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War that time forgot (DC Comics) - rangers shooting and running

Suicide Squadron

(Plus Dinosaur Island and War That Time Forgot notes)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“The earthquake must have opened the underground tomb these monsters were in for millions of years — maybe in a state suspended animation — bought them back to life !”
– Larry, CPL in the Marine Raiders


Overview

The Suicide Squadron is a DC Universe military unit, best-known for being the ancestor of the Suicide Squad. The whole story is unusually complicated, but if everybody stays calm and focused I’m sure we can all survive this mission.

The original version of the Suicide Squadron, also known as the Suicide Squad, operated during World War Two and the first half of the Korean War. Its likely dates of activity are 1943 to 1947 followed by a reactivation from 1950 to 1952.

The unit then operated in a slightly different manner as a part of the agency Task Force X, probably from 1952 to 1956. At this point it apparently disintegrated.

A very different version later emerged, with no personnel in common with its predecessor – the Mission X version of the Suicide Squad.

The Suicide Squadron was a US military unit. Though it was very unconventional it still used military uniforms, tactics, weapons, vehicles, protocols, etc.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - dinosaurs, crazy soldiers and a volcano

Continuity issues

This article does something unusual from a continuity standpoint. Here’s what’s going on :

The war that time forgot

DC Comics published a number of stories in the 1960s, collectively known as the War That Time Forgot stories or Dinosaur Island Stories. These stories do not form a continuity – they’re just short features that share reoccurring themes (the main one being “World War Two G.I.s vs. giant dinosaurs”).

The name of recurrent characters can change from one story to the next, the same story with minor variation can occur several times, the characters often seem to be the first ones discovering the existence of giant dinosaurs, etc.

The war that time forgot gets reframed

Two decades later (in Secret Origins v2 #14), John Ostrander creates a narrative framework around this stories. He takes a theme shared by some of the stories (the “Suicide Squadron”) to create the possibility that War That Time Forgot stories formed a coherent story line set in the DC Universe.

Contemporary works such as Who’s Who in the DC Universe also indicate that War That Time Forgot material did happen in the DCU. Most of it took place in a single location called Dinosaur Island.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - Captain Flag's arrival

However, Ostrander does not quote the stories – he evokes them. It is never precisely stated that these are the stories he’s referring to, though it’s easy to recognise what he’s alluding to. This means that, while we know that these disparate stories happened in a coherent manner in the DCU, we do not know *how*.

So what do we do, lieutenant ?

Thus, this article is where we grab our toolbox. We fit the War That Time Forgot stories into a coherent DCU continuity, one by one. The old stories are described in a slightly modified way, filling the blanks of the Ostrander framework.

This means that the stories described below include many small changes compared to the stories actually published. Most of them are too small to matter, and the important ones will be noted as they come up. The two largest, systematic changes are :

  • The characters who inspired Richard Montgomery Flag as he appears in Secret Origins vol. 2 #14 have all been “merged” in our narrative to be Richard Montgomery Flag.
  • All fighting men operating in these stories are assumed to be Suicide Squadron members — the unit described in Secret Origins vol. 2 #14 — whenever possible.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - dinosaurs vs. infantry in a swamp

More continuity matters

Timelines

The overall Suicide Squad timeline is a very complicated matter, as explained in our Suicide Squad (Mission X) entry. Thankfully, these complexities do not really impact the 1940s and 1950s, though they will be mentioned at the very end.

For clarity’s sake we will always refer to the 1940s-1950s version as the “Suicide Squadron”, and to its Mission X successor as the “Suicide Squad”.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - giant dinosaurs vs. Army men in a toboggan

New Frontier

One of the most memorable appearances of the wartime Suicide Squadron occurs in a different continuity – the New Frontier one. Almost everything in these appearances could easily have occurred in the DCU, though, and we will mention them in this article.

These events are kept in separate paragraphs and in italics to make it clear that they may not have occurred in the DCU.

More material than meets the eye

This article covers the relevant material in Star-Spangled Stories from #90 (cover-date May, 1960) to #137 (cover-dated February, 1968). There were later stories (say, G.I. Robot ones) that could easily be integrated in this framework, plus a later War That Time Forgot mini-series.

But we have to start somewhere.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - giant lizard vs a warplane

Size matters !

“Suicide Squadron” and “Suicide Squad” are both used to designate the unit in the stories. However, these are two very different things. An infantry squad is about 10 guys. A cavalry squadron can be a hundred times that size, and has numerous armoured vehicles – plus the means to deploy and support them.

In the 1980s flashback that forms the spinal column of this entry, the unit vaguely seems to be squad-sized. However, having a highly reputed Navy Captain sent to command an Army squad, and having high command caring about less than a dozen troopers in the middle of a world war, seems impossible.

The emphasis on the casualty rate also strongly implies a larger unit. A mere squad losing most of its members would likely just be broken up to replenish other squads.

By the same token, none of the actions of the Suicide Squadron takes place at a level even evoking multiple companies – that is, hundreds of men and a lot of gear. So the Suicide Squad/Suicide Squadron doesn’t seem to be either a squad, or a squadron.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a dinosaur headbutts a bridge

Squadron S might be a hollow unit. It could be an old cavalry unit that was essentially disbanded, but retained a skeleton staff for some reason, and became used as a dumping ground for undesirables. In such an unusual context it could be of any size.

Having an eccentric, forceful and influential senior General — say, Patton  — discover the existence of the hollow Squadron and send men he can’t stand there is a possible scenario.

Proposed framework

Our suggested approach is that the Suicide Squadron was indeed a hollow cavalry squadron of the US Army, with only two companies and organised as a shock infantry unit.

The first company (which back then would be Able Company in the standard naming scheme) is made up of active troops. The second (Baker Company) is the training company through which men who are going to replace Able’s casualties are being processed.

In practice, Able would never be at full strength – 70% strength would be a good day. One squad in Able is the hand-picked team working directly with Rick Flag, Sr.. This squad is often called the Suicide Squad (sometimes the “Suicide Club”), which explains part of the confusion around the name.

As noted in the history, the Squadron was considered Army Rangers.

Again, this suggested organisation is not canon (there’s essentially no canon). But that’s the most coherent framework we can think of when reading the stories.

Captain Flag and his Suicide Squad with a captured German vehicle


History, part 1

The ancestor of the Suicide Squad is the US Army’s Squadron S. It was unofficially used as a dumping ground for problem soldiers.

It is unlikely that Squadron S had much of an existence before mid-1942. In early 1940 the US Army had less than 200,000 men serving.

The drafting efforts, often the precursor of disciplinary problems, started in September of 1940. FDR  struggled against isolationists to bring the United States to a war footing. A few months later the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor, removing most obstacles to massive conscription and a powerful industrial mobilisation.

