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“The Cuckoo’s Nest” by Alexis Rossoff

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THIS week we have a fun tale from the prolific pen of Alexis Rossoff. Rossoff started out in the ’20’s writing air and war fiction for the various magazines. By the mid-30’s he had shifted his focus away from tales of WWI intrigue to sports stories. Here we have the first of his Cuckoo’s Nest stories that 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.

Jerry pilots with victory in their grasp but seconds before, looked up and fear feathers brushed their spines. They had heard of the Cuckoos from wounded comrades lucky enough to escape the previous furious attacks of the wild birds that now hovered above them. From the March 1930 issue of War Birds it’s Alexis Rossoff’s “The Cuckoo’s Nest!”

Into the hell of forgotten men, otherwise known as Blols, plunged that king bird of the war brood, “Wild Bill” Barry. The shell-ripped,”battle-torn world heard no more of him officially he was listed as a deserter—but from that moment a new bird sprouted wings out of the stench of Blois. And that new war bird was part of the lousiest, stinkin’est outfit of bums that ever slashed the belly out of an enemy crate.

“Famous Sky Fighters, March 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

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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 March 1937 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features James Norman Hall, Edwin E. Aldrin, Raymond Collishaw and Sidor Malloc Singh!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features General Benjamin D. Foulois, Lieutenant Francesco De Pinedo, and Major Reed G. Landis! Don’t miss it!

“Sky Birds, June 1935″ by C.B. Mayshark

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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. The lower corner presenting a play-by-play of that month’s maneuver with the remainder of the cover illustrating it. For the June 1935 issue Mayshark gives us “Pilot-Gunner Cooperation!”

Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots:
Pilot-Gunner Cooperation

th_SB_3506 SPOTTING suckers and crashing them was one of the things that most wartime pilots indulged in. Strictly speaking, a sucker is any enemy aircraft that is sure meat. But occasionally they turned the tables, and then the pilot of the attacking ship would find himself in a jam—sometimes a fatal one.

On this month’s cover, we see an Avro Spider in combat with an enemy two-seater. A few minutes before the scene which we are depicting takes place, the Spider had been winging its way cautiously back to its home tarmac, when suddenly, as it dropped out of a cloud, two German Rumplers were visible. The Spider pilot considered the situation for a moment and then decided to risk it. He ought to be able to bag at least one of those babies and, with good luck, maybe both of them. Rumplers weren’t considered exactly sucker bait, but they ought to be fairly easy for a Spider.

Coming down almost in a vertical dive and spraying lead as it came, the Spider had no trouble in separating the two Huns. As the British pilot thundered between the Germans, he could feel the impact of lead smacking against his fuselage and wings. He’d have to watch himself from now on. At least one of those Jerry ships was carrying a gunner who could do a few things with a machine gun. After pulling out of his dive, the Britisher determined which Hun ship had the good marksman—and decided to go after the other one first.

It was a cinch. The Hun pilot did not even seem to make an effort to shake the Spider off. He was panicky, and his gunner did not have a chance to fire a shot. And so the German two-seater went down a flamer.

The British pilot grinned. The first had been easy enough to warrant trying for the second. The British pilot had his score to think about too. His great ambition was to become an ace, and here was his big chance.

But the remaining German was going to be more trouble than the first one. Every time the British pilot jockeyed for position, he had to retreat. Those two Jerries knew their onions, there was no doubt about that. After practically exhausting his bag of tricks, the British pilot decided to have one more try.

After retreating to the rear of the German machine for a short distance, the Spider suddenly turned. Coming up at the enemy’s tail at terrific speed, the Englishman opened fire, but he wasn’t close enough to do much damage. He was coming within range now, and the Rumpler was still holding its position. What was the matter with these two? They had chased him off before.

