"Haunted Tank: "Debt of Honor"": The Haunted Tank is in the middle of a battle against two Panzer tanks. Lt. Stuart orders Rick to continuously fire at the enemy, but Rick's mind seems to be off the job. He realizes that he's only a tool for the others to use, and that outside of battle he is a
- Me, I've always been a loner... No one ever gave me a second look... Not that I blame 'em... I'm no bargain. I came into this world alone... Guess that's how I'll leave it!
- -- Rick Rawlins
Appearing in Haunted Tank: "Debt of Honor"
- German pilot (Dies)
- German Infantry soldiers
- Captain J.J. Jamison "Skipper"
- Lieutenant Walker
- Gina's mother
- Gina's father
- Italian villagers
- Italian nurse
- Italian priest
- Sanremo, Italy
- Holy medal
- Rick's dog tags
- The Haunted Tank
- Panzerkampfwagen IV
- German Heinkel He 219 Uhu night fighter
Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "Debt of Honor"
The Haunted Tank is in the middle of a battle against two Panzer tanks. Lt. Stuart orders Rick to continuously fire at the enemy, but Rick's mind seems to be off the job. He realizes that he's only a tool for the others to use, and that outside of battle he is a nobody to them. He has no home and no where to go, no family and no wife waiting for him when the war is over. No one seems to notice how unhappy his is, except for the ghost of General Stuart. The ghost realizes that Rick has a sickness known to many soldiers over time - loneliness.
That evening, after the Haunted Tank has returned to headquarters and the others are fast asleep, Rick takes a walk to try and decide what he will do with the rest of his life. While he is out, the camp is attacked by a German Nightfighter plane. Rick quickly runs to the Haunted Tank and jumps aboard. Taking control of the machine gun, he fires at the approaching plane and hits it dead on, destroying the enemy. With the battle over and the camp safe, Capt. Jamison thanks Rick and tells him that they all owe him one. He then tells Jeb that him and his crew have been given one week leave in San Remo after spending so much time on the front line.
The next day in San Remo, Rick begins to notice a young village girl by the name of Gina during a traditional dance being held in the village. Just before the last dance is about to begin, Gina walks over and gives Rick her tiara, as is their tradition of selecting a partner for the final dance. Rick is shocked to be chosen, and spends a happy and fun evening with Gina. The next day, despite the objections from her parents about dating a soldier, Gina invites Rick to a picnic in the hills. They walk for a mile into the hills at the edge of town. It begins to rain, and the two take shelter in an ancient temple hidden away. Gina explains that for thousands of years lovers have come to the temple to exchange gift to remember each other. She gives him a holy medal from around her neck, and Rick in turn gives her his dog tags. Then suddenly, Gina pushes Rick out of the way just as an explosion rocks the temple and separates the two. Not knowing if she is dead or alive, Rick grabs his rifle just as three German soldiers appear around the corner. He shoots them, then begins to frantically search for Gina. He finds her lying in the rubble, unconscious and badly hurt. He picks her up and carries her back to the village. On the edge of town, Rick finds a convent, and the nuns quickly take Gina from him and rush her inside for medical treatment. Rick waits for word on her condition for hours, and then finally one of the nuns return and tells him that Gina will live, but that she will never be the same. Flame from the explosive blast has disfigured one side of her face.
Leaving Gina with the nuns to recover, Rick returns to the village to ask the others what he should do. None of them can give him the answer he is looking for, but Jeb reminds Rick that any decision is up to the Skipper. Rick hitches a ride back to headquarters, having made up his mind to marry Gina. Capt. Jamison wants Rick to wait a week, in order to have time to think, but Rick is adamant and reminds Jamison that the captain owes him one. Jamison gives him permission to marry, and tells Rick that he will take care of all the paperwork for him. Rick then hitches a ride back to San Remo to tell Gina of the good news.
