Black Commander

Real Name: Barry Haynes

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: Aviator, spy, former R.A.F. commander

Affiliations: R.A.F., Colonel Northrup

Enemies: Nazis

Known Relatives: Martha (aunt)

Aliases: Ronald Joyce

Base of Operations: U.K.

First Appearance: Air Fighter Comics #1 (Hillman)

Powers/Abilities: Skilled aviator. Excellent high jumper.

History: American aviator Barry Haynes commanded an R.A.F. squadron during World War II. The Chief of British Military Intelligence, Colonel Northrup, asked him to help root out spies and traitors by posing as a traitor himself, willing to sell coastal defence plans to the Nazis. To ensure no one leaked the ruse, Northrup alone knew the truth, and arranged for Barry to be caught when he tried to sell the plans to German agent Maybelle in a London pub. Barry was courtmartialed and sentenced to death by firing squad,  but arranged a smoke bomb at the last second, enabling Barry to escape to a nearby Spitfire waiting for him. His treasonous credibility thus enhanced, Barry flew across the Channel, but was confronted by a Messerschmitt squadron. With his plane's guns empty, Barry was shot down and badly injured in the crash. Nazi surgeon Dr. Gort operated on him, both saving his life and radically altering his appearance. After recuperating, the Nazis sent him back to England under a new name, Ronald Joyce, with instructions to deliver a coded message to a German spy. Discovering upon his return to London that Northrup had been captured by the Germans, Barry realised he had no way of proving his innocence and no one in Allied intelligence to pass the message to. Decoding it himself, he learned there was to be a raid on a secret assembly plant that night, so he stole an experimental plane, the Black Commander, and used it to intercept the Nazi aircraft by himself. He then hid the plane at the country home of his Aunt Martha, ready to keep secretly protecting the U.K. until he could prove his innocence.

Comments: Barry Haynes made only a single appearance. Strictly speaking, the Black Commander was his plane's codename, not his.


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