Waist gunner Clark Gable with 8th Air Force B-17F bomber, United Kingdom, 1943

Caption   Waist gunner Clark Gable with 8th Air Force B-17F bomber, United Kingdom, 1943 ww2dbase
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Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 6 Apr 2007

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Hobilar says:
23 Sep 2007 04:37:34 AM

Although he was beyond the draft age at the time the U.S. entered WW II, Clark Gable enlisted as a private in the AAF on Aug. 12, 1942 at Los Angeles. He attended the Officers Candidate School at Miami Beach, Fla. and graduated as a second lieutenant on Oct. 28, 1942. He then attended aerial gunnery school and in Feb. 1943, on personal orders from Gen. Arnold, went to England to make a motion picture of aerial gunners in action. He was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group at Polebrook and although neither ordered nor expected to do so, flew five operational missions over Europe in B-17s to obtain the combat film footage he believed was required for producing the movie entitled Combat America. Gable was admired by the men of the 351st because “he had guts.” Capt. Cable returned to the U.S. in Oct. 1943 and was relieved from active duty as a major on Jun. 12, 1944 at his own request, since he was over-age for combat.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 May 2010 04:49:35 PM

More about Captain Clark Gable: Clark Gable was older than the other Officer Candidates, and he was falling behind in his studies. His Commanding Officer noted this, and told Gable,think of this as another big Hollywood movie. Clark Gable memorized the training manuals, like a Hollywood script. After he graduated, the USAAF didn't really know where to send Gable. He received orders to report to Gunnery School, he was the only Commissioned Officer, Aerial Gunner in the USAAF. When he returned from his first Combat mission, a teletype was sent noting the safe return of Clark Gable. When he heard this he said what about all the other guys, don't they get a teletype?, so their folks know their safe. He asked, that such a message never be sent out again. Gable made Combat America, its been made on VCR, I don't know about DVD.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Jun 2010 10:30:18 PM

Did you know... Clark Gable graduated 700th in a class of 2,600 men,who were half his age. Gable enlisted at age 41 went through Basic Training,Graduated from Officers Candidate School (OCS) Assigned to Aerial Gunner's School and sent to England to serve with the 8th Air Force. "Combat America" was produced and directed by Clark Gable and his film crew, he was assigned to the 351st Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force. The movie was developed for aerial gunnery training over 50,000 feet of film was shot. Gable served 670 days, and was discharged as a Major on June 12,1944. "Combat America" is available on DVD.
4. Jeff M. Weeks says:
17 Jun 2019 05:18:03 AM

1. My Father James ( Jim ) John Weeks Flight Sergeant No. ( 428926 ? or ) 429840 said he met Clark Gable.
2. He was trained as a Tail Gunner through the 19th Operational Training Unit ( OTU ) of the Royal Australian Airforce ( RAAF ) between 1943 Jul7 - Dec20.
3. Is it possible that USAAF personnel at Polebrook Air Base came in contact with RAAF personnel during training or Missions, rather than just on " R & R " in nearby Townships eg Oundle ?

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