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"Haunted Tank: "Tank With Wings"": The crew of the Haunted Tank are discouraged when their little tank is made fun of by the crews of the larger and more powerful Pershing tanks in the squadron. Jeb Stuart, the commander of the Haunted Tank, is angry at the other crews, but then the ghost of his

Quote1.png I don't know how a tank can ever catch up with a plane again! But somehow-- somewhere-- we'll close with that Red Buzzard again! Quote2.png
Jeb Stuart

G.I. Combat #89 is an issue of the series G.I. Combat (Volume 1) with a cover date of September, 1961.

Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "Tank With Wings"

The crew of the Haunted Tank are discouraged when their little tank is made fun of by the crews of the larger and more powerful Pershing tanks in the squadron. Jeb Stuart, the commander of the Haunted Tank, is angry at the other crews, but then the ghost of his ancestor General J.E.B. Stuart appears and reminds him of the story of David and Goliath. Then, new orders come over the radio for the two tanks to head for Sector Y-4, where the infantry are being attacked by a roving Panzer tank. Their orders are to locate and report back but not to attack, letting the big guns to handle it.

Later, as they move up the road into Sector Y-4, they come under attack by a German 88. The Haunted Tank is bombarded by shells from the German Panzer on the high ground, and is unable to bring their gun up to elevation to get a good shot. The crew of the Pershing laugh at them, telling Jeb to take his tank to a fox hole while they take care of the Germans. The Pershing moves up into position, and a clear shot destroys the German Panzer. Jeb is embarrassed, and swears that he'll show the others just what he and his crew can do one day.

The Haunted Tank continues up the road when they are again attacked, this time from the air. A German fighter swoops down for the kill, destroying the Pershing and killing the crew within. The Haunted Tank tries to fight back, but once again they are unable to get the elevation needed to fire a decent shot. Having made the kill, the Red Buzzard plane swings around and flies off into the distance. Jeb and his crew vow to track the plane down and destroy it, to fulfill the vow he made to the dead crew of the Pershing. That evening, during a break while the others are sleeping, Jeb slips away to talk to the General to ask his advice.

The next day, the Haunted Tank gets a message from a nearby infantry squad that is being attacked. The message cuts off in mid-sentence, and Jeb orders Slim to head in that direction hoping to find the Red Buzzard again. They arrive at the beach to find instead the infantry are under attack from a German U-Boat just off-shore. As soon as the Germans spot the approaching tank they turn their attention and firepower onto them. Jeb orders Slim to go full-speed ahead. The tank continuously fires at the U-Boat, and just when they crash into the water a lucky shot from the tank hits the German's ammo and the U-Boat explodes. The infantry thank Jeb and his crew, who continue on even more determined than before to find the Red Buzzard. As they begin to enter a wooded area, the Red Buzzard appears once again, dropping incendiaries down around the little tank below. Worried that the fire and explosions may ignite their gas tanks, Jeb orders Slim to drive the Haunted Tank down into a nearby stream. The Red Buzzard disappears again, and Jeb is furious that they lost their chance at blasting the plane out of the sky.

The next day, the Haunted Tank is ordered to be loaded up on board a cargo plane, to be dropped into a new sector along with other supplies over 200 miles away. The cargo plane takes off with Jeb and his tank on board, but not long after flight the plane Is attacked by the Red Buzzard. The cargo plane is badly damaged and will have to make an emergency landing, but first it must drop some weight - including Jeb, his crew, and the Haunted Tank! The bay doors open and the Haunted Tank is launched into the air. It's parachute opens, but they are now in full sight of the Red Buzzard who turns his plane around to attack. But the Buzzard doesn't know that there's a crew inside the little tank, and that mistake costs him his life. With the Buzzard in full sights of their cannon, the Haunted Tank fires! The Red Buzzard is destroyed, and Jeb has kept his promise to the Pershing and its crew.

Appearing in Haunted Tank: "Tank With Wings"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • American Artillery tank soldiers
  • American Infantry soldiers
  • American Army Air Corps Sergeant

Locations:

Items:

  • Incendiary bombs
  • Parachute

Vehicles:

  • The Haunted Tank
  • German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft
  • American M23 Pershing tanks
  • Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B
  • German Unterseeboot "U-Boat" submarine
  • Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express transport plane


Synopsis for "Danger Sniper!"

A Marine sniper-hunter named Rick prepares himself for his next hunt. He does everything a sniper-hunter needs to do to avoid getting killed. He tapes his dogtags together, places leaves onto his helmet to mask the outline, splotches his face with black grease, and taking a huge drink from his canteen before leaving it behind. Out in the woods he must make certain that he is not seen... or heard. Then, he spots the glimmer of sunlight reflecting off a telescopic sight high in the trees. He fires! A bullet-riddled helmet falls from the tree, but it could be a trick. He fires again, and the enemy's body, the proof he is seeking, falls to the ground in front of him.

Inch by inch, sniper-hunter continues on with his day looking for the hidden enemy. There's no rougher detail, no longer one, and none that tangles with a man's insides and rattles his nerves more. Rick thinks to himself - he'd give a month's combat pay to be anywhere else, even on the front line. For months the sergeant has been promising to take him off sniper-hunting detail, and each time he's told that when they can find a man who can do the job as well as he does they'll replace him. Each day and night that passes he hopes that his replacement will come, but until then he keeps going out into the woods looking for snipers.