Arriving back at the village, Rick receives word that Gina is awake and has returned to be with her parents. Rick rushes over to their house, but Gina turns away from him. She refuses to believe that any man would want to marry a woman who is as revolting has her. Rick takes her into his arms and tells her that he wants to marry her no matter what. The next day, Rick puts on his best dress uniform and rushes to the church ahead of the rest of the crew. When he arrives, he finds only Gina's parents there waiting for him. They give him a letter, written by Gina, telling him that she feels he is marrying her out of pity and that she has ran off into the hills to hide until he is gone. Jeb and the others finally arrive in the Haunted Tank, and tell Rick that the wedding will have to wait. They have received information that the Germans have broken through the valley and they have orders to hold them off until the rest of the outfit can arrive. Rick refuses to go, wanting to go search for Gina, but Jeb reminds him that he's a soldier first and orders him onto the tank. Rick obeys. The tank takes position on the high ground as the enemy approaches, and as soon as they are within range Rick unload everything they've got into the Germans using the battle to vent out his rage from losing Gina. After the battle, the Haunted Tank never returned to San Remo. HQ ordered the squadron to push on as the enemy moved back through the valley and into the hills. As they leave the area forever, Rick is reminded of the medal given to him by Gina to remember her with. Not far away, at the convent, Gina holds Rick's dog tags tight in her hand, never forgetting the man she was to marry.
Appearing in O.S.S.: "The Suicide Soldiers"
- Japanese Infantry soldiers
- Japanese Commanding officer
- Pilot Ota
- American Government official
- O.S.S. agents
- American Carrier captain
- Kiriki Island, Sea of Japan
- US Submarine "Swordfish"
- Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter aircraft
- American aircraft carrier
Synopsis for O.S.S.: "The Suicide Soldiers"
Summoned to the London offices of the super-spy agency O.S.S, Kana walks along the banks of the Thames when he is harassed by a group of British sailors. They attack, but Kana makes quick with them using his ninja skills. The sailors back off, respecting Kana after he took them down without even shedding one emotion. Inside the office, Control and a high ranking British official debate whether Kana should remain on duty, or be thrown into prison for failing his last mission to assassinate the Japanese Emperor. His new mission is to travel to Kiriki Island in the south Pacific to find and destroy the Japanese's new mysterious weapon, the "Divine Wind". Intelligence tells them that they plan on using whatever it is in 72 hours on Okinawa. Control gives Kana one last chance to redeem himself, or never return.
Two nights later, kana is dropped off in the area of Kiriki Island by an American submarine. Immediately upon walking onto the shore he is spotted by a Japanese beach patrol and chased by truck. Kana, using his acrobatic skills, leaps aboard the truck and kills the driver, sending the truck driving over the embankment and into the ocean. Kana quickly dons the uniform of one of the dead Japanese and heads for the enemy airfield a few miles inland. Impersonating a newly arrived pilot, Kana enters the island's C.O.'s office and waits. One other pilot is there ahead of him, a young man named Ota, who reveals that he has only flown three hours solo. Kana pities him, for he won't have a chance against American pilots in the air with his inexperience. Then, Kana approaches the officer and is told that their mission begins with briefing at dawn tomorrow. Kana presents him with his credentials that show him as a veteran of thirty-five missions, and the commanding officer elects Kana to lead the squadron of fledglings in Operation Divine Wind. Later, in his quarters, Kana is presented with a good-luck scarf bearing the signatures of their countrymen wishing them well.
