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Caleb Collins
Caleb Collins

12 O'Clock High: A Tribute to the Men Who Flew and Fought in World War II



The 12 O'Clock High Logbook: The Unofficial History of the Novel, Motion Picture, and TV Series




Introduction




If you are a fan of World War II aviation, you have probably heard of 12 O'Clock High, a classic story of courage, leadership, and sacrifice in the skies over Europe. But did you know that there is a book that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about this epic saga? It's called The 12 O'Clock High Logbook: The Unofficial History of the Novel, Motion Picture, and TV Series, and it's a must-read for anyone who loves history, aviation, or Hollywood.




The 12 O'Clock High Logbook: The Unofficial History of the Novel, Motion Picture, and TV Series down



The 12 O'Clock High Logbook is a comprehensive and detailed account of how a novel written by two Army Air Force officers became a blockbuster movie starring Gregory Peck and a popular TV series produced by Quinn Martin. It also reveals how these different media versions captured the essence of World War II air combat and its impact on the men who fought it. The book is packed with rare photographs, fresh interviews, and behind-the-scenes stories that will fascinate and entertain you.


In this article, we will give you an overview of what The 12 O'Clock High Logbook covers and why it's worth reading. We will explore how the novel, movie, and TV series came to be, what they have in common, and how they differ. We will also highlight some of the main themes and messages that resonate throughout this remarkable story.


The Novel




The origin of 12 O'Clock High can be traced back to two men who served in the Eighth Air Force during World War II: Beirne Lay Jr. and Sy Bartlett. They were both pilots who flew missions over Nazi-occupied Europe from England. They witnessed first-hand the horrors and heroism of aerial warfare. They also experienced the stress and strain of commanding a bomber group under constant enemy fire.


After the war, Lay and Bartlett decided to write a novel based on their experiences. They wanted to tell the truth about what it was like to be a bomber crew in World War II. They also wanted to pay tribute to their comrades who gave their lives for freedom. They named their novel 12 O'Clock High, after the code word for enemy fighters attacking from directly above.


The novel tells the story of the 918th Bomb Group, a fictional unit that is suffering from low morale, high casualties, and poor performance. The group is assigned a new commander, Brigadier General Frank Savage, a tough and demanding leader who tries to whip the group into shape. Savage faces resistance and resentment from his men, who think he is too harsh and uncaring. He also struggles with his own doubts and demons, as he pushes himself and his men to the limit.


The novel is a realistic and gripping portrayal of World War II air combat. It shows the bravery and fear, the camaraderie and conflict, the triumph and tragedy of the bomber crews. It also explores the psychological and moral aspects of war, such as the effects of stress, fatigue, and guilt on the human mind. The novel is a powerful and moving tribute to the men who flew and fought in the Mighty Eighth.


The Movie




The novel 12 O'Clock High was published in 1948 and became a bestseller. It caught the attention of Twentieth Century-Fox, who bought the rights to make a movie adaptation. The studio hired Henry King to direct the film, and assigned Lay and Bartlett to write the screenplay. They also cast Gregory Peck as General Savage, Dean Jagger as Major Stovall, Hugh Marlowe as Colonel Gately, Gary Merrill as Colonel Davenport, and Robert Arthur as Sergeant McIllhenny.


The movie followed the novel closely, but made some changes to suit the cinematic medium. For example, the movie condensed the time span of the story from several months to several weeks. It also added some scenes and characters that were not in the novel, such as a love interest for Savage and a German spy in the group. The movie also toned down some of the violence and profanity of the novel, to comply with the Hollywood Production Code.


The movie was released in 1949 and became a huge hit. It received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. It was praised for its realistic and authentic depiction of World War II air combat. It was also lauded for its superb acting, especially by Peck, who gave one of his finest performances as Savage. The movie won two Academy Awards: Best Sound Recording and Best Supporting Actor for Jagger. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor for Peck, and Best Screenplay.


The movie 12 O'Clock High set a new standard for war films. It influenced many later films that dealt with similar themes, such as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Longest Day (1962), The Dirty Dozen (1967), and Apocalypse Now (1979). It also became a favorite among military leaders and educators, who used it as a case study of leadership and management.


