisoners of a fanatic Japanese guard who uses them to gain his own freedom as the war comes to an end.
Ben returns home from military service with plans to study engineering. Erin's vacation is disrupted when she gives Cindy her gas stamps and when J.D. Pickett claims he can't handle the business without her.
John tells the family he must take Olivia to Arizona for her health.
A new minister comes to Walton's Mountain church and quickly disturbs the congregation. But he soon becomes an important member of the community, especially as he helps Jason and Toni make an important decision about marriage.
Olivia returns to find her family deeply involved in the war effort. When the Satterfields receive news of the death of their son, John is told he can expect to pay this loss with the life of one of his own sons.
Jim-Bob is threatened by the father of a man who lost his son in the war--after John approved the boy's draft by the military. But the news that John-Boy has been taken as a prisoner of war in Europe brings the families together in their grief.
John's military security clearance is threatened when it is discovered he did not graduate from high school. Mary Ellen takes over for the county nurse and encounters difficulties with the mountain folk.
Olivia seeks help from the Pickett defense plant for a day nursery for the children of the defense workers but encounters much difficulty. When Corabeth discovers a perfumed handkerchief in her husband's pocket, she suspects the worst of Ike.
Home on leave from his ship in the South Pacific, Ashley Longworth, Jr. asks Erin to marry him immediately. Erin is thrilled, but begins to have doubts when Ashley tells her he has vowed never to enter a church again.
Just before her thirteenth birthday, Elizabeth becomes reluctant to grow up, and she generates a poltergeist, which causes mischief. Jason has an advice-to-the-lovelorn radio show and gets into more trouble than he can handle.
As Mary Ellen's baby comes due, one of her friends' baby is born prematurely and stillborn. Out of grief, she torments Mary Ellen with talk of bad omens and portents about Mary Ellen's baby. Jason gets a job at the burlesque theater.
Mary Ellen gives birth, but a grieving neighbor steals the baby. The leader of a gospel choir hears Jason play at the burlesque theater and offers him a job.
The war seems very close to Walton's Mountain as two young English orphans seek refuge from the German blitzkrieg, everyone in the family becomes involved in military preparations and Jim-Bob rebuilds an old short-wave radio, which he uses to communicate with people under siege in England. Olivia's faith in God is tested by the horrors of the oncoming war and by events within her community and her family.
Christmas comes to Walton's mountain as preparations for war occupy everyone's attention. But Olivia's faith in God -- tested by the horrors on the oncoming war and by events within her community -- is reaffirmed when Jim-Bob uses his short-wave radio to located the two English children's mother.
Daisy accepts John-Boy's proposal of marriage, and he brings his fiancée home to meet the family. But John-Boy learns a secret that Daisy has been hiding, which prevents their wedding. Alone, he accepts a job offer in London.
Jason loses his musical scholarship because of the school's lack of money and takes a job playing music at a local roadhouse to pay his tuition. At the same time he helps a famous musician (MERLE HAGGARD) overcome the loss of his son.
With the Walton children growing up, this may be the last Christmas that the entire family can spend together. The family plans a special celebration for Olivia, but a series of disasters keeps everyone away from home. Instead of becoming upset, Olivia feels proud of how her children respond to help her community when they are needed.
Feeling frustrated with her life, Olivia desires a change. When John orders her not to change her hairstyle, she goes to Corabeth for a permanent. But the results are so bad that she is embarrassed to show herself. Grandma becomes upset when she is asked to share her duty as church organist.
Before she fell ill, Grandma Walton had suggested that John-Boy publish the first commemorative Blue Ridge Chronicle to mark the day that the Jefferson County Doughboys returned from the war. Now he has decided to create a memorial of which she would be honored, but the town's decorated hero, Sheriff Bridges, shows little interest.
When Walton Mountain's only schoolteacher and its minister suddenly decide to get married, their only chance for a honeymoon depends on Olivia taking over the classroom and John-Boy giving the Sunday sermon.
When an investigative reporter comes to Walton's Mountain to write a historical guide to the State of Virginia, he uncovers a secret that embarrasses the Baldwin sisters and angers the rest of the community.
Family loyalty is stretched to the breaking point when Walton family kin call for help to fight against the United States Government's notice of eviction.
Family loyalty is stretched to the breaking point when Walton family kin call for help to fight against the United States Government's notice of eviction, but the sight of blood has a sobering effect on all the Waltons.
Olivia's surprise birthday party is attended by two unexpected guests when a United States Airmail plane makes an emergency landing in the Waltons' meadow--and Olivia is treated to her first ride in an airplane.
A weary Olivia embarks on a one-woman "sit-down" strike, prompting her husband to take her on a belated honeymoon--after 19 years of marriage. John-Boy is hesitant to allow his relationship with Marcia to become serious.
The Walton family is so proud of the eldest son, John-Boy, graduating from high school, that everyone sacrifices to buy him a new suit for the commencement ceremony. But when the family cow dies, John-Boy returns his new suit for the cash to buy another cow.