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“Code of the Cuckoos” by Alexis Rossoff

Link - Posted by David on August 7, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a fun tale of the Cuckoo’s Nest from the prolific pen of Alexis Rossoff. The Cuckoo’s Nest stories ran in War Birds in 1930. The Cuckoo’s are an outfit a lot like Keyhoe’s Jailbird Flight—a group of hell cats who found themselves afoul of military rules who have been given another chance to die fighting rather than rotting in Blois cell.

Twenty saddened Cuckoos stood with heads uncovered and bowed in the eerie ghost dampness of the new dawn, paying their last respects to all that remained mortal of Jerry Coyne. A sorrowful grease-ball smoothed the surface of the fresh mound while Johnny Walker—his voice husky with emotion—intoned the war-bird benediction. “God, be kind to Jerry Coyne. He was a good scout and our buddy.” The Cuckoos added their earnest “Amen,” and the ordeal was at an end. One more of the flock had gone West to paradise on spirit wings. Who would be the next to follow Jerry Coyne? That was the question. From the April 1930 issue of War Birds it’s Alexis Rossoff’s “Code of the Cuckoos!”

Already the throbbing sky in the distance was heavy with dire promise. It was a grim, spectacular game—the cards were dealt out to a strange group of fighting war birds—as strange as that part of the Front had ever heard of, and the stakes were the now-worthless lives of those men. Johnny Walker winged on to an ominous rendezvous with death. A yarn about an outfit you will never forget!

“Scot Free-For-All” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on July 31, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

“HAW-W-W-W-W!” That sound can only mean one thing—that Bachelor of Artifice, Knight of Calamity and an alumnus of Doctor Merlin’s Camelot College for Conjurors is back to vex not only the Germans, but the Americans—the Ninth Pursuit Squadron in particular—as well. Yes it’s the marvel from Boonetown, Iowa himself—Lieutenant Phineas Pinkham!

France and England borrowed plenty from Uncle Sam during the years of the Big Fuss and citizens on this side of the big pond are still wondering why they have not paid up. There was one thing which the Limeys returned in 1918, however, that certain taxpayers wished they had kept. This was an aviator by the name of Lieutenant Phineas Pinkham, exponent of legerdemain, prestidigitation, black magic, ventriloquism, and all other such doubtful arts that have been nurtured through the centuries to plague the civilized world.

It was the Kaiser’s dread “Ogre of the Ozone” who was causing all the trouble. He’d introduced a game of hop-scotch that the Ladies from Hades hadn’t bargained on. And when the bullets began to fly, split skirts came back into style. So when the Brass Hats tossed Lieutenant Pinkham in with the kilties, said Pinkham found himself in a tight spot—and you can take that two ways.

As a bonus…some fan art of the Boonetown Treasure!

“Five Gobs” by C.M. Miller

Link - Posted by David on July 24, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of C.M. Miller! Miller is known to Age of Aces readers as the author behind Chinese Brady, an old war horse who’s fought in most every scrap there’s been. This time it’s a little something different than our usual aviation tale. Miller gives the story of five sailors in a launch separated from their boat trying desperately to get back. Only trouble is, a German Uboat is using them to get their at the U.S.S. Leichester too! From the pages of the July 1929 issue of War Novels, it’s “Five Gobs!”

Five gobs stranded in a motor boat didn’t amount to a tinker’s damn when that periscope sneaked up. The U.S.S. Leichester turned seaward and ran like the devil—leaving those five to play with a Heinie sub.

“Flying Mad” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on July 17, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of Donald E. Keyhoe—in fact, I believe it is his first aviation story he had in the pulps! More soap opera than dashing wartime aviation thriller, Keyhoe tells the story of Harvey Masters, Dizzy Jim Boyd, and the girl unwittingly caught between them! The strangest part is that nobody ever suspected the truth about Dizzy Jim Boyd, though there was a lot of guessing when he first showed up at Western Airways Field, until the day when Harvey Masters came through and stopped for gas. . .

From the pages of the December 1929 issue of Wings, it’s Donald E. Keyhoe’s “Flying Mad!”

They called him “The Sheik” until he took the air and danced his crazy crate. And then they dubbed him Dizzy Jim. Nobody knew where he came from or why, but he came a-roaring . . .

