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“Sporting Chance” by O.B. Myers

Link - Posted by David on October 20, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of a prolific pulp author O.B. Myers! Myers was a pilot himself, flying with the 147th Aero Squadron and carrying two credited victories and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Seeing his adversary’s plane was rendered inoperative, Duke Haskill does not go in for the kill, unfortunately, that plane’s wingmate renders Duke’s plane unusable. Both land, but behind German lines where Duke is taken prisoner. Since Duke had shown good sportsmanship in not killing Hauptmann von Eltz, von Eltz offers him a sportsmanlike deal for his freedom. Will Duke gamble his life for his freedom? Find out when Myers weaves all this into a tale of honor, sportsmanship and revenge! From the September 1930 issue of War Birds it’s—”Sporting Chance!”

He gambled with death and ran the gauntlet of enemy lead to make good the promise he had given to black wings, but when he found who held the stakes—

My Most Thrilling Sky Fight: Captain Hamilton Coolidge

Link - Posted by David on October 18, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

Amidst all the great pulp thrills and features in Sky Fighters, they ran a true story feature collected by Ace Williams wherein famous War Aces would tell actual true accounts of thrilling moments in their fighting lives! This time we have American Flyer Captain Hamilton Coolidge’s most thrilling sky fight!

As a famous athlete at Harvard, Hamilton Coolidge was well known throughout the land even before the war began. He enlisted in the aviation section of the Signal Corps and got his primary flight training at Mineola along with Quentln Roosevelt, his hoy-hood friend.

They went up to the front together on the same day. Coolidge was assigned to the 94th Squadron and Roosevelt to the 95th. Coolidge was killed when a German Archie scored a direct hit on his plane, something of which war time figures prove happened only once in every 20,000 attempts.

He had established an enviable record, soon becoming a recognized ace with 5 victories. He was promoted to a Squadron Commander, and succeeded in downing 3 more enemy planes. He was awarded both the Croix de Guerre and the Distinguished Service Cross. This account of his fight with the famous Flying Circus of Baron von Richthofen is taken from an interview he gave a war correspondent.

 

FIGHTING THE FLYING CIRCUS

by Captain Hamilton Coolidge • Sky Fighters, October 1935

THOUGH I had been expecting to encounter the Flying Circus, my first meeting with one of their patrols took me quite by surprise. With five of my mates I was cruising high above Lagny in a sky that was empty and void as a lonesome ocean.

I didn’t catch sight of the gaudily painted ships until they were almost upon us— they had come up from our own side of the lines, while I was probing the sky reaches in the opposite direction. Twelve ships there were, flying in layer formation.

I had to do some quick thinking. My patrol was outnumbered 2 to 1. And they had us cut off from our rear! I waggled my wings, whined up in vertical virage and went streaking for Germany, climbing for the ceiling as I ran.

We Gained an Even Ceiling

Luckily, the Fokkers didn’t catch us until we had gained an even ceiling with their topmost flight. Then the fighting began. It seemed that the bullets whined in from all directions at once. And the sky was just a kaleidoscopic whirl.

Finally the wild dog-fighting settled down to a man to man duel. I didn’t have to pick my quarry. He picked me with a ripping invitation in Spandau tracer that stitched a grim streak down my turtle-back. I jammed full throttle and roared into a loop, rolled out on top and got out of range. But only to run smack into a stream of tracer coming from another Hun’s gun. I ducked beneath that, pulled up and banked quickly, my sights on the checkerboard belly of my first antagonist. I had time for just a short burst before he slid out of my sights.

First Meat for Our Side

But that was enough. The Fokker tipped up on a wing, hung in the air momentarily, then went sliding down, turning over on its back finally and fluttering off in a spin.

It was first meat for our side against odds of two to one. It gave me renewed courage. Two more of the Fokkers fell before one of the Spad pilots got caught with a bad jam. While trying to clear it he was killed.

All the time we had been fighting we had drifted further over the German lines, so I concluded that now was the time for a risky maneuver. We would have to turn our tails to the Huns, give them a momentary bull’s-eye as we streaked for the earth straight down—but with the Spad’s diving speed with full power on, I figured we could leave the Fokkers behind, and take our chances with the Archies and groundfire from below. So I signalled and dived, the rest of the boys following.

I took plenty of lead in the rear, but by shaking my stick, I managed to dodge a vital burst, and finally got out of range.

We hedge-hopped for home then right over the German trenches, running the gauntlet of a terrific machine-gun fire from the ground. But when we had run through and zoomed up to the ceiling and reformed on our own side of the line, waiting, the famed Flying Circus didn’t accept the challenge.

