(Population figures are 2003 estimates derived from the 2000 census.)
Living up to the "A Real American Hero" moniker, members of the G.I. Joe team called almost all 50 states home (except Delaware. F__K Delaware!).
Delaware is the only state not to be the birthplace of any Joe Team member.
About 15 miles west of the PA-NJ state line along I-78 is Allentown (105,958), Windmill's home city. Philadelphia (1,479,339), in the southeast corner of the state, is home to Sgt. Sideswipe. Ozone's filecard lists his birthplace as Three Mile Island, site of the famous nuclear power plant accident. The island is in the Susquehanna River, 10 miles northeast of the capital city of Harrisburg. Pittsburgh's two Joes, Depth Charge and Steeler, were born in the west part of the state, where the Allegheny flows into the Ohio River.
In the general New York City area, one finds the sizeable city of Elizabeth (123,215) on I-95, just northwest of Staten Island. It is Clean Sweep's place of birth. Mutt is from Iselin (75,162), about nine miles to the southwest. Countdown is from Plainfield (48,025), about 12 miles west of Elizabeth. Clutch was born in Asbury Park (16,693), about halfway down the New Jersey coast.
I-91 crosses the Connecticut River near the center of the state, at Hartford (124,387), the capital and hometown of Stretcher. The other two Connecticut Joes are from the Atlantic coast: Airtight is from New Haven (124,512), 35 miles to the south along I-91, and Whiteout is from Bridgeport (139,664), 15 miles farther west on I-95.
Near the northwest corner of the state is a small town called Clarksburg (1,681), where Dr. Link Talbot was born. It doesn't appear on some maps, but it's right next to North Adams, about three miles south of the border with Vermont. Northampton (29,287) is on I-91, about 90 miles west of Boston. Wildcard hails from there. Most of the other Massachusetts Joes are from the Boston area. Boston itself (518,616) is on the Atlantic coast at the end of I-90, and has three Joes to its name: Barbecue, Blocker, and Colonel Courage. Space Shot hails from Everett (37,540), about five miles north of downtown Boston. Doc's home of Concord (16,937) is about 15 miles northwest of downtown, near Walden Pond. Wide Scope claims Newton (84,323) as his hometown, eight miles directly west of downtown. Cross Hair is from Brockton (95,090), about 20 miles south of downtown Boston. From there, Side Track's home of Hingham (20,319) is 12 miles to the northeast. Martha's Vineyard (15,601) is the larger island just southeast of mainland Massachusetts. It is the birthplace of Lady Jaye. Tiger Claw is from Douglas (7,045), a small town just north of the border with Rhode Island.
Only one Joe claims Maryland as his home: Deep Six of Baltimore (628,670), where I-70 and I-95 intersect.
South Carolina produced some particularly tough Joes. Wet-Suit is from Myrtle Beach (24,691), the famous tourist trap on the Atlantic coast twenty miles from the NC-SC state line. Parris Island (4,841) is listed as the birthplace of Sgt. Slaughter, near Beaufort. It's at the other end of the coast, just 30 miles north of Savannah, Georgia. The Fridge hails from Aiken (26,456), about 20 miles northeast of Augusta, Georgia.
Washington, D.C. itself does not appear as a birthplace on the Joe filecards, but Salvo's home of Arlington (187,873) is just across the Potomac to the south of the nation's capital. Four miles farther south is Alexandria (128,923), home to the younger General Flagg. Virginia's capital, Richmond (194,729) is in the east central part of the state, at the intersection of I-64 and I-95. Mercer's 1991 filecard places his birth here. About 65 miles west of Richmond on I-64 is Charlottesville (39,162), the hometown of Keel-Haul. Wet Down's home of Norfolk (241,727; the L is silent) is near the southeast corner of Virginia.
It should come as no surprise that many Joes come from the New York City area (8,085,742). While the city actually encompasses a large collection of towns, the city is listed with no further specification for Backblast, Big Brawler, Rampart, and Zap. Crossfire was born somewhere on Long Island, the west part of which includes the borough of Brooklyn, home of Heavy Metal, Nunchuk, and Tunnel Rat, and the Queens neighborhood of Hollis, home of Bushido.
Moving north along the Hudson River, about 16 miles north of Brooklyn lies Yonkers (197,388), home of Hard Drive. One next comes to Banzai's home of Hartsdale (9,830), six miles to the northeast. Somers (18,346) is about 15 miles north of Yonkers and bestowed yet another ninja upon the Joe Team, T'Gin-Zu. Spring Valley (25,509), in northern part of the New York area, is home to Sgt. Lifeline, not to be confused with the more seasoned Lifeline from Seattle. The lone Joe from upstate New York, Hardball, was born in Cooperstown (1,936), the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame about 40 miles west of Albany.
