The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
17 user 1 critic

King Nine Will Not Return 

A pilot of a downed WW II bomber comes to in the African desert and desperately tries to find out what happened to the rest of his crew.



, (created by)

Watch Now

With Prime Video





Episode complete credited cast:
Capt. James Embry (as Bob Cummings)
Jenna McMahon ...


A USAF bomber pilot awakens in the desert, lying next to his downed B25 Mitchell. Capt. James Embry commanded the aircraft but has no memory of how he got there. More importantly to him, his crew is nowhere to be found. At one point, he even begins to wonder if he is hallucinating, especially after he sees one of his men momentarily sitting in the cockpit. When he awakens in a hospital bed he thinks it was all a dream but then wonders: did he really go back to the desert. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

30 September 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This episode takes place in 1943 and 1960. See more »


Military personnel stationed in desert climates would not be wearing dark uniforms but a light khaki tan. See more »


Narrator: [Opening Narration] This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead, and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning, she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in the wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
See more »


Referenced in Sole Survivor (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Makes you think after you see it,
1 January 2014 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

I was initially disappointed at the end of this episode. Things did not add up very well it seemed. Not a cracking yarn with a neat ending. Then I thought about it some more. Perhaps this tale of war is better told this way? Rod Serling's stories about war in TZ tend to be a little nebulous and all the more meaningful for it. Viewers tend to want answers to neatly wrap things up but instead Serling seems to show us a different 'world' with war where 'guilt' doesn't mean evil or criminality and 'reality' and 'being' do not seem so certain.

Robert Cummings plays the WW2 pilot desperate to understand why he is alone with his crashed B-25 in the Tunisian desert. The viewer suffers with him as he seeks an answer to his psychological torture.

Zones about lonely characters tend to be strong stuff. Mix that with psychological scars of war and you have to guess Serling's writing from the heart.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: