Victor Comic and me (4)

This time in Victor, it’s Coastal Command. Patrolling the Ocean Blue in their aircraft and bombing U-boats. Until the German anti aircraft gunners take a hand….

And that single event, that single exploding shell, seems to put a very abrupt end to all of the crew’s sentiments about peace on earth which might be talked about in church on a Sunday morning . We are moved on very quickly from love for our fellow man to an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth! And what about the words of the world’s most misspelled holy man, Gandhi? An eye for an eye and the whole world is blind?  All those lovely thoughts are completely knocked on the head. Literally. Vengeance is the order of the day. Just listen to what he says…..

And the next frame asks some very pertinent questions about staffing levels in the wartime RAF.

If we don’t need a bomb-aimer, then why did we bring one?

He could have been at home, spending his afternoon with his stamp album and his hinges, sticking in that German set with ships on, rather than bombing the real thing….

Aircraft recognition anyone? Well, it’s a Consolidated PBY Catalina, dropping old oil drums on a U-boat…..

No real man likes a hand placed tenderly on his shoulder, even if he’s wounded.

Leave me alone and go and look after Jack, we’ve all been very worried about him…..

I’ve spent my whole life being a facetious commentator on life.

In actual fact, I am a great admirer of Victor comic and even as an adult, I can see lots of positive teachings within its heavily serrated pages.

Soooooo…it will be a Victor true story with no facetiousness whatsoever next time. Well, only a teeny weeny bit.

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16 Comments

Filed under Aviation, History, Humour, Personal

16 responses to “Victor Comic and me (4)

  1. Nice commentary – keep them coming. Raises some questions for me. What is that U-Boat doing on the surface and I though depth charges exploded under water?

    • For most of the war, I think, U-boats could only re-charge their batteries on the surface because of the dangerous gases produced. Those moments were when they were at their most vulnerable. The whole idea is explored to degree level at ‘https://uboat.net/articles/id/54’
      The batteries did not last long. According to the webpage above: “Some submarine was able to navigate underwater 80 hours with speed of 4 knots and 1 hour with speed of 16 to 17 knots. ”
      Because batteries were of such short duration, U-boats always travelled on the surface using diesel engines, if it was safe to do so.
      As far as depth charges are concerned I presume that it’s all in the name! At the same time, though, if you dropped one directly onto the hard surface of a U-boat from any height I’m sure it would explode, just because of the shock of the impact.

      • Jan

        Until the MkXXI they were really surface vessels that could go underwater for a bit.

        Did you not say that Sandy was involved in the U-boat war?

        REPLY: As far as I know he was a pilot who flew Sunderlands in Coastal Commands. Forces-war-records does not reveal a lot about him except that he was promoted to “War Substantive Flying Officer” on December 26th 1944.

  2. These comics were one influence on my original desire to become a book illustrator. Art school was not possible.

    • I also used to love the illustrations in so many boys’ comics. I will be doing something soon with Eagle and Dan Dare, and there was a lot of lovely artwork in Ranger and in Look and Learn. I also used to like a magazine called “Bible Story” which had stunning pictures of the Old Testament stories. The best I ever saw was a comic strip showing the build up to the Battle of Hastings with Harold and William and so on. I can’t remember where it appeared but I suppose it must have been in 1966.
      Have you ever thought of going somewhere to study drawing and painting? You might find that a local college or club does something of that kind. There are lots and lots of amateur artists out there and they must all go somewhere!

  3. Well I think the facetious comments add to the overall realism of the comic. They’re a very ‘stiff upper lip’ approach to war where good always wins over evil, no matter how badly hurt the bomb Aimer is!

    • I must admit, my classes used to love my facetious comments, most of which consisted of my silly captions to the pictures in their textbooks. I think it proved to them that I was not some one dimensional fanatic dedicated to the cause, but somebody whose mind was wandering just as much as theirs was.
      I think that the bomb aimer, by the way, is dead. “The bomb aimer has had it skipper” is enough evidence for me! Even now, I’m thinking of how you could adapt the Parrot Sketch….”he has ceased to be, he is an ex-bomb aimer”.

  4. As an American teen, I read a ton (or is it tonne) of comics. I can honestly state that I did learn ‘good’ from ‘bad’, ‘evil’ and ‘hate,’ and ‘fantasy’ from ‘real.’ Secret messages to the masses and I see this in the ‘Victor Comics’ too. Great posting.

    • Thank you very much, and you are absolutely right. Such publications did have their own concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, and how you should feel about your country and the people who have served it. I didn’t realise until I bought a modern CD with hundreds of digital copies of the old comics on it, that they also tried very hard, back in the 1960s, to promote the idea that you didn’t have to be white to be brave or capable. The cover story therefore, carried quite a few true accounts of the bravery of the Gurkhas, (our troops from Nepal), about Indian soldiers and about the men from West Africa.
      Such a use of mere propaganda, of course, can poison young minds in the wrong hands, but I think that it must have done a good job here, especially with young boys who at the time for the most part had never ever even seen a non-white person.

  5. I’m sure the real-life participants in the stories took it all with a healthy dose of humour too.

    • I think they had to when faced with the horrors of war. The attitude of the ordinary serviceman is expressed perhaps in all his euphemisms for being killed. “Got the chop, gone for a burton, bought the farm” and so on. My favourite is from WW1 for the men who disappeared during heavy bombardments and were never seen again. “Knocked to spots”.

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