Squadron S was operating in the Pacific theatre. It was a destination for the worst men other units needed to get rid of – the alienated, the disaffected, the psychotic, the uncontrollable. That their command considered them expendable wasn’t much of a secret. Being assigned to Squadron S was understood as being close to a death sentence.

Thus, the “S” designation was said to stand for “Suicide”. Squadron S had a high casualty rate even when not in combat. The men hated each other as much as they hated the enemy and frequently fought each other with fists or knives.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - marines and tank vs a dinosaur

(One flashback implies that Squadron S was also issued the bottom of the barrel when it came to equipment. Several men are seen going in action with a knife rather than a firearm. Presumably their guns were so old, ill-maintained and fed with lousy ammunition that a blade may have been preferable in some cases.)

(The same page shows a darker-skinned soldier, perhaps comic-book-Puerto-Rican, serving in Squadron S. This is historically correct – while discriminated against, Hispanics were considered White for segregation purposes).

Island of armoured giants !

In late 1942, American forces in the South Pacific discovered what became one of the strangest theatres of the war. Several subs and recon teams, plus airplanes and a paratroopers platoon, vanished in a specific area around an uncharted island, which was code-named X Island.

An elite Marine Raiders team, the Question Mark patrol, went in. Two men got out alive. They reported that the area was rife with deadly dinosaurs – many of which were more than a match for contemporary military vehicles. X Island was renamed Dinosaur Island. The smaller volcanic islands nearby were called Lava Island, Red Island One and Fireworks Island.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - marines shoot a dinosaur emerging from a crevasse

Meanwhile, Army men recovered a shellshocked survivor of the lost paratroopers platoon. The soldier no longer could talk, and the Army did not quite believe the Marine Raiders report. A US Airborne platoon (possibly from the 101st Division, since the next feature in the book was an history of the 101st) was sent in to establish what had happened.

While their plane was also wrecked in flight by a mega-pterosaur, about half the men had the time to jump out. Four men survived the local sea life long enough to be rescued, and made a full report corroborating what the Marines had seen. After several more lost ships and subs in 1942 and 1943, the Navy also reluctantly came to admit the existence of the monsters.

Knowing is half the battle

Based on the discoveries of the Marine Raiders and US Airborne men, it was assumed that an earthquake had awakened a number of dinosaurs. The hypothesis was that these somehow had been in suspended animation underground – and that more dinosaurs were gradually emerging from underneath the island.

From the remains of Imperial Japanese forces that used to control the island, it was obvious that the dinosaurs’s appearance had been sudden. It was also theorised that the earthquakes were what had destroyed US submarines in the area.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - marine dinosaur vs. a submarine and marines

Decades later, it was determined that Dinosaur Island was actually an area where space-time itself behaved in an unique, chaotic manner. This discovery made the clunky hypothesis about underground suspended animation unnecessary.

It also has more explanatory power than another hypothesis proposed during the 1980s. This one postulated a sort of bridge between Dinosaur Island and the dimension  of Skartaris.

The more modern hypothesis also helps explain why the Island often seemed much larger than outside observation indicated. It also seemed to vary in size – at some points it could be crossed on foot in a dozen hours of vigorous trekking, at others it held at least one snow-covered mountain range.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - flying dinosaur vs. a plane with a bazooka

The area famously sported a very thick cloud cover, making aerial observation impossible most of the time. It was possible to hide entire fleets within the area – though of course at the risk of dinosaur attacks.

Many people operating in the area couldn’t shake the impression that the clouds were a sort of time warp. It was the 1940s above the cloud cover, and a strange prehistory beneath.

Cryptozoology

The fauna of Dinosaur Island and nearby waters was not quite composed of beasts from Earth’s past. Many animals were much, *much* larger versions of modern animals rather than prehistoric beasts. These included :

  • one titanic chimpanzee
  • various forms of colossal sea animals such as eels, turtles and crabs
  • at least two white-furred gorillas significantly larger than most depictions of King Kong

Many dinosaurs looked more or less like beasts from Earth’s past as pictured in popular imagination. But they were incomparably larger, often to a physically impossible extent. A common type of aggressive pterosaur seemed to have about 6 times the breadth of a B-26 Marauder bomber, and thus a wingspan of more than 120 metres.

Many marine and amphibious animals were seen easily handling US submarines in their jaws, hands or coils. Said submarines seemed to be P-Class boats, meaning they were about 90 metres long and 1,700+ tonnes in displacement – though they were not usually drawn that large.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - submarine and marines vs a sea serpent

Some “dinosaurs” could exist in Arctic conditions. Some even laid in ambush under the snow present on the Island’s peaks. Manifestly, these weren’t cold-blooded.

Another remarkable feature of these animals is that most seemed to be mindlessly aggressive, immediately attacking anything that looked like a quick meal. Even some animals looking like herbivorous dinosaurs behaved in this way.

At the same time, several specimen were tools-users (using a tree trunk as a club, or even laying a tree as a bridge across a ravine then waiting in ambush for something to cross it). Several incidents strongly imply that some “dinosaurs” were quite intelligent and/or able to non-verbally communicate with each other in a precise manner even across species.

A recurrent bit of narration curiously described bullets as passing right through some monsters without harming them any. On the other hand explosives (including hand grenades) were disproportionately efficient. The most striking example was a pair of full-sized torpedoes passing through a giant eel without encountering enough resistance to detonate.

While this presumably wasn’t authorial intent, this may be interpreted as the beasts not being quite material in the usual sense. This wasn’t the case with all mega-fauna, though. In many cases sustained small arms and machinegun could bring down targets normally.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - sub and divers vs. a giant moray

The flora also seemed exotic. Some was generically-prehistoric-looking, and gargantuan forms of past or present plants also abounded. A good example was a sort of palm tree about 200 metres tall — possibly more — which grew coconuts the size of a PT boat. A killer plant with tentacle-like vines was also encountered (and set ablaze).

The last battles of the dinosaur age !

Dinosaur Island occupied a strategic position. It remained contested between Imperial Japanese and American forces throughout the war. Since operating there was hideously dangerous, the US military tended to either send elite troops or expendable ones.

Examples of the former chiefly included US Army Rangers volunteering for Mission X detail. “Mission X” was the code name for Rangers assignments near or on Dinosaur Island.

Given the order of the stories, it seems likely that Mission X assignments were conducted by men who had completed their Rangers training months ahead of the rest of their unit. Presumably they already had relevant experience and did not need a full training course.

