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“Sky Fighters, April 1934″ by Eugene M. Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on February 8, 2016 @ 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 April 1934 cover, Frandzen featured the Nieuport 17 and the giant Gotha bomber!

ON THE COVER this month th_SF_3404you will find two ships as radically different in design as you could wish for. The fleet little scrapper, the Nieuport 17 and the cumbersome engine of destruction, the Gotha bomber. The Nieuport was one of the most effective scouts that the French turned out. Owing to its high speed and maneuverability it was very popular with the French flyers. It was really a parasol in that the lower wing was so small that its chief function was to give girder strength to the upper wing. The Nieuports of this type were commonly called “one-and-a-half-planes.”

The big Gotha smacking the ground was just the last word in bombers as far as Germany was concerned. She built some bigger ones and stuck more engines on them than this 77 ft. twin-engined job, but in the case of the larger bombers they had plenty of trouble lifting them off the ground.

Slip back a few hours and take off with this broken Gotha as it leaves its home drome with a half a ton of bombs snuggled against its belly. With its two 160 horse power Mercedes churning the two pusher props more than four tons of ship and load are eased into the air. Two other giant bombers follow. The field is circled twice and then the three ships with their motors blasting orange streaks of flame from six exhaust stacks point their noses westward, toward the English Channel. The vibrating motors are laboring like mogul locomotives pulling a heavy train over a steep mountain grade—they are climbing. At last they reach twelve thousand feet, level off and throttle down to about sixty-five miles per hour. It is a clear night with high clouds scudding just below. Finally the nose of the leading Gotha is pointed downward. The other two follow. They slip down through the clouds. The Channel is below, now it has been passed. Again the bombers level off, wing slightly to the left. Scattered houses, the outskirts of London are below. Now the dwellings are bunched together. The gunner in the front pit has his eye glued to a Georz bomb-dropper’s sight. The pilot is watching his galvanometer, his left hand is on his bomb releases. Government buildings are now below at an angle of about twelve degrees.

Two giant bombs drop flatly from beneath the Gotha, lazily point their noses downward, then gathering momentum they go streaking down at their target. Buildings rock, flames spurt from shattered windows. Sirens from tops of buildings wail their eerie warnings through the chill before dawn air. AIR RAID. Again the bombs go racing toward the sleeping city. A ton and a half of high explosive has been released.

The British home defense planes are in the air, sweeping up to engage the giant destroyers, but already those dark shapes have slunk off into the blackness and are well out over the Channel.

The British were taken by surprise. They had not adequate speed in their protection planes. The advantage of the raiders was too great, they escaped across the Channel. But did they get back to their hangars behind the German lines? They did not! One was forced down with a balky engine. The two others ran into a dawn patrol of French airmen out looking for big game. Spandaus and Vickers snarled and spat lead as the eastern sky burst gloriously into color as the sun rose over the torn and twisted battle fields. A Vickers’ bullet found a vulnerable spot in the left engine of the Gotha pictured on the cover. Another killed the pilot. Flames, a dive, oblivion for the raiders. The Nieuport pilot circles the flamer once, salutes his fallen foe. It’s all in the day’s work.

The Ships on The Cover
Sky Fighters, April 1934 by Eugene M. Frandzen
(The Ships on The Cover Page)

“Lives of the Aces in Pictures – Part 7: René Fonck” by Eugene Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on February 3, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Starting in the May 1932 issue of Flying Aces and running almost 4 years, Eugene Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Frandzen would feature a different Ace that rose to fame during the Great War. This time around we have France’s Ace of Aces—Lt. René Fonck!

Lt. René Fonck is recognized as one of the greatest French air fighters since Captain Guynemer and is credited with bringing down no less than 75 enemy planes, out of a claimed 142—bringing down six in one day (twice)! As his fame grew, sadly, so did his ego and he never really gained the admiration and popularity of Guynemer.