Suddenly, however, the Spider pilot found that nothing was wrong with them. Banking sharply and skidding its tail around, the Rumpler suddenly loomed up broadside before the Spider. There was no tail assembly to obstruct the Hun gunner’s fire now, and he opened up with zest. The Spider banked smartly to the right, taking one last pot shot as it did so, and was gone in a flash. The British pilot was lucky, and he knew it. Those two Germans knew how to wage war in the air, and they weren’t taking any monkey business from anybody. Well, he’d be more careful next time, and not be so sure of the so-called suckers.

The Avro Spider was a high-performance single-seater fighter, and one of the best ships of its type put out during the war by the A.V. Roe Co. Its speed was 124 miles per hour and it was powered with a 110-horsepower Le Rhone engine.

The Story of The Cover
Sky Birds, June 1935 by C.B. Mayshark
(Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots: The Story Behind This Month’s Cover)

“Wrecks” by A. Kinney Griffith

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THIS week we have a story from the pen of A. Kinney Griffith. Griffith penned a number of stories featuring Rex “Wrecks” Norcross that ran in the pages of War Birds and Sky Riders in the late ’20’s. He gained his nickname by crashing his first time back from patrol in a shot-up plane that was barely holding itself together, but as time went on he returned as less of a wreck, while wrecking the German planes!

In the first of Griffith’s Wrecks Norcross stories from the July 1928 War Birds, Wrecks leads a bombing mission on a German munitions plant!

It was when Lieutenant Rex Norcross, wounded and flying a bullet-riddled plane, crashed in landing that the C.O. called him “Wrecks.” The name stuck, but as time went on it meant more and more. Then came the big bombing mission—and Wrecks was there!

“Spree With Lemons” by Joe Archibald

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“HAW-W-W-W-W!” You heard right! 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. Yes it’s the marvel from Boonetown, Iowa himself—Lieutenant Phineas Pinkham—and he goes to Gay Paree in this latest Roar! You’ve read about Fraulein Doktor—well, Pinkham runs afoul of one of her protégées, Fraulein Interne, and tries to thwart her dastardly plans!

The skirmish of the Mole in Montmartre! When P. Pinkham, hero of the Ninth, engineered that one, the action on the Mole at Zeebrugge looked like a game of drop the handkerchief in comparison. Only this time it was La Tosca who got dropped. And Fraulein Interne? Well, her big idea was aero surgery without anesthetics—but by the time the knives quit flying, she was back in her pre-med course.

“Famous Sky Fighters, February 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

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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 February 1937 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features the RAF’s Colonel Dean Ivan Lamb, France’s Gabriel Guerin, and Germany’s Ernst Udet!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features James Norman Hall, Edwin E. Aldrin, Raymond Collishaw and Sidor Malloc Singh! Don’t miss it!

Richard Knight in “Vultures of Silence” by Donald E. Keyhoe

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

THE unstoppable Donald E. Keyhoe had a story in a majority of the issue of Flying Aces from his first in January 1930 until he returned to the Navy in 1942. Starting in August 1931, they were stories featuring the weird World War I stories of Philip Strange. But in November 1936, he began alternating these with sometime equally weird present day tales of espionage Ace Richard Knight—code name Agent Q. After an accident in the Great War, Knight developed the uncanny ability to see in the dark. Aided by his skirt-chasing partner Larry Doyle, Knights adventures ranged from your basic between the wars espionage to lost valley civilizations and dinosaurs. Secret agents from a dozen countries have all rushed into the Mediterranean for something—but what? Knight and Doyle set out to find out just what it could be. The carrier from which they’ve just taken off mysteriously and soundlessly explodes leaving nothing behind! Just what is out there?

Toward grim Gibraltar, Dick Knight sped his sleek Vought. For Europe’s craftiest spies were hurrying into that caldron of intrigue just beyond “The Rock”—and Washington’s orders had been terse: “Find out why”! But already that sinister sea was red with the blood of rash agents who had ventured too far. And already it was too late for Dick Knight to turn back. For he had defied muted murder—had defied “The Death that had no face”!

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

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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 December 1936 cover, It’s a R.E.8 and the Siemens Halske Scout!

