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“The Sky Raider Pt10″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on December 19, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened. In Wednesday’s installment . . .

    Dick and Mary are looking for Lawson’s fiancee. With her initials for a clue they learn she left for Hawaii. Jumping into a plane, Mary and Dick come to greif in a field. Continuing by train they locate the girl, Dorothy Curtis, who angrily accuses Mary as the daughter of her fiance’s murderer!

Will Dorothy help Dick and Mary in the efforts to clear Old Man Rand? And what does Tommy have to say for himself and his missing time that fateful morning? Find out in the tenth installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Monday for the next installment!

“Hell Divers” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on December 18, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Frederick Blakeslee painted all the covers for the entire run of Dare-Devil Aces. And each of those covers had a story behind it. This time the story is self evident Blakeslee tells us, but then turns around to tell us the story behind his cover for the prvious December’s issue of Battle Birds and ties our old pal, French Ace Georges Guynemer. All this in February’s cover form 1934—”Hell Divers!”

th_DDA_3402WE ARE not going to write a story behind the cover this month. It seems to us that the story is told right there on the cover. You see three Spads doing what Spads did best, and you can visualize the mix-up that followed at the end of their dive. The Fokkers have spotted the Spads and are breaking formation to meet the onrush. Who got the best of the scrap? Well, we’ll let you figure that one out. The Spads all belong to the Lafayette Escadrille, and as that was a hard fighting outfit, its safe to say that they did some damage and then escaped. Note the markings on the ships. The Spad in the foreground carries the mark of the 97th squadron, that on the left the 112th, and on the right the 77th.

Now that we have told you that, perhaps it would be a good time to discuss another Spad, not only because of its unusual history (which we think will interest you) but also to correct some impressions of it.

th_BB_3312It appeared on the cover of the December issue of BATTLE BIRDS. The scene is a close-up of a Spad looking forward from just behind the cockpit. We have been told that it should have had two machine guns, that—well anyway, it was all wrong! Now it may surprise our critics to know that the Spad on the cover was painted from an actual ship. The ship is right here in America and has been seen by thousands, so ten chances to one you have seen it too.

The ship is a Spad 7, one of the earliest types put out under the Spad name and made famous by Guynemer. Guynemer’s ship, which is in the Invalides in Paris, and which we have examined, is a Spad 7, These ships were the first to get the synchronizing attachments added to them; at that time only one gun was being put on a ship. It was not until later that French ships began using the twin mounting.

Now for the history of the ship shown on Dec. Battle Birds. Thousands saw it do a spectacular crack-up some years back—in the movies! Its war-time history has not been handed down, but Paramount purchased it in 1924 for the then proposed picture “Wings.” It was one of several purchased and it was in A-l flying condition.

If you remember the picture, you can not fail to recall the scene of the memorable crash, when Armstrong’s plane (Richard Arlen) was shot down by a German and landed in German wire. Dick Grace, doubling for Richard Arlcn, flew the ship and was supposed to crack-up the plane in the wire. The wire had been cleverly faked by using ordinary knitting wool with balsa wood posts. The spot was marked so Dick Grace would land there. But he overshot and landed in the real wire, causing the broken neck from which he suffered for many months.

The Spad landed upside-down and was a complete wash-out. Only the badly damaged fuselage remained. Since then, time and souvenir hunters have done their work, but at last it has been rescued from oblivion and is being restored. It will eventually have a resting place in the Jarrett War Museum, where, if you are in Atlantic City, you may see it.

The Story Behind The Cover
“Hell Divers: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (February 1934)

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

“The Sky Raider Pt9″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on December 17, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened. In Monday’s installment . . .

    Dick and Mary have vowed to solve the murder mystery and clear her father. Suspecting Carmichael because he knew of the gold shipment, Dick and Mary are searching his house when he appears. He nonchalantly shows them they are on the wrong track, and convinces them he too is anxious to apprehend the guilty party. He mentions Lawson. Dick remembers the flyer’s blonde. . . .

Can Dick and Mary track down Lawson’s fiancee? If so, will she have any valuable information towards clearing Mary’s father? Find out in the ninth installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Friday for the next installment!

“The Sky Raider Pt8″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on December 15, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened. The story so far. . .

