Military Comics Issue No. 27

March 1944

"The Flying Fool"

The man who lost his country and gave his life!

"Breathes there the man with soul so dead he never himself has said……….. This is my native land"

Dawn at an airport in the interior of old China. The Japanese were out early! Wilkins is a pilot with an Allied fighter group but he has lost his nerve, as a result of a plane crash three years earlier. After reaching cruising altitude with his squadron and travelling for sometime, he fakes engine trouble and and peels off through the clouds, landing on an island adjacent to the Chinese mainland. His squadron continues on, assuming his plane has motor trouble. Having faked the landing, Wilkins decides to torch the plane so his mates will think he has died in the crash.

Days later, lost in a tropical wilderness, Wilkins runs screaming out of the jungle into the hands of the Japanese Army. The Japanese solders take the captured pilot to their leader on the island. Being the coward that he is, Wilkins begs forgiveness from the cunning officer, Commander Nagishi. The Commander asks Wilkins what he knows about transport planes and supplies to China. He wants delivery dates and arrival times. Wilkins explains that the fighters escort the transport aircraft and the Japanese have no chance of success. He is sharply rebuffed by the Japanese leader who says they have their own methods of shooting down the enemy.

Days later the enemy make a surprise attack on 'Allied Air' transports bound for China. On Blackhawk Island, Blackhawk announces to his freedom fighters that six transport planes have been shot down, commenting that "nobody knows how the raids are being carried out" and he is very interested to find out how this was being done.

The Blackhawks fly across the Atlantic, Africa and over the frontiers of war-torn China. Warning his squadron after nearing the area, Blackhawk radioed the co-ordinates of the missing allied transport planes. "Keep a sharp eye peeled, we are close." Right on cue, they find the Allied fighters under attack from Japanese fighters. Commentary from the allied escort indicated they had not seen them coming and the skies were clear. But the real surprise came from high up out of the clouds, the Blackhawk 'Red and Blues' thundering down on the 'Zero' fighters, obliterating the Japanese fighters.

Blackhawk lands his plane in a small clearing. He has an idea where these enemy planes have been appearing from. Almost a mile away, Blackhawk finds a camouflaged fighter launch pad built like a catapult! Looking at the angle and the size of the catapult, he quickly works out that aircraft could be launched and reach 20,000 feet in a matter of minutes. He is also very concerned about how the pilots did not blackout from the high velocity launching system. Suddenly he was surprised by Japanese soldiers and an Englishman dressed in flying gear coming up behind him. Blackhawk, remarking to himself "you must be slipping" is marched off toward the Japanese base. He says to the pilot "you must be Benny short for Benidict Arnnold." Angered by the accusation made by Blackhawk the soldiers are ordered to teach him a lesson. As he is struck down he murmers, "you have sold out to the Japs."

He is dragged to commander Nagishi! "We have captured this pilot Blackhawk your excellency and we are looking for the rest of the enemy," the guards' leader reports. Nagaishi sarcastically tells Blackhawk he is honored to meet him. Ignoring Nagishi, Blackhawk yells at Wilkins (Benny) to drop around to the torture chamber and see how civilised his Jap friends are! Hours later, Blackhawk is dragged battered and bruised from the chamber of horrors and into a cell. He is visited by Wilkins who bellows out "you are not so insulting know".

Blackhawk asks him why he betrayed his country. Wilkins explains about the plane crash and how he lost his license and it was not his fault. He had changed his name and come to China to join 'The Flying Fools' but he knows they would disown him if they knew who he really was. Wilkins loses concentration for a moment. Suddenly, Blackhawk springs into action, overpowering him and capturing the treacherous pilot. Blackhawk tells him, "The Flying Fools, knew who you are. They were trying to give you a chance to redeem yourself. Your country men never gave up on you! You gave up on your countrymen." Blackhawk lures the guard into the cell by saying Wilkins is dying. Escaping the jail, he overpowers another guard and takes his genades. But his escape is halted by machine guns in bunkers. Not far away, the Blackhawk team are searching for their leader and hear firing and explosions in the distance! They find Blackhawk wounded and pinned down. Blackhawk uses his commandeered grenade to take out the machine gun nest.

Meanwhile, Nagishi tells his men he saw Blackhawk die in a hail of bullets. Wilkens, hearing this, feels like a fool in comparison to Blackhawk, who died for his country. Nagsishi shouts that they have the other Blackhawks trapped and that all white men are fools. The word 'fools' is too much for Wilkins. He turns, smashes Nagishi in the face, and runs off into the jungle. He calls out to Blackhawk not to shoot and offers to help. Blackhawk calls him over and questions him about how the Japanese pilots survive the high acceleration at launch from the catapult. Wilkins explains that they administer drugs to the pilots that prevents them from blacking out. But they die upon returning because each time they are injected, it shortens their life. The Blackhawks disguise themselves with the uniforms of the injured pilots in the infirmary. They walk out carrying the patients on stetchers. Soon after, Wilkins runs off and lobs a grenade right into the middle of the ammunition dump, causing a mighty explosion and blowing himself up at the same time. For this Wilkins draws high praise from the blackhawks. They quickly capture the rest of the soldiers and call for assistance from the Allies.

SO ENDS THE STORY of the man who lost his country-he lost everything except the wish to redeem himself, so he never lost at all

Other Stories in this issue:

The Sniper and his Band of Guerrillas by V Henkil 6 pages
Death Patrol 4 pages
Johnny Doughboy 1 page
Private Dogtag by Bart Tumex 9 pages
Text Story 'The Break' 2 pages
The Pacific Patrol by Fred Guadineer
Section 2 PT Boat 9 pages
Secret War News by Fred guadineer 7 pages

Thanks to David Chapman for submitting the cover for this issue and to Barry Williams for writing the synopsis.

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