The TV Series




In 1964, Quinn Martin, a prolific producer of TV shows such as The Untouchables and The Fugitive, decided to bring 12 O'Clock High to television. He obtained the rights from Fox and hired William D. Gordon and Frank Glicksman to create the series. They cast Robert Lansing as General Savage, Frank Overton as Major Harvey Stovall, Paul Burke as Colonel Joe Gallagher, Chris Robinson as Sergeant Sandy Komansky, Barney Phillips as Major Cobb, Lew Gallo as Major Kaiser, Robert Dornan as Captain Fowler, Andrew Duggan as Brigadier General Ed Britt, John Larkin as Major General Wiley Crowe, Tom Skerritt as Captain Evans Vestal Jr., John Van Dreelen as Colonel Richter Von Kreutzenberg.


The TV series expanded on the movie by adding more characters and stories. It also made some changes to suit the TV medium. For example, the TV series changed the name of the bomb group from 918th to 918th Air Force Base Group (AFBG). It also changed some of the ranks and roles of the characters. For instance, Savage was promoted from brigadier general to major general in charge of all bomber operations in England. Gallagher was introduced as a new commander of the 918th AFBG after Savage's transfer.


The TV Series




In 1964, Quinn Martin, a prolific producer of TV shows such as The Untouchables and The Fugitive, decided to bring 12 O'Clock High to television. He obtained the rights from Fox and hired William D. Gordon and Frank Glicksman to create the series. They cast Robert Lansing as General Savage, Frank Overton as Major Harvey Stovall, Paul Burke as Colonel Joe Gallagher, Chris Robinson as Sergeant Sandy Komansky, Barney Phillips as Major Cobb, Lew Gallo as Major Kaiser, Robert Dornan as Captain Fowler, Andrew Duggan as Brigadier General Ed Britt, John Larkin as Major General Wiley Crowe, Tom Skerritt as Captain Evans Vestal Jr., John Van Dreelen as Colonel Richter Von Kreutzenberg.


The TV series expanded on the movie by adding more characters and stories. It also made some changes to suit the TV medium. For example, the TV series changed the name of the bomb group from 918th to 918th Air Force Base Group (AFBG). It also changed some of the ranks and roles of the characters. For instance, Savage was promoted from brigadier general to major general in charge of all bomber operations in England. Gallagher was introduced as a new commander of the 918th AFBG after Savage's transfer.


The TV series ran for three seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1967. It aired 78 episodes in total. It received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike. It was praised for its realistic and dramatic portrayal of World War II air combat. It also featured guest stars such as Lee Marvin, Robert Duvall, James Whitmore, Martin Sheen, and William Shatner.


However, the TV series also faced some challenges and difficulties. It had to deal with censorship issues that limited what it could show or say on screen. It had to cope with budget constraints that affected the quality and quantity of the war footage and special effects. It had to compete with other popular shows on rival networks, such as Bonanza and Batman. And it had to deal with cast changes that affected the chemistry and continuity of the show.


For example, at the end of the first season, Robert Lansing was fired from the show due to creative differences with Quinn Martin. He was replaced by Paul Burke as Gallagher, who became the new lead character for seasons two and three. This decision was unpopular with many fans and critics, who preferred Lansing's portrayal of Savage. The ratings began to decline after Lansing's departure.


Another example was the switch from black-and-white to color in the third season. This was done to attract more viewers and advertisers, but it also increased the production costs and reduced the realism of the war scenes. Some fans felt that the color episodes lacked the grittiness and authenticity of the black-and-white ones.


Despite these problems, the TV series 12 O'Clock High remained a quality show that respected its source material and its audience. It continued to explore the themes and messages of war, leadership, and sacrifice that made the novel and movie so compelling. It also continued to honor and celebrate the men who flew and fought in World War II.


The Legacy




The 12 O'Clock High Logbook is a book that preserves and enriches the legacy of 12 O'Clock High in all its forms: novel, movie, and TV series. It is a book that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about this amazing story and its creators.


The book is a labor of love for co-authors Allan T. Duffin and Paul Matheis, who are both avid fans and experts of 12 O'Clock High. They spent years researching and writing this book, interviewing dozens of people who were involved in or influenced by 12 O'Clock High. They also collected hundreds of rare photographs, documents, memorabilia, and behind-the-scenes stories that have never been published before.


The book is a comprehensive and detailed account of how 12 O'Clock High came to be and how it evolved over time. It covers every aspect of 12 O'Clock High: its historical background, its literary origins, its cinematic adaptation, its television production, its cultural impact, and its enduring appeal. It also compares and contrasts the different versions of 12 O'Clock High, highlighting their similarities and differences, their strengths and weaknesses, their successes and failures.


