12 O’Clock High

by abossolaComment — Updated August 3, 2023

September 18, 1964 – January 13, 1967
78 one hour episodes (3 seasons)
in B&W (1964–67) and color (last half of 1967) on ABC
Created by: Sy Bartlett & Beirne Lay, Jr.
Produced by: Quinn Martin


  • Frank Overton   —   Major Harvey Stovall
  • Robert Lansing   —   Brigadier General Frank Savage
  • John Larkin   —  .. Major General Wiley Crowe
  • Chris Robinson   —   Technical Sergeant Alexander “Sandy” Komansky
  • Paul Burke   —  … Colonel Joseph Anson Gallagher
  • Andrew Duggan   —   Brigadier General Ed Britt
  • Robert Dornan   —   Captain Fowler
  • Paul Newlan   —   General Pritchard
  • Lew Gallo   —   Major Joe Cobb


This show was classified a military drama and it followed the exploits both in the air and on the ground of the 918th Heavy Bombardment Group. They were stationed in England during World War II from mid-1942 through 1944.

One of the more unique things about this show is the use of actual military footage of bombings of Germany and occupied territories during the war. Some of this footage is from the bombardiers vantage point and some is shot from the planes nose cameras. This mingling of vintage war footage with newer film techniques was often very obvious but added even more reality to the series.

The group is commanded of Brig. Gen. Frank Savage during the first season but changed to Col. Joseph Anson Gallagher for the second and third seasons. The series was entirely based on the 1949 film of the same title starring Gregory Peck as Gen. Savage.

Video Clip of 12 O’Clock High (Note: Color was introduced in the last season only, 1967)


Frank Overton died of a heart attack in 1967, he was only 49
Robert Lansing died in 1994 of cancer, he was 66
John Larkin died in 1965 of a heart attack (he was currently filming the first season of 12 O’Clock High), he was only 52
Paul Burke passed away in 2009 of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, he was 83
Andrew Duggan died of throat cancer in 1988, he was 64

60s tv Trivia

A privately owned “vintage” B-17 was used extensively in the filming of the show but because the one plane had to look like many different planes landing or taking off it was constantly being repainted.

Because flying the B-17 required the studio to pay for two pilots and a small crew, in seasons 2 and 3 less and less footage of the plane actually flying was shot.1960s television60s wartime drama showsixties tv shows1960s tv - 12 O'Clock High12 O'Clock High - 1960s tv

WWII drama 1960s tv

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