Shortly before dawn, cups of sake are given to the young pilots in the field. At the briefing, the C.O. reveals that the young pilots will be the Japan's secret weapon - the first Kamikaze pilots to attack Okinawa. They will dive into the American aircraft carriers with their bombs attached to their planes, smashing the Americans like the divine wind - Banzai. As Kana climbs aboard his plane, he notices that he has only enough fuel to reach Okinawa, and that the parachute is missing. This is a one-way trip. The squadron takes off into the air with Kana leading them, heading for their target. Kana leads them away from the American task force and towards the Japanese submarine force. Before he can continue, Kana is attacked by Ota, who has finally realized what is happening. Kana pulls his plane into a screaming climb, then looping around fires at the rear of his squadron and causing the bomb-laden Zero planes to explode into flame. His Japanese squadron is defeated, but Kana's plane is spotted by a group of American navy pilots who begin to fire on him. With no radio to identify himself as a friend, Kana feigns death by sending his plane into a downward spin away from the attackers. Kana is unable to pull out of his spin, and the plane crashes into the Pacific waters. As Kana surfaces, he finds that another of his squadron had survived his attack - Ota! Kana warns Ota to be careful in the water, but Ota doesn't heed his warnings and jumps into the mouth of a nearby great white shark. Kana realizes that Ota had committed suicide to wipe out the shame of being defeated, the only honor left for the young pilot. Finally, Kana is picked up by one of the American ships in the area and brought aboard. Kana watches as the American planes finish off the remaining Kamikaze pilots in the air. But while the Japanese raid has been defeated like the setting sun, Kana knows that the sun always rises again...
Appearing in "The Non-Combat Commando"
- Sergeant Hennessy
- American Infantry captain
- German pilots
- Black Market pirateers
- Sergeant Linzer
- Private Mancuso (Dies)
- American Naval seamen
- American Infantry soldiers
- American battlecruiser
- German U-Boat submarine
- American GMC CCKW utility trucks
- German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter plane
Synopsis for "The Non-Combat Commando"
July, 1944. Somewhere in the North Atlantic, an American battlecruiser is attacked by a German sub. Below decks, when the rest of the men are rushing to get topside during the attacks. Sgt. Hennessy remains in his bunk cleaning his rifle. After the attack, he is called into captain's office, who informs him that their supply officer had been killed in the attack and that he would be taking his place. He argues, telling the captain that even though his father owned a general store, he had joined the army to get away from exactly that kind of work. Left with no choice, Hennessy accepts the job after being ordered by the captain. He then takes his anger out on his fellow soldiers, who kid him about being forced to take a desk job.
As soon as the ship lands, orders come for the troops to move up to the front. Hennessy is introduced to his men, a lazy bunch who would rather lie around than take care of a bunch of crates. He orders them to get to work in securing and guarding the supplies, telling them that since they've been forced to be storekeeps they'll be the best storekeeps in the army. He orders his men to cover all the empty gas drums with camouflage, and places a guard on duty at the medical supply shack. Then, they supply depot is attacked by a German plane from above. The plane attacks the camouflaged gas drums just as Hennessy expected, which were all empty and used as a decoy to avert attention from the actual ones. After the attack, the men find the guard at the shack, Private Mancuso, shot in the chest and spot a red truck speeding away from the camp. Suspecting Black Marketeers have stolen the penicillin supply, Hennessy jumps into a nearby jeep and pursues them. He reaches the truck and, moving up alongside them, jumps over and punches the driver out. The truck speeds off the road and crashes into the side of a barn.
With the penicillin recovered and safe, word comes through on the radio that the Nazis have broke through the lines and are attacking. The supply trucks that Hennessy had sent to the lines six hours before never arrived. Hennessy suspects that they had turned around like cowards, and shortly after the convoy pulls back into camp. Hennessy personally takes change of the convoy and they head out again for the front lines. They head right into the center of the action, but the first time the trucks are shot at some of them men jump off and start to run. Hennessy shouts at them, ordering them back to the trucks after telling them that the men on the line need these supplies. He has the convoy turn into the trees for extra cover, but the first truck is hit by cannon fire. The men quickly unload the supplies from it onto another truck. Meanwhile on the front line, just as the captain begins to worry that the supplies won't show up, he hears the honking of the trucks in the distance as they pull up to the lines. After unloading the supplies, Hennessy and his men return to their trucks to head back to headquarters. He takes one last look back, wishing that he could be up fighting the war instead of back behind the lines... minding the store!
