News
0

Veteran Clark Gable

At age 40 Clark Gable was a bit old for military service during WWII but he didn’t feel that the work he had been doing to raise money through war bonds was enough. He sent a telegram to President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for a role in the war effort. The president replied, “STAY WHERE […]

Veteran Clark Gable

At age 40 Clark Gable was a bit old for military service during WWII but he didn’t feel that the work he had been doing to raise money through war bonds was enough. He sent a telegram to President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for a role in the war effort. The president replied, “STAY WHERE YOU ARE.”

Gable didn’t. He volunteered for the Army Air Forces, went to the 13-week Officer Candidate School, and was trained as a photographer and aerial gunner. Because of his Hollywood connections, he was made a part of the First Motion Picture Unit. Gable was assigned to go to Britain to film Combat America, a propaganda movie about air gunners.

Gable was assigned to a squadron from 1942-1945 but not to a particular crew. They wanted him to have an outer-wing aircraft with a clear view of the skies for his air-to-air photography. A crew member recalls, “I can tell you, they didn’t put him on the milk runs. He took a lot of pictures of flak bursting beside his aircraft.” “They were very real missions in which he could have been wounded or killed,”

Gable followed the crew of a B-17, named “Ain’t It Gruesome,” through 24 missions, including one where the aircraft was shot up by German Focke Wulf Fw 190 fighters and lost an engine, with the crew eventually bailing over a field in England when fog closed in.

Adolf Hitler offered a reward to any German soldier who could capture screen legend Clark Gable alive. The “Gone with the Wind” star was reportedly the Führer’s favorite actor, in part because of his German ancestry. Despite the bounty on his head, Gable continued to serve and later earned the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Thank you for your service from Soldiers’ Stories.

Share:
  • googleplus
  • linkedin
  • tumblr
  • rss
  • pinterest

Nick Reed

There are 0 comments

Leave a comment

Want to express your opinion?
Leave a reply!