Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos

History: Sam Sawyer a U.S. army captain, recruited select U.S. Army Rangers to his "Able" Company. Sawyer assigned Nick Fury the command of the First Attack Squad, nicknamed the "Howling Commandos"

The Howling Commandos, as well as their great rivals, the Second Attack Squad (the "Maulers", led by Sgt. "Bull" McGiveney, with Cpl. "Ricketts" Johnson), and, later, Jim Morita's Nisei squad were stationed in a military base in England to fight specialized missions. These missions were located primarily, but not exclusively, in the European Theatre of World War II, eventually going as far afield as the Pacific Theatre, Africa, and, once each, in the Middle East and on the Russian front.

They reunited for missions in the Korean War, where Fury received a field promotion to lieutenant, and the Vietnam War, as well as at a present-day reunion gala. Several members of the Howling Commandos have also gone on to spend various amounts of time as a member of Nick Fury's current organization SHIELD.

Howling Commandos
Corporal Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader "Dum Dum" Dugan - A former circus strongman, Dum Dum is Fury's good right hand. He occasionally refers to his wife ("ugh!") in Boston and his mother-in-law ("double ugh!") as reasons that he enlisted, preferring to fight Nazis. 

Private Isadore "Izzy" Cohen - The first demonstrably Jewish American comic book hero. Izzy is a master mechanic.

Private Gabriel Jones - An African American serving in an integrated unit, though the U.S. armed forces were not in real-life integrated until after the war, in 1948)

Private Dino Manelli - He is modeled after Dean Martin. A swashbuckling movie actor, born in Italy, Dino enlisted to give back to the country that gave him so much. He is fluent in both Italian and German.

Private Robert "Rebel" Ralston - an ex-jockey from Kentucky Bluegrass country.

Private Percival "Pinky" Pinkerton - A British soldier, replaced Juniper in issue #8 (July 1964).

Private Jonathan "Junior" Juniper — In an unusual and daring move for comics at the time, Junior was killed in action after a few issues (#4, Nov. 1963). As one comics historian wrote in 1999, "Today that's no big deal but in 1963, comics heroes simply didn't die; not permanently, anyway. Suddenly, with the death of 'Junior' Juniper, the series acquired some real cachet. It now played like a true-life war drama where people got killed and never came back. You wondered who would be next."

Private Eric Koenig - A defector from Nazi Germany who joined the squad in issue #27 (Feb. 1966).

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