Appearing in Haunted Tank: "Dead Letter Office"
- Captain J.J. Jamison "Skipper"
- German Artillery soldiers
- Lieutenant Thomas
- Lieutenant Goldman
- Lieutenant Phillips
- Lieutenant Taylor (Dies)
- American Artillery soldiers
- American Field medics
- San Pietro, Italy
- Ink pen
- The Haunted Tank
- Panzerkampfwagen IV
Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "Dead Letter Office"
Captain J.J. Jamison, commander of the artillery company and known by his men as "Skipper", watches as the latest patrol returns back to HQ. At the lead is the Haunted Tank, with Lt. Jeb Stuart in control. Jeb reports their findings to Jamison, telling him that both Lt. Kelly and Lt. Goldman were killed during an ambush. Jamison orders everyone to get some sleep that night, and then returns to his office to file the reports. Sitting down at his desk, Jamison begins to compose the letters for the families of the two officers he has lost. He stops in mid-sentence, staring at the pen in his hand. Lt. Stuart enters the office, ready to give his full report on the mission, but Jamison looses his temper, tired of writing letters to loved ones when he wasn't even there when the men died.
As the days go by he Capt. Jamison sinks even deeper into depression as he watches his men go out on mission after mission. He waits for their return, hoping that every time he counts it's the same number that he sent out. Then, after one mission to San Pietro, the company was attacked and Jeb and his men in the Haunted Tank didn't return. They tell the captain that the Haunted Tank is pinned down in the area by a squad of Panzers. One of the wounded, Lt. Thomas, tells Jamison that he wants to go back out and help them, as there is no one from the company left to send out. Capt. Jamison walks over to Lt. Thomas' tank and climbs aboard, telling the crew that he's taking over. It's time he got out from behind the desk and into the action.
Jamison and his tank arrive at San Pietro around midnight, and the town is as silent as a grave. He orders his driver to keep going, and then explosions erupt all around them. They've been spotted! The tank takes a hard right to circle the town and come in from the unguarded rear. As they enter the town, they spot a Panzer pinning down a tank trying to break out. Jamison orders for them to attack, and his gunner fires and destroys the Panzer. He orders for his men to take prisoners, but he can only hear the screams of the trapped Germans burning alive in the flaming Panzer. They keep going, and eventually come across another one of their tanks. Jamison recognizes it as Lt. Phillips' tank, but as they get nearer he can see that the crew had burned alive trying to escape the fiery tank. Jamison is sickened by the stench of burning flesh, but manages to order his driver to keep going. Around the corner they find another tank, and this time its commander, Lt. Taylor, had survived the attack. Jamison shouts at Taylor, but the lieutenant is dazed and begins to run towards Jamison's tank firing his pistol. Jamison shouts for Taylor to get out of the way but it's too late- the man is crushed under the treads. Jamison is horrified by the accident, barely able to keep himself together. Then, he hears the sounds of shellfire nearby. Jamison and his tank head towards the sound. It's Jeb Stuart and his tank, pinned by the river as two Panzers move in for the kill. Jamison orders his gunner to fire, and one of the Panzers is destroyed. The second one swings around its turret and fires, hitting Jamison's tank on the side. The armor piercing shell rips into the side of the tank, killing everyone inside. Jameson reaches down to try and help the driver, but finds the man decapitated. Lt. Stuart reaches the burning tank and tries to pull Capt. Jamison from the wreckage, but the man refuses as he tries to recover the dog tags from the dead soldiers. Jeb forces the man out just in time before the tank explodes.
The next day, after the Infantry had entered and secured the town of San Pietro, Jamison and the crew of the Haunted Tank have returned to headquarters. Jamison sits down at his desk to write the letters to the families of the men lost in San Pietro. He went out into battle to experience it first hand, so that he could write the truth. But the truth to his men's deaths were too horrific even for him. He decides it would be best to stick to the form letter, and keep the truths to himself.
- This book was first published on April 14, 1983.
- No special notes.
- The fourth story "Dead Letter Office" takes place during the Battle of San Pietro, which was a major engagement from 8–17 December 1943, in the Italian Campaign of World War II.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss G.I. Combat Vol 1 255 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the G.I. Combat series
Links and References
- No external links.