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"No Son For a Sergeant": The crew of the Haunted Tank have returned to base after a hot and heavy battle with a German Panzer. and are now ready to sit down and take a break from the action. They are greeted with the mail, their only connection to the outside world and their homes back in the St
- Would you've been happier if I'd have died, too? Seems to be the story of my life... always disappointing you!
- -- Eddie Craig
Appearing in "No Son For a Sergeant"
- Unnamed German soldiers
- The Haunted Tank
- Panzerkampfwagen IV
- Jagdpanzer 38 Light Tank Destroyer
Synopsis for "No Son For a Sergeant"
The crew of the Haunted Tank have returned to base after a hot and heavy battle with a German Panzer. and are now ready to sit down and take a break from the action. They are greeted with the mail, their only connection to the outside world and their homes back in the States. Gus gets a letter from his sister, while Rick receives a chocolate cake from his church's congregation. However, one man receives nothing from back home... Bill Craig. Jeb tries to console him, but Craig turns him away, telling him that he never expects anything from home and that his only friends are buried within a military cemetery.
Before anyone has a chance to answer their mail, the squad is sent to intercept the enemy who is unleashing an attack from the east. The Germans have defeated the infantry standing against them in the east, and have taken to crushing their bodies under the treads of their tanks. When the Haunted Tank arrives it is thrown immediately into the firefight. They're able to take out one destroyer right off the bat, but two Panzers begin to move into their position. Craig steers the tank into the smoke, but one of the Panzers gets a dead-on shot throwing red-hot shrapnel right into Craig's view port and face. Craig doesn't even flinch. Jeb believes the Germans will think they plan to go around and circle them to attack from the rear, so he orders Craig to cut left and go between them. When they emerge from the smoke they have a clean shot at both the Panzers. They take out the first one quickly, but the second gets a clean shot at the Haunted Tank before they're able to swing their turret and destroy them. With their tank on fire from the Panzer's shot, Jeb orders everyone out quickly to extinguish the flames. Their captain rides up along side, offering Jeb and his crew a ride back to base while their tank is hauled back by a retriever. Jeb snatches the Confederate flag from their tank and swings it proudly in the wind as they head back to camp.
Back at base, their Captain informs the crew that their tank will be out of action for a while to be repaired. They are given a loner tank, whose crew had been killed during the last battle. The tank is brought to them by its only survivor, Eddie Craig - Sgt. Bill Craig's son. Bill is upset at his son's sudden appearance... and the fact that he lived while the rest of his crew perished. The two get into a family squabble, with Eddie blaming his father for the death of his mother. The Sergeant requests that they send Eddie away, but Jeb denies the request. Bill then storms off. The others welcome Eddie to the team, trying to cheer him up. Then the Captain returns with their next mission - the Krauts are moving to land on the coast ten miles behind their position to try and squeeze the American forces out of the area. With no one to spare, the Haunted Tank and its crew must face them alone to stop the German landing.
As soon as the tank reaches the beach, they spot the Germans moving their trucks and equipment up along the shore. They open fire, and Jeb is struck during the first barrage. As the others pull Jeb down into the tank to look after his wounds, Eddie moves up to take the gunner's position despite his father's objections. Eddie opens fire into the advancing Germans, raining bullets down into them until every last shell is exhausted. Sgt. Craig orders his son down into the tank to safety, but Eddie tells the others to pass him all the grenades they can find. He begins tossing the grenades at the German soldiers rushing them, then after they are gone, begins to open fire with his hand pistol. He continues non-stop and relentlessly, until every last German soldier lies dead among the sand of the beach.
Back at base after the battle, Eddie and Bill continue their family argument. The Haunted Tank's crew is one man short, and Eddie is determined to fill that role whether his father wants him there or not. Jeb overhears the argument while getting his shoulder bandaged, and remembers that they've already lost two members during the war - Arch and Slim. Bill refuses to allow his son to join the team, and tells him to take a walk. Defeated, Eddie begins to leave, but then turns around one last time to tell his father that he has always loved him, no matter what has happened between the two of them. Bill freezes, then takes his son in his arms for a big hug. Jeb smiles. Maybe the book isn't closed on those two yet...