After the war, Fonck returned to civilian life, but kept his hand in aviation even trying to win the Orteig prize by being the first person to fly across the atlantic—he unfortunately crashed on take-off, killing two of his three crew members. Charles Lindbergh would win the prize seven months later.

He return to military aviation and from 1937-39 he acted as Inspector of fighter aviation within the French Air Force. However his later record of working with the Vichy government following the fall of France in June 1940 later besmirched his reputation. A French police inquiry about his supposed collaboration with the Vichy regime completely cleared Fonck after the war. The conclusion was that his loyalty was proved by his close contacts with recognised resistance leaders such as Alfred Heurtaux during the war—and he was awarded the Certificate of Resistance in 1948.

Just five years later Fonck suffered a fatal stroke and died in 1953 at the age of 59.

(Editor’s Note: These early installments of Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” that were published in the pulp-sized issues have been reformatted from a two page spread into a one page feature.)

“Hunbugs” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on January 29, 2016 @ 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 and this time he’s fighting the war on two fronts—there’s a Boche Bat Patrol running riot in the Moselles and at the Ninth there’s a new recruit who wins every bet—that is until he comes up against the marvel from Boonetown, Iowa. From the July 1934 number of Flying Aces it’s “Hunbugs!”

Meet Lieutenant Ignatius Moots, newest member of the famous Ninth Pursuit. You may like him or you may not, but let us give you a tip—don’t ever bet with him. Phineas did!

My Most Thrilling Sky Fight: Lieut. Col. William Bishop

Link - Posted by David on January 27, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Amidst all the great pulp thrills and features in Sky Fighters, they ran a true story feature collected by Ace Williams wherein famous War Aces would tell actual true accounts of thrilling moments in their fighting lives! This time it’s Lieutenant Colonel William Bishop’s Most Thrilling Sky Fight!

Colonel William Bishop is one of the few great war Aces still living. And he probably owes his life to the fact that the British General Staff ordered him to Instruction duty in London while the war was still on. Bishop first served in the Second Canadian Army as an officer of cavalry, but tiring of the continuous Flanders mud, he made application for transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. He was first sent up front as an observer. When he went up later as a pilot he immediately began to compile the record which established him as the British Ace of Aces. He won every honor and medal possible. He was an excellent flyer, but attributed most of his success to his wizardry with the machine-gun. When the war ended he was officially credited with downing 72 enemy planes and balloons. The account below is from material he gathered for a book.

 

THE DECOY MAJOR

by Lieut. Col. William Bishop • Sky Fighters, February 1934

OUR WING received orders to take some pictures seven miles inside the enemy lines. This was a hazardous mission, and the Major in command of Wing volunteered to do it alone, but his superiors ordered that he be given protection. My patrol was assigned to furnish that protection. We were to meet the Major in his photo plane just east of Arras at the 6,000 foot level.

The rendezvous came off like clockwork. I brought my patrol to the spot at 9:28 and cruised lazily about. Two minutes later we spied a single Nieuport coming towards us. I fired a red signal flare and the Nieuport answered. It was the Major.

I climbed slightly then, leading my patrol about 1,000 feet above the Major’s Nieuport, protecting him from attack from above as we kited over the lines. The formation kept just high enough to avoid the German archies.

We got to the area to be photographed without too much trouble, flying through a sea of big white clouds which made it difficult for the archie gunners to reach us. We circled round and round the Major while he tried to snap his pictures.

But the clouds made it as difficult for him as for the archie gunners.

During one of our sweeping circles I suddenly saw four enemy scouts climbing between two immense clouds some distance off. I knew they would see us soon, so I got the brilliant idea of making the enemy scouts think that there was only one British machine by taking my patrol up into the clouds.

I knew the Huns would dive to attack on the Major the instant they spotted him, then the rest of us could swoop down and surprise them. I did not want to make it hard on the Major, but I couldn’t resist the chance of using him as a decoy.