“Famous Sky Fighters, September 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on July 15, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

STARTING in the October 1933 issue of Sky Fighters and running almost 5 years, Terry Gilkison’s “Famous Sky Fighters” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Gilkison would illustrate in a two page spread different Aces that rose to fame during the Great War.

Although Gilkison was probably better known for his syndicated newspaper work, he also provided black and white story interior illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. Gilkison provided similar features in a few other Thrilling Publications—there was “Famous Soldiers of Fortune” and later “Adventure Thrills” in Thrilling Adventures, Famous Crimes” in Thrilling Detective, and the fully illustrated air adventure stories of Buck Barton “The Flying Devil” in The Lone Eagle! He signed most of this work with only his initials “T.G.” to maintain a low profile and preserve his reputation as a syndicated newspaper cartoon artist.

The September 1937 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Major Jimmy Doolittle, Armand Pinsard, and Captain Bruno Loerzer!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Captain Donald MacLaren, Captain W.D. “Bill” Williams, Roland Garros and Anthony Fokker! Don’t miss it!

“Solo Show” by F.E. Rechnitzer

Link - Posted by David on July 10, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of a prolific pulp author—F.E. Rechnitzer. Tip Hunley was a forgetful sort—he would even forget his commanding officer’s direct orders. The result of which found him grounded the night before his squadron was to set to bomb the ammunition dump at Roulents early the next morning. However, he neglected to remember that he had been grounded when he took a Sopwith Camel up and took on the Roulents dump all on his own! Surely an unforgettable story he could one day tell his grandkids! From the pages of the September 1934 issue of Sky Fighters, it’s F.E. Rechnitzer’s “Solo Show!”

Tip Hurley Was Grounded for Disobedience—But No Brass Hat Could Stop That Hell-Bent Sky Rider from Taking a Crack at the Roulents Dump!

“The General’s Glasses” by O.B. Myers

Link - Posted by David on July 3, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week, he 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.

When the visiting General sent Jake Munns back to his headquarters to fetch his binoculars, he had no idea that t would be those same glasses that would save his life! From the June 1930 issue of War Birds, it’s O.B. Myers’ “The General’s Glasses!”

The cockeyed general sent Jake Munns winging for his field glasses. But when Jake went to look for the general again he found him in the center of No-Man’s-Land, and what they didn’t find out about those glasses!

“Famous Sky Fighters, July 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on July 1, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

STARTING in the October 1933 issue of Sky Fighters and running almost 5 years, Terry Gilkison’s “Famous Sky Fighters” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Gilkison would illustrate in a two page spread different Aces that rose to fame during the Great War.

Although Gilkison was probably better known for his syndicated newspaper work, he also provided black and white story interior illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. Gilkison provided similar features in a few other Thrilling Publications—there was “Famous Soldiers of Fortune” and later “Adventure Thrills” in Thrilling Adventures, Famous Crimes” in Thrilling Detective, and the fully illustrated air adventure stories of Buck Barton “The Flying Devil” in The Lone Eagle! He signed most of this work with only his initials “T.G.” to maintain a low profile and preserve his reputation as a syndicated newspaper cartoon artist.

The July 1937 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Major James Meissner, Lt. Dudley Tucker, Lt. Col. Robert Rockwell, Lt. Gustav Leffers!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Major Jimmy Doolittle, Armand Pinsard, and Captain Bruno Loerzer! Don’t miss it!

“Peck’s Spad Boys” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on June 26, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

“HAW-W-W-W-W!” That sound can only mean one thing—it’s time to ring out the old year and ring in the new with that Bachelor of Artifice, Knight of Calamity and an alumnus of Doctor Merlin’s Camelot College for Conjurors—Phineas Pinkham. From the pages of the September 1937 Flying Aces, it’s another sky-high “Phineas Pinkham” mirthquake from the Joe Archibald—It’s “Peck’s Spad Boys!”

A peck of trouble! That’s what was stirred up when C. Ashby Peck lugged his typewriter onto the drome of the 9th. But Phineas Pinkham, the Boonetown Bam, was right ready with a hunt-and-peck system counter-attack. And when von Liederkranz showed his face, Carbuncle showed his hand. In fact, he did more than show his hand—he dropped it!

