The rain started again. The four men in the U.S. Army jeep bumping along the desert road in North Africa hunched their shoulders against the chill December drizzle.
The driver, Pvt. Tully Pettigrew, swerved to avoid hitting a bomb crater. The jeep’s wheels slipped and churned in the soft mud, but Tully expertly pulled them back into the deep ruts.
He shot a quick glance at the grim-faced American sergeant in the front seat beside him.
“The bridge is out over that deep wadi, Sarge,” he said. “These desert creek beds fill up fast in rainy weather. Think I should cut south where we’ll have a better ford?”
Sgt. Sam Troy, leader of the four-man commando group known as the “Rat Patrol,” shook his head. Water dripped from the brim of his Australian bush hat – a souvenir of his service with the Aussies.
“Keep going, Tully,” he said bleakly. “If we turn south, we’ll hit those German panzer columns again.”
“That’s right,” Sgt. Jack Moffitt said from the rear of the jeep, where he and Pvt. Mark Hitchcock rode with a .50-caliber machine gun on a swivel mount. “We have only about fifty rounds of ammunition left. I’d hate to meet up with Capt. Hans Dietrich again with no more firepower than that.”
“That’s right,” Sam Troy agreed. “That guy is the wiliest tank company commander Rommel ever trained. He’s given us more personal trouble than the rest of the Wehrmacht combined.”
The characters were as follows:
Sgt. Sam Troy… Christopher George
Sgt. Jack Moffitt… Gary Raymond
Pvt. Mark Hitchcock… Lawrence P. Casey
Pvt. Tully Pettigrew… Justin Tarr
Capt. Hans Dietrich… Eric Braeden