The enemy scouts saw the Major and made for him in a concerted dive. He didn’t see them until one of them opened fire prematurely at a long range of over 200 yards.

His thoughts then—he told me afterwards—immediately flew to the patrol. He glanced back over his shoulder to see where we were—and saw nothing! He pulled up and poured a burst at a German who came down on his right. Then he banked to the left for a burst at another German. The two Huns flew off, then returned.

I dived with my patrol now. One Hun fired at the Major as I flashed by. I opened both my guns on him at a ten-yard range, then passed on to the second enemy scout, firing all the while, and passing within five feet of his wing tip. I turned quickly to get the other two, but they dived out of range and escaped.

When I looked back over my shoulder the first two were floundering down through the clouds out of control. Ten seconds of firing had accounted for both of them in a single dive. The Major finished his photo job in fifteen minutes without further interruption, and we made our way home through heavy aircraft fire.

Later, I apologized to him for using him as a decoy. “Don’t worry about me,” he said. “Carry on.”

“Sky Fighters, March 1934″ by Eugene M. Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on January 25, 2016 @ 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 March 1934 cover, Frandzen featured the Morane-Saulnier Parasol (type P)!

THE PLANES on this th_SF_3403month’s cover are all manufactured by the same firm. The leading plane, the red two-seater, is a Morane-Saulnier Parasol (type P). The two smaller planes are single-seater Morane-Saulnier (type 27 C1), fighting scouts of the French air force which did fine service at the front during 1916.

The two-seater was used extensively during the same period by the French and the British for general reconnaissance and for artillery spotting. The Morane-Saulnier firm also turned out a twin engined job which saw plenty of active service.

On a Prowl of Their Own

Artillery spotting was really spotting the bursts of our own artillery and by radio adjusting the fire for the batteries. But in the picture on the cover the Moranes have finished their job of adjusting fire and gone on a prowl of their own. Instead of turning back toward their own lines and safety they have gone deeper into enemy territory and have done some artillery spotting which is not in the instruction books for what the well-trained observer shall spot.

For days the Allies have been harassed by a mobile battery of German guns which has changed its position so quickly after laying down a blanket of shells on some strategic point that the Allied counter batteries have been unable to blast them out.

One of the scouts in the background had seen a battery digging in when on his dawn patrol and mentioned it to the pilot of the two-seater Morane and to his pardner in the other single-seater Morane. A few extra belts of ammo were pitched into the pockets in the cockpits and after the thankless little job of ranging the artillerymen’s guns has been accomplished they streak along on business of their own.

And from the action depicted on the cover it looks as though they arc causing plenty of trouble to the Boche servicing those fast firing field guns. But they are not getting away with their surprise attack without some reply from the men on the ground.

That Maxim machine-gun in the foreground is trained in a pretty dangerous way on our friends in the first plane, trained so it is raking the whole ship; but those hands clutching the gun handles won’t function for more than a split second if that second Morane, the little red scout with the purple wing, continues to hold its bead on that ground machine-gunner.

Two Planes Roar In

Suddenly the alert observer in the front ship swings his Lewis gun away from the battery on the ground. Two enemy planes arc roaring in from the side with gun3 blazing. The more or less one-sided scrap will turn into a free for all in about two flips of an aileron.

And just to make it all the more interesting for the raiding Allied aviators, one of the cannons sprays fire from its recoiling muzzle and hurtles a twisting shell fall of high explosive at the leading two-seater. The explosion rocks the ship and pitches its nose toward the ground. It is yanked back into level flight in the nick o£ time and the three Moranes go roaring toward home. The two-seater brings up the rear and the observer has plenty of work for his Lewis gun. The German planes pursue, but are just a shade slower than the Allied ones.

Score for the Allied pilots: one disabled German battery put out of commission long enough for the radio-equipped Morane to transmit the map coordinates to his artillery buddies. Ten minutes later there is no German battery; it has been knocked to pieces by concentrated demolition fire by a brigade of Allied heavy guns.