MUX Admin Bzero was born in New York City, NY.
The major city of Greensboro (229,110), where Cross-Country grew up, is near the center of North Carolina, where I-40 briefly joins I-85. One hundred miles east is Fayetteville (124,372), the home town of Lt. Falcon, near Fort Bragg. Rumbler's hometown of Raeford (3,484) is only 20 miles to the west.
As the home of Hasbro, the tiny state of Rhode Island hosts the birthplaces of at least 16 Joes, most of them vehicle drivers. The capital city of Providence (176,365), just north of Narragansett Bay, is the home of Ace, Bullhorn, Dee-Jay, Dogfight, Ice Cream Soldier, Skystriker, and Major Storm (although Ace's 1992 filecard says he's from Seattle.) Bombstrike is from Cranston (79,269), a good-sized suburb about four miles to the south. Major Altitude is from Rumford (8,176), a small town three miles northeast of downtown Providence. Three miles to the north, where I-95 crosses the Providence River, is Pawtucket (74,330), the home of Hot Seat. The "original G.I. Joe," Joseph Colton, is from Central Falls (19,287), just to the north. Repeater's hometown of Cumberland (33,683) is seven miles north of Pawtucket, near the northeast corner of the state. The north central part of the state is the origin of Sub-Zero, who was born in Smithfield (21,386). Farther south, Long Range is from Warwick (87,365), at the south end of the Providence metro area. East Greenwich (13,442), just to the southwest, is the home of two Joes, Rollbar and T'Jbang. Specialist Paquette was born in North Kingstown (27,353), near the coast in the southeast part of the state. Finally, Captain Gears gives his hometown as Westerly (23,758) down on Rhode Island's tip where it borders Connecticut.
Snow Job's home of Rutland could either be the decent-sized city (17,103) or the smaller town (4,038) that completely surrounds it. It's a confusing situation. Manchester (4,180), where Claymore is from, is closer to the southwest corner of the state. The closest significant city is Saratoga Springs, NY, about 37 miles to the west.
Airwave and Thunder share the birthplace of Louisville (699,017), where I-65 crosses the Ohio River in the north central part of the state. Twenty miles south of downtown Louisville is the huge area of Fort Knox (12,377), Cold Front's place of birth.
Breaker comes from Gatlinburg (3,870), the Smoky Mountains tourist trap near the TN-NC border, about 30 miles southeast of Knoxville. Near the center of the state, where I-40 meets I-65, is Nashville, home of Med Alert. Fast Draw's hometown is Collierville (35,445), in the southwest part of the state, twenty miles southeast of Memphis.
Ohio's major cities gave the world several Joes. Downtown is from Cleveland (461,324), on Lake Erie at the intersection of I-80, I-90, and I-71. Ten miles to the south is Parma (83,861), birthplace of Agent Faces. The capital city of Columbus (728,432) is the place Grunt and Ripcord call home. It's in the center of the state, where I-70 and I-71 meet. Dayton (161,696) is to the west at the intersection of I-70 and I-75, and is the place of origin for two of the less popular Joes, Double Blast and Super Trooper. Fifty miles south, where I-71/75 crosses the Ohio River into Kentucky, is Cincinnati, home of Barrel Roll and Red Spot. Checkpoint is from Springboro, Ohio.
Muskrat hails from Thibodaux (14,463), which is about 45 miles southwest of New Orleans. Gung-Ho's birthplace of Fer-de-Lance cannot be located on any map or census. It may be that Fer-de-Lance is simply the name Gung-Ho's 137-member family gives to its residence, which lies outside any local jurisdiction. (The closest name is Ferriday, in Concordia County near the Mississippi state line.)
Topside grew up in Fort Wayne (219,495), in the northeast part of the state, just 18 miles from the border with Ohio. From there it's 70 miles northwest to Dodger's home of South Bend (105,540), about five miles south of the IN-MI state line. Footloose is from Gary (99,961), which is on Lake Michigan about 20 miles southeast of downtown Chicago.
The Greater Chicagoland Area, where the Illinois River flows into Lake Michigan, is home to nine Joes. Six are from Chicago itself (2,869,121): Bullet-Proof, Ghostrider, Hardtop, Heavy Duty, Scoop and Short-Fuze. Freefall's birthplace, Downers Grove (49,222), is about 20 miles west of downtown, and Evergreen Park (20,464), which gave us Grid-Iron, is 10 miles south. Cover Girl was born in Peoria (112,907), near the center of the state, where I-74 crosses the Illinois River.
Avalanche is from Madawaska (4,507), a small town just across the St. John River from the Canadian town of Edmunston. Farther south, Sneak Peek's hometown is Bangor (31,550), which is on I-95 about 20 miles north of Penobscot Bay.