“Adventures Into The Unknown: The Evil Ghosts of Borley” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on October 16, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

BACK with another of Frederick Blakeslee’s “Adventures Into The Unknown!” Blakeslee published thirteen installments of his two-page illustrated looks into the Unknown between March 1948 and October 1950. This time around Mr. Blakeslee delves into the stories of the evil ghosts of the Borley Rectory—often referred to as the most haunted house in all of England. From the pages of the February 1949 issue of Dime Mystery Magazine, it’s “Adventures Into The Unknown: The Evil Ghosts of Borley!”


ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN: The Evil Ghosts of Borley
by Frederick Blakeslee (Dime Mystery Magazine, February 1949)

You can read a more in depth account of the odd goings on at the Borley Rectory at the Haunted Museum. And come back next Monday when Blakeslee looks into possible evidence of the Devil appearing on a cold snowy night in 1855 in Exmouth!

“Orth’s Flight Against Time” by Lt. Frank Johnson

Link - Posted by David on October 13, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

ORTH is back! Silent Orth—ironically named for his penchant to boast, but blessed with the skills to carry out his promises—takes on a perilous mission to bomb a German ammunition dump. Using all the tricks and flying skills up his sleeve, Orth races to drop his bombs before the entire German Air force comes down on his neck. From the pages of the August 1934 issue of Sky Fighters, it’s “Orth’s Flight Against Time!”

Follow An Intrepid Fighting Pilot Over the German Lines on a Perilous Mission in this Exciting Story of the War-Torn Heavens!

“Adventures Into The Unknown: The Spectre Hound in Man” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on October 11, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

BACK with another of Frederick Blakeslee’s “Adventures Into The Unknown!” Blakeslee published thirteen installments of his two-page illustrated looks into the Unknown between March 1948 and October 1950. With the demise of SHOCK after just three issues, “Adventures Into The Unknown” moves to the long-running Dime Mystery Magazine! In the December 1948 installment, Blakeslee focuses on the Isle of Man and the reported spectral goings on in “Adventures Into The Unknown: The Spectre Hound in Man”


ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN: The Spectre Hound in Man
by Frederick Blakeslee (Dime Mystery Magazine, December 1948)

Come back next Monday when Blakeslee will focus on the evil ghosts of Borley!

“Adventures Into The Unknown: The Ghosts of Mont St. Michel” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on October 9, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

TIME for another of Frederick Blakeslee’s “Adventures Into The Unknown!” Blakeslee published thirteen installments of his two-page illustrated looks into the Unknown between March 1948 and October 1950. From the pages of the second issue of SHOCK, Frederick Blakeslee looks into the ghosts of Mont St. Michel—an island off the coast of Normandy connected to the mainland by a causeway that is submerged at high tide and the site of one of the gorier battles of the Hundred Years’ War. From May 1948 it’s “Adventures Into The Unknown: The Ghosts of Mont St. Michel!”


ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN: The Ghosts of Mont St. Michel
by Frederick Blakeslee (SHOCK, May 1948)

Come back again when next time Blakeslee will focus on the Spectre Hound in Man!

“Flaming Death” by Frederick C. Painton

Link - Posted by David on October 6, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of a prolific pulp author and venerated newspaper man—Frederick C. Painton. In “Flaming Death” Painton gives us a pulse-stirring war-air novelette—”B” Flight’s mascot, Babe Norwood, the squadron’s youngest flyer, is shot down with incendiary bullets! All of the fighting nations had agreed to ban their use—so rigidly were they banned that any flyer caught using them was instantly stood against the wall with barely the mockery of a drum-head court-martial. The squadron uses all avenues of the services to hunt down the culprit and bring him to justice! From the November 1934 Sky Fighters it’s Frederick C. Painton’s “Flaming Death!”

Follow a Mad Race Through Roaring Skies on the Trail of a Sinister Hun Whose Guns Spout Outlawed Bullets!

And look for a brief appearance by the squadron’s operations officer named Willie the Ink, Painton uses a similarly named character—Willie the Web—as operations officer in his Squadron of the Dead tales.

My Most Thrilling Sky Fight: Lieut. Quentin Roosevelt

Link - Posted by David on October 4, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

Amidst all the great pulp thrills and features in Sky Fighters, they ran a true story feature collected by Ace Williams wherein famous War Aces would tell actual true accounts of thrilling moments in their fighting lives! This time we have American Flyer Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt’s most thrilling sky fight!

