© D.C. Thompson & Co. Ltd.

See The Victor issues 1000 - 1009. (19th April to 21st June 1980).

Writer:- The Victor editorial team? Artist:- Antonio Garcia?

Main cast:- Privates Nick Rafferty; 'Dutch' Holland; 'Red ' Crocker and safe-breaker 'Fingers' Finney; Major Karl Kurtz German, Army Officer).

Time period:- Second World War, Italy, June 1944.

The Rafferty Plan is a short picture story (ten episodes), that was published in The Victor in 1980. This Second World War story tells of one man’s efforts to steal diamonds from an Italian Count’s castle and also seek revenge on Major Karl Kurtz for killing his best friend Johnny Finch in cold blood. (Although as the story continues, this reviewer gets the impression that the diamonds are Rafferty’s main target and revenge for his colleague secondary). Rafferty is part of a small commando team tasked to capture General Hans Feuerstein, commander of the 51st Mountain Corps.

The mission is a success, but Rafferty and Finch are accidentally left behind when Rafferty falls down a hole. In an effort to escape into nearby mountains the two men take refuge in Count Pinhelli's Chateau. It's there that Rafferty and Finch see the Count checking on a box full of diamonds! Diamonds which Rafferty intends to steal for himself by holding up the count with his sten-gun. Before he can grab the box and make a run for it, Major Karl Kurtz and his men burst into the room and capture the two men. Taking the two commandos outside, Kurtz shoots Finch in the back. Rafferty though escapes and vows to return for the diamonds and take vengeance (there's that word again), on Kurtz.

Having escaped the Germans and got back to Allied lines, Rafferty begins to put together a plan and a team for the diamond heist. In order to do this Nick Rafferty has to desert from his commando unit, free a safe-breaker (‘Fingers’ Finney), from a military prison and enlist the help of two fellow commandos, Privates ‘Dutch’ Holland and ‘Red’ Crocker.

This story moves along at a fairly exciting pace, with Rafferty and his team facing and overcoming various difficulties for example, the British Military Police, The RAF and the German Army.

If this story had been printed in the 1960’s the hero would never have deserted his unit for monetary gain, but for a very good practical reason. For example, for the honour of the regiment or the family or being sent on a secret mission. And the hero would never, ever consider stealing anything valuable, but always return the items to their rightful owners. No chance of that happening in this strip!

Rafferty is a larger than life character, an ex-boxer and wrestler, whose actions speak louder than words. A man who acts instinctively. For example, venting his fury at a RAF Spitfire pilot who kills 'Dutch' Holland by firing a German machine gun in an effort to shoot the plane down. It is only 'Red ' Crocker pulling Rafferty away from the gun, that prevents the ex-boxer shooting down the RAF Spitfire. 'Red ' Crocker calms him down by explaining to him that the reason the pilot attacked was because the men are standing in a German held machine gun emplacement.

'Fingers' Finney is a cowardly, whinny type of criminal, who is keen to get rich quick, but not keen on taking any risks. 'Dutch' Holland and 'Red ' Crocker are both tough commandos who like the idea of getting rich quick.

Again no idea who penned the story, the writer possibly lost in the mists of time, although I think the artist is Antonio Garcia. But this needs to be confirmed.

The following adventures of Nick Rafferty are from issues 1002, 1008 and 1009. The first story is the second episode and tells how Nick Rafferty starts to put his plan into action and select his team. The last story tells how it all ended. Will Rafferty escape with the diamonds?

Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Antonio Garcia? © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

© Adrian Banfield, 2009.