The Ships on the Cover

th_SF_3612THE R.E.8 was used from the early war period until the armistice. The sturdy character of this plane was phenomenal.

The Siemens-Halske scout was a German single-seater whose bulky, fat outline was easily recognized. The curved fin only added to its stubby appearance. A Halske rotary engine of 200 h.p. spun the four-bladed prop.

Back in the old days when feudal wars and invading hordes from the north and northeast had Europe in a constant state of unrest, Paris was laid out. It was not just spotted because of the natural beauty of the surrounding rolling hills and the winding rivers. That city was planned to resist invaders. The ridges of hills and the winding rivers were natural barriers past which the foe must batter if he was to advance. The hills backed a series of concentric valleys spreading out and out like ripples in a pond. Those natural fortifications served well in the old days. Also, they were of help to the French in the World War.

“They Shall Not Pass!”

“They shall not pass!” was the hoarse cry of the French soldier as he threw himself at the mighty armies of the Kaiser. His battle cry was sincere. He fought wildly, clinging tenaciously to each inch of French soil. But relentlessly he was pushed back. “Replacements,” was the French cry. “More men, more cannons, more ammunition!”

The French were exhausted, their backs to the wall. And then replacements began to arrive. Swarms of Paris taxis and lorries poured out their precious loads and the line held. Back and forth swayed the front line always holding at one of the natural barriers, at a deep river, tiny rivulet or a rugged line of hills.

The war went on for months, years. The German command who had already renamed the streets of Paris on their own maps, who carried medals ready to emblazon the puffed bosoms of the troops in commemoration of the fall of Paris, were furious at the delay. They had underestimated the type of terrain they must conquer. The worst type of hazards were the rivers. Cannons and ammunition were shunted off on sidings. Trainload after trainload of special pontoon boats rattled over the captured French railroads. German shock troops staggered under the boats as they dumped them at the river’s edge. Engineers working methodically slid the boats into the water. Cables and ropes held them fast to the near shore. Planks were slapped down across the boats, foot soldiers swarmed forward. The defenders’ guns were red hot, Germans fell in piles, but others clambered over, advanced.

“They must not pass!” the grim defenders roared into the German’s teeth. But they were passing. Their sacrifice had been terrible. Their dead filled the river, reddened the blue water. Again the French held the advancing horde. Their battle cry was weaker, it became a groan, for they knew it was a matter of minutes before the Germans would swarm up the near slope of the river’s bank and enfilade them with withering fire. And then above the fierce roar of battle a faint droning sound was heard in the sky. It grew louder, shrieked down from above. A great shadow flashed across the far bank, over the bridge. Terrific geysers of water shot up. The first British R.E.8’s bombs had missed! Another shadow; a splintering upheaval of planks, boats and riddled bodies. The second R.E.8 had made a direct hit, smashing into atoms the last link of the German chain of advance.

A roar of thanks burst from the parched throats of the defenders. It was lost in the snarl of motors as the lumbering R.E.8s turned on a Siemens-Halske rushing in to attack them. The single seater staggered. Its nose fell off, it plunged down, a crumpled thing, into the floating debris and limp bodies of the German soldiers who would never flaunt medals on their tunics commemorating the capture of Paris.

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

“Kilauea or Crash” by C.M. Miller

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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 week it’s nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thrills as young Jimmy Barton flies through falling ash and sulpheric fumes to try and to save Old Whippersnapper’s daughter from the crater’s edge of an erupting volcano! From the pages of the August 1930 issue of Wings, it’s “Kilauea or Crash!”

Crashed in the crater! Barton was trapped. But the volcano had spouted its challenge, and there was a girl to rescue . . .

“Famous Sky Fighters, January 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on April 8, 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 January 1937 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features three Lieutenants—Rene Montrion, George “Lucky” Kyle, Max Ritter von Mulzer—and a Major—the incomparable Raoul Lufbery!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features the RAF’s Colonel Dean Ivan Lamb, France’s Gabriel Guerin, and Germany’s Ernst Udet! Don’t miss it!

