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"Haunted Tank: "Haunted Tank Vs. Ghost Tank"": After a long trek during a dangerous mission rooting out Tiger Tanks from an enemy-held town, the crew of the Haunted Tank decide to take shelter under a tree to bed down for the night. Lt. Jeb Stuart is not sleepy, and takes first watch while the o


Quote1 I don't care what anyone says! This tank's "haunted"! And someday, somehow, somebody, somewhere... is going to agree with me! Quote2
Lt. Jeb Stuart

G.I. Combat #88 is an issue of the series G.I. Combat (Volume 1) with a cover date of July, 1961.

Appearing in Haunted Tank: "Haunted Tank Vs. Ghost Tank"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Lieutenant Marty Gibson (Dies)
  • American Artillery soldiers (all die)
  • American Infantry Sergeant
  • American Infantry soldiers

Locations:

Items:

  • gasoline drums

Vehicles:

  • The Haunted Tank
  • Panzerkampfwagen IV
  • German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger Night Fighter

Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "Haunted Tank Vs. Ghost Tank"

After a long trek during a dangerous mission rooting out Tiger Tanks from an enemy-held town, the crew of the Haunted Tank decide to take shelter under a tree to bed down for the night. Lt. Jeb Stuart is not sleepy, and takes first watch while the others get some much needed rest. While on watch, Jeb sees the apparition of his long dead ancestor General J.E.B. Stuart in the moonlight, who warns him to stay vigil. The ghost fades away, and then Jeb hears the distant sounds of approaching aircraft. He wakes the others, ordering them to take their positions. He then spots a German Night Fighter bearing down on them to attack. The Night Fighter hasn't spotted the hiding tank, but fires into the trees blindly knowing that they are somewhere under them. Jeb orders Slim to back straight out before the fighter can fire into their tree. Rick elevates the cannon, and as soon as they leave the cover of the trees he fires. The Night Fighter is destroyed, slamming into the trees in a fiery explosion.

The next morning while the others are having breakfast, Arch receives new orders for them over the radio. They are to rendezvous with another tank near a crossroads ASAP. With everyone back in position in the tank, Slim gives the Haunted Tank the gas and they speed down the road. As they leave, Jeb hears the echo of laughter, but the others hear nothing. Despite what his crew thinks, he is certain that their tank is haunted and someday, somehow, he will get the others to believe him. They reach the crossroads and rendezvous with a second M-3 Stuart tank commanded by Lieutenant Marty Gibson, who tells them that they are to hook up with two other tanks in the woods but the HQ hasn't heard a word back from the others. Jeb agrees to follow. As they enter the woods, the tanks discover a squad of beat-up Infantrymen. One non-comm, a Sergeant, tells them that all their officers are dead. When questioned about the other two missing tanks, the man tells Jeb and Marty that they were taken out by a "ghost tank". Jeb thinks it's humorous that his Haunted Tank has been sent to find a "Ghost Tank", but when they discovered the blasted remains of the missing two tanks his humor turns to dread!

Marty Gibson refuses to believe that two tanks could have been taken out by a "Ghost Tank", but the sergeant warns him that if they try to cross the open field ahead of them they'll see for themselves. Thinking that the sergeant is suffering from fatigue and hallucinations, Marty decides to take point with his tank. Jeb follows behind in the Haunted Tank, but not too closely, wanting to keep some space between him and Gibson. As they come out of the woods into the clearing, the two tanks separate to cover both sides of the field. Shortly, Jeb spots a plume of smoke from the other side of the field. To their surprise, a German Panzer appears from out of the smoke, like a ghost, and fires at Marty's tank. It is a direct hit. Marty Gibson's tank is destroyed, his crew killed. From out of the black smoke, Jeb sees the face of General Stuart, instructing him to be bold in his attack. As if by instinct, Jeb orders Slim to head straight down the field. It is an unexpected move, and the German tank overshoots the Haunted Tank. It tries to anticipate the little tank's moves, but Jeb orders them to keep straight - a forward attack. The enemy shells land to the left and right of the Haunted Tank, missing every time. Then, when they are close enough, Jeb orders them to fire and Rick scores a direct hit to the front of the Ghost Tank. They continue past the Germans, but when Jeb turns around the tank is nowhere to be seen. Then, a shell impacts the side of the Haunted Tank, slamming Jeb back into the hatch and knocking the others unconscious inside.

From the trees, the Sergeant and his men had been watching the entire battle. The Haunted Tank continues to move across the field, zig-zagging around the exploding shells from the German Panzer even though its crew is out and no one is steering. The Panzer fires relentlessly, vanishing and reappearing in different areas to avoid any counter-attack. The Haunted Tank continues to evade the fire of the enemy, then steers it directly into the side of the Panzer. The impact snaps everyone inside awake, and seeing their advantage Jeb orders Rick to fire. The blast at close range rips right through the turret of the Panzer. With the "Ghost Tank" out of action, Jeb orders Slim to bring their tank to a halt. Suddenly, the Haunted Tank begins to disappear in a cloud of smoke. They discover themselves on a camouflaged elevator descending down underground into a hidden German tank base! Jeb realizes that they must have rammed the Panzer off the elevator platform and took its place. He orders his crew to open fire at the base and its personnel. They throw everything at the base, and with the high explosives being stored there it doesn't take much to send the enemy and their base to a fiery grave. As the Infantry approach the field, the Haunted Tank rises from the ground on the elevator, victorious. The Sergeant runs up to Jeb, amazed. He tells Jeb that their tank must be a "Ghost Tank', too. Jeb smiles, as he once again hears the echo of laughter from his ghostly ancestor.