    Dick Trent, novice in the Air Mail Service, incurs the displeasure of Carmichael, Superintendent of Rand Field, when he flies through the Rocky Mountains in a blinding snowstorm to bring back young Tommy Rand, who is stranded in a drinking in gambling haunt. Old Man Rand, owner of the field, beloved by his men, thanks Dick. Mary Rand, his beautiful daughter, is also greatful to Trent.
    The next day in a spectacular flight, Dick sweeps alongside Mary’s disabled machine in midair and saves her from a fatal crash. They express their Love and Dick is happily thinking of the future as Lawson, his buddy in the service, tells him he is leaving to marry a beautiful blonde. On his last flight Lawson’s plane goes missing. Dick, in searching the country, comes across the burned plane and Lawson’s dead body. A package containing $250,000 in government gold is missing. The only clue to the crime is a heavy Luger pistol used to club Lawson’s skull. Mary recognizes the pistol as her father’s.
    Old Man Rand, questioned, admitted giving the pistol to Lawson. He refuses, however, after talking tto his son, Tommy, who has been missing again, to account for his actions during the ealy morning hours when the crime was comitted. When the charred money bag is found in his own furnace Rand is arrested for murder. Dick, along with the other men of the service, is dejected. They all love the old man and know he is innocent. Mary, in hysterics, turns away from Dick, attributing her father’s arrest to the pistol he found.
    After his next run, Dick sets out to visit the old man in jail, but Rand insists he is willing to pay the penalty. Returning, Dick meets Mary, who asks his forgiveness. Dick takes her in his arms and the two vow to solve the murder mystery to clear her father. . . .

What is Dick’s plan to solve the mystery of the air murder? Who will he question first? Find out in the eighth installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Wednesday for the next installment!

“The Sky Raider Pt7″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

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

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened. Things are looking bad for Old Man Rand . . .

    Old Man Rand refuses to account for his actions during the early morning hours when the crime was committed. When a charred money bag is found in his own furnace, Rand is arrested for the murder of Lawson and theft of the $250,000. Dick is dejected as are all the other men in the Air Mail service. They all love the old man and know he is innocent. Mary , in hysterics, turns away from Dick, attributing her father’s arrest to the pistol he found at the crime scene. . . .

Can Dick get Old Man Rand to open up to him and tell him about his whereabouts on the morning in question? And can he win Mary’s love back? Find out in the seventh installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Monday for the next installment!

“The Green Devil” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on December 11, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Frederick Blakeslee painted all the covers for the entire run of Dare-Devil Aces. And each of those covers had a story behind it. For the January 1934 issue Blakeslee paints a confrontation between Richthofen’s Circus and a couple of English Camels in “The Green Devil”…

th_DDA_3401TO MEET the Richthofen Circus in combat was not a matter to be taken lightly, even when the number of ships on both sides were equal. But to meet them on a basis of two to six was no less than suicidal—yet this month’s cover shows a thrilling incident that actually occurred in a dogfight of similar proportion.

On a day early in 1918, an English pilot, Lt. Alderson, was ordered to report at his squadron office. There the C.O. told him that the Richthofen Circus was out looking for trouble and that his squadron (No. 3 R.F.C.) had been selected to provide it. Most of the squadron was out on patrol and only four pilots were available—but orders were orders. So Lt. Alderson and three others took off without delay.

They knew that the Circus numbered six. Four Camels against six Fokkers was not too bad. However, when one of the Camels dropped out of formation with engine trouble, that was something-else again. Three against six! Not so good, damn bad in fact. However, the three Camels kept on.

They sighted the six brilliantly painted Albatrosses almost as soon as they had crossed the lines. Realizing that surprise was their best bet, they charged immediately.

But the Germans had also seen the Englishmen—and they too charged. With the very lirst shots fired, one of the Camels dove out of the fight with a badly damaged tail plane.

The battle that then took place was one ol the fiercest of the whole war. Such a one-sided combat could only end in one way, and the two Englishmen knew it. But before they went West they were determined to do as much damage as possible.

The fight had been on less than a minute when an Albatros went plunging earthward, a mass of flames. Score one for the Camels! A second later another Albatros hurled out of the scrap and, trailing fire and black smoke, went plunging in its turn to destruction. Score two Eor the Camels!

But now the tide began to turn. Observers on the ground saw a Camel fall, completely out of control; it disappeared far over into German territory. A moment later the remaining Camel dove down—a roaring inferno. The fight was over. But only three Germans returned.

The Camel going down out of control was Alderson’s ship. An explosive bullet had shattered his right leg, and he lost consciousness.

From 13,000 feet—a two and a half mile fall—he plunged to earth.