“Golden Wings” by Jackson Scholz

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THIS week we have a story from the prolific pen of Jackson Scholz. Scholz originally shot to prominence in the world of sports as a record holding sprinter, taking a gold medal in the 4×100m Relay at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920 and Gold in the 200m and Silver in the 100m at the Paris Olympics in 1924—the Olympics depicted in the movie Chariots of Fire (1981) in which Brad Davis portrayed Scholz. Scholz even appeared in an American Express commercial with Ben Cross at the time.

Knowing you can’t run forever, Scholz started writing stories and submitting them to the magazines. He drew upon his own experiences, which is probably why most of his pulp stories are sports stories, but he did find time to pen some detective stories, a few westerns, and a couple dozen aviation tales—including four for Air Trails with Jiggs Neely. Neely is a young Pensacola graduate just as Scholz himself had been. In “Golden Wings,” Jiggs Neely tries to play it cool and keep in line after being told his actions could jeopardize his chances of earning his wings in the coming week. From the pages of the July 1929 Air Trails, it’s Jackson Scholz’ “Golden Wings!”

A high-speed story of naval aviation by a pilot-writer who won his wings at Pensacola.

 

And as a bonus, here’s an article from The Lincoln Sunday Star about how Jackson Scholz keeps busy between running and writing!

 

Writing and Running Keep Jackson Scholz Busy

The Lincoln Sunday Star, Lincoln, NB • 3 July 1927


Jackson V. Scholz, Olympic sprint champion of ’24, who is running for the New York A.C. in Lincoln this week end, is a writer of sports stories. Mr. Scholz published a book of track stories early in the spring and is a frequent contributor to sports magazines.

He likes to dance—two or three dances with good dancers—and stop.

He’s devoted to golf, and would play ail the time If he had a portable course.

He doesn’t care for night clubs.

He enjoys reading—a lot. He won a cup in tennis one bright day.

He’s a modest soul, and given to beating himself lightly. He’s unspoiled by many newspaper columns of laudatory acclaim.

He’s “keen” about bus riding-on top of a Fifth avenue bus, from Washington arch out to the drive. He likes to be with people, to watch them, to study them psychologically, but he does not claim to be a student of or to comprehend human nature.

He’s stimulated by an intelligent conversationalist—one whose mind, as he says, is sharper than his, and can turn his “inside out.”

He’s traveled everywhere—the Orient, Asia, the continent, and any number of “see America first” tours, but he’s not a collector. If he brings anything back to his apartment near Riverside drive, it’s different from anything else that has been in that apartment.

Scholz Not Blatant.

You can see him. A normal sort of young man. Jackson Scholz, with a college degree and nice blue eyes and dark gray spring suit with just the right cut. Not especially tall, very quiet, walking softly, not at all the blatant athletic type of young man who adorns the posters.

Yet Jackson Scholz has the fastest legs In the world, legs as famous as “we,” and that have made his name known round the world for their performances on half its continents.

He’s Olympic champion in the 200 metres, having run this event in the Paris Olympics in 21 6-10 seconds in 1924. the only American to come through with a sprint championship In those Olympics. He has been national A.A.U. champion in the sprint, and formerly was holder of the sprint championship—for the century and the 220 yard dash—in the Missouri valley conference for three years.

The winged-foot sprinter, here for the A.A.U. meet, was developed by Coach H.F. Schulte in his University of Missouri days, of which university Jackson Scholz is a graduate. He thinks a lot of his former coach, and gives much of the credit for his success to his training. Jackson Scholz knew in his high school days that many were destined to gaze at his fleeting heela, but it was Coach Schulte who developed him and taught him the fine points of the running game.

Writing Sport Stories

Jackson Scholz is one of sparkling names in Lincoln this weekend, but he hasn’t earned all the sparkles with his feet. Some are due to his mind, and his fingers.

