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"Haunted Tank: "No-Return Mission"": Lately, the American tank corps has had it rough, with impossible missions one after another. Unfortunately, the tanks and their crews have not been returning from these missions, unable to beat the odds stacked against them. First Lt. Matt Smith and his tank


Quote1 How long am I going to have a head... with this mission you picked out for me deliberately? Why did you do it? Why me? Me? ME? Quote2
-- Jeb Stuart



Appearing in Haunted Tank: "No-Return Mission"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • German Infantry soldiers

Other Characters:

  • American Artillery Commanding Officer
  • Lieutenant Matt Smith (Dies)
  • Lieutenant Phil (Dies)
  • Lieutenant Miller
  • Lieutenant Rudin
  • Unnamed Infantry Lieutenant
  • American Infantry soldiers

Locations:

Items:

  • Binoculars

Vehicles:

  • The Haunted Tank
  • Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger fighter aircraft

Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "No-Return Mission"

Lately, the American tank corps has had it rough, with impossible missions one after another. Unfortunately, the tanks and their crews have not been returning from these missions, unable to beat the odds stacked against them. First Lt. Matt Smith and his tank, then Lt. Phil and his. And everyday the Haunted Tank would be out on their patrol and find the smoking wreck of each of them. Lt. Jeb Stuart realizes that these type of missions have a 1 in 1000 chance against anyone who takes them, but the ghost of General J.E.B. Stuart reminds his descendant that a real soldier is not a bookkeeper and should fight with their hearts and not worry about the figures.

The next day, the squadron C.O. calls all the tank commanders together. He tells them that he has a really tough mission, and that each of them will be drawing from a helmet to choose who's the lucky ones to get it. Lt. Miller and Lt. Rudin choose first, and their luck holds. When Lt. Stuart draws his, his hand is guided by the General's ghost to select the winning slip. Jeb feels uneasy about the mission, as his friends Smith and Phil never returned. He is briefed on the mission - to fight their way to several infantry companies who are pinned down by deadly enemy fire, and move in front in order to give the signal for the rear artillery to begin shelling. Jeb knows the risks. If he doesn't get close enough to the enemy, the artillery shells will land on their own troops, but if he gets too close he'll be a sitting target for the enemy to kill. Jeb waves to the rest of the squadron as the Haunted Tank leaves on their mission, unsure of their survival or return.

When the Haunted Tank arrives at the coordinates given to them by the C.O., they find a shallow river with a marked sinkhole in the middle. As they are crossing, Jeb takes note of a strange amount of bubbles coming from the area of the sinkhole. At first he thinks it could be a big fish, but his instincts tell him otherwise and he orders Rick to swivel the turret around just in case. Just then, a Nazi Tiger tank fixed with a breathing apparatus begins to rise from the bubbling water, ready to attack. The Tiger tank fires it's first shot to panic its enemy, but the Haunted Tank gives them no chance to fire a second shot. They destroy the Tiger tank. Rick shouts that they just pulled off a 100-to-1 shot on the first attack, but Jeb knows that it is far away from the 1000-to-1 odds that are against them. The ghost of General Stuart appears to remind Jeb that they got out of it using their fighting heart and not by figuring odds. Jeb is upset with the General for making him pick this assignment, one that could very well be their last. The General doesn't answer, fading away to leave them alone in the woods. Then they realize they are not alone, when two more German Tigers appear from the trees. One fires, nearly knocking over the Haunted Tank with the blast. Jeb is knocked unconscious from the blast, and the General's ghost appears again to help out. He gives Slim the order to move straight ahead. As Jeb wakes up, he finds the Haunted Tank trying to claw its way up a large tree. Jeb orders the turret to the left. They fire, destroying the first Tiger tank. The elevation the tree has given them allows them to swing the turret to the right and fire a direct shot right into the second Tiger. The crew are amazing that they won, believing it to be a 500-to-1 shot of surviving two Tiger tanks. But Jeb knows the worst is ahead of them.

The Haunted Tank arrives at the position held by Companies Able, Baker, Dog and Fox and find a battered village surrounded with weary soldiers. The tank moves up through the area to take a spot far enough in front of the infantry. There is no cover at all, just an empty field. Jeb hopes there would be time to dig a pit for some cover, but as soon as he raises his binoculars he spots the enemy coming in the distance. Jeb radios the coordinates back to the artillery, and orders them to fire at range zero - the position of the Haunted Tank themselves. The German tanks open fire on the little tank in the field as soon as they realize it's marking their position for assault. From above, a German fighter plane swoops down to attack them. Rick and Arch man their machine guns and fire into the attacking plane, setting it alight and barreling down to the ground. The plane must have been carrying a full bomb load, because when it impacts the ground it explodes with massive impact and creates a large bomb crater just the size for the Haunted Tank to enter and take cover. Slim drives the tank into the crater, and Jeb once again confirms his attack order with the artillery at the rear. The ground explodes like thunder around them as the rear artillery open fires at the enemy, destroying the German tanks and their troops. With the enemy destroyed and the position safe, the artillery cease their firing and try to contact the Haunted Tank by radio. There is a moment's silence, then the Haunted Tank bursts from the dirt and debris around it, safe and sound. The ghost of General Stuart appears to congratulate Jeb and remind him that no odds can pin down a fighting heart, not even a 1000-to-1 against!

Appearing in "One Pilot Too Many"

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Synopsis for "One Pilot Too Many"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in "Take Fury Hill Twice"

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Synopsis for "Take Fury Hill Twice"

  • Synopsis not yet written.



Notes

  • No special notes.

Trivia

  • No trivia.



See Also


Recommended Reading

  • None.


Links and References

  • No external links.
Superboy Vol 4 69
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