The Ships on The Cover
Sky Fighters, March 1934 by Eugene M. Frandzen
(The Ships on The Cover Page)

Next time, Mr. Frandzen features the Nieuport 17 and giant Gotha bomber!

“Lives of the Aces in Pictures – Part 6: Raoul Lufbery” by Eugene Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on January 20, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Starting in the May 1932 issue of Flying Aces and running almost 4 years, Eugene Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Frandzen would feature a different Ace that rose to fame during the Great War. This time around we have the leading Ace of the Lafayette Escadrille—Major Raoul Lufbery!


Lufbery playing with Whiskey.

Raoul Lufbery was already famous when America entered the War. For some time he was the mechanic of Marc Pourpe, famous French flyer. Pourpe was killed in aerial combat. Lufbery who was with the Foreign Legion, asked to take his place in order to avenge his death. The French army, defying usual procedure sent him to join Escadrille de Bombardmente V. 102, where he made a distinguished record.

When the La Fayette Escadrille was formed, he became one of the seven original members of that famous air squadron—and, as it proved ultimately, became the most distinguished, winning his commission as a sous-lieutenant.

When America entered the War he was transferred to the American Air Service and made a major, refusing, however, to take command of a squadron. When he was killed at Toul. Lufbery was officially credited with 17 victories.

(Editor’s Note: These early installments of Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” that were published in the pulp-sized issues have been reformatted from a two page spread into a one page feature.)

“Slow-Speed Demon” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on January 15, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

This time around we have a tale from the man that brought us The Red Falcon, Smoke Wade and G-8 and his Battle Aces—Robert J. Hogan! From the pages of the June 1933 number of Flying Aces, we have a tale of modern aviation—Chuck Page pits his plane he’s cobbled together against the big boys in a cross-country race!

Set an old orange crate of a ship up against a couple of low-winged speed demons in a cross-country air race—and they’d call you crazy. But some people say that a race is more a test of the pilot than of the ship, and maybe they’re right. Here’s a story of modern aviation to prove it.

My Most Thrilling Sky Fight: Baron Manfred von Richthofen

Link - Posted by David on January 13, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Amidst all the great pulp thrills and features in Sky Fighters, they ran a true story feature collected by Ace Williams wherein famous War Aces would tell actual true accounts of thrilling moments in their fighting lives! This week we have the legend that is Baron Manfred von Richthofen!

Captain Manfred von Richthofen was the greatest of all the German flyers. He had more victories to his credit than any other battle flyer. He began in the Imperial Flying Corps, on the Russian Front. Soon afterwards he was transferred to the German North Seas station at Ostend, where he served as a bomber. Backseat flying never appealed to him, so he took training, soon won his wings, and was sent to join the jagdstaffel commanded by Oswald Boelke. After his sixteenth victory, he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to command a squadron. This became the Flying Circus, the most famous of all the German squadrons, the scourge of the western skies.

The account below, in which he describes his flight with Major Hawker, the famous British Ace, on November 3, 1916, is from Richthofen’s personal memoirs. For this victory he was awarded the order of Pour le Merite. Only Immelmann and Boelke before him had gained this honor, and no air fighter following him over received it. In his scarlet red battle plane he coursed the Western Front from end to end, strewing death and destruction in his wake—until that fatal day when bullets from a British flyer’s gun brought him to his end, as he had brought upwards of a hundred others.

 

DOWNING A BRITISH ACE

by Baron Manfred von Richthofen • Sky Fighters, February 1934

I WAS flying along with my patrol of three wing-mates when I noticed three Englishmen. They looked me over keenly in the manner of stalkers looking for cold meat. I was far below the rest of my patrol flying above, so I sensed that they had only spied me and not the others. I let them think I was flying alone and boldly flaunted my wings in challenge.

