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Glory's Price

Source: Time, 11/8/1943, pg 15

In England, Soldier Clark Gable found the anonymity he wanted. He rode in Flying Fortresses on raids over Europe, helped shoot an Air' Force training film and manned a gun when Nazi fighters got in range.

Last week Captain Gable returned to the U.S. with 50,000 ft. of film, campaign ribbons, and the Air Medal (for five combat missions). But his anonymity was gone. When the War Department arranged a press conference; stenographers lined Pentagon Building corridors six deep to watch him walk by. They chattered and oh-ah'd: "He's marvelous . . . isn't he smooth?…"

In the conference room, Washington's women reporters' filled the first two rows. (One newshen wore two huge orchids.) Clark Gable sat down uneasily before the audience of nearly 100, lit a cigaret, took a nervous sip of water. He was acutely aware that, whatever he had done, every hero who had held such press conferences before him had done much more.

Said Clark Gable: No, he didn't think he had hit any German planes. Yes, he had shot at lots of them. Yes, his own planes had been hit, but nothing out of the usual. Yes, he was a little scared. No, he didn't think his training film was any better than anybody else's: "I'm not exactly a professional cameraman. . .

The women reporters started firing questions: Which seems more real to you, the life you left or the one you're living in now? Which do you like better, being a director or an actor? Do you think the War has changed you? How did the other soldiers react to fighting alongside Clark Gable?

Captain Gable grinned sheepishly, lit another cigaret, rubbed a nervous forefinger over his famed mustache, tried hard to answer the questions with a dignity they did not deserve. Finally someone asked for "a 50-word tribute to the fellows you fought with."

Said Captain Gable, quietly: "I don't think I could put that in words. They're a pretty good bunch…"

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