Twelve O'Clock High

Season 1 Episode 7


Aired Friday 9:30 PM Nov 06, 1964 on ABC

Episode Recap

Rated:  TV-PG:  Major General Wiley Crowe and Brigadier General Frank Savage are discussing the upcoming bombing mission with General Savage question the need to bomb this target.  Major General Wiley Crowe says this is an important target in his mind, as before they war they had the expertise and tools to make parts the Germans could now be using to build a navigation system for flying bombs (V2).  General Savage wonders if it is worth a 40% loss and Major General Wiley Crowe replies it is worth a 100% loss of the 918.

General Savage asks Major Jack Temple if he'd like to pass on the upcoming bombing run, as his next run will be his last before rotating home (or to a desk job).  General Savage suggests it should be a milk run instead of such a difficult run.  Major Temple declines saying he's a pilot and implies he's going to sign up to continuing flying.  They discuss their time at West Point together and how they met over a boxing fight.   Major Temple shows General Savage his good luck charm.

Major Jack Temple leads the low Squadron on a raid to bomb the flying Bomb (V2) assembly plant at Laon. His aircraft "The Lucky Lady" is hit and he is forced to bail out with his crew. Major Temple and 4 of his crew (Kinner, Nichols, Weinstock & Moody) are captured and taken before Oberst Alfred Hoeptner, the commander of the Laon facility. Hoeptner decides that he is going to keep the men prisoner at the factory to prevent them from being bombed. Major Temple states that it is a violation of the Geneva Convention, and Hoeptner agrees hoping that the Americans will file a protest with the Red Cross. All he needs is a little time (3 days) to close down the factory and move the machinery elsewhere by train.

Back at Archbury, Frank & Harvey are listening to Lord Haw Haw's broadcast outlining the capture of Temple and the fact that he and his men are being held at Laon. Frank and Harvey head off to the officers club. After their first round of drinks, Harvey suggests darts and when getting them, they drop around a dark spot on the floor.  This gives General Savage an idea for pinpoint bombing in order to miss his captured and now hostage crew.  He calls HQ and requests, no orders, an immediate recon flight of the area.

Meanwhile at Laon, Temple notices that Germans seem to be evacuating everything but one building. They are using Temple and his men to cover the fact that they are still manufacturing the bombs (navigation system).  When the recon plane sent by Savage flies over, Temple and his men form a straight line pointing to the building. Savage realizes what they are doing in the photograph and convinces Crowe to let him try to hit the target with a single plane before the 100 plane saturation bombing raid takes place.

During this time in Laon, Temple and his men try to escape, and Moody is killed. Realizing that Temple pointed out the building to the recon plane, Hoeptner moves the equipment. When the bombing raid starts, Hoeptner moves Temple and his men out of the compound and into the same bomb shelter he uses, so they won't be killed.  As the first run ocurs, Temple and his men get a chance to escape.  Temple has the opportunity to kill Hoeptner, but makes the decision to knock him out with him bare fist.  After ordering his men to escape and seeing them clear of the factory, Temple goes back to show the bomber(s) the correct building to hit on the second run.  He steals a fuel truck and opens its value wide leaving a trail of fuel.

Hoeptner regains consciousness and sees Major Temple getting ready to light the fuel around the truck.  Hoeptner shoots Temple, who as he goes down throws his lighter.  It ignites the fuel, which travels back to where the truck was sitting and where Hoeptner is now standing.  As the flames reach Hoeptner, he fires again hitting a killing Major Temple.

General Savage's bombardier notices the flames form a pointer and reports this to General Savage who gives permission to change the target on the second run.  Hitting the new target, the bombardier reports target completely destroyed.  General Savage radios "touchdown" to the waiting 100 bombers, who then go to their alternate site for the day.  General Savage returns home, as he's completely out of bombs.  Upon landing Major General Crowe updates General Savage.  Three of the crew reached the French underground, but as we know Major Temple went back.  At this point, though, no one in England knows why he went back.

In the Epilog, General Savage is trying to write to Major Temple's wife with a letter dated June 15, 1942, but is having a hard time.  The G2 report arrives and he learns the run, because of Major Temple was a complete success.  It will set the German's flying bomb program back 4 to 6 months.   We learn from General Savage that he is recommending Major Temple for the Congressional Medal of Honor, so his Son will have it.  The General admits to Major Harvey he is having a rough time writing the letter (since 09:30 this morning) and doesn't know how to write what he feels.  The Major suggests, to the General, he write the truth by saying Jack "was his friend.  He did his duty and considerably more that you're proud of him, that you miss him.  Doesn't that about cover it, Sir?"  General Savage, with a lump in his throat, agrees.  As the episode closes, we see Major Harvey leave with General Savage returning to write the letter to Major Temple's wife (and Son).

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