Do you have an interesting story to share? Have you or somebody you know met Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, or any of the GWTW casts? If so, send an E-mail to me.
Rand Sieling wants to add this part to the story he shared last time.
My father is Merlin C. Sieling, and he died on December 6, 05. He was a TSgt. and gunner in the 8th AAF on B17s. He also helped to administer the gunnery to both Clark Gable and his photographer companion John McIntyre. They were then quiz tested on paper about the Sperry and other turret machine guns, the B17 aircraft, and related items. My father has those old yellowed test papers signed by both men. Gable scored 95, 98.5, and 94.5. McIntire scored 96, 100, and 98. These are T/F and fill-in-blank test in their handwriting. Gable wrote his answers and McIntyre usually printed his answers. Gable and McIntyre were assigned to Class 42-51 and in Section 9. There were 32 Sections. Test days and times for S1-S8 was Fri. hr9, for S9-S16 was Fri. hr9,
for S17-S25 was Fri. hr11, and for S25-S32 was Sat. hr2.
Example of the 2nd week test. Fill-in-blank #11. Name the three common errors that can be made using the ring and bead sight.
Gable wrote: (a)Incorrect eyebase (b)Malaignment of eye with sight (c)LEFT BLANK
McIntyre wrote: (a)Mala alignment of gunners eye (b)Incorrect base with ring sight (c)Improper lead on target
Example of the 3rd week test. This test was mostly about the Sperry, Consolidated, Bendix, and Martin gun turrets. #1 What type of power is used to operate the Sperry turret? Gable wrote: Electro Hydreiulic. McIntyre printed: Electric Hydrolic. Both were correct and given full credit, but both misspelled the word hydraulic.
Example of the 4th week final test. True or False:
#12 The bullet pattern is different for every gun. Gable circled F, then erased it and circled it T (correct). McIntyre also circled T.
#13 The gunner can estimate the size of a target with the use of a ring sight. Gable circled T (wrong) and McIntyre circled F (correct).
The Philip Weiss Auctions, 1 Neil Court, Oceanside NY, 11572, (516)594-0731, will sell these WWII test papers and the collection will be Lot#53. The auction will also be part of www.ebayliveauctions.com . It will be on Saturday, July 23, 05 at 10AM.
Rand Sieling has this story to share. Thanks!
My father was in the 8th AAF and was a gunner on B17s.
Part of your article stated: "The AAF resourcefully
drew the many instructors....Tyndall's commanding
officer selected such a set of instructors....among
them was SSgt. Bill Cramer". My father was TSgt.
Merlin Sieling. He helped to administer the gunnery
to both Gable and McIntire and they were then quiz
tested on paper about the Sperry turrent machineguns,
B17 aircraft, and related items. My father has those
old yellowed test papers signed by both men. Gable
scored 95, 981/2, 941/2. McIntire scored 96, 100, 98.
For your information, the part about:"...Gable and
McIntire were assigned to Class 42-E...", the test
papers are showing they are in Class 42-51 and in
Section 9. There were 32 Sections. Test days and
times for S1-8 was Fri. hr9, for S9-16 was Fri. hr9,
for S17-25 was Fri. hr11, and for S25-32 was Sat. hr2.
Example of the 4th week final test for both men. True
or false: #12 The bullet pattern is different for
every gun. Gable circled F and erased it and circled
it T (correct). #13 The gunner can estimate the size
of a target with the use of a ring sight. Gable
circled T and McIntire circled F (correct).
Hope this info is helpful in some way.
This is directed to the articles on Clark Gable in the eighth Air Force and Actor Clark Gable attended gunnery school at Tyndall AFB
Paul Steven Shapiro has emailed Bob Siler, a contributor to this website with this story to share with us. Thanks!
Note: The error has been fixed on this page.
I ran across you posting and noticed that you have stated that the
original Gable house on Petit was turned into apartment complexes
called " The Gable Estates". This is incorrect. I grew up with John
Clark Gable (Clark Gables son) and made the 20 acres my playground
along with John. My parents bought two homes next door to Kay Gable in
1966 from Ben Crosby, Bing Crosby's brother. John and I rode mini
bikes on the property up until the day his mother Kay sold it to a
developer by the name of Rogoff. He sub-divided the property into many
individual lots where million dollar homes now stand. The original
house still exists although the gentleman who purchased it (Michael
MIlken) has purchased some of the surrounding homes and has added to
his square footage of real estate. I believe he helps cancer patients
recover on the property.
The " Ranch" as John and I called it was really a neat place to grow
up on. We were young boys of 7 or 8 when we met and we really gave his
housekeeper the fits. There was the main house, two other smaller
houses close to the main house, an avocado field, An orange grove, a
gas pump where the tractor was housed ( it was chained not to pump but
we constantly took gas from it for our mini bikes), stables, a barn, a
tree house and three large riding fields where we played the days away
while we were young. A hugh mountainside was also part of the property
but was mostly unused by us or anyone.
I also visited the Roxbury home many times but it really was not the
same. Unfortunately, Kay became ill and her daughter ( Joan ) moved in
to help out during these trying times.
I hope this finds you well and that you can correct your data.
Paul Steven Shapiro - 44 years of age
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