The book is a must-read for anyone who loves 12 O'Clock High, whether they are fans of the novel, the movie, or the TV series. It is also a must-read for anyone who loves history, aviation, or Hollywood. It is a book that will entertain and educate you, that will make you laugh and cry, that will make you think and feel.


The book is a tribute to 12 O'Clock High and to the men who inspired it. It is a book that honors the courage, leadership, and sacrifice of the bomber crews of World War II. It is a book that celebrates the artistry, creativity, and passion of the writers, actors, and producers of 12 O'Clock High. It is a book that shares the magic, the mystery, and the wonder of 12 O'Clock High.


Conclusion




In this article, we have given you an overview of what The 12 O'Clock High Logbook covers and why it's worth reading. We have explored how the novel, movie, and TV series came to be, what they have in common, and how they differ. We have also highlighted some of the main themes and messages that resonate throughout this remarkable story.


The 12 O'Clock High Logbook is a book that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about 12 O'Clock High. It is a book that preserves and enriches the legacy of this classic saga of World War II aviation. It is a book that appeals to WWII buffs, aviation enthusiasts, and Hollywood fans alike.


If you are interested in learning more about 12 O'Clock High, or if you are looking for a gift for someone who is, we highly recommend that you check out The 12 O'Clock High Logbook. It is a book that you will enjoy reading and re-reading, that you will treasure and share with others.


FAQs





  • What is 12 O'Clock High?



12 O'Clock High is a story of courage, leadership, and sacrifice in World War II air combat. It was originally a novel written by Beirne Lay Jr. and Sy Bartlett in 1948. It was adapted into a movie starring Gregory Peck in 1949. It was also made into a TV series produced by Quinn Martin from 1964 to 1967.


  • When was the novel published and who wrote it?



The novel was published in 1948 by Harper & Brothers. It was written by Beirne Lay Jr. and Sy Bartlett, who were both Army Air Force officers who served in the Eighth Air Force during World War II. They based their novel on their own experiences and those of their comrades.


  • When was the movie released and who starred in it?



The movie was released in 1949 by Twentieth Century-Fox. It was directed by Henry King and written by Lay and Bartlett. It starred Gregory Peck as General Frank Savage, Dean Jagger as Major Harvey Stovall, Hugh Marlowe as Colonel Keith Davenport, Gary Merrill as Colonel Ben Gately, Robert Arthur as Sergeant McIllhenny, Millard Mitchell as General Patrick Pritchard, Paul Stewart as Major Doc Kaiser, John Kellogg as Major Cobb.


  • When was the TV series aired and who produced it?



The TV series was aired from 1964 to 1967 on ABC. It was produced by Quinn Martin Productions in association with 20th Century-Fox Television. It was created by William D. Gordon and Frank Glicksman. It starred Robert Lansing as General Frank Savage (season one), Paul Burke as Colonel Joe Gallagher (seasons two and three), Frank Overton as Major Harvey Stovall (season one), Chris Robinson as Sergeant Sandy Komansky (seasons two and three), Barney Phillips as Major Doc Kaiser (seasons one and two), Lew Gallo as Major Joe Cobb (season one), Robert Dornan as Captain Bob Fowler (seasons two and three), Andrew Duggan as Brigadier General Ed Britt (seasons two and three), John Larkin as Major General Wiley Crowe (seasons one and two), Tom Skerritt as Captain Evans Vestal Jr. (season three), John Van Dreelen as Colonel Richter Von Kreutzenberg (season three).


  • Where can I buy or read The 12 O'Clock High Logbook?



You can buy or read The 12 O'Clock High Logbook from various online platforms such as Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com. You can also find it in some bookstores and libraries. You can choose between the paperback or the Kindle edition. The book has 428 pages and costs $29.95 for the paperback and $9.95 for the Kindle edition.


The 12 O'Clock High Logbook is a book that you will not regret buying or reading. It is a book that will enrich your knowledge and appreciation of 12 O'Clock High and its creators. It is a book that will inspire and entertain you with its stories and insights. It is a book that will make you proud and grateful for the men who flew and fought in World War II.


So what are you waiting for? Get your copy of The 12 O'Clock High Logbook today and enjoy this amazing book!





Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something new. I also hope you are interested in reading The 12 O'Clock High Logbook and discovering more about this fascinating story.


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