General Savage decides to court martial a pilot, Captain Ritchie, who disobeyed a direct order and left the bomber formation to protect a friend, Lt. Lockridge, and his crew who have bailed... See full summary »

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Episode complete credited cast:
...
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John Larkin ...
Maj. Gen. Wiley Crowe
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Capt. Wade Ritchie
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Lt. Libby MacAndrews
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Alan Reed Jr. ...
Jonesy
James Noah ...
Pete
James Secrest ...
Mike
Lyle Sudrow ...
Prosecuting Attorney
Lew Brown ...
Defense Attorney
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Storyline

General Savage decides to court martial a pilot, Captain Ritchie, who disobeyed a direct order and left the bomber formation to protect a friend, Lt. Lockridge, and his crew who have bailed out of their crippled B-17. Because everyone else considers Ritchie a hero, Savage's severe action instigates a fall in morale and hostile feelings among his men. Savage must convince his troops that while Ritchie's deed may have saved the lives of the 7 men, it also jeopardized the security of the remaining 200 men in the Group. This is especially difficult for Lockridge, who must weigh his gratitude to his friend against the inescapable reality of Savage's argument. Written by alexk-6

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Drama | War

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2 October 1964 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Leaving a formation was strictly forbidden. Bombers relied on mutual protection from their machine guns they gave each other. See more »

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The Burden of Command
21 April 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

12 O'CLOCK HIGH "The Men and the Boys" 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 third of the series.

The Group is returning from a raid over occupied Europe when one of the B-17's is badly shot up. The pilot, Glenn Corbett, radios that they are falling out of formation due to battle damage. One of the ships, flown by Lou Antonio, requests permission to also fall out in order to fly escort for Corbett.

General Savage, (Robert Lansing) refuses permission, but Antonio does it anyways. Corbett and his crew are now over the English Channel and bail out. When the group makes it back to England, Lansing calls Antonio out for his actions. He had endangered the entire formation by breaking away. He is going to bring Antonio up on charges in front of a court martial.

Corbett and his crew are pulled out of the drink by the British air sea rescue boys, and returned to base. Corbett credits Antonio with saving his crew and himself from the Germans. He cannot believe Lansing is going to prefer charges. Lansing is pleased that Corbett and his men have returned and puts Corbett up for a decoration.

Now the fat is in the fire as Antonio is busted back in rank, and Corbett refuses the medal. The whole mess is going to be kicked up to headquarters. This of course will look bad on the Bomber Group and Lansing.

Several days later the group is sent out on a priority mission. All available aircraft and pilots are to fly. Antonio is assigned to fly with Lansing as co-pilot while Corbett is second in command of the formation. This time it is Lansing's aircraft that is shot full of holes and drops out. Lansing is hit in the shoulder and Antonio must take over the ship. Now Corbett must decide if he can risk slowing the group to fly cover for Lansing. He orders the group to continue while Lansing and Antonio fall behind.

Needless to say, a gaggle of Focke-Wulf 190's put in an appearance. The lone B-17 will be an easy meal for the Luftwaffe fighters. The meal though is cancelled, as a squadron of American P-47 Thunderbolts arrives. They chase off the Germans and provide an escort back to England.

Back in England, Corbett now sees the difficulty Lansing faces being in command of the Group. He withdraws his grievance with Lansing before it goes up the chain of command.

Also in the cast with small bits is Sally Kellerman and UK actress, Hazel Court.


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