COLONEL "BAT" GUANO USA (Keenan Wynn), in "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
," led the rump regiment of the 23rd Airborne Division tasked with gaining entry to Burppelson AFB, headquarters of the 843rd Bombardment Wing, finding Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper USAF, the wing commander, and putting him into contact with the President of the United States. This happened on D-Day--the "D" standing for "Detonation," or simply "Doom."
Col. Guano did gain entry to the base. He fought a hard battle, in which several of his men were wounded.
Eventually he approached the door to General Ripper's office and found it locked from the inside. He shot his way in, and found an oddball man wearing a suit--actually a uniform--he did not recognize. That worthy introduced himself as Group Captain Lionel Mandrake RAF, General Ripper's Executive Officer. Col. Guano found General Ripper dead in his bathroom.
He suspected Mandrake of being a deviated pervert (or "prevert" as he pronounced it), and suspected General Ripper found out about his "preversion" and that he was planning a mutiny of "preverts." Other than that, he had his orders to put General Ripper in touch with the President, and nothing else.
Mandrake dumbfounded him with a tale that General Ripper "went as mad as a bloody March Hare and sent the whole wing to attack the Soviets." He also insisted he had two possibilities for a three-letter recall code, and that he must talk to the Strategic Air Command. Col. Guano was skeptical, until Mandrake said, quite reasonably, that he, Mandrake, was automatically in command the moment General Ripper was dead, so that the President would have to speak to him.
Guano let Mandrake prevail upon him to call the President from a public pay telephone with an open line. Guano had to shoot off the lock on a Coca-Cola vending machine--and get himself splashed with the carbonated water used to mix the Coca-Cola and other beverages. But Group Captain Mandrake got his money so he could make a station-to-station call to the Pentagon and get through to the President. He repeated two three-letter code groups: POE and OPE.
Col. Guano learned later that Mandrake had been correct--but that the recall code had come too late.