They had the ceiling, so I had to wait until one of them dropped on me before shifting for attack myself. Down one came presently, streaking in a line for my tail. At a close range, he opened up. But I banked swiftly and escaped the burst, intending to nose back and get in one of my own as he swooped past. But he banked, too, sticking on my tail. Round and round we circled like madmen, each trying to catch up with the other at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

First we circled about twenty times to the left. Then reversed and circled thirty times to the right, each trying to tighten the circle sufficiently to line in a burst—but without success. I knew then this fellow I had so boldly tackled wasn’t any beginner. He had no intentions of breaking or running. And his machine was a marvelous stunter (D.H.2 with 100 h.p. mono-soupape motor—Editor). However, mine climbed better than his, so I succeeded finally in getting above and behind my dancing partner.

When we had settled down to 6,000 feet with the battle still a draw, my opponent should have had sense enough to leave, for we were fighting over my own territory. But he held on like a leech.

At 3,000 feet we were still battling for position with guns silent, neither of us having been able to line the other in his sights. My opponent looked up from his pit, smiled. He was a good sportsman.

We made twenty or thirty more circles, getting lower and lower. Looking down in my opponent’s pit I sized him up carefully, expecting some trick. He had to do something, for I was continually pressing him down, and he had to decide between landing in German territory or making a run for his own lines.

He looped suddenly trying to get on my tail. His guns blasted simultaneously. Bullets flew around me, crackling and whining. Coming out of the loop just off the ground he darted off in a zig-zag course. That was my most favorable moment.

I pounced on his tail, firing with all I had from a distance between 150 and 250 feet away. His machine simply could not help falling. My bullets poured through it in a steady stream.

At that the jamming of my guns almost robbed me of victory, but just at that moment his plane toppled off on one wing and slid into the ground just 150 feet behind our lines.

When I landed, I found that one of my bullets had passed through his head. How he managed to duck all but that one was more than I could understand—until I learned later that my victim was the famous Major Hawker!

“Sky Fighters, February 1934″ by Eugene M. Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on January 11, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

This week we have the cover of Sky Fighters from February 1934 by our old friend Eugene Frandzen. Franzen 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.

THE SHIPS pictured th_SF_3402on this month’s cover are the German Rumpler type C5 and the French Spad type 13.

The Rumpler was one of Germany’s most successful war planes. As far back as 1908 Herr E. Rumpler was working on airplane designs. At first his ships followed closely the Eitrich “Taube” design, that queer birdlike swept-back wing construction. In a Rumpler biplane an eighteen-hour record was established just before the war by Herr Basser who flew from Berlin to Constantinople, making only three stops.

This flight was phenomenal for those days and it was only natural that when the World War flared and burst over nearly all Europe that the German High Command would do plenty of concentrating on their prize-winning Rumpler. It eventually lost its swept-back wings but the general appearance of the fuselage and nose remained the same up to the end of the war.

The two Rumpler C5s pictured on the cover are equipped for light bombing. Their speed was around 105 to 110 m.p.h.

From the blast of the explosion coming from the bottom of the picture it looks as though they have caused plenty of trouble. When we consider that the bill for the World War amounted to about 186 billion dollars and that plenty of that sweet little amount went into explosives of assorted shapes and potency one little ammunition dump valued at a few hundred thousand dollars doesn’t amount to much on the books, but add a few of these dumps together along a front that is causing the opposing power plenty of headaches and you’ll easily see how extremely important a little bomb-dropping party really is.

That in exactly what is happening in the picture—an ammo dump has gone blooey. One bomb beautifully spotted by the leading Rumpler pilot has done the trick. His pardner in the background is shedding his load of eggs in a businesslike manner too. The odds are against the Allies in this particular instance. They will have to rush some fresh ammunition to this particular sector if they want to have sufficient food for their hungry cannons.

