G.I. Combat #52: "The Big Sweep!"

G.I. Combat #52
"The Big Sweep!"
September, 1957

Script: Unknown
Art: Russ Heath

The submarine and its crew haven't seen much action, but things would
change when they make... "The Big Sweep!"  After an enemy plane is
sighted, a crash dive is ordered, and the Skipper knows how little used
their torpedo tubes have been.

WHAM  The sub takes on ballast and dives!  WHAM  CRUNCH  The bombs
dropped by the enemy plane dive quickly... and the submarine soon finds
itself dashed against the reefs...  With their sub wrecked, the Skipper
orders all hands to abandon ship, and carry any weapons they can.  The
four thousand, one hundred and fifty tons of United States Submarine is
now so much junk.  After this seeming failure, the Skipper remembers the
day he took his first command.  After a series of assignments, he asked
his commanding officer about possible combat duty.  All that's going on
is a mine patrol assignment.

WHAM  He had heard from the other skippers who had downed their targets
with torpedos...  Other submarine crews returned with their victory
brooms in the air, a sign of a clean mine sweep.  For this Skipper and
his crew, their only sweep has been -- upon the deck.  Back on the beach,
he knows that their chances of returning with a clean sweep are low.
TAKKATAKKA!  They all hear the MG fire coming from the thickets of this
island's jungle.  The Skipper orders his crew to crash dive, then
discovers to his dismay that you can't get into the sand -- as easily as
you can in water.  VIIP!  BWEEE!  VIIP!

RATTA TATTA  The MG nest is well-hidden, an unlikely target for
torpedoes.  Whether he is on land or at sea, the Skipper is the one who
gives orders...  The crew is to strike at their unseen enemies from port
-- and starboard.  BUDDA  BUDDA  VIIP!  VIIP!  VIIP!  It is the Skipper
himself who rushes directly towards the MG nest -- TAKKATAKKA!
BUDDABUDDA!  BUDDABUDDA  His tommy gun firing at all times.  BUDDA BUD
BEEOW  Just as a torpedo may find its target -- so can a crew hit the MG
nest...  Another target has been spotted on the other side of the island,
and had first been seen when they came to the portside.  The Skipper
follows his crew to a nearby ridge... Their small arms against an enemy
cruiser which is being loaded with ammunition.

The Skipper has an idea...  They will take on the enemy destroyer -- in
true Navy fashion!  Since they are in need of torpedoes, the "ashcans"
being loaded will suit their purposes.  After making their way down to
where the ashcans are stored, the unsuspecting sentries are sunk swiftly
from sight.  The fuses are set, but when they make their way up the rise
once more -- BLAM  POW...  they are spotted.  The first ashcan rolls down
the ridge -- FIRE ONE!  The special "torpedo" is on its way down...  BAM!

It's a miss!  BAM!  Another ashcan rolls down...WHUMP  It explodes on the
dock... BLAM!  The third and final ash can bounces its way onto the deck
of the enemy destroyer... BLAM!  After being spotted by a search plane,
the Skipper and his crew return to base aboard a submarine.  Each man
walks proudly... smiling and carrying their victory brooms...  The big
sweep has been made at last!

The Grand Comics Database does not have this issue listed, but it is a
definite must-read, indeed.

It answers the question about how well a submarine would do against a

With the fine art of Russ Heath and the effective lettering from an
unknown letterer, it's not hard to get into the story.

There are excellent coloring sequences, such as when the purple submarine
crashes against the brown reefs in murky blue waters.

The sun is shining from behind the crew, with their backs colored in
orange, red, and yellow hues.

The Skipper and his crew may be at a loss on land, but they are not
ostriches when it comes to being in the sand.

The Asian enemy soldiers are seen in one panel, framed against lush
greenery, and brown tree trunks.  They are colored grey as they fire from
the shadows.

As the Skipper runs along the hot sand towards the MG nest, we can see
the footprints left in the orange areas, and the reddish sound effects
grow larger once they're near the target.

The men are tiny figures as they descend down a brown ridge, past green
foliage, and towards a waiting purple destroyer on blue water.

Once they sneak up to the sentries guarding the ash cans, they are
colored as blue as Blackhawks.

The ash can torpedo has a few panels to itself and plays its role to the

Back at the base, the Skipper and the crew can be assured that they've
seen more action than you could shake a broom at.

Steve Chung
"The Big Review!"