Twelve O'Clock High

Season 1 Episode 2

Follow the Leader

Aired Friday 9:30 PM Sep 25, 1964 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • Brigadier General Savage grew up on a farm and as kid would wave at the mail carrier when he flew back. A few times the pilot would wave back.

    • At the age of twenty General Savage was learning to fly airplanes.

    • When Lieutenant Robert Mellon asks Brig. General Savage why he pushed him so hard, Savage tells him of an incident from his past where his crew was killed and he was afraid it was his fault. Major General Wiley Crowe believed in him and forced him back into the air.

    • This is the first (and only) episode from which all the actors speak their parts through the oxygen mask and they wear goggles over their eyes.

  • Quotes

    • General Savage: (to Lieutenant Mellon) Look, I am faced with a true explanation of a lot of people getting killed. As far as I'm concerned, this is it!

  • Notes

    • This episode has the first (and only) exterior shot ever used of the Lily showing the pilot's cabin with actors in it. All other cockpit shots are interior views.

    • Actor Andrew Prine (Lieutenant Robert Mellon) returns as an unrelated character in the second season 13th episode "The Jones Boys," as Lieutenant Jaydee Jones.

    • The producers shot this episode as the series pilot, yet decided to show it as the second episode (instead of the first episode).

    • An interesting side note is that every character in this story was mentioned in the book and movie though in vastly different context. The writer of this episode is Beirne Lay, Jr., co-author of the book.

    • The bomb on the leader concept was not used this early (Mid 1942) but was used later and was very successful. In fact by the end of the war, the bombardier (a highly trained officer) had been replaced by a "Toggler", a Sergeant who would act as a gunner as well as drop the bombs when the lead aircraft did (hit the "toggle" switch").

  • Allusions