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Combat! Season 1
Combat! Season 2
Combat! Season 3
Combat! Season 4
Combat! Season 5



Season 3 COMBAT! episodes:
[Season 3: Overview]
[Silver Service]
[The Long Walk]
[Mountain Man]
[The Duel]
[Operation Fly Trap]
[The Impostor]
[Losers Cry Deal]
[Point of View]
[Brother, Brother]
[The Hard Way Back]
[The Little Carousel]
[Fly Away Home]
[A Rare Vintage]
[The Enemy]
[A Gift of Hope]
[A Walk with an Eagle]
[Birthday Cake]
[The Cassock]
[The Town that Went Away]
[The Convict]
[The Steeple]
[More than a Soldier]
[The Long Wait]
[The Tree of Moray]
[Cry in the Ruins]
[The Hell Machine]
[Billy the Kid]
[Beneath the Ashes]

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reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer * Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 

(081) A Gift of Hope

bayonetbayonetbayonethalf bayonet
3-1/2 bayonets

Written by Anthony Wilson
Directed by Bernard McEveety
First aired 01-Dec-1964
Episode 11 of Season 3


Saunders learns that his hero and role-model has feet of clay. Sergeant Avery, thought killed in action at St. Lo, shows up alive and well, and must clear himself of suspicion of desertion. With Saunders at his side, Avery makes a journey of discovery about himself and about what it takes to be a frontline soldier.


In "The Gift of Hope," Saunders will not listen to Kirby's accusation that Avery had deserted under fire. Just not possible. Not the man that Saunders' infused with his trust. But when Avery appears before Saunders, alive and well, the stern moralizer goes cold, announcing that he wished his friend — his hero — had died, rather than be revealed as a coward.

Though the story takes awhile to get revving, once up to speed it is incredibly strong. Rip Torn offers a fine performance as Avery. "A Gift of Hope" is one of Morrow's best performances. The difficult scene where Avery walks a wounded Saunders back to the aid station is moving. The bulk of that act is a monologue. Morrow says nothing, but viewers know exactly what he is thinking about Avery's pained confessions. Jack Hogan also gives a strong performance as a Kirby out for revenge, and Rick Jason's Hanley walks the tightrope between duty and friendship. Bernard McEveety provides fine direction plus some great night-time battle scenes.

Anthony Wilson's script provides revelations into the psyche of a frontline soldier. Avery's undoing was not the fear of battle, or the terror of dying, it was the most terrible gift the hard-core veteran could imagine: hope.


  • Saunders again without his own knife, he must borrow Avery's.
  • R.H.I.P. — Saunders is the only one in the cellar quarters with a real bed.

Related Reading:

clay-pigeons-of-st-lo.jpg (7077 bytes)The Clay Pigeons of St. Lo - 1st-hand account of the infantry battle for St. Lo.
by Glover S. Johns (Paperback)

Book Description
Originally published in 1958 and now available for the first time in paperback, this classic of modern military history tells the exciting true story of the fall of St. Lo, the first major objective of the invading American armies in Normandy in June of 1944. Although St. Lo was intended to be taken within days of the landing, stubborn German resistance postponed the town's fall until July 18. The author describes the bloody action that took place in the thirty days in between as he led his battalion dubbed "The Indestructible Clay Pigeons" through the daunting combat.
About the Author
Col. Glover S. Johns, Jr., was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Class of 1931. In 1943, while serving as Military Attache‚ in Costa Rica, he applied for an assignment in the European theater, where he served with the 29th Infantry Division. Johns was awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star, each with Oak Leaf Cluster, as well as the Purple Heart.


Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley

Guest Star
Rip Torn as Avery

Jack Hogan as Kirby
Conlan Carter as Doc
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn

Malcolm Brodrick as Jimmy
Joe Allen Price as Larkin
Robert Yuro as Vitelli
Anthony Eisley as Lt. Gates

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