Bob Haney joins Irv Novick on Johnny Cloud’s story in All American Men of War 88 (Nov/Dec 61), which provides some background on Johnny Cloud’s father.
The story opens as Johnny Cloud bails out of his plane, feeling guilty and cowardly. The story then shifts to a flashback about his father, who had been an infantryman in World War I. To avoid being killed by a German pilot, Cloud’s father fell into a river, pretending to be dead.
His father has never gotten over this, and wears a white feather of shame. As Johnny grew up and entered the air force, his father drilled into him that he must never shame himself the same way.
The Nazi pilot who shot Johnny Cloud down lands and pursues his prey. Johnny winds up diving into a river, just as his father did. But unlike his dad, he does this to lure the man closer, pulling him into the river and defeating him.