“The Cloud Cracker” by Frederick C. Davis

Link - Posted by David on June 19, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a short story by renowned pulp author Frederick C. Davis. Davis is probably best remembered for his work on Operator 5 where he penned the first 20 stories, as well as the Moon Man series for Ten Detective Aces and several other continuing series for various Popular Publications. He also wrote a number of aviation stories that appeared in Aces, Air Stories and Wings. “The Cloud Cracker” was published in the September 1930 issue of Air Stories magazine.

A phantom flew with the Fourteenth’s patrols. Norton laughed when Fokkers lashed with fangs of steel at another Yank—for he played a double game to win doom wings.

“Famous Sky Fighters, May 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on June 17, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

STARTING in the October 1933 issue of Sky Fighters and running almost 5 years, Terry Gilkison’s “Famous Sky Fighters” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Gilkison would illustrate in a two page spread different Aces that rose to fame during the Great War.

Although Gilkison was probably better known for his syndicated newspaper work, he also provided black and white story interior illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. Gilkison provided similar features in a few other Thrilling Publications—there was “Famous Soldiers of Fortune” and later “Adventure Thrills” in Thrilling Adventures, Famous Crimes” in Thrilling Detective, and the fully illustrated air adventure stories of Buck Barton “The Flying Devil” in The Lone Eagle! He signed most of this work with only his initials “T.G.” to maintain a low profile and preserve his reputation as a syndicated newspaper cartoon artist.

The May 1937 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features General Benjamin D. Foulois, Lieutenant Francesco De Pinedo, and Major Reed G. Landis!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Major James Meissner, Lt. Dudley Tucker, Lt. Col. Robert Rockwell, Lt. Gustav Leffers! Don’t miss it!

“Test Flight” by Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by David on June 12, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by another of our favorite authors—Harold F. Cruickshank! Cruickshank is popular in these parts for the thrilling exploits of The Sky Devil from the pages of Dare-Devil Aces, as well as those of The Sky Wolf in Battle Aces and The Red Eagle in Battle Birds. He wrote innumerable stories of war both on the ground and in the air.

After Captain Ted Strang, Yankee Flight Commander, is injured in a crash—he fights his way back to being able to fly again. Thinking it may be his best chance, he makes the most of a test flight in hopes of getting back in the game! From the August 1930 issue of War Aces, it’s Harold F. Cruickshank’s “Test Flight!”

They clipped his wings and sent him to the rear. When the black menace of the enemy reached out to spread it’s venom over London he knew that only the magic of his guns could prove his valor.

“Hell in the Heavens” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on June 5, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Being a Navy man, Bosworth’s stories primarily dealt with the Navy. In this week’s story from the pages of War Aces, Bosworth gives us something different—the story of The Slasher!

Old-timers told of Boche pilots who flew low over marching infantry during the first year of the war, and tossed out handful after handful of these steel darts. Needle sharp, weighted at the lower portion before tapering to a deadly point, they would plummet downward to strike the helpless foot-sloggers. Now The slasher had revived the flechettes and was making hell in the heavens for the Umpty-third. Six fine men lost, four of them down over the trenches or enemy soil. Two others who managed to land their planes near the home tarmac, with cruel steel flechettes piercing their bodies, dying before they could tell how it had happened! From the pages of the April 1931 issue of War Aces, it’s “Hell in the Heavens!”

The “Slasher” scorned guns! His victims felt the deadly bite of steel darts. The hands of all men were against him but only one dared to attack.

“Wiley Post: Ace of World-Girdlers” C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on June 1, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties for Sky Birds with the July 1934 and would paint all the remaining covers until it’s last issue in December 1935. At the start of his run, Sky Birds started featuring a different combat maneuver of the war-time pilots. Mayshaerk changed things up for the final four covers. Sky Birds last four covers each featured a different aviation legend. Wiley Post is the subject of Mayshark and Sky Bird’s final cover in December 1935!

