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“Terror Bomb—” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on November 13, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

This week we feature Dare-Devil Ace’s October 1933 cover, Frederick Blakeslee’s “Terror Bomb!”

th_DDA_3310TWO BRITISH FLYERS were ordered to destroy certain balloon sheds in Germany. Flying a D.H-9 loaded with four bombs, they reached their destination without opposition and released the eggs. There were only three bursts of dust and smoke—all wide of the mark—and the gunners thought that the fourth bomb had proved a dud. About that time archie suddenly stopped, which meant Boche planes were approaching. While the gunner scanned the sky for the enemy the pilot set out for home.

The pilot noticed that his ship had a tendency to bank right. In order to correct the bank he had to depress his right aileron. He told the gunner, who immediately remembered the fact that the fourth bomb had not exploded.

Three Fokkers were rapidly overtaking them, but forgetting them, the gunner leaned out and down to peer under the wing. What he saw made his heart skip a beat. The bomb was hanging, head down, its tail tangled in the release gear! Had the wind started the timing propeller in the nose of the bomb ? If so, they only had minutes to live.

The gunner yelled something to the pilot and climbed out onto the wing and from there to the landing gear. He saw that the timing propeller was still and that the bomb could be released easily.

The pilot swung his ship in a circle and started back into Germany. Again and again the Fokkers rushed to attack. Flaming slugs filled the air. But the daredevil D.H. hurtled on for the balloon sheds—reached them. The lead Fokker, however, was on its tail.

The Yank pilot leaned back, pulled the gun around and sent a burst through his own tail directly into the nose of the pursuing Fokker! The Jerry dove away with a smashed propeller, spun dizzily, then crashed to the ground. They were directly over their objective by now; the gunner released the dangling bomb—which spun down true to its mark. It hit a gas tank and a moment later, the whole outfit—shed, balloon and outhouses—was in flames!

The gunner crawled back to his pit and began to fight off the other two Fokkers. More Boche ships were approaching so the pilot began his race for home—and it was some race! They landed with their ship so badly damaged by tracers that it had be rebuilt.

The Story Behind The Cover
“Terror Bomb: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (October 1933)

Check back again. We will be presenting more of Blakeslee’s Stories behind his cover illustrations.

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