The Rangers squad that conducted the first Mission X reconnaissance had two survivors, Marty and “Professor” Jesse. The team of Rangers who conducted the greatest number of Mission X assignments was the Flying Boots. This unique patrol was made up of three brothers who were former circus acrobats.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - giant pleiosaur vs. frogmen and mines

A Mission X platoon attempted to take Red Island One. It was much smaller than Dinosaur Island and held a large Imperial Japanese ammunition dump. Though the platoon went in strong with four Shermans  and a dozen bazookas, they were torn apart. The survivors had to exfiltrate in small teams after losing all the tanks.

One of the surviving Rangers, a palaeontologist nicknamed “Bones”, made several attempts to get back home with the body of a local mega-dinosaur. He and the other two survivors of his squad nearly managed to tow a mega-pterosaur as they paddled away in an inflatable boat. However it was blown to bit by a TBF Avenger who mistook it for a submarine.

In a way, the Rangers were successful. A sudden lava explosion blew up a large chunk of the island, destroying all known Japanese depots as the last stragglers left. It is possible that the eruption was triggered off-panel by other survivors of the platoon, using explosives.

Beyond the Flying Boots, Dinosaur Island saw the exploit of the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team 8. UDT-8 was escorting a submarine with an experimental undersea sled and special weaponry. The objective was to destroy a pack of Imperial Japanese submarine without being destroyed by marine dinosaurs, an extremely difficult mission which the UDT-8 swimmers accomplished with gusto.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a pterosaur attacks a plane full of parachutists

Conversely, an early example of disposable troops was the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team 13. Unlucky 13 was composed of the worst graduates of the latest US Navy UDT class. Since they couldn’t be sent on high-stakes missions they’d likely fumble, UDT-13 was detailed to clear Imperial mines to allow the Marines to storm Lava Island.

Two enormous marine beasts battered US attack submarines aside like bathtub toys. Nevertheless, the two most inept-seeming frogmen and their war hero Lieutenant did a superb job.

One of the few examples of US troops that were neither elite nor dismal operating on Dinosaur Island was the three-man crew of a 155mm “Long Tom” cannon. They ended there accidentally, when the tow line of the glider carrying them and their artillery piece snapped. Though they lost their Long Tom, all three men managed to leave the island.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - dinosaur vs. infantry on a floating island

Later on, a “snafu squad” only entrusted with menial tasks was left to clear a battlefield in the area. Their usual job was to scavenge for abandoned weapons and ammo. When attacked by dinosaurs who had boarded landing boats (!), they fought them off using abandoned weapons and ammunition they could scrounge as they retreated – even including flintstones.

It was perhaps after UDT-13’s and the snafu scavengers’s exploits that the decision was taken to send Squadron S to hold Dinosaur Island. If so, it didn’t work. The terrible conditions didn’t harden the unit, and just resulted in even higher casualties and rock-bottom morale and discipline.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - mega-turtle vs US infantry

Appalled by the horrendous losses, one General decided that even the dregs of the military deserved a fighting chance. He selected a new CO for the unit. Finding a man who could hold together Squadron S was a tall order, but the general had a specific officer in mind – Captain Richard Montgomery Flag.

Rick Flag

Flag was a haunted, extremely determined, multi-talented Naval aviator. Not only was he tough as nails, but he had significant experience with Dinosaur Island and its perils – and a history of overcoming those, as recounted in his writeups.org profile.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a dinosaur attacks two marines in a floating eggshell

Flag forcefully took command. He did not hesitate to employ physical violence, and strongly implied that he would execute troopers giving him problems. Several of the NCOs (including Sgt. Carson and Sgt. Morgan) were more than willing to help put the unit back on track.

How Flag re-trained and re-disciplined Squadron S is undocumented. It likely resembled the real-world reconstruction of the 5307th Composite Unit – see below. In any case, the results were impressive.

The Suicide Squadron troops still hated each other and carried some serious baggage. But now they were unusually competent soldiers concentrating their considerable aggression on the enemy. The Suicide Squad had become an elite unit able to meet the extraordinary challenges of Dinosaur Island, and were considered a Rangers unit.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a pterosaur snatches a submarine


Interlude – historical context

Disciplinary and penal units

The US military did not have penal or disciplinary units during World War Two. There were no units composed of prisoners and/or men with serious discipline problems sent in the field to fight. Men in correctional custody and disciplinary re-training, or in military prisons, are not deployed.

As with any military — particularly during a time of mass conscription — there were men who were given a choice between prison and the draft. There were also men who enlisted to avoid being arrested. And as with any military there were postings where the unit commander grouped the oddballs, to get them out of his hair and under the care of NCOs enjoying this sort of work.

However, the Suicide Squadron suggests something more formal and on a larger scale than all of these.

US military inspirations

There are real-world precedents for World War Two reprobates, headcases and criminals somehow becoming elite soldiers. A campaign featuring the Suicide Squadron could certainly draw from these for historical reference and verisimilitude.

The clearest equivalent was the 5307th Composite Unit (best known as Merrill’s Marauders), a special operations unit that became a Rangers unit. The Marauders did include unruly men selected for their expertise in jungle warfare, and even volunteers from the stockades. However, the importance of such men in the unit seems over-emphasised in some accounts.

Like most units serving under Gen. Stillwell during the Burma campaign, they also experienced severe casualties. A Suicide Squadron game would thus be well-served by reading about the Marauders.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a PT Boat charges a dinosaur

Another famous example is the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, from the 101st Airborne Division.

The “Filthy Thirteen” certainly had a less dramatic background than the characters in the movie they loosely inspired – The Dirty Dozen. Yet :

  • some of the men went through an endless litany of unreasonable discipline issues
  • they prided themselves on their reputation for getting things done without regard toward regulations
  • a famous photo where two pathfinders wear mohawks and war paints gave them a mythologised image as dirty, savage killers

Though these units inspired movies, there were undoubtedly others. “Unconventional officer rubs his superiors the wrong way, gets assigned people with a poor track record as a result, and obtains good results nevertheless as the unit develops a sense of pride as a result of having been written off as losers “ is something that happens often enough in real-world militaries.

Every company has its dead-end squad, if only because there always will be soldiers who like to present themselves as irredeemable hard cases.

The French connection

One last hypothesis comes from a vintage Suicide Squad story. In it, the unit was repeatedly presented as “the French Foreign Legion, American-style”.

It could be interpreted somewhat literally. Perhaps Flag got clearance to draft men irrespective of their criminal record (within reason). He would have then built his unit of expendable hardasses with the help of American soldiers who had served in the French Foreign Legion during the 1930s, as was the style of the day.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - parachutists shoot down a plane

If so the Squad may have been run using a mix of Rangers and Legion customs and regulation – plus those from another French military tradition, the disciplinary companies of the Bat‘ d’af‘ (Light Infantry African Battalions).