Quentin Roosevelt was born at Oyster Bay, N.Y., the fourth and last son of a famous fighting family, November 19th, 1897, six weeks after his illustrious father, Theodore Roosevelt, had left to fight for the freedom of Cuba. Although handicapped by a permanently injured back, he succeeded by dint of cunning and painful effort in fooling the medical examiners and being accepted for training as an aviator.

He was sent overseas July 13th, 1917, and assigned to the 95th Squadron of the First Pursuit Group. From the beginning he gave great promise of becoming a famous Ace—but his promising career was snuffed out before it really began when Sergeant Greber, famous German flyer, conquered him after a terrific battle.

Young Roosevelt died 15,000 feet up in the air. His tiny Nieuport turned over its back, streaked to earth and crashed on a hillside near the little French town of Chamery. He was buried where he fell with high military honors by the Germans. The account below is taken from one of the letters written to his mother.

 

MY FIRST VICTORY

by Lieut. Quentin Roosevelt • Sky Fighters, September 1935

I WAS cruising on high patrol with my flight when I spied far in the rear of the German lines a formation of seven enemy fighters. Though we were only three I though I might pull up a little and take a crack at them.

I had the altitude and advantage of the sun, and was sure they hadn’t seen me.

I pulled up, got within range, put my sights on the last man and let go. My tracer stream spewed all around him. I saw it distinctly. But for some strange reason he never even turned nor appeared to notice. It was like shooting through a ghost.

By that time the enemy formation began whirling up and down like dervishes. Spandau smoke trails snaked the sky around me and bullets clipped through my wings.

A Web of Fokkers

I stuck with my man, let go again. All of a sudden his tail went up and his ship went down in a vrille, spinning toward the cloud floor 3,000 meters below. I wanted to follow down after him, but his mates had cut me off from my flight and were making it hot on all sides.

I was so far within the enemy lines that I didn’t dare to tarry too long in a drawn-out fight because of my short gas supply, so I fought my way out of the web the Fokkers were spinning about me and ran for home.

Looking back over my shoulder I saw my victim spinning, and he was still spinning when he hit the cloud floor and disappeared. I do not expect to get credit for the victory (my first) because the fight took place too far behind the lines for it to be confirmed.

But, even so, I know now that I am able to hold my place as a pursuit pilot over the front lines.

The Grim War Game

At first I was doubtful, and the first time I was attacked I’ll confess I was scared. But in the heat of the battle I forgot that feeling. It becomes then a sort of grim game, a duel for points, with a victory scored when the opponent dies or is shot down out of control. But one doesn’t have time to think of death when the shooting starts. In the excitement of the moment there is no other thought but getting your sights on the other fellow and letting go with your guns.

I am glad we three took a crack at those German planes—even though we were outnumbered, for it certainly taught me many things. It is experiences of this sort that give one a real thrill.

Yes, to date this has been my most thrilling sky fight. Who knows what will come? In the frenzy of fighting, one never thinks of anything but the battle itself—and a fierce determination to do one’s best predominates over one’s thoughts!

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lieut. Roosevelt’s victory was officially confirmed two days after he was shot down.

Blakeslee’s “Adventures Into The Unknown”

Link - Posted by David on October 2, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

IT’S no secret that we’re big fans of the work of Frederick Blakeslee here at Age of Aces Books. He did the covers for all of Popular Publications’ big Air titles—Dare-Devil Aces, Battle Aces, Battle Birds, Fighting Aces, Dusty Ayres and his Battle Aces, and, of course, G-8 and his Battle Aces. In addition he did the interior art for Dare-Devil Aces, Battle Birds and Fighting Aces. But Blakeslee did art for other titles as well.

This month we’re going to present an illustrated feature Blakeslee ran in the pages of New Publications’ weird mystery magazine SHOCK.This was “Adventures Into The Unknown”. “Adventures Into The Unknown” was a two page illustrated feature that explored weird and eerie mysteries and tales.

Unfortunately, SHOCK only ran three issues, and Blakeslee’s feature only in the first two, but it moved to the pages of Popular’s long running Dime Mystery Magazine with the December 1948 issue. It stayed with the title even when it changed it’s name to 15 Mystery Stories in 1950.

From the pages of the premiere issue of SHOCK, Frederick Blakeslee looks into the mystery surrounding Glamis Castle—long thought to have hidden a monster deep within a secret room! From March 1948 it’s “Adventures Into The Unknown: The Secret of Glamis Castle!”


ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN: The Secret of Glamis Castle
by Frederick Blakeslee (SHOCK, March 1948)

Smithsonian has a more detailed article on the mystery if you care to read more about it!