But don’t overlook that Spad coming in with both guns blazing at the Rumpler. It didn’t get there quite in time to drive the Fritz away before he could shed his bombs but if a stray hunk of exploding shell from the dump doesn’t get one of the Spad pilots it will just be too bad for the men in the German ships.

This Spad 13 could kick off about 130 to 135 miles per hour. It carried plenty of horsepower up front in its nose, 220 to be exact. The ambitious pilots of the bomb-dropping Rumplers are quite some distance behind the Allied lines. Their protection planes are far behind the German lines. And those two Spads will either herd the Germans down to the ground or blow them out of the sky.

Bombing ammunition dumps during the World War was done extensively by both sides. Many times the pilot and observer of a two-seater plane went on a special ammunition-bombing expedition from which they knew they would never return.

They had specific jobs to accomplish and they grinned, smoked a last cigarette and flew their ships to the spot indicated on their maps. Usually a one-way trip, but if the mission was successful thousands of lives were saved.

The Ships on The Cover
Sky Fighters, February 1934 by Eugene M. Frandzen
(The Ships on The Cover Page)

Next time, Mr. Frandzen features the Morane-Saulnier Parasol (type P)!

“Lives of the Aces in Pictures – Part 5: Major McCudden” by Eugene Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on January 6, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Starting in the May 1932 issue of Flying Aces and running almost 4 years, Eugene Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Frandzen would feature a different Ace that rose to fame during the Great War. This time around we have one of Britain’s most famous Aces—Major James McCudden!

Major J B McCudden, VC, DSO, MC, MM
Major J B McCudden, VC, DSO, MC, MM 1918 William Orpen, Oil on Canvas 30×36″.
© IWM (Art.IWM ART 2979)

James Thomas Byford McCudden was born in 1895. He joined the Royal Engineers in 1910, becoming a qualified sapper by 1913—holding a grade Air Mechanic 2nd Class, No.892 and enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps as a mechanic in 1913—the year before the war broke out. He worked his way up through the ranks eventually training as a pilot only to find he was a natural in the air. He is credited with 57 victories and awarded the Victorian Cross, Distinguished Service Order & Bar, Military Cross & Bar, Military Medal and the French Croix de Guerre—becoming the most highly decorated British pilot of the war.

He was killed in July 1918 when his aircraft stalled after take off and crashed to the ground. Shortly before his death McCudden published a renowned memoir of his air war, Five Years in the RFC.

(Editor’s Note: These early installments of Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” that were published in the pulp-sized issues have been reformatted from a two page spread into a one page feature.)

“Scrappy Birthday” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on January 1, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

“Haw-w-w-w-w!” That sound can only mean one thing—it’s time to ring out the old year and ring in the new with that Bachelor of Artifice, Knight of Calamity and an alumnus of Doctor Merlin’s Camelot College for Conjurors—Phineas Pinkham. And it’s a festive one—It’s Major Rufus Garrity’s birthday and he’d like to keep it a secret, but it’s impossible to keep a secret from the Boonetown marvel!

It was a big anniversary for Major Garrity, and Phineas Pinkham wanted to wish him a happy birthday. Well, it wasn’t entirely Phineas’ fault that what he wished him was a Scrappy Birthday!

“The Hawker Demon” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on December 28, 2015 @ 6:00 am 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. Last time Mr. Blakeslee gave us the first in a new series of mismatched time images with planes from the Great War along side present day planes from 1935! This time he returns with another in the series, from the cover of the December 1935 number of Dare-Devil Aces—where a Fokker DVII finds itself pitted against “The Hawker Demon!”

th_DDA_3512THIS is another scrambled time cover so that you can compare the modern airplane with the war-time ship. Just a werd about the two British ships. The one in the foreground is a Hawker “Audax”, a ship possessing all the qualities required for Army Co-operation work, a good climb and a high top speed. The ship an its left is a Hawker “Demon”. The Hawker “Demon” is a day and night fighter. It has a supercharged Rolls-Royce “Kestrel” engine which gives it a top speed of 160 m.p.h. at 12,000 ft. This ship is the first two-scatcr fighter since the famous Bristol Fighter went into the discard, as a matter of fact, the “Demon” is a modern version of the Bristol.

