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“The Flying Manual” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 1, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

WITH his birthday on the 16th, we’ll once again be celebrating William E. Barrett’s contributions to the pulps! Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

To get things going, may we present a poem Barrett published in the October 1931 issue of War Aces titled “The Flying Manual”

Starting next week we’ll be once again featuring his one page factual pieces Famous Firsts from War Aces and Is That A Fact? from the pages of War Birds, both illustrated by Victor “Vic Vac” Vaccarezza and of course a few of his great stories on Fiction Fridays!

“Poosh ‘Em Up—Pinkham” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on October 25, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

“HAW-W-W-W-W!” That sound can only mean one thing—that marvel from Boonetown, Iowa is back causing more trouble than he’s worth! During the last year of the colossal fuss the Italian board of strategy powwowed at Padua and came to the conclusion that something had to be done about the Austro threat across the Piave and sent out an S.O.S. to the western front calling for a triple threat airman who would be able to cope with one Baron von Zweibach who had become widely known from the Dardanelles to the Dover Straits as “The Caproni Crusher.” The only way to fight a triple treat is with a triple threat, so Wing sent that jinx to Jerries to Italy! It’s another Phineas Pinkham laugh panic from the pages of the April 1937 Flying Aces!

Things looked pretty dark on the Piave, and the Roman Brass Hats admitted it. For “The Caproni Crusher,” Baron von Zweibach, was loose—and they didn’t have a flyer good enough to dunk him. But the situation could have been worse—in fact, when Phineaseppi Pinkhamillo arrived on the scene it was worser!

“Famous Sky Fighters, August 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on October 23, 2019 @ 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 August 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Captain Frederick Libby, Lt. Joseph Wehner, Lt. Wilhelm Frankl, and Tommy Hitchcock!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Captain John Blair, Lt. Paul Neibling, and French sky fighter Lt. M. Navarre! Don’t miss it!

“Grim Rapiers at Retreat” by Arthur J. Burks

Link - Posted by David on October 18, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by prolific pulpster—Arthur J. Burks! Burks was a Marine during WWI and went on to become a prolific writer for the pulps in the 20’s and 30’s and was a frequent contributor to the air war pulps like The Lone Eagle.

The Allied squadrons have been plagued by a Boche pilot known as The Red Falcon (no relation to Hogan’s Red Falcon). He’s a nasty piece of work who appears out of nowhere in his crimson painted Fokker wearing a falcon’s hood of red to pick off a returning pilot just as he gets to his drome and then disappears just as suddenly. It seems the Germans had worked out a new plan of attack, harassment and morale destruction, but Lt. Michael Kelly figured out a way to put an end to the Red Falcon’s game even it it meant following him all the way to the edge of Hell! From the pages of the August 1934 issue of The Lone Eagle, it’s Arthur J. Burks’ “Grim Rapiers at Retreat!”

A Crimson Boche Ship of Flaming Doom Calls All the Fighting Spirit of Lieutenant Michael Kelly into Play!

“Muffled Hissos” by Ralph Oppenheim

Link - Posted by David on October 11, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another great story from the pen of Ralph Oppenheim. Best known in these parts for The Three Mosquitoes, he wrote many other stories of the air and several ripping detective yarns. Here Mr. Oppenheim gives us a story of Solo Williams—a man who was used to working alone. Though he was one of the most sociable fellows in the 25th Pursuit Squadron, his official drome, his sociability vanished the moment his wings took him into the sky. In the sky he could not be hampered by formation flying or teamwork. He had to smash through in his own, individual way—a reckless, hell-bending way which no others could follow. But tonight, for the first time in his reckless career, Solo Williams had to work with a partner—a man he had never met and never would actually meet in person!

That partner was H-4, one of the very best Intelligence operatives, who was waiting on the ground, garbed as a German dispatch rider, standing by a high-speed motorcycle with a special-lensed acetylene lamp attached to it. H-4 would lead Solo Williams to a well-protected base where he would release the load of bombs he carried and hopefully wipe out von Gruening’s deadly Gotha Squadron! From the November 1934 issue of Sky Fighters it’s Ralph Oppenheim’s “Muffled Hissos!”

Lieutenant Solo Williams Flies Over the German Lines on the Most Perilous Mission of His Sky-Fighting Career!

“Famous Sky Fighters, July 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on October 9, 2019 @ 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 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Sir Charles Kingford-Smith, Captain A.W. Stevens, Captain Boris Sergievsky and the great German inventor, Graf Zeppelin!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Captain Frederick Libby, Lt. Joseph Wehner, Lt. Wilhelm Frankl, and Tommy Hitchcock! Don’t miss it!