The Bat‘ d’af‘ were also made up of criminals and headcases. They were kept at arm’s-length from conventional troops and in punishing environments. Several such units had a track record of uncommon valour.

Such a radical approach wouldn’t be as exotic as it sounds. As an example, the real-world Marine Raiders of the USMC where created since President Roosevelt wanted to have assets just like the British Commandos.

The men who build and led the Raiders were given very broad powers. They often had very different procedures and ethics than the USMC, based on their personal experiences and beliefs.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - giant dinosaur vs. PT boat

The Raiders were “an army within an army within an army” (to riff off a famous saying about the USMC). In this light, having another charismatic officer given broad discretionary powers to build an American version of the French Légion Étrangère and Bat‘ d’af in an obscure corner of the Pacific doesn’t sound unbelievable.


History, part 2

As a result of its newly-acquired pride, Squadron S continued to refer itself as the Suicide Squadron or the Suicide Squad. But this now meant that they were such hardened and courageous fighters that they were willing to take on nearly suicidal missions nobody else would touch.

Flag also arranged for a complete overhaul of the equipment, arming his men as well as any Marine Raiders unit. They had submachineguns, plenty of grenades, and recent vehicles. The Squad was even equipped with special plastic grenades with more powerful explosives to kill giant dinosaurs or cripple light tanks.

Suicide Squad missions were usually conducted in small, non-standard units, from 2 to 6 men. This was presumably since avoiding detection was the priority. Sending just a pair of men was common practice on Dinosaur Island.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - triceratops vs. tank

A casualty rate of 50% per mission was reported.

We don’t need no steenkin’ MOS

Another striking characteristic was the breadth of training Flag’s men received. It far exceeded even Rangers standards. Physical training sufficient to climb up or down the colossal cliffs of Dinosaurs Island, jungle and maritime survival, demolition, radio operation, first aid, small boats training, bazooka operation, and the like were known to most men.

Beyond that the best Squad troopers were qualified as both infantry and pilots, or infantry and tankers – with some men being all three (!). As more men went through this unique training program, the Squadron troopers developed a reputation as being able to operate “anything with wheels, fins or wings.”

Some men were even trained as combat divers and underwater demolition swimmers on top of everything else.

Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a dinosaur tries to catch parachutists

Between Flag’s pull, their deployment in the Top Secret Mission X area, and their vehicular skills, the Suicide Squadron troopers were often tasked with testing special equipment.

Examples included :

  • two experimental jet transport airplanes with jet engines
  • several versions of super-tanks based on a M4 Sherman chassis – usually parachute-capable and fully submersible
  • at least two generations of G.I. Robot
  • In the New Frontier continuity, the Suicide Squadron became the tactical task force working with the OSS. These stories depict King Faraday as their main intelligence contact, though the Danger Trail stories featuring Faraday started publication in 1950.)

    (If you want to have the Squad act as the OSS’s heavy muscle but want to keep Faraday debuting in 1950, Flag would have worked with the OSS’s boss, code-named Control).

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a dinosaur threatens airborne troops

    By — presumably — 1945, the Suicide Squad has gained a strong reputation. Men interested in serving in the toughest missions, or who liked the Squad’s emphasis on results rather than procedure, were volunteering to join from other units.

    Cpt. Flag put a board in place to test and review applicants. This was even more remarkable since it was later stated that only one man out of five would survive enough Squad missions to be returned to their unit if they requested it.

    The first known man to transfer to the Squad, months before the board was set up, was an Army Ranger named Mac. Mac was picked to become the handler of the MIT’s first documented G.I. Robot prototype. Other combat robots were tested in the area, including later generations of G.I. Robots, and the much less successful robo-tanker nicknamed “Nuts and Bolts”.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - dinosaur vs the G.I. Robot and a ranger

    As the Squad was training, there were at least two “Mission X” type encounters by other American units operating in the Arctic. They ran into mega-dinosaurs very similar to those found on Dinosaur Island.

    Where these monsters were coming from, and whether their presence was related to all the activity on Dinosaur Island, remains unknown. The Skartaris bridge hypothesis once advanced for Dinosaur Island may have been true for these Arctic encounters.

    Two men who hate each other worse than the enemy !

    Dinosaur Island had been occupied for a while by Imperial Japanese forces, which were surprised by the dinosaurs and wiped out. It had apparently served as lab for experimental weapon systems, many of which had to be destroyed by American forces. Experimental Japanese weapons included:

    • An automated, long-range surface-to-air missiles nest was destroyed by the US Army Rangers the Flying Boots.
    • A gigantic humanoid robot that was taken down by a man-sized American android, the G.I. Robot.
    • An automated battery of anti-ship rockets hidden on a mountainside. The thick cloud cover of Dinosaur Island made it impossible to locate until a reconnaissance plane got a lucky break and photographed it.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - dinosaurs duel

    One of Flag’s men, Private Mace, had competed for the US during the Winter Olympics. He had the skills to venture on the snow-covered peak to destroy these rockets. Mace was widely reviled, having panicked during the Olympics and accidentally killed his partner. This deprived the US of a fine athlete and their chance at a medal.

    In typical Suicide Squad fashion the brother of the dead athlete, Sgt. Morgan, also happened to serve with the Squad. Flag sent Mace with a tobogan full of demolition charges… and with Morgan to make sure Mace wouldn’t panic and botch the operation.

    Hating Mace, Morgan kept him covered with his .45 at all times. He was certain that the man whom he viewed as an abject coward would sabotage the mission. The strike narrowly succeeded and the two men even got out of alive, though still hating each other.

    (The published story takes place somewhere in the frozen North, and of course doesn’t feature Flag since he’s a retcon ).

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a giant lizard chases parachutists on a branch

    Perhaps because he still distrusted Mace (actually an excellent soldier), Flag kept Sgt. Morgan paired with him. After another Squadron team was lost in the deadly jungles of Dinosaur Island, Flag sent Morgan and Mace to investigate.

    The previous team had been testing an experimental jet airplane. Flag sent the new team with the second such prototype to establish what had happened to the first.

    The jet was soon forced to the ground by an inexplicable bubble of vacuum above Dinosaur Island. This is what had also claimed the first plane. This time, however, the crew survived by boarding the Sherman tank carried in the bay to test the plane’s transport capacity. Though Morgan still hated Mace with a passion, the two soldiers survived the trek back to the base.

    On their way, they accidentally ran into a baby mega-pterosaur just as it hatched. Though Morgan wanted to kill it before it would attack them, Mace realised that the 6-metres-tall flying reptile meant no harm. It considered them friends since they were the first living beings it saw after hatching.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - tank vs. stegosaur

    Mace’s intuition turned out to be correct, and the Suicide Squadron gained a very unusual ally that day. PFC Mace nicknamed the animal “Dino”. For more about Dino and how it got Mace and Morgan back to safety, see its writeups.org profile.

