"Haunted Tank: "Introducing - the Haunted Tank!"": An American M-3 tank, nicknamed the "Jeb Stuart" after the famous Confederate cavalry leader, is being hurled towards a deep ravine during a battle with a much larger and more powerful German Tiger tank. They topple into the ravine, the concussi
- Jeb Stuart Smith... my namesake... always remember it is not size nor numbers which count most in the heat of battle... but daring, imagination, courage...
Appearing in Haunted Tank: "Introducing - the Haunted Tank!"
- General J.E.B. Stuart (First appearance)
- U.S. Army
- American Recruitment officer (Flashback only)
- The Haunted Tank (First appearance)
- Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B
- American M23 Pershing tanks
- German Junkers Ju 87 ground-attack aircraft
Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "Introducing - the Haunted Tank!"
An American M-3 tank, nicknamed the "Jeb Stuart" after the famous Confederate cavalry leader, is being hurled towards a deep ravine during a battle with a much larger and more powerful German Tiger tank. They topple into the ravine, the concussion knocking the four soldiers within unconscious. But as the Tiger looms over them from the top of the ravine, ready to give the final death blow, the American tank's turret mysteriously traverses and fires at point-blank rage into the Tiger. The Tiger is destroyed.
Shortly after, the crew of the "Jeb Stuart" - their leader Jeb Stuart Smith, the gunner Rick, his assistant Arch, and the driver Slim - regain consciousness. As they bring their tank back out of the ravine, they are stunned and confused as to how they survived the battle, and as to who could have fired the shot that destroyed the Tiger. Nevertheless, they continue on towards their mission to silence the enemy 88s that have been pounding the infantry nearby. Jeb ponders the idea of a "guardian angel" that's helping them, and remembers back to his childhood of idolizing his namesake, Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart. He would play cavalry with his best friends the Halsey cousins, Rick, Slim and Arch, and even back then he had always felt that someone was watching over him. When the war broke out, the four friends had enlisted together, underneath the great statue of his hero J.E.B. Stuart that stood in the center of their town. When the four had arrived in France are were given their first tank - an M-3 Stuart - Jeb named it after his hero and for the first time felt that he was fulfilling a destiny that had been laid out for him.
The "Jeb Stuart" continues on towards Sector Y-4 where it meets up with a squadron of American tanks, all M26 Pershings which tower over the little Stuart tank. The crews of the bigger tanks make fun of the "Jeb Stuart", and both Rick and Arch get angry and want to fight it out with the loudmouths. The commander of the squadron orders Jeb to take his tank to the rear, lacking confidence that the little M-3 can stand up to a German 88. Before the squadron can reach their targets, they are attacked by German planes from above. The tanks are easy targets for the German planes and are quickly destroyed, all except the "Jeb Stuart" in the far rear. As the planes ready for another pass to finish the job, Jeb opens fire with his machine gun. They are no match for the planes and are unable to get enough elevation on their turret to take a good shot at them. However, the planes fly over them without attacking, disappearing into the sky. Jeb is perplexed as to why they were spared, but his confusion is short-lived when he hears the German 88s open fire on their location. The "Jeb Stuart" is able to avoid the shells, and Jeb orders Slim to take the tank over the edge of a steep embankment and into the nearby shallow river. The German 88s watch as the little tank tumbles over the embankment, and believe them to be finished. They cease their attack.
Miraculously, the "Jeb Stuart" lands in the river right-side up and undamaged. Meanwhile, the Germans turn their attention onto the American infantry. Jeb orders his tank full speed out of the river and towards the battle before the infantry can be destroyed, hoping to surprise the Germans. They enter the nearby town, but are quickly spotted by one of the German tanks. The "Jeb Stuart" barrels through the walls of the buildings, hoping that the Tiger tank will be too big to crash through to follow. They then sneak up behind the other Germans and open fire. They are able to destroy two of the enemy tanks, but are then pinned in an alleyway between two Tigers. As the enemy open fire, Slim quickly turns the tank into the wall and crashes through. The enemy shots miss their tank and they end up destroying each other in the crossfire. With one Tiger tank left, Jeb orders Slim to take their little tank up a pile of rubble and debris and are able to climb onto the roof of a nearby building. With the advantage of the "high ground", they wait until the Tiger is beneath them and open fire, destroying the final enemy tank.
With the town free of occupation and the infantry safe, the American soldiers are amused to find the little M-3 sitting on the roof of a building waiting for their arrival. Jeb ponders their luck in the battle, and hears the sound of disembodied laughter all around him. He knows that the ghost of his idol J.E.B. Stuart is looking over them and keeping them safe, and hopes that one day maybe the others will be able to hear him as well.
