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"Out of the War!": Discovering that they overslept, Lt. Jeb Stuart wakes up his crew who have been sleeping under the trees where the tank squad had came to rest the night before. Jeb first notices that one of his dog tags is missing from his neck, and the others discover that theirs are missing
- The War--- The War! First, it killed Arch... then Slim... We fought in North Africa... Sicily... Italy... France... But the war never ends! This war will never end till we're all dead! Well, I've had enough! I want out!
- -- Jeb Stuart
Appearing in "Out of the War!"
- Unnamed German Infantry soldiers
- American Tank Commander "Skipper"
- Lieutenant Harry (Dies)
- American AA Gun crew (Dies)
- American Field Medics
- American Infantry soldiers
- Ludendorff Bridge, Remagen, Germany
- 37mm Gun M1 anti-aircraft (AA) autocannon
- The Haunted Tank
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter plane
- Willys MB U.S. Army Jeep
- Panzerkampfwagen IV
- M4 Sherman tank
Synopsis for "Out of the War!"
Discovering that they overslept, Lt. Jeb Stuart wakes up his crew who have been sleeping under the trees where the tank squad had came to rest the night before. Jeb first notices that one of his dog tags is missing from his neck, and the others discover that theirs are missing as well. Turning around, they watch in shock as they see doubles of themselves walk past, mount up, and drive off in their tank. The five quickly high-tail it back to headquarters, where they hear the Skipper giving orders to their doppelgangers - to help the Infantry capture the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen before the Germans blow it up. As they watch their doubles leave on the Haunted Tank for their mission, the American camp is attacked by a single German plane. It strafes the field, killing the American crew manning the AA cannon before they can get a shot. Jeb and his crew rush up to take their places, with Rick taking control of the gun. But when Rick slams his foot down to fire the cannon, nothing happens, as if he wasn't really there. Jeb and the others watch as the German plane fly over their heads without firing a shot, like he doesn't even see them standing exposed in the open. As the medics move in to collect the wounded, the crew realize that they're invisible to everyone, like ghosts or shadows of their true selves. Stealing a jeep, they head off down the road to catch up with their doubles.
Meanwhile, miles away, the doubles of the Haunted Tank crew speed down the road in their Sherman to catch up with the rest of the squad. When they arrive, they find the tank squad engaged in a heated battle against a squad of Panzer tanks. The Haunted Tank joins the fight, as only one American tank commanded by Lt. Harry remains standing against them. Even with the odds against them, the two tanks manage to destroy the attacking Panzers. However, Harry's tank takes a shell and is lit afire. Jeb and the others jump out to help but it is too late. Harry and his crew burn alive in the inferno. Jeb breaks down and snaps. He has seen enough war and wants out.
Elsewhere, the "ghost" crew speed down the road in their jeep towards the Ludendorff Bridge. They find a huge battle taking place on the bridge, as the Americans move in to try and take the bridge from the Germans. The bridge still stands, and the crew wonder why the Germans haven't just blown up the bridge and retreated instead of fighting back. As the speed down towards the battle, Jeb spots the ghost of General J.E.B. Stuart standing on the cliff but despite everything Jeb tries he can't attract the General's attention. The jeep runs out of gas before they can get to the bottom, but the crew find a tunnel running into the hillside and decide to check it out. Inside they find the Haunted Tank squaring off against three Panzer tanks. The "Ghost" crew jump aboard their tank to come face to face with themselves, wearing their missing dog tag. They realize that the Germans on the bridge are fighting as a diversion so that the Panzers can make their way through the tunnel and circle around to surprise the American forces. Jeb and the others take control of their tank back, and their "ghost" selves merge back into their bodies to become whole. With too many Panzers for one little tank to stop by itself, Jeb orders Rick to elevate the turret as high as he can and fire into the roof of the tunnel. As water from the river begins to pour into the tunnel, flooding it, Jeb orders his crew full speed ahead and out of the tunnel before they get caught in the wash.
With the German advance stopped, Jeb and the others stop to ponder what has happened to them over the last day. Then, the ghost of General Stuart appears and explains to Jeb that a force far greater than himself had granted Jeb his greatest wish - to be removed from the war. But instead of taking the chance to leave the war behind, they had chosen to return to it and put their lives on the line again... like the true heroes they are. With the bridge captured and the Germans in retreat, the crew of the Haunted Tank realize that they are where they truly belong...
Appearing in "Watch Dog of Company A"
- The Flag of Company "A"
- Vietnam War Infantry Captain
- Vietnam War Infantry Sergeant
- Viet Cong
- General George Washington
- American Revolutionary War Volunteers
- Union Civil War Infantry soldiers
- Mexican War Volunteers
- World War 1 Infantry Doughboys
- World War 2 Infantry Soldiers
- Medal of Valor
- 105 mm M2A1 (M101A1) howitzer cannon
- Norinco Type 62 light tank
Synopsis for "Watch Dog of Company A"
The flag of Company "A", a battle-scarred veteran of every war America has ever fought. It was a raw recruit in 1781, where it led a contingent of volunteers against the British at Yorktown and received a medal from General George Washington himself. It inspired and protected the men that fought under it. It led its boys through a lot of battles. During a skirmish in the Mexican War, when their C.O. was disarmed and helpless, the guidon bearer pierced the heart of the Mexican revolutionary only seconds before he was able to make the kill. And once in the American Civil War, it was needed for a swift and silent kill to strangle the life from a Confederate private. Its proudest moment came in World War I, when it was personally used to save a wounded doughboy from bleeding to death. By World War II, guidons were used strictly for parades and other ceremonies, but it remained with its unit as a tradition.
Stitched and frayed over the course of 200 years, it finally had one more chance to lead its men into battle again, this time in Vietnam. Far ahead of the advancing regiment, their mission was to ward off any guerrilla action. Its unit came under attack by a Cong tank outfit that was camouflaged in the woods, and needing quick action the captain of the unit ordered the guidon bearer to move up and wave the flag high in the air. In the distance, a forward observer spots the flag waving proudly in the air and orders all cannons to fire onto its position. The shells soar through the air and land right on target. The Cong tanks are destroyed, but there were casualties. The captain had deliberately attracted American fire to wipe out the enemy... and his own men. As the flag fluttered over the broken and bloody bodies, it wondered if it would ever see another battle, or would man ever find a more civilized and less violent way to settle their arguments.
- The second story "Watch Dog of Company A" is told from the viewpoint of the battle flag.
- The Letters page contains a Editor's Note informing the reader of the cancellation of G.I. Combat and that loyal fans can still find World War 2 action in the series Sgt. Rock, which would continue for another year before it too would be cancelled.
- The final page of this issue concludes the text article Famous Fighting Outfits: Engineers Roll Ahead to Victory (Part 3 - Conclusion), telling the story of the Engineers Corp during World War 2.
- The Ludendorff Bridge was in early March 1945 one of two remaining bridges across the River Rhine in Germany when it was captured during the Battle of Remagen by United States Army forces during the closing weeks of World War II.
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- Discuss G.I. Combat Vol 1 288 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the G.I. Combat series
Links and References
- No external links.