No. 134 – Rogue Trooper

Right panel: Pvt. Clarence Ware (W.I.A., Normandy) applies war paint to Pvt. Charles Plaudo, 5 June 1944

Rogue Trooper by Cam Kennedy for the cover of Rogue Trooper Book Two (Titan Books, 1986), written by Gerry Finley-Day vs. The Filthy Thirteen

Prog 228 (1981) by Dave Gibbons

The Filthy Thirteen was the name given to the 1st Demolition Section of the Regimental Headquarters Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, or “Screaming Eagles”, of the US Army; a modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations.

During the Second World War it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord – the D-Day landings starting 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France – Operation Market Garden, the liberation of the Netherlands, and action during the Battle of the Bulge around the city of Bastogne, Belgium.

The war paint idea came from James Elbert “Jake” McNiece (1919–2013) – part Choctaw himself – to honour his Native American heritage and to energize the men for the danger ahead.

This particular photograph was the one of the inspirations for Rogue Trooper’s look, along with a photograph of the Rats of Tobruk [not necessarily this particular image], the name given to the Australian garrison that held the Libyan port of Tobruk against the German Afrika Corps during the Siege of Tobruk (1941) in the Second World War.

Home

No. 25 – Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima image courtesy Associated Press

Brian Bolland’s ensemble cover for the millennium prog 2000[1] (1999) v Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (23 February 1945) photographed by Joe Rosenthal (1911–2006)

Taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February–26 March 1945) in the Second World War (1939–1945), this is the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for photography in the same year as its publication, becoming the icon of the US war effort in the Pacific, and very possibly the most parodied photograph in history.

This was the second US flag raising on Mount Suribachi (169 m [554 feet]) on the island of Iwo Jima that day, possibly fuelling speculation that Rosenthal had staged the photograph. He hadn’t. The US Navy had raised two flags, helping to boost morale in a hard-fought battle against a doomed but determined enemy. Of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers charged with defending Iwo Jima only 216 were taken prisoner (many because they were knocked unconscious), with around 3,000 fighting on for many days after the battle, utilising the island’s cave and tunnel systems.

Notes:

  1. A special edition-assigned prog number celebrating the millennium; the chronologically correct prog 2000 was published in 2016