Military Comics Issue No. 23October 1943
The story begins in 1932 when a criminal named Big Mike Kono escapes from the French penal colony of Devil's Island. Making his way to the shore of French Guiana, he meets his friends, the Jivaro headhunters. Big Mike rises along a trail of blood and cruelty to the kingship of the tribe. Ten years later, he makes a deal with the Japanese to build a secret airfield from which they can attack Panama. Months later, the Blackhawk squadron lands in the Canal Zone. Three crack pilots sent to investigate rumors of a Japanese air base in the Venezuelan jungles have been returned in the form of shrunken heads. Their commander asks the Black Knights to find those responsible. Flying over the jungle, Blackhawk spots a castaway on a sandy spit in a river. He lands to rescue the man while the rest of the team flies on looking for the air base. The man, Davison, tells Blackhawk how he escaped from the Jivaros, their white king and the Japanese. Blackhawk radios the location of the base to Olaf and then he, Chop-Chop and Davison turn his plane around for takeoff. But before they can get in the air their sand strip disappears as the river rises in response to the tide. They are trapped. Meanwhile, the rest of the team lands on what they think is the airstrip but turns out to be a disguised swamp. Their planes sink into the mud and they are trapped and captured by the Jivaros. Blackhawk, Chop-Chop and Davison travel overland to find the real airfield, hidden under camouflage nets. Blackhawk captures two of the Japanese soldiers and then has Davison, who is a sculptor, fashion shrunken heads from clay to resemble them. He then replaces the heads which the Jivaros are shrinking with the "Japanese" heads. The Japanese commander thinks the Jivaros have killed his men and a fight breaks out between the allies. Blackhawk frees his men, they get their planes and strafe the fighting bad guys, wiping them out. They fly back to Panama with their war cry of Hawkaaa-a-a-a ringing in the air.
Page 6 provides a good view of the F5F-1 markings for this period.
Other stories in this issue:
The Sniper (by Yernon Henkel)
Death Patrol (by Al Stahl)
Private Dogtag (by Bart Tumey)
The Atlantic Patrol (a true story told by Fred Guardineer)
Sparkling Death (an uncredited text story)
Sailor Danny (by Lazarus and King)
Secret War News
Thanks to David Chapman for submitting the cover for this issue.
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