One dark and stormy night, he is out on the hunt and stops when he gets a eerie feeling. He knows that come dawn his outfit will be moving through this area, and he must make sure the way is clear of snipers before they do. He looks down, noticing the discarded cigarette butts on the ground. A sight of a sniper. But where? Which tree or rock? His flashlight shines brightly into the trees. The enemy snipers aim and shoot towards the source of the light, his position betrayed by his stupidity... or so they think. Rick has fooled them, hanging his flashlight onto one of the trees while he secreted himself to a secure spot. Two well placed shots bring down the enemy snipers from the trees. But a third shot from an unknown position nearly misses his head and takes out his rifle. Rick ducks for cover. A sniper nest, one he wasn't aware of, hiding in a tall tree a hundred yards in front of him. With his rifle out of commission, his only weapon is his grenades, but he is too far away for them to be effective. An idea comes over him, and he lobs a grenade hard and high into the air. It explodes in the air in front of the tree, its burst of light blinding the snipers for a few seconds. He uses his short advantage to run closer. He can't get close enough to hit the nest, but he throws the last grenade towards the tree itself. The grenade explodes, blasting the branch from the tree and sending the nest and its snipers tumbling towards the ground. He's ready for them. The moment they hit the ground he pounces, punching out the closest and grabbing his rifle before the others have time to recover. They are now his prisoners.

Back at bivouac, the sergeant has a surprise for Rick. He's found a replacement for him. Rick is relieved, and tells him that he doesn't care what the new assignment is, because nothing can be as rugged, or as lonely, as being a sniper-hunter. Later, Rick sits perched in a tree at his new assignment - that as a sniper. Now he knows there's one detail that is rougher, and lonelier than before, and he'd give anything to be back as a sniper-hunter!

Appearing in "Danger Sniper!"

Featured Characters:

  • American Marine "Rick"

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • American Marine sergeant

Locations:

Items:

  • Dogtags
  • Cigarette butts
  • Flashlight
  • Grenade

Synopsis for "Nothing on the Nose"

Three newly arrived pilots - Joe, Pete, and their lieutenant - stand on the deck of the aircraft carrier while the other pilots in their squadron check out the three men's plane. They kid the three about the newness of the plane, and wonder where the three have been hiding for the three years the war's been going on. The lieutenant points out to his men that the other planes all have their victories painted on the nose, and that once they get into battle they'll be able to paint some on theirs. The wait isn't long, and the carrier is attacked by a squadron of Zero planes. The pilots scramble to their planes and take off. But before the lieutenant can even get his prop spinning, his plane is hit and begins to catch on fire. The firefighting crews rush to put out the flames. By the time the men are dragged out of their plane, the battle is over. At least their plane were saved, but all they got on their noses was a little charcoal.

Two days later, with the aircraft repaired, the lieutenant and his men take off on a bombing mission. Two Japanese battle-cruisers are their targets, and they're determined not to come back without something to pain on their noses. The plane is caught in a melee of fire from the ships, but they remain in the air. They try to drop their bomb, but the damage to their plane has fouled up the release mechanism. Over the radio, the three are ordered to return to the carrier. As they limp back home, they come under attack by a pair of enemy Zeros. As one Zero rolls in firing its guns, Joe in the turret returns fire and destroys the enemy plane. They try to bank around to fire at the second, but then the air erupts in explosions around them. A Japanese sub has appeared below them, and they allowed themselves to be lured into its trap! The lieutenant slams his fist into the release button, but their bomb refuses to be let go. He orders the others to spray the sub in gun fire, hoping to hit something in the basement. They get lucky, and their constant fire hits the ammo in the sub causing it to explode. The remaining Zero in the air limps away, and the little American plane limps after it. Finally they spot its destination - a Japanese aircraft carrier. The carrier spots their approach and opens fire onto the little plane. Their plane is riddled with bullets and begins to spiral out of the air. The lieutenant sets the throttle on full, then the three crew-members bail out with their parachutes. Before the three can even land in the water, their plane, with its bomb, hits the carrier dead center, exploding and sending the enemy ship sinking down into the dark waters below.

After a half hour in the water, a rescue helicopter appears and fishes the three pilots form the icy waves. Back on their own aircraft carrier, the three are presented with a brand-new Avengers plane... one with their own victories (two Zeros, a sub, and an aircraft carrier) painted onto the nose. If the three live to be a ripe old age, they'll never see another sight as sweet as what they saw on their new plane.

Appearing in "Nothing on the Nose"

Featured Characters:

  • American Navy pilot "Lieutenant"

Supporting Characters:

  • Ensign Joe Regan
  • Ensign Pete Dawson

Antagonists:

  • Japanese pilots

Other Characters:

  • American Navy captain
  • American Navy sailors
  • American Navy pilots

Locations:

Items:

  • Parachute

Vehicles:

  • American Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber plane
  • Japanese Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" long-range fighter aircraft
  • American aircraft carrier
  • Japanese coastal attack submarine
  • Japanese aircraft carrier
  • American Sikorsky H-5 rescue helicopter

Notes

  • Between the first and second story is the full-page "It's Fun to Serve!" public service announcement, where a young girl who, after seeing her parents and older sister doing things to help the community, realizes that it can be fun to do things for other people. Written by Jack Schiff with art by Bernard Baily.

Trivia

  • In the first story "Tank With Wings!", the Haunted Tank is loaded up onto a cargo plane for transport. The plane is shown as a C-87 twin engine Liberator, but just how they managed to squeeze the Haunted Tank in there (and still take off) is a mystery.


See Also


Links and References

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