How the ship landed upright has never been told; at any event Alderson survived the crash. When he opened his eyes, a week later, it was to find himself a prisoner of war.

The Story Behind The Cover
“The Green Devil: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (January 1934)

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

“The Sky Raider Pt6″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on December 10, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened. On Monday. . .

    A police Inspector arrives and arrests Old Man Rand for the murder of Lawson. No one is allowed to leave the house. Kiely, the postal inspector, arrives confident of Rand’s innocence, but Old Man Rand refuses to tell where he was during the early morning hours. Young Tommy Rand arrives. His father talks privately with him. Then the police come for the old man. . . .

Is Old Man Rand guilty of killing Lawson? What of the stolen $250,00? Will they turn up any incriminating evidence at Old Man Rand’s house? Find out in the sixth installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Friday for the next installment!

“The Mail Must Go Through!” By Arch Whitehouse

Link - Posted by David on December 9, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Here it is—the first of a thrilling series of True Air Adventures—amazing yarns based on the real adventures of airmen all over the world today! This month, read the true story of what happened to a pilot who stuck to the motto of the Air Mail—”The Mail Must Go Through!”

The Mail Must Go Through

By Arch Whitehouse (Sky Birds, March 1933)

OVER the facade of the New York Post Office building runs a word motto reading to the effect that, in spite of wind and weather, the postal department must remain true to its trust and carry out the business of the Postal Department. But the Air Mail pilot has chopped it all down to a few words: “The Mail Must Go Through!”

It is upon this motto that an almost unbelievable esprit de corps has been founded by the men who carry Uncle Sam’s mail over the skyways.
Things have changed a lot in the past few years, as far as flying the mail goes. The ships are better and faster. The motors are more reliable.

The routes are carefully marked with flashing beacons every ten miles. The airports are no longer cleared cow pastures with a shed at one end. Radio has come to guide the knights of the muzzle-mike. An efficient meteorological system has been worked out, and pilots are warned every few minutes what weather they can expect ten miles ahead.

Above all, every pilot is provided with the airman’s life-preserver—the parachute. If things go wrong, all he has to do is to cut the switch and step off. A billowing canopy of silk blossoms out above him, and he descends slowly to the ground.

But there are airmen in the Air Mail who balk at stepping off and letting the mail go down to a splintering crash—perhaps to a flaming finish. There may be valuable papers in those bags. There may be some widow’s pension stowed away. A love-letter, perhaps, reconciling two youngsters who have been parted by a petty quarrel. There may be the evidence that will save an innocent man from the chair. Or, perhaps, just a letter to some old lady who waits patiently for a happy word from her boy, who has gone away to try his fortunes in some other part of the country. One never knows what’s in the mail bag.

John Wolf, an Air Mail pilot, took off from Cleveland one night for Newark, 390 miles away. In the back pit of his Douglas mail ship lay 900 pounds of Uncle Sam’s choicest postal cargo. Pilot Wolf had often wondered what was in this mail. He’d pondered over it many times as he pounded his way across “the hump” of the Allegheny Mountains.

The airmen have named the hump the Mail Pilots’ Graveyard, for the whole trail is scored and marked with the numberless crashes that have occurred there. Pilot Wolf often wondered whether it was worth it. Then he’d stare at the insignia on the side of his ship—”U. S. Mail”—make an imaginary salute, and climb into the cockpit.

But on this night in question—about a year ago, to be exact—Pilot Wolf would have had all the excuse in the world for saying, “Bad weather upstairs. No use risking a crash tonight.” For there was a welter of fog and rain sweeping across the Cleveland field when he went out to the throbbing Douglas. He had been inside the operations office to look at the weather report coming through from Newark—and it was none too encouraging.

But Wolf took off. The mail had to go through!

Fifteen minutes after he took off, his radio set went dead. This would have been sufficient for most people, but Wolf kept on. There might be a break near Newark. After all, there were 900 pounds of mail in the back pit. He climbed to 12,000 feet to make sure that he’d clear the hump, but ice began to form on his wings, changing the camber and choking the controls. He had to go down lower and risk a crash in the Mail Pilots’ Graveyard.

For four hours he flew, averaging about 115 miles per hour, but no sign of Newark could he find. He was above a fog blanket that shrouded everything. On eastward he continued to push—hoping for a break. His ship bounced and pounded against the icy winds. New and amazing things happened to his instruments, and at times he found himself flying on his back. He kept fighting the Douglas, got back on the course and peered down again. No sight of Newark—or of anything else.

