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Clark Gable joins the Army

Clark Gable joins the Army

Aug. 12, 1942: Army enlistee Clark Gable takes the induction oath at the Federal Building in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times reported the next morning:

Just as many another American male of proper physical, mental and moral qualifications is doing these days, Clark Gable, he-man of the motion-picture screen, yesterday held up his right hand and repeated the oath of enlistment in the Army of the United States. He’s a private.

At the end of the ceremony, conducted at 2 p.m. at the Federal Building by Col. Malcolm P. Andruss, Los Angeles Army recruiting officer, Gable mopped his perspiring brow with a large handkerchief and sighed with relief.

The time and place for the actor’s enlistment were kept secret until the ceremony was over. This precaution was the result of the Army’s experience with the enlistment of actor Jimmy Stewart, who lost buttons and even a couple of locks of hair to a horde of Stewart fans ….

Andrew J. McIntyre, studio cameraman and friend of Gable, also enlisted yesterday as a private. When the pair received their transportation and traveling orders, Col. Andruss put Gable in charge.

The actor laughter. “That’s good,” he said. “Here I’m in the service only half an hour and already I’m in charge of a two-man army.”

Gable and McIntyre left last night for Miami, Fla., to undergo the Army’s recruits’ three month basic training.

As reported in From the Archive blog,: Jimmy Stewart’s enlistment in March 1941 had been a major media event.

During World War II, Gable flew in five bomber missions in Europe and ended the war the rank of major.

Aug. 12, 1942: Actor Clark Gable takes the induction oath from Col. Malcolm P. Andruss at the Federal Building in Los Angeles. This photo was published on Page 1 of the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 13, 1942. Credit: Andrew H. Arnott / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 17, 1942: Capt. John Burwell performs medical tests on Clark Gable in Miami Beach. Gable sacrificed his mustache but was promoted to corporal upon arrival at Air Force Officer Candidate School. This photo was published in the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 18, 1942. Credit: Associated Press.


  1. May 24, 2013, 8:46 pm

    Ronnie Ray-Gun spent the war in Hollywood.

  2. September 8, 2014, 6:39 pm

    President Reagan enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1937 as a private, then was commissioned a few weeks later as a second lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the 322nd cavalry. He was ordered to active duty the following year, but was classified to limited service because of his nearsightedness, preventing him from serving overseas. He transferred over to the Army Air Force a little later in 1942 and was assigned to AAF public relations and subsequently to the First Motion Picture Unit where he ended up being captain, and by the end of the war his units had produced 400 training films for the AAF. I am sure that if it had not been for his nearsightedness he no doubt would have served in some capacity overseas. He WAS in the military though.

    By: Alma

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