SAM "YAKKETY" YATES

Real Name: Sgt. Sam Yates

Identity/Class: Human (World War II era)

Occupation: Marine

Group Membership: Leatherneck Raiders

Affiliations: Chaka, Lt. Erikson, General Ten Per Cent, Captain Griggs, Ben Grimm, Howling Commandos (Isadore "Izzy" Cohen, Timothy "Dum-Dum" Dugan, Nick Fury, Gabe Jones, Eric Koenig, Dino Manelli, Percival "Pinky" Pinkerton, Robert "Reb" Ralston), John Kennedy, Gweny Lee, Manuel, Morton, Red Fox, Terry Reiker, Samurai Squad, General Theresa, Father Thompson

Enemies: Antonio, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, Herbert Cholmondeley, HYDRA, Japanese soldiers, Jake Malloy, Major Nagasha, Nazis, Colonel Sakata

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Yakkety"

Base of Operations: Mobile aboard the U.S.S. Sea Wolf, usually in the Pacific Ocean; barracks at an American base in Australia

First Appearance: Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#1 (January, 1968)

Powers/Abilities: Sam Yates was a long-time marine, and had taken on duties such as diving. He wielded a machine gun. He served as second-in-command of the Leatherneck Raiders.

History: (Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#1 (fb) - BTS) - Sam Yates was a career marine, and began his service around 1923. During World War II, he was assigned to the Leatherneck Raiders under the command of Captain Simon Savage. Yates was continually frustrated that he was to take orders from a "swabbie"-- a non-marine.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#1) - Sgt. Yates joined the Leathernecks as they assaulted a Japanese base on Tarawa. Yates proved difficult in the field, questioning Savage's decisions because he was a "Swabbie." However, the Leathernecks destroyed the munitions the Japanese had on Tarawa, and were then picked up by the Sea Wolf alongside the Howling Commandos.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#2) - The Leathernecks invaded a Japanese building and stole documents about the "phantom submarine" which had been sinking American and Japanese vessels, and the information led them to Hydra Island, where they encountered the Japanese Samurai Squad. The two teams fought each other, only to be ambushed and captured by HYDRA, with only Captain Savage and the Samurai Squad's Sgt. Morita remaining free.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#3) - While Savage and Morita fought their way through Hydra Island, the Lethernecks and Samurai Squad escaped their cells and confronted HYDRA's leader, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, but he showed them that the forces of HYDRA were so great that they had no hope of escape, and showed them Savage and Morita about to be attacked by HYDRA agents.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#4) - When the Leathernecks and Samurai Squad were distracted, Strucker dropped a cage from the ceiling on top of them, then arranged to have them all killed by firing squad. As he faced the firing squad, Yates remained stolid, shamed that he could only die for the marines once. However, Savage and Morita came to their rescue. Strucker set the island to self-destruct, but the Leathernecks and Samurai Squad escaped together in one of HYDRA's submarines. When they had escaped from the exploding island, they met up with the Samurai Squad's rendezvous ship, and allowed their counterparts to depart on friendly terms.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#5) - The Leathernecks helped manipulate Rolfe Harrison into an arm-wrestling match with Little Bear, which led to a barfight between the American and Australian troops who had been watching. Harrison was forced to assist the Leathernecks in capturing Herbert Cholmondeley, who was making fake money for the Japanese. After the completion of their mission, Yates and the other Leathernecks were given three-day passes by Savage.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#6) - The Leathernecks went on an obstacle course run underwater, during which Little Bear's bow caught on one of the phony mines, setting it off. They failed the practice, and Sgt. Yates was furious with Little Bear for making him look bad. On their next mission, the Leathernecks teamed with a hundred marines in an assault on Burma, where they liberated a P.O.W. camp that had been holding Isadore "Izzy" Cohen of the Howling Commandos. They succeeeded in their mission, and saw Private Cohen off as he went to rejoin the Howlers.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#7) - The Leathernecks were on leave at Hawaii when they were ordered to rescue Lt. Ben Grimm, who was a prisoner of Colonel Sakata. They invaded Sakata's island on surfboards, and escaped the island aboard a plane flown by Savage under directions by Grimm, while Sgt. Yates manned one of the plane's guns. They finally met up with a squad of American planes, who escorted them home.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#8) - The Leathernecks held a wrestling match between Little Bear and Moose Barclay, but were discovered by Captain Savage, who was not amused. On their mission, they were sent to an island where two important Japanese generals were holding a conference, and told to capture them both without causing any casulties. The Leathernecks failed in their mission, but were then informed by Commander Morton that the entire mission was a training exercise, and that all of the Japanese soldiers they had fought were members of Nisei Squadrons. Morton revealed that this was in preparation for an upcoming mission alongside the Howling Commandos.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#9) - After Savage shaved his beard off because he looked too much like Jake Malloy, a gunrunner in Burma, he took the Leathernecks on a training exercise before their next mission, which was to capture Malloy himself. The Leathernecks journeyed to Burma and met Malloy and his men, who welcomed them heartily into their camp. Even though Malloy was supplying arms to pro-Japanese guerillas, he considered himself a patriot, and had the utmost respect for the marines. When the Japanese invaded Malloy's camp, he led his men alongside the Leathernecks against them. However, the Leathernecks still had to complete their mission, and took Malloy into their custody. As they returned to Australia with Malloy, he began to file through his bonds.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#10) - The Leathernecks were attacked by the Japanese on an island, and Jay Little Bear was struck down by a palm tree during a bombardment. Sgt. Yates refused to leave him behind, and with Baker, pulled the tree off of him. Yates tended to Jay, but told the others to move back to their base. Yates then picked up Little Bear to carry him back, through the Japanese shellfire. Yates eventually met up with marines who had been sent to reinfoce the island, and with the revived Little Bear, came to the rescue of Savage and the others, driving the Japanese away.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#11) - The Leathernecks were teamed with the Howling Commandos for a mission to a Pacific island where the Japanese had employed the American scientist Terry Reiker, exploiting her anti-war beliefs. The Howlers and Leathernecks fought their way past scores of Japanese soldiers in the jungle of the island. When the Leathernecks finally reached the castle where Reiker was, a sniper shot Lee Baker, and Yates pronounced him dead.

(Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#64) - As the Leathernecks mourned for Lee Baker, Sgt. Fury reminded the Leathernecks that they had a mission to complete, and Yates agreed with Fury, hoping that Lee's death would get the other Leathernecks to shape up. The Leathernecks and Howlers broke into the fortress where Dr. Terry Reiker was being kept, and forced her to leave with them, despite her protestations.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#12) - The Leathernecks stood side-by-side as Baker's coffin was loaded into a plane bound for Los Angeles. To help the Leathernecks deal with their grief, they were assigned to spy on the Japanese fleet aboard the Sea Wolf. Unfortunately, they were sighted by the fleet, and were struck by depth charges that resulted in Savage hitting his head and passing out. Command fell to Captain Griggs, who surrendered the Sea Wolf to the Japanese. The Leathernecks were sent to the prison camp of Major Nagasha, where they met the American priest Father Thompson. Thompson helped the Leathernecks escape the camp, and get to a boat and off the island.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#13) - The Leathernecks were sent on a mission to Italy to help the Partisan General Theresa protect Castello Rizzi from the Nazis. They used the obsolete weapons of war found in the castle to hold the Germans back, with Yates driving a "Bouncing Bertha" tank, and ultimately destroyed a German air base, while American forces moved in and defeated the Germans.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#14) - The Leathernecks were sent to Manila Bay in the Philippines to rescue American scientists who had been made prisoners of the Japanese. They were aided in their mission by Manuel, a local boy with many resources. To help move the scientists along, they dressed them in their uniforms so that they would be held in a P.O.W. camp. The Leathernecks then dressed up as women to get into the camp, then rescue the scientists. They were picked up by PT 109 boat officer John Kennedy after succeeding in their mission.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#15) - The Leathernecks journeyed down the Mekong River to destroy the rubber being gathered by the Japanese, and made a deal with the pirate General Ten Per Cent to give him 10% of the rubber. When they were attacked by guerillas who mistook them for Japanese, Yates shot and killed Kao, thinking he was also Japanese. Nonetheless, they were aided by the guerilla Red Fox in finding the rubber, which had been hidden inside of a Buddhist temple to keep the Americans from bombing it. The Leathernecks moved the rubber back to its original warehouse, and the American bombers destroyed it.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#16) - The Leathernecks were trained for winter combat by Lt. Erikson, and journeyed to Alaska to help drive out Japanese invaders. Yates was hit by the Japanese in a firefight, and the Leathernecks brought him to the igloo of Chaka, an Inuit who treated Yates' injuries and let the Leathernecks use his radio to bring in a plane to get Yates to a hospital. When Yates asked how he could repay Chaka, Chaka answered that some bars of soap and girlie magazines would do. Chaka ultimately died helping the Leathernecks battle the Japanese, and Captain Savage visited Yates in the hospital, giving him a figure that Chaka had carved from ivory in the likeness of Sgt. Yates. Yates said that even if he won the Medal of Honor, it wouldn't compare to the ivory figure.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#17 (fb) - BTS) - Yates and Stone were sent to help Little Bear get into a Japanese camp and destroy it. Unfortunately, Little Bear was captured before he could complete his mission.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#17) - Yates and Stone returned to the Sea Wolf, and were ultimately forced to depart without Little Bear, unaware that he had escaped the Japanese and went on to complete his mission then escape the island.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#18) - The Leathernecks were reunited with Little Bear, and met Gweny Lee, the Chinese woman who had helped him escape the Japanese. They returned to their barracks, and Yates joined with the other Leathernecks in teasing Little Bear for being in love with Gweny Lee. The Leathernecks then went on a mission to rescue an American officer from a Japanese camp, and succeeded.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#19) - Yates, LaRocque, Little Bear and Stone held a new year's party with Gweny Lee and a pair of LaRocque's ladyfriends, and Yates dressed up as the new year's baby. The four Leathernecks trained together as they waited for Captain Savage to return from a mission aboard the Sea Wolf.

Comments: Created by Gary Friedrich, Dick Ayers and Syd Shores.

A drill sargeant who looks a lot like Yates appears in Combat Kelly#5, but isn't given a name. Maybe Yates became an instructor after the Leathernecks broke up?

Ben Grimm's presence in Captain Savage#7 is one of those Marvel-time problems for which there is no explanation as of yet. Given Grimm's references to his ever-lovin' Aunt Petunia, it's hard to rationalize this as an appearance by one of his ancestors. Perhaps Grimm was traveling through time?

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Sgt. Sam Yates should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Captain Savage#1, page 14, panel 3
Captain Savage#10, page 19, panel 5


Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#2-6 (March-September, 1968) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#7 (October, 1968) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#8 (November, 1968) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#9-10 (December, 1968-January, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#11 (February, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#12 (March, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#13-15 (April-July, 1969) - Arnold Drake (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#16 (September, 1969) - Arnold Drake (writer), Don Heck (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#17-19 (November, 1969 - March, 1970) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#64 (March, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 05/21/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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