    Mace, Morgan and Dino would later make another unusual ally, a young local human nicknamed the G.I. Caveboy.

    Star-Spangled War Stories

    The Suicide Squad continued to undertake high-risk missions at a high pace. They had a considerable casualty rate – surviving two or more missions was considered a proof of exceptional toughness. Most of this missions were on or near Dinosaur Island, for instance to help Navy assets cross the Mission X area without being destroyed.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a glider lands near a triceratops

    A squad of the Suicide Squadron was lost to dinosaurs after attempting to establish a beachhead and coast-watching station. This took place in an area of the Island that seemed to still be under Imperial Japanese control. Flag sent another pair of men who hated each other, the Sherif and the Wild One, to survey what had happened. Whether they made it back is unchronicled.

    Soon after that, a Suicide Squadron attempt at storming a Japanese-held area of the island failed due to the interference of dinosaurs. The four Hickey brothers were among the few survivors.

    The Suicide Squadron fared better as ex-policeman Corporal Stoner helped defend a Navy sub beleaguered by giant monsters. He received the help of a Navy frogman who turned out to be his wanted brother.

    Another mission with heavy losses was to locate a Catalina that had crashed at sea while carrying an experimental bomb sight. Though there were losses in the 75% range, the Squad’s frogmen narrowly managed to destroy the sight as ordered.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a giant crab attacks a submarine and divers

    A few days later, the crew of a downed SB2C Helldiver spotted the gigantic and benign white gorilla which whom Captain Flag had allied with months before. The immense ape was being beaten by a mega-carnosaur using a tree as a club. The two Squad troopers distracted the reptile by shooting it in the face with a flare gun.

    Though the pilot was much more sceptical than his gunner about the primate’s intent, the white gorilla repaid them by killing an attacking dinosaur. Whether these two men made it out alive to report is unknown.

    More missions

    The Suicide Squad lost another LST landing boat to a dinosaur attack days later. Only one man, named Art, survived. He was apparently insane, claiming that his buddy Vic had been transformed into a giant were-allosaurus and the last survivors had to gun him down.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - dinosaurs storm a beach from troop transport boats

    Another man went insane during attempts to destroy the Kuruna, an Imperial Japanese battleship carrying an experimental nerve gas. The Kuruna was using the thick cloud cover of the Mission X area to fend off attacks after it was spotted by US airmen.

    The Suicide Squadron sent a first squad to sink her. They were all killed, which of course didn’t stop Flag from sending in a new team – this time just a pair of underwater demolition commandos. One of the commandos was driven insane after being swallowed by a prehistoric fish and blowing his way out with TNT charges.

    Nevertheless, and thanks to an angry leviathan well into the 10,000+ tonnes range, the Kuruna and its deadly payload were sunk.

    The Suicide Squadron then struck an important blow by locating an Imperial Japanese secret bomber base. They also prevented the map of those few safe shipping lanes used by the US in the greater Mission X area from falling into Japanese hands and making these ships easy targets. This occurred as follows.

    Lt. Grey’s pocket sub spotted the hidden bomber base then snuck away. He ran into their opposite number – a Japanese mini-sub carrying a senior Japanese spy who had mapped out the US shipping lanes. As the two subs started fighting, they were attacked by a mega-crab and crushed, leaving only two survivors.

    Both Lt. Grey and the Japanese commander held critical intelligence. But it soon became obvious that they had to work with each other to have any hope of surviving Dinosaur Island. Though they knew that one of them had to die, they collaborated until the very end.

    It was the luck of the draw that decided on who live. A mega-mosasaur attacked the Japanese inflatable boat from below rather than the American one. Lt. Grey was picked by a PBY some days later and the Imperial Japanese hidden bomber base was blitzed.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a pterodactyl attacks infantry

    (In the published story there’s no mention of the Squad, and the subs are full-sized ones. The changes are to an intelligence operation taking place on a smaller scale due to the shorter range and the Squadron’s smaller size.)

    Commando

    The Suicide Squad was apparently stationed on or near Dinosaur Island for the remainder of the war. But Flag himself was operating worldwide, drawing elite troopers from his unit to form his personal commando. This commando was also called the Suicide Squad, which may explain some of the confusion around the name.

    Though Richard M. Flag survived every mission, this commando unit knew significant attrition.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a dinosaur stampede on a beach

    The only documented mission of this sort took place in Qurac. It was a successful commando raid against the Nazi fortress called “Jotunheim”. The raid resulted in the theft of a prototype tank (commandeered by Flag’s friend J.E.B. Stuart, who had been sent as an armour expert). It also buried prototype Nazi atomic bombs under thousands of tons of rubble.

    (In the New Frontier continuity, Flag’s Suicide Squad commando comes to an end in the final weeks of the war – ironically right where it began, on Dinosaur Island. As they ferry a Nazi scientist across the Atlantic, their plane crashes on what they soon recognise as Dinosaur Island. Even with their experience, the situation is untenable.)

    (Only Flag narrowly survives, and is rescued by another special operations unit, the Losers. Though the scientist is killed, Flag manages to deliver his notes, which will soon prove a boon for the US space exploration program.)

    (If you wish to use this event in the DCU, Flag and his squad crashed on Dinosaur Island because they were flying back to the Suicide Squadron base where the scientist could be held in secrecy. The Losers — or, more economically, a Suicide Squadron patrol — recover their Captain a few weeks after World War Two is over.)

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - pterodactyls vs. a troop transport

    The Suicide Squadron was disbanded after the war, perhaps during the sweeping demobilisation of 1947.

    (If using the Suicide-Squad-worked-for-the-OSS story element from New Frontier, the disbanding of the Suicide Squad writes itself. From 1945 to 1947 reigned administrative chaos as the OSS was disbanded and a number of short-lived agencies took its place. Eventually, the administrative infighting for resources was won and the Central Intelligence Agency created.)

    (In the DC Universe, it is established that the former director of the OSS, “Control”, was ousted during these struggles. In this context, it seems reasonable to assume that the Suicide Squad was disbanded as part of purges to get rid of men supporting Control.)

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a robot tank driver

    The US Navy maintained some presence at the periphery of the Mission X area after the war. Stray jet-stream-like air currents occasionally caused accidents even there. One such case downed the plane of war hero and alpha male Ace Waller.

    Waller was narrowly rescued by an unnamed helicopter pilot, who fought off a number of mega-predators through improvised means. Since the helicopter seemed to be a Bell 47 variant, the story presumably took place circa 1948.

