A Native American born as Franklin E. Talltree, Airborne was born on the Navaho Reservation in Nevada to oil-rich parents. He was their eldest son and they indulged him with sky-diving lessons. Though he passed the Arizona State Bar exams, Airborne decided to join the Army and entered Airborne School at Fort Benning, graduating at the top of his class.
Beginning as a Hasbro toy in 1983, Airborne was also introduced in that same year in comic form by artist Mike Vosburg and writer Larry Hama.
Airborne's primary MOS is Airborne Infantry. His second MOS is Helicopter Gunship Gunner. His rank is Sergeant E-5. He is an expert in using several types of weaponry including the Hughes Helicopter Chain Gun, M-16, M-60, and M-1911A. In the Marvel series, Airborne often appears in missions with G.I. Joe's other Native American member Spirit. They often go on reconnaissance and tracking missions. Airborne also serves as a co-pilot on the Dragonfly for Wild Bill, and the Tomahawk for Lift Ticket.
In the Hasbro G.I. Joe toyline, Airborne was re-released in 1990 as a member of G.I. Joe's Sky Patrol team. His name was changed to Robert M. Six and he was born in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He was the Sky Patrol's parachute assembler and medic and held the rank of Sergeant E-7.
Major Story Arcs
Airborne appears in several episodes of the 1985 Sunbow G.I. Joe TV-series. Still an airborne infantryman like in the Marvel comics, Airborne also possessed a psychic connection with his brother Tommy. This connection was exploited by Cobra in the episode "Operation: Mind Menace". Airborne was voiced by Peter Cullen. Airborne also appeared in the 1989 DiC G.I. Joe TV-series. He was voiced by Phil Hayes.
As previously mentioned, Airborne was released in the Hasbro G.I. Joe toy line in 1983. He was included in the Original Team mail away set in 1986. He was released in a double package set as a part of the Spy Troops set in 2003. Packaged with a Tele-Viper, Airborne was renamed both Sgt. Airborne and Halo Jumper. Both identities shared the same appearance and file card, which caused some confusion for collectors. He was then repainted in 2004 and released with the Sky Sweeper jet as a part of the Valor vs. Venom toy line.