Appearing in "Dead End"
- American Bomber pilot "Lieutenant"
- Japanese Navy captain
- Japanese Navy sailors
- American Pilots
- American Navy frogman
- American Navy captain (Dies)
- Floating mine
- American Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber
- Japanese battlecruiser
- American submarine
Synopsis for "Dead End"
Just before nightfall, the pilots of TBF4 (Torpedo Bomber Fighter) are in a fierce battle against a Japanese battle-cruiser on the high seas. The enemy ship has a reputation of never being defeated, and is living up to that with each passing minute. One by one the American planes are shot out of the air, until a single lone bomber remains. The pilot of this plane, swerving in and out of the heavy Flak in the air, makes a pass to drop his bomb but is shot out of the air before he can reach his target. The captain of the Japanese cruiser watches as the wreck of the plane smashes into the waves below.
Unknown to the enemy officer, the pilot has survived by parachuting to safety just before the crash. He plunges down into the water, and clawing loose from his harness, he swims around in the night sea trying to stay afloat. He finds a floating mine and clings to it for his life. However, he is unable to force his cramped hands to hold on and begins to sink. He is certain of death, but just then he is found by an underwater frogman and carried to his submarine, which has surfaced in the safety of the night. In the sub, the pilot gives the captain the location of the Japanese battle-cruiser, and the officer promises the man the credit of the kill. On the surface, the sub tracks the movement of the enemy ship and once they are in range disappears under the water. The first officer brings the pilot to the torpedo room, allowing him the chance to fire the shot that will bring down the elusive killer. But just as they get into range, a torpedo from the battle-cruiser strikes the side of the sub splitting it into two! As the sub sinks down into the murky depths, the crew of the enemy ship celebrate their invulnerability.
Not everyone from the sub perished in the explosion. Being farthest from the impact, in the torpedo room, both the pilot and the frogman have survived and are now bobbing within the debris trying to find something to hold onto. The pilot finds the floating mine he had clung onto before. The two men take hold of the mine and begin to push it through the water... towards the battle-cruiser! They are nearly upon the ship when the enemy spots them swimming in the water below. They open fire, but the pilot and the frogman have the mine in position, right in front of the battle-cruiser's path. The ship hits the mine, and explodes into a fiery wreck, splitting in two and sinking into the dark waters. The pilot and the frogman watch as the ship goes down, hoping that the explosion will attract the attention of a rescue, and knowing that the men they have lost both of the squadron and of the submarine have been avenged.
- Page 7 contains a half-page "Army Slang!" field language guide, explaining the use of the terms "deadline" (to consign a disabled military vehicle to a shop for repairs) and "pearl diver" (a soldier who is detailed for work as a dishwasher).
- Page 8 contains the full-page "A Salute to Our American Indians!" public service announcement, with a look at how the American Indian has contributed to American culture over the years, as well as famous Native Americans like Maria Tallchief and Jim Thorpe. Written by Jack Schiff with art by Bernard Baily.
- Page 13 includes a short half-page comic strip "Private Pete" who, while under fire, wishes he was back home plowing the field again so he would duck into the house and to safety. Art by Henry Boltinoff. Reprinted from Star-Spangled War Stories #3.
- Between the first and second story is a 2-page combat profile "World War II Battle Story of the 4th Marine Division". Originally activated on August 16th, 1943 at Camp Pendleton, they made their first WW2 engagement on Febuary 1, 1944 during the assault on the Roi-Namur Islands, and went on to fight in the battles of Tinian and Iwo Jima.
- "Introducing - The Haunted Tank" is reprinted in Our Army at War #216, America at War: The Best of DC War Comics, DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #12, and Sgt. Rock Special #11.
- The Haunted Tank becomes a regularly occurring title feature for this series beginning with this issue.
- In their early appearances, the characters of Rick, Slim and Arch are cousins with the last name Halcey, and had been friends with Jeb Stuart Smith since childhood.
- Discuss G.I. Combat Vol 1 87 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the G.I. Combat series
- Images from G.I. Combat Vol 1 87
- World War II Recommended Reading
- Adventures in the Rifle Brigade (Volume 1)
- Adventures in the Rifle Brigade (Volume 2)
- All-American Men of War (Volume 1)
- All-Out War (Volume 1)
- Blackhawk (Volume 1)
- Blitzkrieg (Volume 1)
- Capt. Storm (Volume 1)
- Four-Star Battle Tales (Volume 1)
- G.I. Combat (Volume 1)
- Men of War (Volume 1)
- Military Comics (Volume 1)
- Our Army at War (Volume 1)
- Our Fighting Forces (Volume 1)
- Sgt. Rock (Volume 1)
- Sgt. Rock (Volume 2)
- Star-Spangled War Stories (Volume 1)
- Unknown Soldier (Volume 1)
- Weird War Tales (Volume 1)