    Yug-i-o dongnan

    Shortly after the disbanding of the Squad, Rick Flag lost his wife to an out-of-control car. This greatly affected him. In his damaged psychological state he again volunteered for the most dangerous, quasi-suicidal missions.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a giant carnosaur attacks PT boats

    It was presumably when a CIA volunteer in China had his men deliver a posthumous report about an imminent invasion of Korea that Flag was cleared to assemble a new Suicide Squad. From context, it was actually squad-sized. The most likely hypothesis is that Flag had WWII Suicide Squad veterans reenlist or transfer to his new team as needed.

    The one documented operation depicts the Suicide Squad of the Korean War operating as an airborne infantry commando.

    The main reason to suspect that the Squad was greenlighted some days before the invasion is that it was reportedly one of the very first American units to deploy on Korean soil. That was presumably in late June, 1950, within days of the invasion, since larger American forces started to arrive on the first of July.

    Since the new Squad had to be assembled, equipped, and flown to Japan, it presumably was greenlighted circa the 15th of June, within days of receiving the CIA report.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - soldiers throw a grenade at a giant lizard

    During one operation — involving parachuting in the middle of an artillery bombardment — the Suicide Squad rallied a small number of American soldiers pinned under enemy fire. One of these soldiers was Jess Bright, who would later volunteer to join an all-new, all-different version of the Suicide Squad.

    Other operations of the Squad during the Korean War remain unchronicled. They were summoned back stateside in the middle of the war – presumably in early 1952, after about 18 months of service in Korea.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a dinosaur fishes a submarine

    Task Force X

    In 1951, the Justice Society of America retired. This was a result of the various witch hunts launched by the House Un-American Activities Committee  under Senator McCarthy’s influence. Other heroes followed in their footsteps.

    This left the US bereft of powerful defenders against paranormal menaces such as giant monsters, dinosaurs, giant robots, aliens, giant insects and other 1950s threats.

    However, those men who had served with the Suicide Squadron during World War Two had ample experience with fighting dinosaurs and giant monsters. President Truman  decided to have them form a fast reaction force.

    The new agency which Truman hastily assembled to deal with special menaces was called Task Force X. Task Force X had two sides – a pattern that would be reused decades later by the UN’s Checkmate agency.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a large plane on the wing of a mega pterosaur

    Task Force X’s civilian side was code-named Argent. It dealt with unusually dangerous criminals. Argent was headed by Control – the former director of the OSS, who had been ousted in political struggles during the creation of the CIA.

    Control and his agents had dealt with many of the strangest espionage cases during World War Two. They proved able to handle the more subtle 1950s menace such as aliens, vampires, Communist super-spy, Satanist witches, low-powered super-villains such as the Sportsmaster, etc.

    The military side again went by the name Suicide Squadron. It was commanded by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart – famous as the commander of the Haunted Tank during World War Two. Richard M. Flag, by now a Colonel, was his second-in-command and field commander.

    Like the Suicide Squadron of the 1940s, the men operating under Flag were qualified in a bewildering variety of military skills. They operated both as infantry commandos and as jet fighter pilots (flying F-86 Sabre  jet fighters) and it seems safe to assume that they could also deploy tanks and maritime assets.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - submarine vs. an undersea dinosaur and a mega jellyfish

    (In the New Frontier continuity, the casualty rate of the Suicide Squadron under Task Force X authority was as horrendous as during the war. Flag was one of the very few men who lived through it all. The troops were once again chosen among the dregs of the armed forces and full of burn-outs, psychos and men who had lost everything. Yet Flag somehow turned them all into elite fighting men.)

    (Col. Flag was described as a harsh, haunted man leading waves after waves of his country’s broken and crazy to their death against devastating menaces in the name of freedom. Though he was by then a Colonel, he was nicknamed “Captain Kill” behind his back. This was due both to his intense attitude and general death and destruction that accompanied his missions.)

    This is the end

    Several years later — presumably in 1956 — Colonel Flag was lost in action. He sacrificed himself to stop the War Wheel, a weapon of mass destruction about to raze an American city.

    The War Wheel vs. the Suicide Squad

    What happened after Flag’s death is unchronicled. Task Force X apparently fell apart within years or even months. Argent simply vanished to pursue its own agenda, and it would seem that only Colonel Flag could run the Suicide Squadron.

    In our proposed timeline — see the Suicide Squad (Mission X version) entry — the Task Force X version of the Squadron was completely gone by 1959.

    In other DC timelines, where there exists an increasingly vast expanse of time between Colonel Richard M. Flag’s death against the War Wheel and the creation of a new Suicide Squad. Thus it is possible that the government tried to have some version of the Squadron soldier on for years or even decades.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a dinosaur explodes

    In the “ten years sliding time scale” official DC timeline, the super-heroes do not make their return before — at best — the late 1990s. The more recent post-Flashpoint timeline seems to displace this to the mid-2000s.

    In fact, there are now enough “free” decades for several successful, well-developed versions of the Suicide Squadron to have existed – perhaps culminating in its replacement by the Human Defense Corps.


    Personnel

    The stories being formulaic, the various members tended to have similar stats. And as a military unit, they normally had the same equipment.

    Here are short descriptions of the known Suicide Squadron troopers. Note that rank insignias were seldom depicted in the stories. Almost all ranks below are guesses.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - in cold weather and toboggans

    An Army Ranger named Mac

    The handler of the first-generation G.I. Robot (aka “Joe”) was a Suicide Squad soldier. See the G.I. Robot Mk1 profile on writeups.org. Mac was apparently lost in action along with the “Joe” robot.

    PFC Mace

    Formerly a brakeman on the US bobsled team at the Winter Olympics. Andy Mace’s pilot told him to release before a very dangerous turn in the track in a desperate attempt to get the gold – an order that Mace shouldn’t have followed, and which resulted in the pilot’s death.

    Millions witnessed the death of Bill Morgan on live TV. They blamed Mace for the accident that deprived the US of its best chance at medals in the discipline for years.

    When Mace was drafted, his bad luck struck again. The brother of the bobsled pilot served in the same unit, and seeped with contempt toward Mace. Though he was reviled as an unreliable man prone to panicking, Mace was actually a competent soldier with well-above-average intelligence, intuition and resourcefulness. He had an Expertise in Winter Sports and Mountaineering.

    SGT Morgan

    Brother to the deceased bobsled champ, Vic Morgan was a hard, aggressive, cold man with an extraordinary sense of duty. He also was a competent veteran. While perennially described as having ice water in his veins, Morgan was filled with hatred and contempt toward Mace.