Appearing in "The Killer Cannon"
- General Ramos
- Central American Thieves
- Citizens of Verde Island
- Unnamed Señoritas
- General Ramos' battleships (heavy cruisers)
Synopsis for "The Killer Cannon"
The Mercenaries - Gordon, Prince, and Horst - are enjoying some time with the ladies as a gambling casino in the capital city of a Central American country when they are set up and ambushed outside by a group of petty thugs looking to rob them of their earnings. The Mercenaries quickly move into action, taking out all of the would-be robbers with very little effort. Their fight is watched from afar by General Ramos, the ex-president of Verde Island. The General has been recently driven out of power on his island by the Juanista Rebels, and he hopes that by employing the Mercenaries they can aid him to help regain Verde Island and free his people from the torture and murder at the hands of the Juanistas.
The Mercenaries are taken back by limo to General Ramos's private hidden villa, where they are shown photographs of the various crimes the Juanistas have inflicted on his people. Anyone who protests against them are hanged, including nuns and priests, old and young, women and children. No one is safe from their assassins, and it is because of this General Ramos is unable to strike with his armada and retake the island. Ramos tells the Mercenaries that he needs them to strike at Fortress Fuego, which guards the only approach to the island, and take out the guns defending it, therefore allowing his armada to attack and storm the island. He gives them $30,000 in advance, with another $70,000 should they succeed in destroying the guns.
Later that night, the Mercenaries move towards the island underwater with scuba gear, hoping to sneak past the defenses. However, their approach is blocked by an underwater net laced with mines. Hoping to find a safe passage through the mines, the Mercenaries hop a ride on the back of giant sea turtles who swim through the minefield and into the underwater jungle to come through the defenses. They surface at an underground lake hidden deep within the mountain to breathe, and the Mercenaries find a way out from underground. However, they are attacked by General Ramos' men in scuba gear, who had hoped to dispose of the Mercenaries once they found a way to the surface around the defenses.
Two hours later, General Ramos spots explosions coming from the fortress, his signal that it was safe to bring the armada in. However, the Mercenaries have tricked him. The guns remain safe, and they open fire onto the armada. The Mercenaries have learned that Ramos was the real enemy, having butchered the Juanistas and were driven out by his own people due to his tyranny. With the people of Verde Island now free, the Mercenaries are able to return home but without their promised pay.
Appearing in "The G.I. and the Pin-Up Girl"
- Private Herbie Walker
- Private Phil Gold
- Private Arthur
- Unnamed German soldiers
- Betty Grable (Behind the scenes)
- Unnamed Platoon Captain
- Reims, France
- Betty Grable's handkerchief
Synopsis for "The G.I. and the Pin-Up Girl"
Outside Reims, France, while American reinforcements await new orders, Private Herbie Walker sits staring at a photo of his dream girl - Betty Grable. It has been three months since she had sent him the autographed photo, and despite his constant writing to her she hasn't responded back since then. The other guys in his unit make fun of him for setting his hopes up so high. They tell him that Betty Grable wouldn't know him from a million other dogfaces, and even show him that she had sent them autographed photos just like his as well. Nothing they say can break Herbie's fantasies. He believes that Betty is his girl, and that their relationship is "different". Others show up. informing Herbie that they just heard that there's a U.S.O. show starring Betty Grable appearing back in the R-and-R area.
Herbie's excitement is cut short when a German Mortar shell explodes in the middle of his unit, sending everyone jumping for cover. His unit, 2nd Platoon, is ordered to fall in and track down the German guns to knock them out, but Herbie is unwilling to miss his chance at meeting his dream girl. Risking the chance at being AWOL and getting court-martialed, Herbie breaks away from the platoon and heads in the direction of the R-and-R area.
He reaches the camp, but is only moments too late - Betty and the U.S.O. troop have just left and are driving down the road. Herbie runs after the caravan, but there's no way he can catch up with them. He stops, defeated, watching as they disappear down the road. Then, lying on the ground, he finds a handkerchief with the initials "B.G." monogrammed on it. Then, he hears German voices coming from the tree line next to the road. Taking cover, he watches as a German platoon sneaks past towards the rear of the American forces. The entire mortar attack was a decoy, to draw off the Americans so that the Germans can ambush them on their return! Herbie only has one chance to act. He'll never make it back to his platoon in time to warn them. Getting an idea, Herbie runs behind the Germans and spots their ammo dump concealed within the trees. He tosses a grenade into the tents, and the entire ammo dump explodes! The loud blast alerts the American forces in the area just in time. Herbie is able to sneak back into his platoon without anyone knowing he was gone, but he's unable to tell his Captain what he has done or they'll know he went AWOL! However, when the other guys ask him if he was able to get together with "his girl Betty", he proudly shows them the handkerchief he found. What they don't know won't kill them!