When he isn’t running, he’s writing. Writing with a purpose.

The first story he wrote, he sold, which was happy news for him and sad for those ambitious souls who send their manuscripts on a world tour in hope of a sale. Since that day, he’s been a regular contributor to sport story magazines.

When the legs refuse to speed longer, writing is to be his profession. Possibly a little coaching on the side, for he thinks he would like to pass on to the newcomers the knowledge he has gained in his years of sprinting, but most of the hours to be devoted to writing. Some sport stories, but largely fiction.

It’s not an ambition without foundation, because Jackson Scholz is the writing runner.

He has just published a book of short stories, “Split Seconds,” tales of the cinder track. The stories are told by an old coach, and it is Coach Schulte upon whom Mr. Scholz has modeled his coach, who solves the manv problems of his young athletes. Grantland Rice, sport feature writer for the New York Herald-Tribune. wrote the introduction

Keeps Detailed Diary.

On his trips hither and yon. Mr. Scholz keeps a detailed diary. It has some 50.000 words, sans notes, at the moment, and some day it is probable it will appear for public perusal. He has just sold a 30,000 word autobiography.

Jackson V. Scholz isn’t a writer because he hasn’t a knowledge of other jobs.

The high boots and the broad hat of the landed squire appealed to him, and for three years he perused agricultural lore in college. A couple of years of milking cows and cultivating corn convinced him of the error of his thoughts.

During the late unpleasantness, he was a pilot in the navy flying corps, that occupied him in 1918 and 1919. He returned to graduate in journalism at Missouri.

Followed the 1920 Olympics, when he was a member of the winning relay team at Antwerp, and on an exhibition tour of the Scandinavian countries.

Real estate in Detroit intrigued him for a time, but for a brief time. With dreams of becoming a merchant prince he attached himself to a hosiery concern in New York City. Fifteen or twenty dollars every Saturday night does not make affluent living in the metropolis.

Became Newspaperman.

His journalism certificate came to hand and he was with the United Press, a newspaper wire service, for a year and one-half, most of the time in New York. Editing wires—making 2,500 words into twenty-five lines—lost its thrill after a time and Mr. Scholz returned to more creative lines of endeavor.

During his U.P. days, he wrote and sold his story, the first one. That aided and abetted his later decision.

In the fall of ‘23. he decided he wanted to make the Olympics at Paris, and he trained for eight months. In the final tryouts. be made a new world’s record for the 200 metres, a record that still stands. He went to Paris, winning honors of which the world knows.

While competing in the Irish Olympics at Dublin, he received an invitation from Japan for a series of meets. Three Americana and one Finn toured Japan for two and one-half months. Competing races, which, upon insistence, Mr. Scholz admits he won all of the dozen, and speeches, many speeches, filled the days.

Traveled With Hahn.

In 1925, Jackson Scholz and Lloyd Hahn, Nebraska’s fleet footed boy, were in New Zealand. “Fifteen meets and twice that many speeches,” Mr. Scholz characterizes the seventy-five days.

Nor are all his records sprint records.

He was the oldest runner in the last Olympics. He is the oldest runner actively participating in sprint circles today. Yet, he only won his first gold medal in the eighty-five pound championship of southern California in 1911, so yet thirty or forty years before he loses his speed and spryness.

If this man, whose record shows that he has outsprinted Charley Paddock in seven out of ten races in which they have been matched makes the Olympic team in 1927, he will be the first sprinter to make the trip three times. Charles Paddock and Loren Murchison are also entering the tryouts for the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, and if all three enter it will be the first trio to make the three contests.

In August, Mr. Schole sails for Germany to enter a meet there. The first one will be held September 4.

But the end will come, of course Mr. Scholz knows it.

“Of course, some day some youngster is going to get to the tape first. I know it. It’s inevitable.

“If I had it all to do over again, I’d do just as I’ve done. I wouldn’t have missed the fun and the competition for a couple of life times.”

Children’s Applause Pleasing.

