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Colonel Flanders, the commander of a U. S. Army missile base in the South, plans to hold a dance to foster good relations with the nearby town of Anderson. The colonel appoints four of his subordinates, Warrant Officer Nace, Sgt. Shannon Gambroni, black Sergeant Jones, and Captain Myerson, as his community relations committee. Together with Billy Joe Davis (the town's leading citizen, a bigot, and the leader of a right-wing militia) they arrange the social event. On the night of the dance, Gambroni persuades Ramona, a bar girl and the town's loveliest citizen, to join him in the back seat of a parked car. Sheriff Harve, who considers Ramona his girl friend, arrests Gambroni for indecent conduct. Sergeant Jones, who has been refused a loan by bank official Kruft, decides to free Gambroni from jail. Jones and Nace, who is already quite drunk, commandeer an obsolete tank and storm the town. Billy Joe Davis is quick to defend his town; directing his forces from a helicopter, he orders his militia out onto a field in their jalopies. The tank devastates the private army and demolishes the jail. Colonel Flanders and the troops arrive to find Sheriff Harve holding the three sergeants captive, and Flanders forces the sheriff to release the men to him for military discipline. Billy Joe Davis is discredited, and the sheriff is fired, to the delight of practically the whole town.