    He usually operated with his Colt M1911A1 drawn and pointed at his ’partner‘ – since Flag paired them up to have Morgan keep an eye on Mace. Morgan cared about nothing but accomplishing missions by any means necessary and verbally abusing and threatening Mace. He had the Iron Nerves Advantage.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - Morgan and Mace

    The Sheriff

    A veteran law enforcer from the American West, still wearing his tin star. The Sheriff was one of the volunteers who joined the Squad after transferring from another unit. He had Lightning Reflexes and Weaponry (Handguns): 05.

    The Wild One

    The Wild One had been arrested by the Sheriff after rustling cattle – that a rancher had himself swindled from the Wild One’s father. The two men had a high noon showdown in Dusty Hollow, and the Sheriff shot the Wild One’s revolver out of his hands so as not to kill him.

    Convinced that it was but a lucky shot and lusting for revenge, the Wild One transferred to the Suicide Squad after the Sheriff did. He made it clear that they would have another duel to the death as soon as possible so he could wipe out the humiliation.

    After the two men fought dinosaurs to recover an abandoned tank, the Wild One triggered the duel and shot the Sheriff’s pistol out of his hand. He then left him behind at the mercy of dinosaurs. However, the Wild One soon realised that the Sheriff had fought with a wounded leg without telling him, and doubled back to rescue him.

    Like the Sheriff the Wild One developed Lightning Reflexes and Weaponry (Handguns): 05.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - the Wild One and Sheriff

    CPL Stoner

    Stoner was a beat officer before the war. His brother Manny became a made man, and the future Corporal Stoner arrested Manny for murder. Officer Stoner took part to the transfer of his brother toward the prison where he would be executed, but Manny escaped during a train crash and took his pinned brother’s service pistol.

    As a result, everybody suspected that Officer Stoner somehow had facilitated his brother’s escape.

    Feeling that he was a stain upon the police’s honour, Stoner spent months tracking down his brother but failed. He joined the Suicide Squad to make amends. Stoner again ran into his brother during the war. Manny had enlisted as “Bill Anderson” and was now a redoubtable Navy frogman with nerves of steel.

    The Stoner brothers saved a sub against several attacks by giant monsters, but CPL Stoner still intended to arrest his brother. In the end it was Manny who got the drop on his cop brother, but found himself unable to fire. Manny Stoner died as he saved his brother from a dinosaur.

    The Hickey brothers

    These were quadruplets. Jake and Jim the two-fisted brawlers became tankers, and Jess and Jinx the adept swimmers became undersea demolition divers.

    The quadruplets were among the few survivors of a disastrous Squad attempt at establishing a beachhead. It ran in quick succession into one of the largest mega-dinosaurs ever seen on Dinosaur Island, a strange and gigantic cross between a sea spider and an insect (perhaps an ant or a scarab), Imperial Japanese Zeros, and another gargantuan mega-dinosaur.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - mega sea spider vs. submarine

    LT Jordan

    Jordan was sent with three PT boats on a do-or-die mission to recover or destroy a prototype bomb sight from a crashed PBY plane. Though very few men made it out alive, the sight was destroyed as ordered – by blowing up the giant monster who had just eaten it. Jordan had Expertise (SCUBA operations).

    SGT Reed

    A veteran jungle fighter as well as a karate black belt and a Suicide Squad veteran. He was the handler of “Mac”, the second-generation G.I. Robot, which sacrificed itself to save another soldier. SGT Reed had Martial Artist: 05 and had both stock Familiarities as Expertises.

    CPL Talbot

    One of the Suicide Squad men who also qualified as an underwater demolition commando. He was driven insane after being swallowed by an immense fish and blasting his way out with TNT. His partner, CPL Peters, managed to brig him back after they destroyed the Kuruna, an Imperial Japanese battleship. Talbot was presumably Section 8’d.

    He had Familiarity (SCUBA operations).

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - after-action reports

    CPL Tim Granger

    Granger was put in charge of a search party looking for a crashed Naval Aviation trooper. This man knew the location of a powerful Imperial Japanese fleet hiding in the clouds near the Mission X area. The aviator, Arnie, had found refuge in a cave where he discovered a huge diamond.

    Having been poor all his life, Arnie became paranoid with greed. When CPL Granger found him Arnie held him at gunpoint and wanted to kill him to protect the secret of his giant diamond. Tim repeatedly risked his life to save Arnie and make sure that the enemy fleet’s location would be known to high command, saving thousand of US lives.

    Ashamed at his behaviour when contrasted with Granger’s selfless heroism, the wounded Arnie opted to stay behind to cover Granger’s exfiltration. He held dinosaurs off to his last bullet to make sure that the enemy fleet’s location would be reported.

    LT Tommy Smith

    Smith, aka Brother-with-no-wings, was probably a Suicide Squadron pilot and trooper. See his writeups.org profile.

    LT Grey

    Grey was sent on an intelligence mission, commanding a mini-sub tasked with locating a hidden bomber base. Grey was the only survivor. This survival was only possible because he and an elite Japanese spy agreed to collaborate to face the dangers of Dinosaur Island.

    Both men knew that one of them had to die before the day was over, though. But when that moment came an attacking mosasaur killed the Japanese rather than the American. Lt. Grey’s mission ensured the relative safety of those shipping convoys taking established lanes in the greater Mission X area.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - Lieutenant Grey

    PFC Jim Lucas

    Originally a paratrooper, Lucas was serving in a squad of what I assume was the Squadron’s training company. On the same squad was PVT Buster March, who — stop me if you’ve heard that one before — hated Lucas. He blamed him for the accidental death of his brother Peter during a previous parachute drop.

    Their transport airplane was — stop me if you’ve heard that one before — wrecked by a mega-pterosaur. They were forced to parachute to Dinosaur Island. Lucas repeatedly saved March’s life, hoping that it would convince the younger man that Peter March’s death had been an accident.

    After fighting off numerous monsters, including — stop me if you’ve heard that one before — dinosaurs who had boarded an abandoned landing boat, the two men patched their differences and returned to duty.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - Lucas and March

    LT Blake

    A PT boat commander, plagued with an overambitious ensign named Frye. Running into a Japanese destroyer in one of the thick fog banks of the Mission X area, PT 221 was beset by a mega-crab then a mega-octopus. Meanwhile a colossal sea serpent attacked and destroyed the enemy.

    Blake’s PT then checked a beach for enemy presence. They did find an Imperial Japanese squad – perhaps the survivors of a shipwreck. The sound of combat attracted a mega-dinosaur, who killed the Japanese soldiers and nearly killed the Americans. Then a giant pterosaur swooped in and snatched Ensign Frye.

