Flieger Abwehr Kanone - a German mouthful that was shortened to "flak", a word dreaded by every Allied pilot. It meant anti-aircraft guns, those multi-barrelled cannon and deadly 88-millimetre guns that could blast attackers out of the sky. Every important target in Nazi Europe bristled with them.
Mosquito pilot Terry Franklin had met his fair share of flak and it terrified him. Yet here he was in a new squadron whose job it was to attack only the most difficult targets!
I imagine that if a current Commando author submitted the idea for "Flak Fever", he or she might begin by writing something along the lines of, "Our hero is a pilot with PTSD…"
Because of our modern-day familiarity with military terms such as the one mentioned above, we now know that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious condition which Armed Forces personnel acknowledge could happen to any one of them.
However, back when this story was originally scripted, in the mid-1970s, the fictional hero believes that he has simply lost his nerve, and that his own perceived "cowardice" is something that he must hide. It's an interesting story point, but it is not laboured, and seems all the more realistic for it.
Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Note: Originally published as Commando No 1102 (February 1977), re-issued as No 2428 (December 1990).