All the Joes from Missouri were born in the St. Louis area. St. Louis (332,223) is on the Missouri-Illinois state line, where I-70 crosses the Mississippi River. It is the home of Duke, Spearhead, and Storm Shadow. Blast-Off is from the suburb of Kirkwood (762), about 12 miles southwest of downtown, off I-44.
Arkansas' capital of Little Rock (184,053) is in the center of the state, where I-30 joins I-40, and is the hometown of Chuckles. Hollow Point is from a tiny town 40 miles directly north, Quitman (725). Tracker's birthplace, Helena (5,817) is on the Mississippi River, about 50 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee.
Florida has been somewhat more productive. Cape Canaveral (9,509) gave us Payload. Home of the Kennedy Space Center, it's on the Atlantic coast, about 45 miles east of Orlando. Pathfinder was born on Key West (25,031), at the west extreme of the Florida Keys at the state's southern tip. Blowtorch hails from Tampa (317,647), on the north side of Tampa Bay on the Gulf coast. On the panhandle, Panama City (37,085) is the home of Sergeant Blaster. One hundred miles to the west, and 15 miles east of the border with Alabama, is Pensacola (54,897), where Sergeant Skydive was born.
Relatively few Joes come from Texas. Houston (2,009,690) is home to Law & Order, lying in the southeast part of the state, where I-10 and I-45 intersect. About 120 miles to the southwest is Victoria (61,110), the hometown of Major Barrage. Iceberg is from Brownsville (156,178), about 20 miles from the Gulf Coast on the border with Mexico. Wild Bill was born in Brady. There are two Texas towns by that name, but the larger one (5,331) is 140 miles northwest of San Antonio. Fort Worth (585,122), home to Effects, is where I-20, I-30, and I-35W intersect just west of Dallas.
Several members of the Joe Team were born in Iowa. Sgt. Hacker comes from the small town of Emmetsburg (3,759), on the Des Moines River about 25 miles south of the border with Minnesota. Hit & Run hails from Sioux City (83,876), on the Missouri River where the tail of South Dakota ends between Iowa and Nebraska. From there it's 50 miles east to Ida Grove (2,259), home of Maverick. Crazylegs' home of Fort Dodge (25,917) is about 65 miles farther east, on the Des Moines River. Finally, Windchill's Cedar Rapids (122,542) is on the Cedar River in east central Iowa.
Lake Geneva (7,369) is home of the Sky Patrol member Airborne. Eight miles north of the border with Illinois, it's on the northeast shore of - you guessed it – Geneva Lake. Two Joes are from the Eau Claire area: Recondo is from Wheaton (2,456), on the Chippewa River just north of the larger city (and not to be confused with Wheaton, Illinois). Grand Slam is from Chippewa Falls (12,708), also on the river and about 50 miles east of St. Paul, Minnesota. Specialist Rook is from La Crosse, Wisconsin.
More Joes are from California than from any other state. The capital city of Sacramento (445,335), at the intersection of I-80 and I-5, is the home of Budo. Flash's hometown is Lodi (61,027), 30 miles to the south. San Francisco (751,682), at the 34th parallel along the Pacific Coast, gave the Joe Team Dojo, Knockdown, and Psyche-Out. One of Storm Shadow's filecards also places his birth in San Francisco, and another over 100 miles east in Fresno, though most list St. Louis as his birthplace. On the MUX Storm Shadow was born in St. Louis, but grew up in San Francisco. Fifteen miles south of the Golden Gate Bridge is Burlingame (27,387), Starduster's POB. Another 35 miles to the south is Boulder Creek (4,081), home of Long Arm. Altitude is from Cambria (6,232), along the Pacific Coast midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles (3,819,951). LA itself is the hometown of Jinx, Quick Kick, Skidmark, Sure Fire, and Wreckage. Nearby is Malibu, Rock 'n Roll's beachside home 25 miles to the west. The same distance east of downtown LA is Walnut (31,089), home to Ambush. Just north of the US-Mexico border is San Diego (1,266,753), Cloudburst's hometown. Shipwreck is from Chula Vista (199,060), in the southeast portion of the San Diego area. Red Zone is from Stockton, California.
Hi-Tech grew up in urban surroundings in St. Paul (280,404), which with Minneapolis is on the Mississippi River near I-35. The northern part of the state is sparsely populated, but it's home for five members of the G.I. Joe Team. Duluth (86,918) is home to Steam-Roller and lies on the shore of Lake Superior, near the border with Wisconsin. Bazooka and Tripwire are from Hibbing (16,851), about 60 miles northwest of Duluth. Eighty more miles northwest brings one to Charbroil's small town, Blackduck (748). From there, it's 75 miles southwest to White Earth (830), Dart's home in the White Earth Ojibwe Indian Reservation (2,759 total residents).