Wiley Post: Ace of World-Girdlers
The Story Behind This Month’s Cover

th_SB_3512A MAN who rose from the depths of obscurity and poverty to world fame—a man whose iron courage and unwavering determination carried him to an undreamed of position in the spotlight of human interest—a man who conquered a physical handicap which undoubtedly would have quickly curbed others—but most of all a man who had true unflinching fortitude—a man who had what it takes! Such a man was Wiley Post, who was killed instantly with Will Rogers in a crash in the wilds of
 Alaska a few miles south of Point Barrow, on August 16.

Wiley was the type of fellow who believed unreservedly in himself. In his youth he was a worker in the oil fields of the West. He got his first taste for the air when a barnstorming pilot who was passing through town took him up for a spin for a fee of $25. It was money well spent, for Wiley quickly decided to become a pilot himself.

But at this point all his ambitions seemed doomed even before they had begun to be realized. An accident in the oil fields rendered Post’s left eye sightless, and it had to be removed. At first he despaired of ever becoming an airman; but upon application for flying lessons, he discovered that what he wanted to do was not impossible. All be needed was determination—and he had plenty of that! He passed his examination in short order, and with the compensation he received for his injury in the oil fields be bought his first plane—an antiquated “Jenny.”

From that time on, Wiley’s future was entirely in his own hands. Whatever he decided to do, he did without hesitation. Every activity in which he engaged added to the vast experience and knowledge which he finally brought to bear in his first record breaking flight around the world with Harold Gatty.

With that flight, Post first won worldwide acclaim. He and Gatty were accorded a royal reception when they landed back in New York on July 1, 1931 after circling the earth in 8 days, 15 hours, and 51 minutes. They bad accomplished one of the most difficult feats ever attempted in the history of aviation.

Post was destined to soar on to even greater heights. From June 23 to June 30, 1933, he covered, with the aid of a robot pilot, the same round-the-world course solo in the new time of 7 days, 8 hours and 49½ minutes.

By this time, the name of his ship, the “Winnie Mae,” was on the lips of the whole world. But Wiley didn’t get a swelled head. Instead, he again plugged on. He still had his eye on the future—living on his laurels was something he couldn’t do. “Accomplishment” was his slogan.

Between February 22 and June I5, 1935, Post made four attempts to span the continent in the sub-stratosphere. Four times he was forced to land his ship short of its mark. All the attempts were failures. But Wiley undoubtedly would have carried on to success had his life not been snatched from him. We picture him in his stratosphere suit.

THE memory of this great airman will live on in the hearts of mankind, for he was the type of individual whom every man wishes to emulate.

Following the news of Post’s death, the United States Senate passed a resolution which authorized the purchase, for $25,000, of Wiley’s plane, the “Winnie Mae,” for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington! And so, the ship which carried Wiley Post to the heights of human accomplishment will be preserved for posterity. Something material, however, is not required to keep the memory of Wiley with us. He shall live on in spirit forever.

The Story of The Cover
“Wiley Post: Ace of World-Girdlers” by C.B. Mayshark
Sky Birds, December 1935

“Swiss Wheeze” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on May 29, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

“HAW-W-W-W-W!” That sound can only mean one thing—that Bachelor of Artifice, Knight of Calamity and an alumnus of Doctor Merlin’s Camelot College for Conjurors is back to vex not only the Germans, but the Americans—the Ninth Pursuit Squadron in particular—as well. Yes it’s the marvel from Boonetown, Iowa himself—Lieutenant Phineas Pinkham!

The Boonetown Marvel started the argument in a Frog grog shop in Bar-Le-Duc. It was an argument having to do with the respective merits of two branches of the air service and the comparative risk attached to each. Phineas orated that the boys who went up under the rubber cows had a lead pipe cinch. Any old woman, he insisted, could climb into a laundry basket and be let up into the ozone by a wire cable. But he thinks differently when he finds himself dangling below one without a parachute and a pesky Fokker trying to shoot him down. It’s another whizzing “Phineas” whoop—from the pages of the August 1937 issue of Flying Aces, it’s “Swiss Wheeze” by Joe Archibald.

Everything that goes up must come down! When that derelict rubber cow went high-tailing up into the clouds, P. Pinkham quickly verified the fact that he wasn’t the deception that proved the rule. He also demonstrated that he certainly knew his Horace, even though he’d never studied Cicero. And that’s how a St. Bernard’s “ARF!” came to be translated into the Kaiser’s St. Mihiel “OOF!”

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