The trouble starts for number 7 platoon when their troop ship gets damaged off the coast from Salerno as they prepare for invasion. They appear trapped below decks and are ready for the worst before they are rescued and sent into battle. If this experience is not morale shaking enough, first their trusted lieutenant and then their leading Sergeant are killed. Colonel Gordon unaware of their ordeal is outraged by their lack of morale fibre and grudgingly consents to the Medical Officer's advice to send them to a quiet sector of the front. Of course it only gets worse from there...for everybody.
I must admit I picked this one for the cover and the fact that there were an 8 extra pages highlighted by the white flash in the bottom right hand corner.
However this story has a lot more depth to it than the usual picture library serving.
A mysterious Canadian officer comes to the trapped platoons rescue making Colonel Gordon exclaim that the Canadian was the "bravest man he had ever seen". Then in a twist for a Battle Picture Comic the heroic Canadian manages to get himself killed.
The colonel's statement of course puts him at odds with the survivors of 7 platoon. The colonel is even more dumbfounded when he learns the Canadian was really an American deserter.
I was expecting the same old same old stereotypes when I started reading this story - and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Potential lead characters are killed off, the hero doesn't make it to the end of the story to be bathed in the approaching sunrise, there are depictions of dead allied soldiers and the main character turns out to be the initially unforgiving colonel.
Killed in Action is certainly a step up from "we'll beat the Hun, chaps".