The on-sale date is the copyright date, as per Catalog of Copyright Entries 1944 Periodicals, page 209. (The preface defines the copyright registration date as "the date of publication.")
Signed Gary on page 4, panel 3, and page 6 and 7.
Writer credit as per Du Bois Account Books.
The previous episode last issue was 8 pages, 6 panels per page. This issue's episode is only just 6 pages, but with an increase to 8 panels per page! Editorial machinations.
The Battle of Attu Island in the Aleutians of the Pacific off of Alaska, the only land battle of the war fought on U.S. territorial soil, was May 11-30, 1943. October 15, 1943, Red Ryder Comics #16 went on-sale, and we find The Fighting Yanks, now transferred from Tunisia, North Africa, to the Aleutians! By now (issue #19), having made their way to Attu, wounded Snorky off-scene, Pal and Buck are trapped in Attu's caverns...
Bob Jenny, illustrator of other aviation strips for Western Printing ≫ Dell (including his previous colaboration with Fighting Yanks chronicler Gaylord Du Bois on their Sky Ranger strip which they produced under the pseudonym Bob Gaylord), concluded his run on The Fighting Yanks with issue #16. By #17, with The Fighting Yanks now in the Pacific, illustration was assigned Jim Chambers, longtime illustrator of Western's Pacific island strip, The Hurricane Kids in the lost islands (a strip also assigned to writer Du Bois).
The presence of animals is a hallmark of Du Bois stories. Here, the blue fox, by appearing to Pal, bespeaks salvation!
Story title and writer credit as per Du Bois Account Books.
The story is set in a Navaho village and environs. Little Beaver's domicile is referred to variably as hogan, hut, and house, with a curtained door. Po-ko's domicile is described as a log-and-bark house. Tom lives in an old tumbled-down hogan at the end of the village. Other domiciles are hogans.
Characteristic of Du Bois stories, a central character is an animal. In this case it is title character.