“Dead Man’s Dive” by O.B. Myers

Link - Posted by David on October 4, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week, in honor of his birthday yesterday, 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.

The Boche have a balloon up at Sargelles that will interfere with the Allies big drive. It must come down, but try as they might it is heavily protected by Baron Kranich’s deadly flying circus. Both the 19th and 29th Squadrons have tried in vain to bring it down. It seems it’ll take a really great stunt to bring it down—and they just happen to have one up their sleeves. From the May 1932 issue of War Birds, it’s O.B. Myers’ “Dead Man’s Dive!”

That wind-torn streamer marked safety for two Yanks, until that trick maneuver taught Barry to distrust even the message of the white signal—when black crosses cast their sinister shadow on it.

“Sky Fighters, October 1936″ by Eugene M. Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on September 30, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

Eugene M. Frandzen painted the covers of Sky Fighters from its first issue in 1932 until he moved on from the pulps in 1939. At this point in the run, the covers were about the planes featured on the cover more than the story depicted. On the October 1936 cover, It’s the Morane-Saulnier 27C1 & Roland D2!

The Ships on the Cover

THE French developed th_SF_3610 the outstanding monoplanes of the Parasol type produced during the war. The early Morane-Saulnier Parasols were very successful and the later war models progressed with the quick advance of aviation but continued the main design features of the original Parasols. The Morane-Saulnier 27 C1 was a single-seater righting scout which carried substantial strut bracing to the wings instead of the large number of wire braces used on previous monoplane models. The rounded fuselage housed a 160 h.p. Gnome motor.

This understrut bracing of the high wing Parasol has not really been abandoned. Many of our high winged monoplanes, although not strictly Parasols, never-the-less are closely related to the old Moranes. Our Stinson, Bellanca and several others with the understrut bracing, merely have the fuselage and cabin fused in with the top wing. It was a good stunt in the old days. It’s a good stunt now. A forerunner of the Morane-Saulnier Parasol was called the Aerostable on account of its inherent stability. It had no ailerons, so it was up to the pilot to shift his weight in his seat to give lateral control.

The Roland Seemed Impractical

The German plane known as the L.F.G, Roland had an original design which was seemingly so impractical that the firm, Luft Fahrzeug Gesellschaft was safe from anyone stealing their idea. The Roland D2 was a single-seater fighter in which this design was incorporated. The fuselage under the top wing was carried up to the wing cutting off the pilot’s view in front, even though this superstructure did thin out considerably at the top and left room for two windshields, one on each side of the center ridge. Despite this drawback the D2 was a good ship and was still used in many German squadrons in 1918. The 160 h.p. Mercedes may have been partly responsible for the good qualities of the D2’s performance but even with a good power plant it was against all reason to park a solid mass in front of the pilot’s eyes. It would be just as practical to put a strip of tin six inches wide smack down the windshield of your car directly in front of the steering wheel. But just a few dozen cockeyed hunches like that thrown into the war crates gave the civil designers plenty of precedents of what not to do when the war was over.

Possibly if war comes in the future it will be a mass of planes against a like mass of enemy’s fighting planes. Aces will be a thing of the past. A few men will be outstanding in their flying but it will be hard to observe their deeds in the terrific rnixup that must occur far overhead, possibly out of sight. Publicized stunts will be few and far between, but to cut out entirely from the picture the personal element of friendship and cooperation between men of a squadron will be impossible!

Saving a Buddy

The Morane pilot on the cover knew exactly where a buddy, who had been taken prisoner from a cracked-up plane, was confined in a hospital in a small suburb. He communicated with his friend by those devious means that humans will always work out some way, despite the vigilance of the enemy’s espionage system. The man in the hospital feigned lameness longer than necessary and at a prearranged moment, while the Morane was landing at an adjacent field, he swung his crutches with vim and vigor. Down went the two unarmed attendants. In ten minutes he was securely tied to the top of the Morane’s wing and high in the air headed for home. Another Parasol joined the French plane and drove off two Roland D2s who had sighted the overburdened Morane and considered it easy pickings.

The personal touch was in that quickly executed rescue. War will always have those daring exploits. Friendships formed under fire are lasting and strong.

The Ships on The Cover
Sky Fighters, October 1936 by Eugene M. Frandzen
(The Ships on The Cover Page)

“Famous Sky Fighters, June 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on September 11, 2019 @ 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 June 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Canadian Col. William Bishop, Colonel Frank P. Lahm, and observation Ace William Erwin!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Sir Charles Kingford-Smith, Captain A.W. Stevens, Captain Boris Sergievsky and the great German inventor, Graf Zeppelin! Don’t miss it!