“Look here, John,” Pilot Wolf must have argued with himself. “You only have so much gas in this boiler. How about going down and taking a chance? Or how about slipping off and taking to the silk? Why risk your neck for 900 pounds of mail that is probably only bills, advertisements or dunning letters?”

But he glared at himself in the reflections cast by the dials of the in struments and shook his head. He had to go on.

He finally realized that there was none too much fuel left, however, and common sense prevailed.

He went down—down—down until he felt that he must crash into some buildings. Then he steadied himself and released a parachute flare. The big flaming ball of fire seeped away and went down farther and then, Pilot Wolf saw the cruel, reaching whitecaps of the Atlantic Ocean!
“Whew! Where am I?” he growled yanking back on his stick and pulling the Douglas out of the glide.

Turning westward, he tore back toward land, expecting any minute to find himself impaled on the lofty masts of some fog-bound transatlantic liner. He sat tense for nearly half an hour and raced westward peering over the cowling into the blanket of fog.

Then, a light! A dim but heaven sent gleam twinkled ahead. Pilot Wolf shot his Douglas for it with every ounce of power in the big Liberty engine. It was a lighthouse, he could tell by the time of the flashes. He tore up toward it and recognized it as Montauk Light on Long Island. Evidently he had passed over Newark without seeing it.

Now should he bail out? He was over ground, he was certain of that. There was not much gas left, so it would be wise to get out while the getting was good. No, the mail must go through!
He circled the village twice, seeking a place to land. He couldn’t get back to Newark now. He dropped more flares in an effort to find a level space to set the big mail ship down. There was nothing in sight.

Then one of those things happened that people think can happen only in fiction. Some one—a member of the village fire department—was air-minded enough to realize what was the matter. He probably had been a reader of a good aviation magazine—like Sky Birds, for instance. The pounding of the big Liberty up there in the soup and the trickling pathetic flares coming down through the fog told their story.

A fire alarm was sounded, and all the volunteer firemen were sent to the widest fairway of the North Fork Country Club. The air-minded fireman, who goes nameless, superintended the placing of the cars so that their headlights lit up a wide swath of level turf.

Wolf, amazed at the sudden appearance of this uncharted landing field, took a chance. He cut his motor and glided down to a perfect landing—just as the idling Liberty spluttered its last gasp. The tanks were dry.

Wolf slept at the firehouse that night, after seeing the mail safely aboard a train for New York. The next morning he calmly told his story to the air-minded fireman who had unconsciously adopted the Air Mail motto, “The Mail Must Go Through!”

“The Sky Raider Pt5″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on December 8, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened. The story so far. . .

    Dick Trent, young aviator, has just joined the Air Mail Service. On his first trip he carries an important letter from the owner of the field, Old Man Rand, to his son, Tommy. Through a blinding snowstorm he negotiates a narrow pass in the Rockies, locates young Rand drinking in a gambling resort and flies him back to his own field to save him from dismissal. The superintendent, Carmichael, warns Dick he has violated regulations, but Old Man Rand thanks him for the service.
    Dick falls in love with lovely Mary Rand and saves her from fatality by flying to her disabled plane in mid-air.
    Dick tells Lawson, a fellow aviator, of his invention for a skywriting signal code. Lawson informs Dick he is leaving the service to get married. On his last trip Lawson goes missing. Dick finds his plane burned and Lawson murdered. A package containing $250,000 is missing. Lawson’s skull is crushed in and after a careful search, Dick finds a clumsy Luger pistol.
    Returning to Rand Field he meets Carmichael nad Mary Rand. Thoroughly shaken by the discovery, Mary identifies the pistol as one her father carries! She asks Dick to drive home with her. On the way he tells her of his love and is happy when she sys she loves him. A moment later there is silence between them when she says her father has been away all morning. . . .

Where has Old Man Rand been all morning? And how did his gun come to be at the scene of the murder? Find out in the fifth installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Wednesday for the next installment!

“The Sky Raider Pt4″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on December 5, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened so far. On Wednesday’s installment a lot went down…

    At the field, Dick tells Lawson of his night-time sky-writing invention. He sees Mary go up in her plane. In doing so she loses a landing wheel. Dick saves her life by flying straight for her in the air to prevent a fatal crash. Back on the ground, Lawson informs Dick he is leaving the service to get married. On his last trip Lawson goes missing. Dick finds his plane burned and Lawson laying on the ground murdered. A package containing $250,000 is missing!

