12 O'Clock High: Season 2, Episode 5

Big Brother (11 Oct. 1965)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, War
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As part of a brand new strategy called "shuttle bombing", the 918th lands in North Africa at the end of the first leg of the flight seriously short on fuel. Unfortunately, they are forced ... See full summary »



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Title: Big Brother (11 Oct 1965)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Burke ...
Chris Robinson ...
Lt. Col. Preston Gallagher
Lt. Betty Russo
Robert Colbert ...
Maj. Dutton
Douglas Henderson ...
Maj. Lecroy
Harry Millard ...
Captain Strader
Robert Sorrells ...
Staff Sgt. Webhorn
Robert Biheller ...
Sergeant Bessy
William Swan ...
Ted Markland ...
Trevor Cuming ...
Scout Officer
Hans Heyde ...
German Officer
Robert Dornan ...
Capt. Johnson


As part of a brand new strategy called "shuttle bombing", the 918th lands in North Africa at the end of the first leg of the flight seriously short on fuel. Unfortunately, they are forced to use an airfield that has only just been liberated from the Germans by a motley group of Allied units commanded, by chance, by Col. Gallagher's older brother, Preston. Now the Nazis are determined to take the field back in a massive counterattack. Not only are Preston's forces badly outnumbered and out-gunned, but he is suffering from battle fatigue and on the verge of a breakdown. To make matters worse, he has commandeered his brother's fuel for his own plan to retreat, leaving Joe's planes and his mission in grave danger. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War




Release Date:

11 October 1965 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the German aircraft strafe the airfield as the fuel-carrying cargo plane arrives, TSgt Komansky, whose duties include being a machine-gunner on Col Gallagher's crew, is standing right next to Gallagher. Gallagher should have let Komansky man the machine gun (which is identical to those in his turret on the plane) instead of taking it himself. See more »

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User Reviews

20 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've always been a big fan of this series and always will be, one reason being the different guest stars - Jack Lord (before Hawaii Five-O) and the lovely Julie Adams in this episode.

But Hollywood misses a LOT of technical details, and a big one ruins the major premise of this episode - that the limited amount of gasoline available can either be used by Colonel Gallagher's bombers, or by his brother's (Jack Lord) ground troops for their trucks and tanks. WWII aircraft could NOT use the same gasoline as WWII trucks and tanks!!

WWII ground vehicles were designed with low-compression engines because gasoline you were likely to find in Europe & North Africa was low octane & poor quality, but army trucks & tanks could run just fine on it. If you absolutely had to, you could drive a few miles using aviation gasoline if you took it easy on the throttle, but the engine would overheat, blow spark plugs and burn valves before long. On the flip-side, WWII aircraft engines would be down on power so much and would "knock" so bad on the low octane gasoline for trucks & tanks that the planes wouldn't even make it to the end of a runway - it'd be like trying to race a NASCAR car on gasoline for your lawnmower!

The show's writers and producers either didn't know that (probably didn't) or figured the public didn't know, but especially in the 1960's when the show was produced, I'd say most people did know - I sure did & I was only 12 years old when this episode aired! Knowing that "little detail", what happens in this episode couldn't possibly have happened (airplanes using gasoline for trucks & tanks), but if you can overlook that, the show has the heroic action you expect from "12 O'Clock High".

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