"The TNT Seat": While Jeb is away, the other members of the Haunted Tank gather to decide who will go on what they have been told is a suicide mission into enemy territory. They each pick cards from a deck - the highest will go on the mission alone. While Eddie is the lucky one with the King of
- They thought they'd pull the play away from me and spare me because they think I'm more important than any of them! It's my responsibility to go! If you were in my place, General... what would you have done?
Appearing in "The TNT Seat"
- German pilots
- German Infantry soldiers
- American Artillery commander "Skipper"
- American B-17 pilot
- TNT explosives
- The Haunted Tank
- American M4 Sherman tank
- Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B
- German Heinkel He 280 turbojet fighter aircraft
- American Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber
- Willys MB U.S. Army Jeep
Synopsis for "The TNT Seat"
While Jeb is away, the other members of the Haunted Tank gather to decide who will go on what they have been told is a suicide mission into enemy territory. They each pick cards from a deck - the highest will go on the mission alone. While Eddie is the lucky one with the King of Diamonds, Jeb returns and picks the Ace of Spades. The others walk off, angry at Jeb for pulling rank. Jeb feels abandoned by the others, the men he had thought of as family.
Earlier that day, the enemy had attacked HQ using new and experimental high-powered jets. They destroyed an entire squadron of Sherman tanks even before their crews could reach their guns, then vanished like bolts of lightning. Even before the smoke settles, they get word that a single jet had attacked three of their B-17s over Munich, tearing all of them apart. However, before the last jet crashed, its pilot was able to radio the position of the base housing the jets. Skipper looks for a volunteer to drive a single tank loaded with TNT into enemy territory and crash into the area to destroy the jets and their base. Jeb volunteers, but refuses to sacrifice his entire crew when one man can do the job. Jeb tries to explain his reasons for pulling rank to his ancestor General J.E.B. Stuart, but the ghost does not agree with him.
While on his way, the Haunted Tank is attacked by a lone Panzer. Jeb is slow in his reactions, trying to man all positions alone. He manages to get a lucky shot off, hitting the Panzer square in the front and destroying it. Continuing on, he finds the location that the pilot had radioed back. The area is dotted with Panzers, but as Jeb approaches them he can see that they're dummies, manned with cardboard cut-outs of German soldiers. As he breaks through the tree line, he finds his objective - the secret enemy jet base. As Jeb sets the timer on the TNT for five minutes, he is attacked by the bases' defenses, including real Panzers and ground cannons. He puts the pedal to the metal and barrels through the first line of defenses and through the barbed wire fence. The Germans fire repeatedly at the lone tank. The tank is pelted from all directions, and Jeb is nicked in the skull by a ricochet inside the tank. Jeb is about to give up hope, and pass out, when he sees an approaching American jeep coming up from behind. It's the rest of his crew - Rick, Gus, Eddie and Bill, who open fire at the Germans and opens a clear path through the enemy lines for Jeb to drive the tank straight into the base. They others follow him in, and as soon as Jeb brings the tank to a halt inside they quickly pull his barely-conscious body from the tank and speed back out of the base. The tank explodes, destroying the base and the jets within! Jeb thanks the others for disobeying orders and coming after him. Eddie smiles, telling him that's what a family's for.
Appearing in "The Snow Bums"
- Lieutenant Allan
- Chinese Artillery soldiers
- Chinese Infantry soldiers
- American Infantry soldiers
- Puksubaek San Mountain, Korea
Synopsis for "The Snow Bums"
During the Korean War, Lieutenant Allan is a champion skier who takes his men over a mountain pass with the assignment to capture a Chinese prisoner for interrogation. His men are all picked off by enemy forces on skis, but Allan evades capture and leads the enemy into a trap. He is able to capture an enemy soldier, carrying him back to his C.O. on the back of his skis.
Appearing in "Piggyback Paratrooper"
- Private Ray
- German pilot
- American paratroopers
- Danvielle, France
- Thompson submachine gun
- German Junkers Ju 87 ground-attack aircraft
Synopsis for "Piggyback Paratrooper"
Private Ray, a paratrooper with his unit, are jumping into occupied France to seize the stone bridge at Danvielle and block the German's Panzers from crossing. Ray is one of the last to jump, and watches from above as a German plane swoops in and starts picking off his friends one-by-one as they float down in the air. The wind is whipping Ray around as he tries to gain some control of his descent, but the wind brings him to land right down onto the wing of the German plane. With his chute tangled in the plane's tail, he clings on for his life. The German pilot, getting a good laugh at Ray's predicament, tries to shake him off his wing. Ray continues to cling on tight. Finally the pilot levels off and, opening his cockpit window, tries to shoot the unlucky American off with a pistol. The shots are close, but the German can't get good aim. Ray carefully unslings his Thompson and fires back. His shot miss the pilot, but a few of his shots hit the engine, which bursts into flames. The pilot loses control and the plane begins to nose-dive. The sudden dive and up-wind frees Ray's parachute from the tail, and he is separated from the plane as it falls to the ground and explodes. Ray's not out of danger yet, as the maneuver has created a large rip in his chute. He carefully glides down, landing hard but safely onto the ground. He is helped up by the others in his unit, who had seen the entire thing and declare him a hero for bringing down the plane singlehandedly!
