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



Season 5
COMBAT! episodes:

[The Gun]
[The Losers]
[Ollie Joe]
[The Brothers]
[The Chapel at Able Five]
[A Child's Game]
[The Letter]
[The Outsider]
[The Bankroll]
[Cry for Help]
[The Furlough]
[The Gantlet]
[The Masquers]
[A Little Jazz]
[Nightmare on the Red Ball Run]
[The Partisan]

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Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer • Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 

(142) Nightmare on the Red Ball Run


RATING: 2 bayonets

Written by Dan E. Weisburd
Directed by Michael Caffey

First aired 02-28-67
Episode 23 of Season 5


The drivers on the Red Ball Run are overworked to the point of danger, pushed by the fanatical Sergeant Rose. The truckers must accept Kirby and Littlejohn as replacements. They volunteered believing that riding would be easier and safer than walking. Transporting explosives over bumpy roads and collapsing bridges, they encounter snipers and a halftrack that blocks their path. Rosie saves the day when he rams the halftrack with his truck, at the cost of his own life.


Claude Akins, as the sergeant-with-an-attitude, and William Campbell, as Rosie's right-hand-man Corporal Sloan, have fun in this episode filmed at Franklin Canyon. Campbell appeared in fourth-season's "More Than a Soldier." This is Akins' third appearance on Combat!

The pacing in this episode is abominable. Nothing much happens, and what does happens, does so slowly. The characters drive through a series of contrived predicaments with no real dramatic tension. But Hogan and Akins have an easy-to-watch chemistry, as do Peabody and Campbell. Pity this story could not have been accelerated to allow them to interact more.

Watch for the small role of the Major in this episode. It is played by John Carter, who is the real-life brother of Conlan Carter ("Doc").


Opening nighttime barrage includes much historic footage, colorized.

The snipers have the element of surprise and the high ground, but still are easily picked off.

The trucks drive all night, yet they arrive at the front and encounter the same medic (Walt Davis) they left behind the night before.

Disappointing that no black actors were cast for this tribute to the drivers of the Red Ball Express.

The Germans who ambush the truck wear U.S. camo pattern HBT jackets. One has a camo helmet cover in the U.S. pattern.

Kirby tells Rosie he has never fought a half-track. Not true.


Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley [does not appear]

Guest star
Claude Akins as Rosie

Jack Hogan as Kirby
Conlan Carter as Doc
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Pierre Jalbert as Caje

William Campbell as Corporal Sloan
John Carter as Major
Paul Busch as German Tank Commander
Mike Masters as Medic
Beau Vanden Ecker as Markum

(Note: Medic is mis-credited, it is actually Walt Davis)

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File last updated June 28, 2012

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