Clark Gable Joins the Army
Clark was sworn into service on August 12, 1942. Looking haggard, he wore the same suit he had worn to his wife’s funeral just a few months prior. In the news conference afterward, Clark told reporters, “I don’t want to sell war bonds, I don’t want to make speeches, and I don’t want to entertain. I just want to be sent where the going is rough.”
His service number was 565390 and his dog tag bore identification number 191-257-41. He wore it around his neck along with a small gold locket that contained the remnants of Carole’s ruby clip he had given her on their last Christmas, which was found among the wreckage of her plane crash.
After attending Officers Candidate School in Miami, he was assigned to the 508th squadron of the 351st Heavy Bombardment Group, 1st Air Division, 8th Air Force, stationed in Pueblo, Colorado.
He then served as a combat cameraman in Britain, rose to the rank of major, and eventually was furloughed to Fort Roach, as the First Motion Picture Unit headquarters came to be known. Also trained as an aerial gunner, he flew 5 combat missions with the 8th Air Force’s 351st Bombardment Group while making his films and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. Clark’s discharge papers were signed by Captain Ronald Reagan on June 2, 1944.
Clark reporting on the radio while stationed in London: