Memories of...Bedcheck Charlie

In 1963 George Wunder, artist and writer of the popular comic strip Terry and the Pirates penned a story about two fourth-class cadets at the Air Force Academy, Bucky Warbow, and Dudley Darby. 

A 1970 article in Talon magazine continues the story: 

“...they get into trouble with a Firstie – Cadet Major Rampart. It seems that Rampy was being literally chased by a female, Hildy Tome, who was in search of a husband, and the Doolies kindly offered him some advice. For this breach of the “system,” Rampy gives a difficult task to Bucky and Dudley as punishment..."

“Well, as things would have it, Hildy devises a scheme which not only aids the Dools, but also gains her revenge over the Rock – Rampy. Bedcheck Charlie is born: the ghost of a World War I pilot who has returned to aid the Fourth Class with its bedtime inspections, giving advance warning of approaching upperclassmen."

"The whole affair almost backfires as the appearance of the ghost receives nationwide attention – even the Pentagon becomes concerned. An explanation has to be found in order to save the Academy, but Rampy will not put the two doolies in jeopardy. Instead he will sacrifice his career in order to save them and USAFA.”

“It really looks bleak until Hildy shows up at the big football game, scares the hell out of the opponents, and the Falcons emerge victorious. Then the whole thing is exposed as a manifestation of spirit, thus saving face for everyone. All is resolved and a tradition is born.”

The original story arc ran in newspapers nationwide from June through October 1963. The story unfolded concurrently, but separately, in the daily and Sunday strips. The entire story is available in the 99 daily strips and the 18 Sunday strips, via the links below.

The Daily Strips

The Sunday Strips



18 September 1970

October 1970

November 1975



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