“The sincere adulation of the children means as much as anything. The cries of the crowd, the back slapping, and hand wringing of people is pleasant, we iiKe it, but there’s something fine in this worship of the children.

“I like to’ think that possibly we mean something real to them, that we are passing on some worthwhile spirit to these youngsters.”

The holder of the 200 metres record has his sense of humor. He has seen funny moments in his dashing about the world.

It was at Histon, near Cambridge, and Jackson Scholz and Cyril Coatee, a Canadian sprinter, shared honors that day with an English country fair. The whistles and the bells and the shrill music of the carnival rent the air, and the two sprinters did their best as athletes of honor on a grassy track that tipped perilously down hill.

Throngs Left for Tea.

In the midst of the meet, the throngs disappeared. The noise stopped. The two looked dismayed as they trotted back up the track to peer about.

It was tea time. That was all, but suffient.

The two sprinters were taken into the midst of the crowds who had gathered in the gardens of this estate of some of England’s nobility, where the joint entertainment was being held.

“Can you see us.” exclaimed Mr. Scholz.

“The two of us-in our sweat suits, hair on end, faces partially lost under England’s dust-in the center of these chiffoned ladies and men dressed for tea-and Englishmen are most meticulous in their dress-balancing our tea cups on our knee. I shall never forget it.

“When the hour was over, we went back to the track, and the meet continued.”

Mr. Scholz is also the holder of the mid-Atlantic championship.

“As tar as I know no one else has ever aspired to it.”

Raced on Berengaria.

It was on the Berengaria returning to America that some persons arranged an entertainment. Mr Scholz gained the championship of the 70-yard dash, and still holds it.

Of all those with whom he has competed. Mr. Scholz enjoys the English most.

“The English are the finest sports,” he declares. “They are better winners, and better losers, and they play the game for itself.”

Mr. Scholz knows of no reason, why athletes should not enter professional circles. He does not believe that sprinting will ever be a professional sport, but he does believe in the policy of those who give up their amateur standing.

“I know of no reason why a person should not capitalize his natural talent, in this case his athletic ability, as same as would a person with a voice or the ability to play the violin. I believe they should a11 be considered from the same viewpoint.”

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

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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 November 1936 cover, It’s a S.V.A. coming to chase of a Fokker D6 trying to thwart the Italians from moving a canon between mountains platforms!

The Ships on the Cover

th_SF_3611ITALY, before the beginning of the World War, was a potential enemy of the Allies because of her Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria made prior to 1914. On August 1, 1914, Germany declared war on Russia. On that same day Italy renounced her tie to Germany and declared she would stay neutral. But to declare and to actually keep her skirts out of the war muck of blazing Europe were quite different things. On May 24, 1915, Italy declared war on her former ally, Austria. From that day until Austria signed truce terms with Italy on Nov. 3, 1913, the Italian front was the scene of the most dramatic and nerve fraying encounters of the war. Men fought on snowcapped peaks, on slippery sides of glacial formations, on ledges where mountain goats would become jittery. It was slow tortuous labor, this perpendicular scrapping but one in which both sides were familiar.

The Austrians took an awful beating at the hands of the Italians until October, 1917, when the Austrians launched ferocious counter attacks, driving the Italians back and back. It was not until June, 1918, that the Italians again took the offensive. From then on it was the beginning of the end for Austria.

An Almost Unknown Ship

The Fokker D6 was not given the publicity it deserved and all the glory falling upon the D7 overshadowed it so that it was almost an unknown ship. It did plenty of service on the Western front and was so good that the Allied squadrons who banged into its speedy way were writing it up in their flight reports around the end of 1917. It did most of its damage on the Italian front and the Italians who fought it in their S.V.A. fighting scouts were a couple of minutes behind in climbing to give it battle. A few minutes difference in a plane can mean a lot in the air. The Fokker D6 had an Oberursel engine of 110 h.p. against the S.V.A.’s 210 h.p. Spa motor. It was suicide for the Italians to stage single man duels with that fast moving, supermaneuverable Fokker. So they flew in droves and kept the superior ships from absolutely ruling the skies.