What clues can Dick find to point towards Lawson’s murderer? And what has happened to the money? Find out in the fourth installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Monday for the next installment!

Another Letter from Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on December 4, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Were Frederick Blakeslee still alive, today would be his 116th birthday! In honor of his birthday, today we have another letter from Blakeslee to Jess Yeager. The other day we had a letter Blakeslee sent to Jess in 1935—knee deep in his pulp career. At that time he was doing covers for Dare-Devil Aces and G-8 and his Battle Aces ever month as well as interiors for each issue of Dare-Devil Aces.

This time we find an older Blakeslee. Now 60, he has left the pulps behind and is Senior Designer at Sperry Gyroscope Co working on Countermeasures—”the missles that knock out the missles” as Blakeslee writes. He updates Jess, a father now, on his life since the demise of the pulps. From August 1st, 1959:

Dear Jess:

    We have just returned from Cape Cod where we had a glorious time visiting an author friend. The weather was perfact but it is far from perfact here on Long Island-hot and humid.

    As I said in my card, I am always tickled pink (what an expression!), to hear from any of the “Old gang”.

    I have not had contact with the publishers now for almost nine years. Harry Steeger, the President of Popular Publications and myself went into the service together, Navy also. He became a Leut. J.G. and I became a Combat Artist. After the war the magazines folded – every one of them. I did covers for Railroad Nagazine and soon the Editor left and another took his place. That ment that I was out of a job because all Editors have their own artists. Well, I had a pretty rough time until I got a job in Engineering at the Sperry Gyroscope Co. I am now a Senior Designer there and I love the work although it is a far cry from art. As you may know, Sperry is a defence plant and my real boss is the Air Force. I am working on Countermeasures, that is the missels that knock out the missels, if you know what I mean.

    Now you may wonder how an artist could become an engineer, well, I’m wondering myself since in math. I had to count on my fingers to add two and two. But as I progressed, I picked up math, and to make a long story short, I went from draftsman to designer.

    I was going to look up Harry Steeger during this vacation but just couldn’t bring myself to go to N.Y., Sperry is only a 10 minute drive from here and I pity the poor guys who have to commute to the hot city while I go through country all the way.

    Now as for the covers I painted – thank you for the compliment but I’ll tell you a secret. I HATED those covers! They started out to be a “pot boiler” but they kept me so busy that I could do nothing else. Now I wish I had never signed my name to them. I haven’t seen one for years and I hope I never will. As for knowing where any of the stuff is, I don’t know and frankly I don’t want to know. During the war I did what I wanted
to do, so called “Art for art’s sake. I hasten to add that I never saw combat. I was to go out to the Pacific but the war ended before ny orders came through. I did however paint the DANMARK. She was the Coast Guard training ahip. She was a square rigger and I spent a week aboard on a trip. During the trip a “tin fish” almost got us. It was a dud otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. Our escort closed in and we scramed back to port.

    I don’t remember the cover I dedicated to you but I do remember where the photo was taken. What ever the cover is, it is awful. You may think that I am a “Modern” artist. I am not and the fact that I didn’t get onto the band wagon is one of the reasons I got a steady job.

    So you are a Father! Well, about three years ago another W.W.I fan called me up from N.Y. and came out to visit me. He is from W. Virginia and is the Father of a 19 year old daughter. Brother, what does that make me? Ancient as hell. I was going down to see him this vacation but it was too hot here so what must it have been there?

    I have no children although we love them. My wife once had T.B., then heart trouble and a year ago Aug. 8th she underwent heart surgery and was paralyzed from it. The surgery was a success but the this thing had to happen as if she didn’t have enough suffering. She is recouveriiag slowly and can now do anything she wants to although she has to wear a leg brace.

    Well, I guess that about winds up this session. Write again when you have time.

                                                Cheerio,
                                                Fred Blakeslee

Happy Birthday Frederick Blakeslee!

“The Sky Raider Pt3″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on December 3, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened so far and the plot’s about to thicken as murder is thrown into the mix! On Monday we saw…

    By a ruse, Dick Trent enters the Gambling house to find young Tommy Rand drinking and induces him to leave after reading the important letter his old man had entrusted Dick to deliver. The letter was a Government report of censure for intoxication. Dick, disobeying regulations, flies Tommy back to save him from dismissal. Carmichael see them land. He threatens Dick with dismissal. However, when he is called to Rand’s house, Dick hears praise for his work from Old Man Rand and finds he is in love with Mary. . . .