Appearing in "Stolen Battle"
- Unnamed American Major
- Unnamed American Corporal
- Unnamed German General (Dies)
- Unnamed German Soldiers
- Courier cylander
- Willys MB U.S. Army Jeep
- Volkswagen Kübelwagen light military vehicle
Synopsis for "Stolen Battle"
Over shrapnel-shredded terrain, a courier races from Paris towards the front line when suddenly they are attacked by an approaching German car. Their jeep damaged, the Major and Corporal dive for the ground and play dead as the enemy approaches. The Germans drive up alongside the American jeep, grabbing the courier cylinder from the back seat and speeding off down the road with their newly acquired treasure. The Corporal is furious that the Germans have gotten away with the maps they were transporting, but the Major tells him not to worry to much about them.
Later, at the German camp, the men who stole the cylinder proudly hand it over to their commanding General. The General proclaims that with these maps the German army can stall the Americans for weeks or even months, long enough to turn the tide of the war. He eagerly opens the cylinder, but the lid is attached by a thin cord. The cylinder explodes, killing everyone in the tent and destroying the maps.
Back on the road, with their jeep repaired the Major and Corporal speed back as fast as they can towards base camp. The Major explains that the cylinder was wired with an explosion. The whole trip was a diversion set by HQ to fool the Germans into stealing the cylinder. The Major tells the Corporal to drive faster, just as he pulls a cylinder containing the real maps from beneath his seat!
Appearing in "The Souvenir Nobody Wanted"
- Unnamed German soldiers
- Unnamed American Sergeant
- American Doctor
- Ghent, Belgium
- Craig's bullet
- The Haunted Tank
- Junkers Ju 87 Sturzkampfflugzeug ground-attack aircraft
- Sonderkraftfahrzeug German Half Track
- Panzerkampfwagen IV
Synopsis for "The Souvenir Nobody Wanted"
The Haunted tank rolls into a small Belgian town east of Ghent, expecting a fight. However, the Infantry have already cleared out the town and have set up shot, literally. They stop in front of a small war ravaged shot, where one Infantry Sergeant is selling Nazi souvenirs from the battle. He seems to have something for everyone - Jeb spots a Nazi flag that'd look good in his den back home, Gus sees a picture of Hitler to use as target practice, and Rick finds a nice camera. Sergeant Craig, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with the merchandise, telling the others that a souvenir is no good if you don't earn it. They realize that he's right.
On their return back to base, the Haunted Tank is attacked by a German plane who is hedge hopping the ground. The plane dives in towards the tank but Jeb is able to blast the left wing off, sending it soft-crashing to the ground. Jeb jumps off the tank, determine to collect his very own hard-earned souvenir, but the plane explodes before he can reach it. Continuing down the road a few more miles, they run into a German half track. Jeb orders the men to fire, but Rick jams the gun before he can get a shot out. Gus opens fire with the hull gun but is unable to get a straight bead on the enemy. Trying a different strategy, he begins to "walk" .30-cal bursts onto the road towards them. The road ahead was mined, and Gus' shots set off a chain reaction destroying the half track. There's nothing left of the enemy, so Gus is unable to retrieve his souvenir.
Jeb orders Craig to turn the tank hard right and get off the road, since they don't know how much of the road is still mined. As they reach a bridge leading over a river, their way is blocked by a Panzer on the other side. By now Rick has unjammed the turret gun and is ready for a fight. His show sends the Panzer toppling over the edge of the bridge into the river below, making it impossible for Rick to recover his souvenir as well. With three strikes against them, Jeb and the others head towards base.
Back at base, Jeb, Rick and Gus dismount the tank and head for the mess tent for chow, but Sgt. Craig stays behind to relax and get some fresh air after being cooped up inside the tank all day. As he leans back to close his eyes, he hears the rustling of the leaves in the nearby tree line. Craig jumps down just in time to spot a squad of German infiltrators sneaking around for an ambush. He grabs the .50-cal off the tank's hatch and fires into the tree line. He kills most of them, but one of the lucky ones gets a clean shot at Craig hitting him in the chest. As Craig goes down wounded, the rest of the American squadron has been alerted and quickly run out to finish off the remaining Germans.
Jeb and the others quickly rush Craig to the battalion hospital to have his wound treated. The doctor works slowly, as the bullet is only an inch from Craig's heart, but the surgery to remove it is a success. Later, when Craig finally wakes up, the Doctor shows him the bullet before he throws it out. Sgt. Craig asks for it, his very own souvenir. He's not going to give it up, not after all the trouble of carrying it inside him!
- For "The G.I. and the Pin-Up Girl" writer George Kashdan is credited with his rank of 1st Lt. FA NG.
- No trivia.
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Links and References
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