12 O'Clock High (1964–1967)
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The Sound of Distant Thunder 

General Savage gets a new bombardier, Lt. Lathrop, a goofy, ungainly kid, who just happens to have a knack for putting the bombs precisely on the target. After Lathrop saves his life, ... See full summary »



, (characters based on the novel) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
John Larkin ...
Lt. Andy Lathrop
Mary Lean
Hedley Mattingly ...
Tom Lean
Charles Kuenstle ...
Jeep Driver
Lt. Smith


General Savage gets a new bombardier, Lt. Lathrop, a goofy, ungainly kid, who just happens to have a knack for putting the bombs precisely on the target. After Lathrop saves his life, Savage takes a strong interest in the young man and starts pushing him to improve with the goal of acquiring command abilities, but Lathrop is resistant because of his good-natured but naive outlook on life. His rosy world is rocked, however, when he's on the receiving end of a bombardment, resulting in his own personal tragedy that threatens to seriously undermine his dedication to duty. Written by alexk-6

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Drama | War




Release Date:

16 October 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Oscar nominee Peter Fonda appears as Lt. Andy Lathrop. See more »


Deep in the Heart of Texas
Music by Don Swander
Lyrics by June Hershey
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User Reviews

Early Peter Fonda
6 May 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

12 O'CLOCK HIGH "The Sound of Distant Thunder" 1964

12 O'CLOCK HIGH was a television series about the fictitious 918th Bomber Group of the U.S. Air Force. The Group flew Boeing B-17 bombers and was based out of Archbury Field in England. The series ran for a total of 78 episodes between 1964 and 1967. Regular cast members included, Robert Lansing, Frank Overton, Paul Burke, Chris Robinson and Barney Philips. The series is loosely based on the superb 1949 film of the same name. This episode is the fourth episode of the series.

The commanding officer, Frank Lansing is not sure what to make of the new man assigned to his aircraft. The man is to be the lead bombardier for the entire Bomber Group. The kid, Peter Fonda, is a tall, slow talking sort with a southern drawl who never stops smiling.

The Group heads out on a mission and Fonda proves that he is a first rate bombardier. On the way back, the B-17 is shot up by heavy flak fire. Lansing is wounded and several others killed. It is Fonda that drags Lansing to the exit. He waits till the Bi-17 is over the English Channel before pushing Lansing out and then joining him. The British Air Sea Rescue boys fish the men out of the sea and return them to England.

Lansing is now quite taken with the young man. He puts him up for a decoration and a promotion. He also sends the man out on a leave to visit London. Of course the country rub has never been to anything like London before. He ends up in a bar with a pretty bar maid, Jill Haworth. Needless to say the man is soon smitten with the rather petite Haworth. When he it late returning to base from his leave, he is restricted to base with no leave for a month. The man though continues to show his stuff as a bombardier.

Fonda decides one night to go to town without permission. He steals a jeep and heads for the bar, there, he asks Miss Haworth to marry him. It seems that Fonda has likewise made an impression on the young lass and she agrees.

The whole discussion is now interrupted by a German night time bombing raid. Needless to say, several of the bombs hit the bar and Miss Haworth is killed. Now, Lansing and the MP's show up, and put the pinch on Fonda for going AWOL.

Lansing however can see how torn up Fonda is, and decides not to charge him. He tells him he can do base duties for the next while. Fonda however shows up the next day to take his spot of Lansing's aircraft.

A pretty good episode, that is nowhere as sappy as I might be making it sound like.

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