The Austrians knew that supplies which were stored high on the mountain tops were being safely transported by the retreating Italians. The ground forces of Austria had hoped to capture those stores. But mountain fronts are taken by inches and feet, not yards and miles.

Enemy Planes Come Closer

Men who had worked days rigging up a cable across a valley groaned as they watched the enemy planes getting closer and closer to their hidden means of transportating their huge heavy artillery to the rear. One morning at daybreak a giant gun was eased out onto the cable. A gunner rode a swaying platform, a rope tied to each end of the gun ran to mountain peaks between which the gun was to be ferried. Those ropes acted as brakes and motive power for the gun’s movements. The man on the platform signaled constantly to both sides to control the speed and angle of his passage.

As the gun neared the halfway mark in its dizzy trek, the Italian suddenly signaled frantically for full speed ahead. A roaring Fokker D6 was racing up from the valley futilely pursued by an S.V.A. The Austrian pilot’s guns began hammering out lead. The Italian on his swaying perch crouched low. Bullets raked the sides of the cannon, whined off into space. Nearer and nearer raced the enemy plane. The Italian without even a pistol seemed calm in the face of such overpowering odds. His waving hands continued to signal his comrades at the two ends of the cable. For a moment he held one hand extended like an orchestra conductor holding a long note. Then abruptly he dropped it to his side and grabbed the ropes. The men at the drum controlling the cable’s tension understood the signal. They kicked out the rachet guide and the drum raced in reverse, giving out slack.

The Austrian pilot coming up from below sure of a kill and a report to headquarters which would send bombers to wreck the gun transporting equipment, suddenly yanked at his controls as a look of horror flashed in his eyes. Too late! The sagging cable smashed down into the leading edge of his top wing. The cannon and its human cargo lurched and swayed with the impact. The Austrian plane stopped. A twisted mass, it hung for a moment then plunged straight down.

The Italian wiped sweat from his dusky brow, looked over his equipment, nodded approval and gave the signal that would take him and his charge to their destination.

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

“Dreadnoughts of the Air” by Ralph Oppenheim

Link - Posted by David on March 27, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

TO ROUND off Mosquito Month we have a non-Mosquitoes story from the pen of Ralph Oppenheim. Lt. Jim Edwards knew he was the worst flyer in the squadron. When the C.O. called him to his office he was sure he was going to be sent to Blois in disgrace—instead the C.O. offers him a mission that could mean spending the rest of the war in a German prisoner of war camp, but when push came to shove, it turns out Edwards could shove with the best of them! From the September 1928 issue of War Novels it’s “Dreadnoughts of the Air!”

Lieutenant Jim Edwards knew it was coming, though he did everything he could to stop it. Somehow, he just couldn’t catch on to this flying. He knew he was in disgrace, that from the C.O. down the men laughed at him. Jim Edwards faced Blois—and disgrace—dishonor. Then came the C.O.’s amazing suggestion, and Lieutenant Jim Edwards gritted his teeth—that would be worse than disgrace!

“Get That Gun!” by Ralph Oppenheim

Link - Posted by David on March 20, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THROUGH the dark night sky, streaking swiftly with their Hisso engines thundering, is the greatest trio of aces on the Western Front—the famous and inseparable “Three Mosquitoes,” the mightiest flying combination that had ever blazed its way through overwhelming odds and laughed to tell of it! Flying in a V formation—at point was Captain Kirby, impetuous young leader of the great trio; on his right was little Lieutenant “Shorty” Carn, the mild-eyed, corpulent little Mosquito and lanky Lieutenant Travis, eldest and wisest of the Mosquitoes on his left!

