The U.S. Border Patrol enjoys an interesting history. While today it’s frequently associated with deterring illegal immigration along the southern U.S. border with Mexico, the Border Patrol was more concerned with the country’s northern border during the organization’s early years in the 1920′s. Bootleggers trucked their wares into the U.S. through Canada; it was the Border Patrol’s job to inhibit that smuggling of illegal alcohol. You might recall the depiction of this duty in a scene from the 1987 film The Untouchables.
In 1940, a year after World War II began in Europe, the Border Patrol’s ranks were beefed up to prevent illegal immigration; despite the official neutral status of the U.S., the fear of a future war caused the Border Patrol to be on the lookout for Axis infiltrators, and the organization itself was transferred from the control of Department of Labor to become a branch of the Department of Justice.
That short synopsis serves as an introduction to today’s story, which originally appeared in the August 1941 debut issue of Captain Fearless Comics. and explains the “newly organized” reference in the splash panel; the phrase “newly reorganized” would have been more accurate. “Sergeant Dick Carter of the U.S. Border Patrol” is an average filler tale which could easily have been presented as a contemporary western. But Charles Quinlan’s detailed art makes this tale a real standout; the splash panel is a real beauty. Even more impressive is the fact that Quinlan illustrated over 25 pages of the magazine’s 64-page content that month.
The page scans are courtesy of The Digital Comic Museum. As always, you can have a better look by right-clicking a page and opening it in a new tab.
Have fun! — Steve
Copyright 2013, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.