“Sky Guilt” by Frederick C. Painton

Link - Posted by David on September 6, 2019 @ 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. Mike O’Connor returns from a four day stint of detached service with the Second Corps to find his kid brother in the brig facing a court martial for murdering a fellow pilot in a bar brawl. Mike draws on his pre-war experience as a detective to find the true culprit and takes to the sky to sweat out a confession from the guilty party! From the pages of the November 1933 The Lone Eagle, it’s Frederick C. Painton’s “Sky Guilt!”

A Gripping Story of Exciting Peril in the Air and a Pilot’s Grim Determination!

As he has in previous stories we’ve posted, Painton has once again named the squadron’s operations officer Willie the Ink—Painton uses a similarly named character—Willie the Web—as operations officer in his Squadron of the Dead tales.

“Smoke Scream” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on August 30, 2019 @ 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!

It’s a simple formula. Take one Brigadier who’s lost important plans for the big push add to it the crafty Baron von Spieler. Multiply it by an elephant hopped up on arnica on a rampage. Throw in a hindu mystic and take all of it to the Phineas Pinkham power and you get “Smoke Scream,” Joe Archibald’s latest side-splitting Phineas laugh riot from the pages of the March 1937 Flying Aces!

Lost battle plans! That’s what worried the Brass Hats. But Lieutenant Pinkham, Boonetown’s gift to the 9th Pursuit, went out for bigger things—to be specific, something a couple of tons bigger which answered to the monicker of Hungha Tin. All of which led to a riddle which was still bigger, to wit: Which came first, the bruises or the arnica?

“Famous Sky Fighters, May 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on August 28, 2019 @ 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 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Captain Francis Quigley, Major Baron von Schleich, and Lt. John A. MacReady among others!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Canadian Col. William Bishop, Colonel Frank P. Lahm, and observation Ace William Erwin! Don’t miss it!

“High Boomerang” by Arthur J. Burks

Link - Posted by David on August 23, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by prolific pulpster—Arthur J. Burks! Burks was a Marine during WWI and went on to become a prolific writer for the pulps in the 20’s and 30’s. He was a frequent contributor to War Aces.

Meet Hank Flynn, second lieutenant in the air service, was six feet two in his stocking feet and could whip any German that flew. His friends had told him so, and he modestly admitted when pressed, or even when not pressed, that they probably underestimated his abilities. He wasn’t a braggart, a bluff or an ass; he was just too young for his job and too full of the spirits of life. To others the war might be an excuse to discuss deep questions of psychology; to Hank it was a grand chance to have a hell of a good time and be decorated for it.

He had flaming red hair and a hawk nose smothered in freckles, and a grin that reached from here to there. But when, out of a clear sky, he was ordered to join that peculiar outfit in the woods across the lines from Masmunster known as “The Boomerangs,” something whispered to him that maybe there mightn’t be so much to smile about after he reported. From the pages of the July 1932 War Aces, it’s Arthur J. Burks’ “High Boomerang!”

Hank Flynn thought that a bag of ten gave him the right to give the skipper a few points, but he didn’t know that the best boomerangs always fly in a curve!

“The Avalanche” by Lt. Frank Johnson

Link - Posted by David on August 16, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

ORTH is back! Silent Orth had made an enviable record, in the face of one of the worst beginnings—a beginning which had been so filled with boasting that his wingmates hadn’t been able to stand it. But Orth hadn’t thought of all his talk as boasting, because he had invariably made good on it. However, someone had brought home to him the fact that brave, efficient men were usually modest and really silent, and he had shut his mouth like a trap from that moment on.

Orth’s new headache—Herman Manke, who has recently moved to the German outfit just across the front lines. He’s already knocked out four British flyers with his Fokker that’s rigged so that it will dive twice as far as a Fokker is calculated to dive, getting up terrific speed and doesn’t try to avoid anyone under him—that’s up to them! He’s as deadly with his Spandaus as a spitting cobra and never seems to miss! From the pages of the May 1935 Sky Fighters, Silent Orth faces “The Avalanche!”

Herman Manke, German Flyer, Was Hell on Wheels—and It Was Up to Orth to Knock the Wheels Out from Under Him!

“Famous Sky Fighters, April 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on August 14, 2019 @ 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 April 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Commandant Marquis de Turenne, Lt. Karl Schafer, Lt. Silvio Scaroni and Lt. R.A.J. Warneford who brought down the first zeppelin!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Captain Francis Quigley, Major Baron von Schleich, and Lt. John A. MacReady among others! Don’t miss it!

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