A Tribute to the of

One of the few disappointments I experienced during my San Diego sojourn was that Sam Glanzman was unable to attend. Sam is celebrating his 91st birthday on the 5th of this month and according to his Facebook page, his Attu collection will be coming out next year.

Sam, as you may recall, has been very generous to me, passing along bits of memorabilia from his collection, to include his personal copy of Our Army at War #242 + the back cover, the February, 1972 issue, (love, love, love those old 100-pagers!) containing classic reprint stories along with special features sprinkled throughout. The tales are categorized by branch under Infantry, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Cavalry and there are a couple of 2-page features by Sam to include “Victory’s Emblem” and of course “Sam Glanzman’s War Diary.” I’m still not sure who sent the book to him, but each of his features have “Sam” with an arrow written in the top right hand corner of the corresponding pages and taped to the back cover in the same lettering and felt pen is the word, “Surprise!” Joe Kubert? I wish I knew for certain. Maybe I should check in with Sam.

Among the stories presented, I decided to go with an unusual team-up story, first presented in G.I. Combat #108 from October/November of 1964 with a story by Robert Kanigher called, “The Wounded Won’t Wait!” Art is by Joe Kubert and it’s a meeting up of Sgt. Rock’s Easy Company with Jeb Stuart’s Haunted Tank and of course it’s in the Cavalry section of this 100-page Super Spectacular.

Part I opens with Jeb Stuart having a brief chat with his namesake, General Jeb Stuart of the Confederate States of America, who tells the Lieutenant to, “Keep your eyes open for a ‘rock that’s going to turn steel into ashes’!

So the M-3 Stuart tank rolls along on patrol until discovering an ambushing Nazi tank. Deploying some smoke and driving the tank like she’s a wounded animal, the crew of the Haunted Tank work their way into range and the ruse works. They blast the enemy combatant to bits. Jeb decides that was what the cryptic comment from the General’s ghost meant. They were the rock that turned the steel of the German tank to ashes.

Later, the crew takes a break and gets into their C rations when the Lieutenant ducks inside for some pepper to give the chow some flavor when the tank again falls under enemy fire from an enemy plane, which easily spotted them in the moonlight. The entire crew, save Jeb, suffer wounds, but Stuart takes down the attacker with his machine gun.

Loading his crew into the tank, Stuart again speculates that perhaps this was where the tank was the rock that turned the steel of the plane to ashes. Rolling along, the M-3 is once again attacked, this time by an anti-tank gun, but they get some unexpected help in the form of Sgt. Rock along with two other members of Easy Company, Ice Cream Soldier and Wildman. Rock successfully takes out the enemy with a grenade, closing Part I.

As Part II opens only Rock and Stuart remain uninjured and the tank becomes a rolling infirmary as they seek a field hospital for their wounded. Once they locate one it is actually relocating as it’s turning into a hot zone. In fact, they’re soon under attack yet again by enemy aircraft. Both Jeb and Rock return fire while the Major in charge of the field hospital calmly attends to the injured.

At last they take down the plane and prepare to move to new coordinates for a rendezvous to get better treatment in a safer locale. The Haunted Tank arrives first, but it’s another hot zone, so Stuart and Rock leave their wounded comrades in a safe spot so they can go and engage the enemy and make the area a bit cooler. Unfortunately, the Haunted Tank takes a hit, knocking treads loose and leaving the M-3 stuck in place.

Both Stuart and Rock are pinned down, but then they notice the enemy fire is behind them. Incredibly, their comrades have shuffled out of the cover to draw fire so that Stuart and Rock can run up and attack the tank on foot. Not content to just do that, the wounded soldiers join in the attack that ultimately causes the Panzer to explode, clearing the last obstacle for the field hospital to get set up and care for them.

In the final panel Lieutenant Stuart finally understands what rock the ghostly General was referring to and as per usual the circled “Make War No More” serves as the coda to the story.

Happy birthday Sam Glanzman and thanks for the gift of this issue to yours truly. I look forward to seeing Sam’s latest collected work, to include Attu and of course his U.S.S. Stevens collected stories and A Sailor’s Story, all available now.

The next edition of this feature will be the final one for 2015, so be sure to join us as we wrap up another year of the Silver Age Sage. We appreciate your patronage and look forward to your comments and feedback. Send ‘em to: professor_the@hotmail.com.

See you December 15th and…

Long live the Silver Age!

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