Appearing in TNT Trio: "Don't Dig In"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Dog Company

Antagonists:

Locations:

  • Pacific Theater

Vehicles:

  • Japanese Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" long-range fighter aircraft
  • Japanese Type 95 Ha-Gō light tank

Synopsis for TNT Trio: "Don't Dig In"

The TNT Trio, Big Al, Little Al, and Charlie Cigar, are ordered by their lieutenant to check out Area Green for any signs of the enemy. They are told specifically not to dig in - if they come under attack, fade back and met the company handle it. The message is drilled into their heads... Don't dig in!

As the trio move into Area Green, they come under attack by enemy mortar fire. The explosions around them send half the island flying into the air, raining sand, dirt and debris down onto the three men. When the smoke and fire clears, they find themselves buried up to their chests in the sand. Charlie Cigar jokes that they've gone against orders and dug in, but their laughter is interrupted by the appearance of a Japanese Zero overhead. The Zero swings around to attack them, and since the three are stuck in the ground and unable to fade back they pull out their rifles and fire back. The pilot is killed causing the Zero to dive too deep, and smashes into a nearby tree perched within its branches. The Trio try to wiggle their way out of the sand, but in no time a Japanese tank appears from out of the jungle heading straight towards them. Their rifles are no match for a tank's armor, but Charlie Cigar's got an idea. They wait until the tank is underneath the tree and, firing into the branches, cause the Zero plane to dislodge and tumble down atop the tank! The tank catches on fire, but it doesn't stop. Facing the inevitable death of being run over by the tank, the TNT Trio now understand why their lieutenant told them not to dig in. Then, the tank explodes! Dog Company appears from behind, saving the day. The lieutenant stands over the Trio, disappointed that they disobeyed his order. But they didn't dig in... the enemy did it for them!

Appearing in "Everything's a Straight Line!"

Featured Characters:

  • American Marine soldier "Joe"

Supporting Characters:

  • American Marine soldier "Rusty"

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • American PT driver
  • American PT gunner (Dies)
  • American Marine officer
  • American Marine sergeant
  • American Marine soldiers

Locations:

Items:

  • Parachute mines
  • Grenades
  • Mortars

Vehicles:

  • American PT Assault boat
  • Japanese Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" long-range fighter aircraft
  • American M3 Stuart tank

Synopsis for "Everything's a Straight Line!"

A Marine named Joe and his friend Rusty sit nervously on the deck of a PT boat heading for the shore of an unknown island in the South Pacific. Their company awaits the signal to attack, and their Sergeant tells them that from here to the beach everything's a straight line. But their path is blocked by shell fire, and their PT boat is attacked by a Zero plane, forcing the little PT boat to zigzag in the water in everything but a straight line. The gunner is killed, and the Zero begins to drop sea mines into the water by parachute. Joe jumps into action, pushing the dead gunner over and taking charge of the machine gun. He fires at the Zero as it makes its next pass, and the enemy plane crashes down into the water below in a fiery wreck. With floating TNT in the water, the PT boat is forced to dodge and twist around the shore until they find an alternate landing site.

On a nearby beach, the company meet up with their sergeant for new orders. Their objective is the Kaliku River, and they are told once again that everything's a straight line from here to the river. Their trek through the jungle goes mostly uneventful and straight, but then they spot a hidden machine gun nest forcing them to take an alternate route. Joe begins walking the new path, but stops when he discovers the path has been rigged with tripwire and grenades. The enemy machine open fires at them, and begins to detonate the grenades on the ground around them. Joe uses a grenade of his own, throwing it so that it will bounce around and then into the enemy nest, destroying it.

Joe and his squad meet up with another Marine in the clearing, who tells them that the river's a straight line from here. One of their tanks is going to blast a way open for them. But for every step they took towards the river, they were bombarded with enemy mortar fire. They make it to the other side, only to have their hopes dashed when they find the tank smoking and its crew dead. In front of the tank lies a bridge across the river. Covered by the smoke of the mortar blasts behind them, Joe and Rusty climb into the tank for protection and begin to drive it across the rickety bridge while protecting the rest of the company in front of them. But one of the mortar blasts hit the end of the bridge, sending it, and the tank, tumbling into the river below. The two Marines quickly climb out of the tank and to the other side of the river to safety.

Later, after the company has regrouped, the C.O. tells them that their objective lies before them - the top of the mountain ahead. Once there, they can claim the island Marine Country and in their hands, not before. Everything's a straight line from here to the top. The soldiers toss their ropes and begin to make the ascent. The climb goes nice and smooth, and straight up, but the calm doesn't last when they find above them a machine gun perched on the top! The men are forced to swing off to the side away from their straight line to avoid being shot down. Joe unpins one of his grenade, and with a great throw lobs it up and into the MG nest, destroying it. The blast forces him to to slip form the rope, but he is caught by Rusty.

Now atop the mountain, the C.O. is pleased his plan when exactly as planned, with everything a straight line. The company looks down at the path they had taken, and realize that nothing's a straight line!

Notes

  • The Haunted Tank story "Haunted Tank Vs. Ghost Tank" continues directly from the story in the previous issue.
  • Between the first and second story is a 2-page combat profile "Hellcat Division...Battle Story of the 12th Armored Division". Fighting in the European Theater of Operations in France, Germany and Austria, between November 1944 and May 1945, they were instrumental during Operation Nordwind and capturing the towns of Wurzburg and Neustaudt and the bridge at Dillingen.
  • The final page of the book contains the full-page "Parents Have Rights, Too!" public service announcement, explaining that while teenagers may think they are being mistreated by their parents, they should remember not to selfish and consider them as well. Written by Jack Schiff with art by Bernard Baily.

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