More Fun Comics #102 - Cover date March-April 1945
The pre-adolescent Clark Kent of Superboy is a different creature from the full-grown adult version occupying his mature counterpart’s comic. For one thing, Clark hasn’t yet adopted the key component of his civilian disguise, as he is seen here going around without glasses. More than that, however, young Clark Kent doesn’t share his adult self’s reputation for cowardice and mild manners - to the contrary, he’s a game, brave kid who is well-liked around town.
Undoubtedly, the idea was that a cowardly kid hero would be difficult for the young audience to identify with, so Clark gets to show a spine despite the presence of his dual identity.
For instance, in this story, a pair of jailbirds on the lam hijack the raft which Clark and his pals are using to lazily sail down the river, playing pirates. Defending his friends, Clark steps in front of a crook’s bullet and goes plummeting over the side of the vessel, eliciting cries of shock and misery from his compatriots (Superboy shows up to fix everything, of course).