I'd seen this film on broadcast TV growing up but bought the DVD and watched it several more times after spending hours interviewing a B-17 bombardier a couple of years ago for a documentary film project. My subject flew 17 missions and was wounded, shot down and captured on the ground in Germany in 1944. He had a detailed memory of his experience as a Mid Western boy, volunteering for the Army Air Force, going through training in the States and flying to Britain to serve in combat. I asked him which film, if any, portrayed his experience in the war the best. He flat out said, "12 O'Clock High". And when I asked him what he had feared most, he said, "I was afraid of not doing my job. I was afraid of letting my crew mates down. I was afraid that if I failed, somebody else would have to go back and try again." Several have mentioned leadership portrayed in this film. I think the regular servicemen and flying officers are well portrayed too. They knew at the time that they were flying to save someone else from that danger.