Appearing in "Prize Shot"
- German pilots
- Shooting Gallery stall owner
- St. Ondine villagers
- St. Ondine, France
- German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger fighter aircraft
- German Heinkel He 111 medium bomber
Synopsis for "Prize Shot"
Having drove out the enemy from the small town of St. Ondine, Rick Rawlins is spending his R&R time at a carnival near the edge of town. At the shooting gallery booth, Rick is showing his date Denise his skill at firing a rifle. Rick misses every one of the targets. Denise asks to try, and manages to hit every target in the gallery and winning the prize. Rick tells her it's just beginners luck. Afterwards, they finally see a seat open on the roller coaster and grab it before anyone else. As they are climbing the tallest hill on the track, the coaster stalls. Denise grabs Rick's rifle from his over his shoulder and begins to wildly fire into the air. Rick is freaked out by this, but then spots a German fighter plane swooping down from the clouds to attack. With it flies a bomber above, trying to take the town by surprise. Denise's shots miss the aircraft every time, and Rick grabs the rifle back from her. He waits for the plane to make it's dive then, as it returns back into the air to join the bomber, Rick fires. The bullets pierce the plane's gas tank, causing it to catch on fire. The plane climbs out of control and crashes into the bomber, destroying both. Rick smiles, two bull's-eyes in one! Denise asks Rick if he'd show her how to shoot like that, but Rick refuses. She's already too good for him!
Appearing in "Convoy to Aduwa"
- Ethiopian pirates
- Various unnamed Ethiopians
- American Pastor
- American Doctor
- M67 fragmentation grenade
- Medical and food relief supplies
- Bell 412 twin-engine utility helicopter
- M35 2½-ton cargo trucks
- Lockheed C-5 Galaxy cargo transport plane
Synopsis for "Convoy to Aduwa"
After a seven-year drought in Ethiopia, many of the world's democracies have sent aid to the starving country in the form of food and medical supplies. However, the much-needed aid continues to be hijacked by a heartless thief named Nakamti and his men, determined to use the stolen resources to make themselves rich. In a church in Brooklyn, the Mercenaries have accepted an assignment to guard a truckload of food destined for Ethiopia that has been donated by the congregation. The Mercenaries agree to accept no payment for the assignment, using it as a cover to try and discover the men responsible for the hijacking.
Later, in Ethiopia, while the medical staff at Aduwa work against the odds to save as many of the starving without the aid of food or medical supplies, the Mercenaries touch down in the country and load their supplies onto a caravan of trucks heading for the aid depot in most need. Halfway to their destination, the drivers make an unscheduled turn and come to a stop. The drivers reveal themselves to be working for Nakamti and kill everyone else, depositing their bodies onto the side of the road. They then continue on, but one of the trucks accidentally loses one of the crates from its rear. They stop to recover it, and are surprised to find that the Mercenaries hiding inside. They burst out, firing into the pirates. Most are killed, but the lead truck gets away but not before tossing a live grenade at the Mercenaries. It explodes, but to make sure they are finished off the man swings the truck around to run them over. The Mercenaries roll out of the way to safety, but they are unable to stop the one truck from getting away with the supplies inside. However, their efforts rescued five of the trucks, and they load up to drive them to the aid depot.
Entering a mountain pass on their way to Aduwa, the Mercenaries are surprised by a roadblock set up by Nakamti's men. Prince is unable to stop the lead truck in time and it barrels into the roadblock at full speed. The pirates are scattered by the impact, and Gordon and Horst shoot down the remaining men. The convoy picks up speed, nearly at its destination, when they are attacked by a helicopter carrying Nakamti himself. He throws a bomb down at the trucks below in an attempt to destroy the lead truck. The bomb lands and embeds itself into the hood of the truck, and Horst quickly shoots the tow cable from the truck to disconnect the lead truck from the rest of the convoy. Gordon concentrated all his fire onto the helicopter, destroying it. Prince turns the lead truck into the river, where it explodes. Fortunately, the water contains most of the explosion and the remaining trucks are safe.
The doctors and nurses from the aid depot rush to help unload the supplies from the trucks. Prince, injured but alive, pulls himself out of the river and is given medical aid by the nurses. They explain to the Mercenaries that every mouthful of food they brought will save a life, but that tomorrow the people will starve once the supplies run out. The Mercenaries have done their job, but it is up to the rest of the world to become Mercenaries... without pay!
- This book was first published on August 8, 1985.
- On the first page of the second story "The Snow Bums", writer Robert Kanigher says in a side note: "My skiis have slid down Stowe and Aspen in the U.S., Mt. Tremblant in Canada, Cortina D'Ampezzo in Italy, Garmisch in Germany, and Zermatt in Switzerland. But, during the bitter winter in the Korean War, others schussed down the 8,274-foot Subaek-San. Here's their story"
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