Clark Gable visiting the First U S Army hospital in England (Kings Mill Hospital)

Image ID: 22032

Clark Gable visiting the First U S Army hospital in England (Kings Mill Hospital)

Courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives

Sutton Road
Mansfield
England

Kings Mill Hospital was formerly used by the U S Army during World War 2. It was the 30th General Hospital of the U S Army and the first in England. It was visited during the war by Clark Gable, the famous Hollywood actor, whilst he was on active Service in Britain. Clark Gable enlisted as a private in the Air Corps on Aug. 12, 1942 at Los Angeles (though a private that had his uniforms tailored by the MGM costume department). He attended Officers' Candidate School at Miami Beach and graduated as a second lieutenant. He then attended aerial gunnery school and in Feb. 1943, on personal orders from Gen. Arnold, went to England to make a motion picture of aerial gunners in action. He was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group at Polebrook and although neither ordered nor expected to do so, flew operational missions over Europe in B-17s. During his tour of duty, Gable filmed German military installations for U.S. Army Intelligence, which led field marshal Hermann Goering to put a price on his head. It was never collected. He also obtained the combat film footage he believed was required for producing the movie entitled 'Combat America.' While in England he visited his friend and fellow actor David Niven, who had also volunteered for military service. Gable confided to him that he was terrified of being shot down over enemy territory in case that 'Goddamned Hitler' paraded him as a trophy across Germany. Gable returned to the U.S. in Oct. 1943 and was relieved from active duty as a major on Jun. 12, 1944 at his own request, since he was over age for combat. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal.

Date: 1942-1943

Organisation Reference: NCCW001537

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