Kansas produced some of the Joe Team's more colorful characters. Barricade's Pittsburg (19,276, no "h") is on the border with Missouri, 25 miles north of the Kansas-Oklahoma state line. The state's largest city is Wichita (354,617), where I-35 crosses the Arkansas River, and is home to Flint and Lightfoot. Cutter's hometown of Kinsley (1,551) is famous for being 1,561 miles from both Los Angeles and New York. It's on the Arkansas River, about 110 miles to Wichita's west. Crankcase was from Lawrence, on the Kansas River 35 miles west of downtown Kansas City.
The only Joe who is indisputably from West Virginia is the Ranger Sidetrack, whose home is in the tiny town of New Manchester (152). It's near the northern tip of the state, about two miles east of the Ohio River. Mercer's original filecard lists his birthplace as Spencer (2,283), which is 35 miles northeast of Charleston.
Updraft is from North Dakota's capital of Bismarck (56,344), Bismarck is near the center of the state, where I-94 crosses the Missouri River. Low-Light's hometown is Crosby (1,067), 35 miles east of Montana and six miles south of the border with Canada.
Mirage's filecards list his hometown as Molsen, but the correct spelling is Molson (35), a small knot of streets on the US-Canada border, 11 miles east of the Okanogan River. Seattle (569,101), on the coast of Puget Sound in the northwest, is home to Lifeline (the real one) and Rapid-Fire. Ace's 1992 filecard oddly lists Seattle as his birthplace, although every other source places him in Providence. Recoil's Fashion Island does not appear on the maps, but may be one of the hundreds of San Juan Islands in Puget Sound. It's possible it should be Vashon Island, which lies just southwest of Seattle. The islands have a total population of 14,077.
Rounding out the Rocky Mountain states, Alpine's Minidoka (122) is a tiny town on the Snake River, 50 miles north of the border with Utah. Boise (190,117), in the southwest some 40 miles east of Oregon on I-84, is the capital and hometown of Tollbooth.
Casper (50,632) is home to Robo-JOE, where I-25 crosses the North Platte River. In the west central part of the state, Outback's home of Big Piney (436) is about 50 miles west of the border with Idaho.
Lawton (91,730), where Lift-Ticket calls home, is a mid-sized city in Oklahoma, about 75 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The only other Joe from Oklahoma is also associated with flight: Drop Zone, from Poteau (7,990), which is 25 miles southwest of Fort Smith, Arizona.
The city of Taos (5,008) is on the southwest corner of Taos Indian Reservation, 50 miles northeast of Santa Fe. It is the home of Spirit, although his 1989 filecard gives his birthplace as the Grand Canyon, over in northwest Arizona. Low-Light's 1989 filecard also gave New Mexico as his home state (it should be North Dakota), and this error was followed in his 1993 filecard. Evac was born outside Roswell, New Mexico.
Arizona is home to three Joes. Armadillo's hometown of Fort Huachuca (8,006) is a military base near Huachuca City and 60 miles southeast of Tucson. The original Airborne was born somewhere on the Navajo Indian Reservation, whose combined population in northeast Arizona and northwest New Mexico totals 165,000. The capital city of Phoenix (1,388,416), where I-10 crosses the Salt River, is where Mainframe was born.
Frostbite's town of Galena (658) really is in the middle of nowhere. Specifically, it is 270 miles west of Fairbanks on the Yukon River, just south of the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge. Tracker Kwinn's Kotzebue (3,156) is even more remote, at the end of the peninsula on Kotzebue Sound just north of Alaska's "nose."
- ↑ With the possible exceptions of Kamakura and Snake-Eyes, whose POBs are classified.
- ↑ There are no residential homes on the island, which is technically part of Londonderry Township.
- ↑ Clutch's Southern accent on the cartoon notwithstanding, Asbury Park is still less than 25 miles from Long Island.
- ↑ There is actually a second Arlington in Virginia, a small unincorporated community, but it's across the Chesapeake Bay on the Delmarva Peninsula.
- ↑ The Norfolk Naval Shipyard is actually to the west, in Portsmouth.
- ↑ Hollis is about four miles north of the JFK Airport.
- ↑ Since a fer-de-lance is a large, venomous snake native to South America and the Caribbean, this may be a fictional town. If so, it is the only non-existent birthplace given for a member of the Joe Team.
- ↑ His filecard spells the town "Madawask."
- ↑ Mercer's 1991 filecard says he's from Richmond, Virginia, over 200 miles away.
- ↑ Updraft's filecard, however, spells Bismarck without a "c."
- ↑ Low-Light's 1989 and 1993 filecards erroneously place Crosby in New Mexico, but NM has no town by that name.
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