We’re back with the third and final of three Ralph Oppenheim’s Three Mosquitoes stories we’re featuring this March for Mosquito Month! And this one’s a doozy! The Boche have some new super-gun that has been ranging the Allied munitions factory, getting closer every time. Kirby, Carn and Travis are tasked with finding the unfindable gun and putting it out of commission before it does indeed hit the munitions factory! It’s another rip-roaring nail-biter from the pages of the November 8th, 1928 issue of War Stories—The Three Mosquitoes must “Get That Gun!”

Intelligence was desperate. The huge Tarniers munition plant, 130 miles from the German lines, was being shelled. What mysterious gun could shoot that deadly H.E. so far? Then orders came for the famous “Three Mosquitoes” to tackle the job—clear the mystery, wreck that gun. A dramatic, thrilling yarn.

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

Link - Posted by David on March 16, 2020 @ 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 June 1936 cover, It’s the L.V.G. C6 being pursued through the Italian mountains by a Macchi M14!

The Ships on the Cover

th_SF_3606ITALY’S air force was a meager thing in 1914; but as soon as the greater powers started tearing each other apart Italy concentrated on engines and planes and by the time she entered the war she was so well winged with fighting planes that she was selling her surplus to the Allies. ”

After men have struggled up thousands of feet of treacherous slippery mountains in continuous danger from snow slides as well as from the Austrian enemy, they do not give up their hard-gained toehold until the last man is out. Not only have the defending Italians in the cover picture dragged themselves to a dizzy height, but on their aching backs have borne parts of their mountain artillery piece. Others carried wicker cartons containing shells and food. That one small mountain gun was now holding up an entire Austrian regiment which was trying to penetrate a snow-choked pass in the narrow gorge below.

Frantic Demands for Help

Feverishly the Austrians dug the pass out, hoping to get through in single file. Then the Italian sharpshooting artillerymen smacked a few of their precious shells into the precipitous cliffs above. As though a hydrant had been opened forty or fifty tons of tightly banked snow toppled down into the gorge burying dozens of men under a cold suffocating blanket. The moment this was accomplished the cannon was swabbed out and the Italians awaited the time for another salvo. The terrain made it impossible for the Austrians to get the range of their enemies above, so as usual when the foot sloggers are brought to a halt frantic demands for help went back to the rear, to the aviation unit.

Only one plane was available, but it would be enough, the airmen said. What was one small cannon to a snorting L.V.G. (Luft Verkehrs Gesellschaft) C6, a mighty two-seater yanked into dizzy heights by its churning 230 h.p. Benz. With two machine-guns turned on the brazen Italians the cannon would soon be silenced.

Up into the cold air raced the ton and a half plane. Its observer and pilot ground their teeth as they thought of the carnage caused by the single piece of artillery. So intent were they on revenge that they did not spot a tiny single-seater Macchi M14 which was quickly closing in from below. In front and on the same level appeared the Italians and their magic cannon. “I’ll give them the Spandau first,” yelled the pilot to his observer, “then I’ll bank in close and you finish them with your Parabellum.”

Blazing Cannon

The front gun blazed at the cannoneers crouched on their platform behind their gun. They waited until the ship was about to swerve. Suddenly the gun crew came to life. As the plane banked and the observer sounded off, the cannon blazed. A direct hit through the right wings. An aileron was out of commission. The Austrian plane lurched crazily past the pursuing Macchi, lost altitude in an uncontrollable spiral. The horrified Austrians in the pass saw it loom above them, then fall out of control in a screaming dive into the tons of snow directly above.

A faint crackling which grew into a thunderous mounting crescendo reverberated through the valley. The ground shook and groaned as the entire side of the mountain slipped and came thundering down on the massed Austrians. For ten minutes the murderous snow swept down, and then through the mist of powdery flakes the Italians looked down on a flat narrow plateau. There was no pass, no Austrians, no target left for the defenders. Their commanding officer shrugged his shoulders and beamed on his gunners. He pulled out a bottle of the stuff Saint Bernard dogs carry in canteens. He smiled, passed it to his gun-sighter and said, “After you, sir!”

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

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