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This series chronicles the adventures--in the air and on the ground--of the men of the 918th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Eighth Air Force. First commanded by irascible General Frank Savage--and later by Colonel Joe Gallagher, the son of a Pentagon General--the Group is stationed in England, and flies long-range bombing missions into German-held Europe. Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
The meaning of this series' title '12 O'Clock High' is that of an example of a pilot's enemy position call. Allied pilots during World War II would vocally call-out the positions of enemy airplanes by referring to their bearings via the use of a pretend face of a clock. As such, in this case, 12 O'Clock meant the enemy was directly ahead, whereas 6 O'Clock would mean directly behind. "High" or "Low" referred to whether the enemy was above or below the airplane respectively. "Even" meant that the enemy was level with the pilot's plane. See more »
Throughout the series, actors regularly smoked king-sized filter cigarettes, which didn't exist in WWII. See more »
I watched this program with my dad, who was a WWII vet and former POW, when I was very little. Recently, I purchased the entire set and began to watch all over again. I, too, did not accept the death of General Savage and always thought they would find him somewhere and bring him back. The naiveté of the young....
I always felt Colonel Gallagher was a poor replacement until I began to really watch these episodes as an adult. I think people tend to compare the two and there is just not a comparison to be made. Frank Savage was a maverick and a very decisive character. You didn't see him delving out too much sympathy or being overly sentimental. Joe Gallagher had a lot of baggage to carry around with an overbearing General (Max Gallagher) for a father and issues with his self worth. Each character should be judged for their own merit. We knew a lot more about Joe than we did about Frank.
I don't think Robert Lansing should have been replaced and I do think the program would have fared very well had he been allowed to continue the role. However, since the powers that be decided to replace him, we should judge Paul Burke for the person he was portraying and not for his ability to play like he was Frank Savage.
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