    Afraid that his men would think that he had purposefully abandoned Ensign Frye to get rid of him, Lt. Blake took unreasonable risks to recover Frye from the pterosaur’s nest. He finally earned the ensign’s loyalty in so doing.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - Lieutenant Blake

    LT Bill Brooks

    An air ace flying a Corsair in the Mission X area. He eventually ran into his opposite number, LT Yasuo Kiwara, flying a Zero.

    The two men engaged each other in a dogfight, but a mega-pterosaur destroyed both planes. The two men parachuted out on Dinosaur Island. Respecting each other as pilots, the two aces collaborated to survive the dangers of Dinosaur Island, agreeing that the truce would be over once they had managed to leave.

    The American and the Japanese repeatedly saved each other’s life. But it was LT Kiwara who made the last sacrifice. Eager to fight according to bushido tenets, the ace felt increasingly dejected that he owned his life several time over to an enemy pilot.

    As they were paddling away, Brooks was knocked out by an attacking sea monster. Kiwara threw himself at the monster with live grenades – so he wouldn’t have to live in dishonour, but also would save his respected foe one last time.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - Brooks and Kiwara flee a dinosaur

    SGT Rick Terry

    Terry was being flown out on Dinosaur Island on an aeromedical evacuation plane when he recognised the Army pilot as one Joe Weldon. SGT Terry was convinced that LT Weldon had caused the death of his father in an auto accident six years prior. However, there was no solid proof.

    Soon after departure, the flying fort was attacked by mega-pterosaurs and forced to crash. A half dozen men and a nurse named Robbie survived. They were beset by deadly dinosaur attacks. The fighting reinforced Terry’s certainty that Weldon was a psychopath, remorselessly letting other men die to improve his own chances.

    Terry, the nurse and the pilot were the only three who made it to the beach. Many of the casualties resulted from Weldon’s conduct. Weldon then knocked Terry out from behind, telling Robbie that he had been devoured by monsters.

    Terry recovered quickly, a mega-crab killed Weldon, and the sergeant and the nurse narrowly managed to leave the island to be recovered by a PBY. SGT Terry had Weaponry (Machete): 05, STR 04 and BODY 05.

    SGT Frankie Clary

    Clary had been, as a boy, the leader of Brooklyn’s Fourth Avenue gang. His gang of violent urchins often clashed with a rival set led by Tim Scott. Scott once soundly defeated Clary in a brawl to force a truce.

    When SGT Clary and his Suicide Squadron commando rendezvoused with a US Navy sub after a successful intelligence mission, he discovered with dismay that the skipper was Scott, now a LT.

    Something looking like Fin Fang Foom’s brother wrecked the submarine. Escaping, the commandos and the sailors tried to find a spot of relative safety on Dinosaur Island. This didn’t work and eventually only Clary and Scott were left. Using supplies from the submarine, they finally made it out alive and declared a permanent truce.

    Flag’s Suicide Squad commando

    The members of Flag’s personal Suicide Squad during the raid on Jotunheim were men nicknamed Gyp, Beast, Blowhard, Lawless, Nickels, Shiv and Ace High. Beast died during the mission.

    Black and white photo of Captain Flag and his Suicide Squad

    Misc.

    Other Suicide Squadron troopers that appear very briefly are Woods, Hale and Kenny. Members killed in action include Green, Fitz, Kent and Frobish.

    None of the men were ever seen again, and given the casualty rate of Suicide Squadron troopers it is quite possible that none survived the war except for Rick Flag.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - long-necked orange dinosaur vs. a tank on a bridge

    Typical Suicide Squad elite trooper

    Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Patriot
    Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Soldier
    Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
    Init: 012 HP: 020

    Skills:
    Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Camouflage, cartography, danger recognition, demolition): 04, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 04, Thief (Stealth): 03, Weaponry (Infantry weapons, Heavy weapons): 04

    Advantages:
    Familiarity (Military equipment and protocols, Jungle survival), possibly Rank

    Connections:
    US forces in the South Pacific (Low)

    Drawbacks:
    Often a signature Drawback such as a weak form of Mistrust

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - two dinosaur fights over Japanese gear

    Equipment:

    • Submachinegun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 07, R#02, Advantage : Autofire] with five extra magazines. Either a M3 “Grease Gun” or a M1 Thompson.
    • Special grenades (x6) [BODY 01, EV 09 (Area of effect 0 APs), R#02, Grenade drawback]. These special plastic grenades are intended for use against tanks – particularly WWII light armour, which was considerably less durable than modern armour. They also have an excellent track record against giant dinosaurs, especially if they can be thrown into the maw, and will function flawlessly underwater.
    • Demos (x3) [BODY 02, Bomb: 10, R#03, Grenade Drawback]. These demolition satchels – always referred to as “demos” – are prepared explosive charges with a detonator, within a handy bag. Though there’s presumably a timer, they are almost used as thrown weapons and impact-detonated.
      Demos are normally packed to destroy enemy installations, but the Suicide Squad troopers soon started carrying them on any assignment to Dinosaur Island. The demos used by the Squadron were smaller than standard US military equipment, also hinting at powerful experimental explosives.
    • Colt M1911A1 .45 Pistol [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 07, R#02]. The standard sidearm, seldom used outside of special situations such as covering prisoners.
    • Suicide Squadron troopers qualified for combat diver duty are sometimes armed with special rifles shooting powerful micro-torpedoes, which were also tested by UDT8 during their Dinosaur Island mission. Tin Fish Rifle [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 09, Ammo: 01, Drawback – Long Reload Time, R#03, Misc.: this weapon is fully useable underwater, but its Range becomes 02 (with a Diminishing Limitation) outside of water.
    • Flare guns. The one-shot flare pistols stored aboard vehicles were always depicted as being very powerful – perhaps the Suicide Squad had special long-range, high-intensity flares since normal ones would be useless under the thick cloud cover of the Mission X area.
      Basic stats are [BODY 01, Flame project: 07, Ammo: 01 (No Reload In the Field]. With a standard Trick Shot – shooting dinosaurs in the face – it is possible to add a Combined effect – Flash (Visual): 08, Sharpness (Flash): 09. Essentially, a target large enough that a soldier can Trick Shoot it will almost certainly be dazed by the flare, no matter how tough it is.

    Suicide Squad (War that Time Forgot version) - a dinosaur sinks a LST boat

    By Sébastien Andrivet

    Source of Character: DC Universe. This article covers the 1960s stories in Star-Spangled War Stories, but doesn’t yet include later material from later stories such as Weird War Tales which could be rewoven into Ostrander’s Suicide Squadron framework. The material reviewed so far is the relevant Star-Spangled War Stories era (#90-137) plus the Ostrander material

    Helper(s): The list of appearances in Star-Spangled War Stories found at cosmicteams.com  helped with the earliest research. Also Taschoene, Cessna, Per Andersson, Darci.

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