After the death of Carole Lombard, Gable enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corps on August 12, 1942 as a Private at $66 a month. The induction ceremony was held at the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles, covered by the press and the newsreel cameras. He was 41. From August to October 1942 Gable did his basic training in Miami Beach, Florida and became a second lieutenant. Then Gable attended the Air Force Gunnery School at Tyndall Field in Panama City, Florida for six weeks, finishing his training at Fort Wright near Spokane. In January 1943, Gable received his aerial gunner wings in Spokane, Washington. Gable was then dispatched to Biggs Army Base in Texas for further training, and then to Pueblo, Colorado to join the 351st Heavy Bombardment Group. In April 1943 he was sent overseas to an American base at Polebrook, England. Officially Gable was to make a short training color film but it was never finished. He was now Captain Clark Gable. Gable saw plenty of action in bombing raids of B-17s over Europe at night. During one bombing raid in Germany he almost lost his life. Gable knew that Hitler had placed a reward on him if he was captured alive. It was known that Hitler’s favorite film actor was Clark Gable because of his German ancestry. In October 1943, Gable was awarded the Air Medal and later the Distinguished Flying Cross because of his war efforts. Gable returned to the United States in November 1943. On June 14, 1944, Gable was discharged as a Major and resumed his civilian life an American hero. He did not return to MGM until mid 1945.