What could possibly go wrong when Mary comes down to the field to practice landing a plane? Find out in the third installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Friday for the next installment!

A Letter from Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on December 2, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

With Frederick Blakeslee’s birthday on Thursday this week, we thought we’d present a little something different that the usual “The Story Behind The Cover.” Today we have a letter from the man himself! Yes, we have a responce to a letter to Mr. Blakeslee from a fan in Pennsylvania who has saved all the Blakeslee covers he can get ahold of—unfortunately he’s having trouble getting back issues of Battle Aces (aren’t we all). However, Blakeslee himself doesn’t seem to hold his old cover work in high reguard.

At the time of the letter, Blakeslee was at the top of his form. He was producing cover paintings for Dare-Devil Aces and G-8 and his Battle Aces every month as well as the headers for the stories in each issue of Dare-Devil Aces. From November 14th, 1935:

Dear Mr. Yeager:

    Thank you. for your very interesting letter and I hope you will write again. Of course it is very gatifying to know that you like my work and have saved the covers for so long. I am sorry to say that the covers for the old BATTLE ACES have absolutely disappeared, as a matter of face I haven’t seen one of the magazines for years. I’m sure I don’t know where you can get any of those covers. However, you are not missing much, none of those covers were what I would call good or even fair, some of them were just rotten, I am rather glad they HAVE disappeared,

    Your sketch of the airplane is very good. I’m glad you like the S.E.5 as she happens to be one of my favorites too.

    Well, old man, I hope you will pardon me if this is short, but I must stop now and get to work.

He signed off with “Cheerio,” and signed it “Frederick Blakeslee.”

Since the letter’s so short, we have a bonus for you—a vacation snapshot Blakeslee had sent to Jesse at some point in their correspondance. Taken by some castle ruins somewhere between Cambridge & Oxford while on vacation in England in 1936. . .

And be sure to come back on Thursday for another letter to Jesse. This one’s longer and from 1959 after his pulp illustrating career has ended and he’s moved on to other things!

“The Sky Raider Pt2″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on December 1, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Continuing with Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider, a serialized novel from 1929. A lot has happened so far and we’re only on Chapter three. The story so far:

    On his first day in the Air Mail Service Dick Trent seems doomed to disappointment. A heavy snow storm causes Carmichael, the station superinten- dent, to cancel arrangements for Dick’s first flight alone across the Rocky Mountains. Suddenly the door opens. Old Man Rand, owner of the service, and his daughter, Mary, enter. He has an important letter for his son. Dick offers to fly through with it. As the old man hesitates, the daughter says she believes Dick can get through the dangerous pass in the blinding snow storm. Thrilled by her show of confidence Dick soars into the storm still hearing the soft voice of the beautiful fur-clad girl.
    By a miracle, Dick negotiates the narrow pass through the Rockies. Arrived at his destination he seeks Tommy Rand. The address given him turns out to be a gambling house but Dick is refused entrance. . . .

What will Dick do? How will he get in to the Gambling house to deliver Old Man Rand’s important letter to his son? Find out in the second installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider!

or

And come back on Wednesday for the next installment!

“The Sky Raider Pt1″ by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on November 28, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Donald E. Keyhoe took up writing while recouperating from an arm injury he sustained in a plane crash in 1922 while serving in with the Marines in Guam. Primarily just to pass the time while convalesing, he found he was good at writing, selling several stories to Weird Tales. Keyhoe’s injury forced him to leave the military in 1923, whereupon he went to work for the National Geodetic Survey and the U.S. Department of Commerce. He kept his hand in aviation, though, by managing a national Good Will Tour of the 48 States by Charles Lindbergh in 1927.

Keyhoe’s first book was about flying Charles Lindbergh around the states on his tour. Published in 1928, Flying with Lindbergh was an instant success. Between the tour and the book, Keyhoe was becoming a household name. So it only makes sense that the newspapers would come calling. Newspapers were constantly looking for ways to boost and maintain their readership. And what better way than to serialize novels of the day. In 1929 Keyhoe wrote a story as modern as the times it was written in. Set against the world of the burgeoning Air Mail service, Dick Trent is a young idealistic flyer on his first day as a Air Mail pilot who soon finds himself involved in a web of love, larceny and murder!

Check out the half-page spread The Ottawa Journal gave the first installment of Donald E. Keyhoe’s The Sky Raider when they ran the series starting March 30th, 1929.

And come back on Monday for the next installment and each subsequent Monday, Wednesday and Friday until we reach the exciting conclusion!

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