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"Shoot-Out on Skull Mountain!": One morning, as Sergeant Craig climbs up start the tank before a mission, he accidentally drops his wallet. It is picked up by his son Eddie, who notices a photograph of his father and a strange woman during his time in World War One. Angered that his father had a
- You never know what surprises will show up in war, General!
Appearing in "Shoot-Out on Skull Mountain!"
- General J.E.B. Stuart
- Celeste Boyer
- Marie Boyer
- Nazi Commander
- Unnamed Terror-Rocket pilots
- French Schoolmaster (Flashback only)
- Skull Mountain, France
- The Haunted Tank
- Nazi Terror-Rockets
Synopsis for "Shoot-Out on Skull Mountain!"
One morning, as Sergeant Craig climbs up start the tank before a mission, he accidentally drops his wallet. It is picked up by his son Eddie, who notices a photograph of his father and a strange woman during his time in World War One. Angered that his father had an affair during the war, Eddie demands that Bill tell him about the photo.
During a fierce battle in World War One, Bill was forced to evacuate this burning tank. The only survivor of his crew, he quickly found a place to hide before the Germans could spot him. Just as a squad of Germans would have discovered him, they are shot by a mysterious woman named Marie Boyer. Far away from the American lines, he agreed to return to the village with her. That evening, on their way, they spent the night on Skull Mountain, shivering from the cold. They huddled together for warmth. The next morning they reach the village, but the Huns had overrun the lines and Marie hid Bill in her house. While there, the village schoolmaster had taken their photo. When it was finally safe to slip back to his unit, he took the photo as it is all he has left to remember her by.
After Sergeant Craig finishes telling the story, the others arrive and he is given the command to take the tank east. Their mission is to rendezvous with a band of Maquis in the woods about twenty kilometers from their position and give them support. On the way Jeb is warned by his ghost ancestor that trouble lies ahead for them. As they arrive in the area, Jeb spots the Maquis under fire from a German Panzer. They quickly fire before the Germans have a chance to spot them, destroying the Panzer. Eddie is sent out to look for survivors. He finds a young Maquis woman, but is then pinned down by enemy fire from the Panzer crew, whom survived the attack. The two are able to take out the advancing Germans together and rush back to the others. Sergeant Craig recognizes the woman as Marie Boyer, but she explains that she is Marie's daughter Celeste who is a spitting image for her mother.
Later that day, the crew arrive at Celeste's village, and Bill Craig is reunited with Marie. She is older, but still fighting for France's freedom as she did during the first World War. She explains to Jeb and the others that the Germans are testing new rockets from a launching site on Skull Mountain, but unlike the V1s and V2s, these new rockets are steered by pilots to hit vital military targets in England. The Maquis mission was to destroy the rockets before they can launch, and with the death of the Maquis it's now Jeb and the tank's new mission. Marie suggests that, because of the area being protected by German 88s, that one of them must slip in and infiltrate the area before dawn to create a diversion for the force can attack. They crew draw straws and Eddie gets the short one. He is given civilian clothing and, after Bill wishes him luck, slips off into the darkness towards Skull Mountain.
Just before dawn atop Skull Mountain, giant elevators raise the Nazi Terror-Rockets from below ground to begin tests. The Nazi commander states that all the rockets will be launched at once, to bomb London and show their Fuhrer that the manned rockets can win the war for Germany. The pilots take their positions within the cockpits. The first one launches, but seconds after blast-off explodes in the air. The same goes for a second rocket, and the commander orders an immediate halt to the launchings. They are unable to stop a third rocket, and as soon as it hits the air begins to veer off course wildly. Within the rocket, it's revealed that Celeste is at the controls. She reveals that she had slipped Eddie a sleeping pill before he was able to leave, and took his place secretly. After knocking the other German pilots unconscious. Celeste had snuck into the cockpit. The rocket speeds out of control, but as soon as it hits the sound barrier Celeste gains control of the rocket. Just then Jeb and the others open fire onto the launching site, destroying the 88s. Celeste is able to turn the rocket around towards the Nazi base, and bails out just as the rocket reaches its target. The launching site and all the Terror-Rockets go up in an great explosion.
Eddie rushes to help Celeste as she lands, having fallen for the girl and her bravery. Like father, like son!
Appearing in "The Secret Hero"
- Corporal Rory Smith
- Private Cal
- Unnamed American G.I.s
- Unnamed Viet Cong soldiers
- Da Nang, Vietnam
Synopsis for "The Secret Hero"
In the dense jungle outside of Da Nang, Vietnam, two G.I.s, Rory and Cal, crawl back to their lines after their mission to locate the enemy. Rory is spooked, his nerves shot by the constant fear of Cong snipers. Cal tries to calm him, but Rory finally snaps. Having had enough of the war, he gets up and runs. Everyone in his unit watches when Rory is mowed down by hidden Cong machine gun. The others open fire on the enemy, destroying the MG and killing the enemy Cong. A week later, Corporal Rory Smith is laid to rest a hero, posthumously awarded a medal for his bravery and sacrifice in deliberately drawing enemy fire on himself to expose the enemy position. Cal knows better, but vows to keep it a secret for the sake of his dead friend.
Appearing in "Afghan Fury"
- Unnamed Russian Soldiers
- Kabul, Afghanistan
- Various box kites
- Molotov cocktails
- Soviet T-55 tank
Synopsis for "Afghan Fury"
East of Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, on the mountain slope of Sang-I-Masha, a tribe of Afghan rebels rush for safety from a Russian helicopter. Barak, the son of the Mullah leader Kunar, attempts to fight the approaching helicopter with a kite he has designed. Despite the others mocking him, he waits for the helicopter to get into range. The Russian pilot fires onto the kite, and the hidden grenade within explodes destroying the helicopter.
Later, within the Mullah hideout in the caves, their leader Kunar is near death. With his last breath, he declares Barak to be his successor and lead the others in the fight against the Russians. Targhi, an elder rebel, challenges the leader's decision, but the others refuse to break with tradition. They learn of the approach of a Russian garrison, and the tribe under the new leadership of Barak mount their horses for an attack.
From a distance, the rebels watch the Russian garrison, armed with a tank, move up the road. Barak has a plan to use the Russians own weapons against them. He send a cluster of three huge kites loaded with Molotov cocktails and bound with a single string aloft towards the Russians, planning to drop them when they're above, but a sudden wind tears the string from his hand sending the kites blowing out of control. The Russians spot them, and begin firing into their position. Without the kites, the rebels grab more Molotov cocktails and on horseback charge against the Russians and their tank. They are successful in destroying the Russians, and Barak learns his first lesson as leader. When guile fails, they must take courage into their own hands.
- In "Afghan Fury", Robert Kanigher states in the writer's notes that he had hoped to visit Afghanistan during his trip to the Middle East, but the Russian invasion in 1979 put an end to those plans. This tale "takes the journey for him".
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Links and References
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