The entire Hawker series are beautiful ships and the two pictured here together with the Hawker “Fury” are probably the most beautiful airplanes in the world. For sheer gracefulness and clean-cut speedy lines, they have no equal. But don’t let their beauty deceive you. They are like some poisonous flowers, beautiful but deadly.

Except for the heavy bombers, the service ships of Great Britain are silver.

Now let us imagine a Fokker DVII in combat with one of these ships. Let us look at an imaginary combat report of an imaginary German pilot. . . .

  July 7th. I took off with my staffel from Douai at 7:15 P.M. As the morning was exceptionally clear, I climbed as high as I could get, about 16,000 ft. My speed at this height was 95 m.p.h. I saw something white, which rapidly resolved itself into two airplanes flying side by side. The remarkable thing about them was that they were all white and although they were going in the same direction as myself, they rapidly overhauled me. I thought at first I was being blown backward in a head wind while the two ships were in a tail wind. I thought these two ships were Dolphins, for they were some five or six thousand feet above me. However, they overtook me so rapidly, I didn’t know what they could be. Then I saw them dive toward me. I executed a quick turn, and as I came around, one flashed in front of me, going at such a tremendous speed that I could not identify the type. There I saw for the first time that it was a two-seater and of a type unknown to me. Although I was going 116 m.p.h., it passed me as though I were standing still, twin jets of tracers coming from invisible guns. There was no use fighting such a ship, and I therefore fled as best I could. I don’t know how I ever escaped.
  I dove and landed just back of our lines.

That, you may imagine is the report.

The Story Behind The Cover
“The Hawker Demon: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick Blakeslee
(December 1935, Dare-Devil Aces)

Next month we will paint a modern Handly-Page on the cover.

“The Saga of Steve West Pt3″ by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on December 24, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

This month we’re celebrating the talents of that pulp stalwart—Joe Archibald. Back with more continuity from his newspaper comic strip “Saga of Steve West” (1928-1929).

Scarsa and his gang have been wiped out, but not before Scarsa managed to shoot George Edwards in the head, seriously wounding him. The Greek was able to get Edwards to the hospital while the cops rounded up the rest of Edward’s gang. Steve West, who had been boxing out of town, has just heard the news and has hired a car to get him back to Chicago on the double…

Strips courtesy of The Daily News of Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.

To find out what happens next. . .

“The Saga of Steve West Pt2″ by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on December 23, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

This month we’re celebrating the talents of that pulp stalwart—Joe Archibald. Back with more continuity from his newspaper comic strip “Saga of Steve West” (1928-1929).

Red Hannigan and his hired killer, the slippery Pigeon Steele believe they have permanently disposed of Pete Collins who is secretly hiding at Steve West’s family farm—leaving them to take over driving George Edwards’ trucks of bootlegged liquor and skim some off the top for Joe Marino. After Steve foils an attempt on George Edwards’ life at Marino’s, Marino’s two-timing true colors are revealed leaving Nick Scarsa no choice but to silence Marino for good.

Meanwhile, Edwards has a proposal for Steve…

Strips courtesy of The Daily News of Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.

To find out what happens next. . .

“The Saga of Steve West Pt1″ by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on December 22, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

This month we’re celebrating the talents of that pulp stalwart—Joe Archibald. Joe had quite the string of jobs that led him to the pulps. Born in 1898, Joe began his writing career at the age of fifteen with a prize-winning contribution to the Boston Post. At the age of twelve he submitted and sold his first cartoon to the original JUDGE Magazine. He is a graduate of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

During World War I he served on a sub-chaser for the United States Navy and was staff cartoonist for a service publication. After the armistice, he was a police and sports reporter for Boston Newspapers, and then went to New York and became a sports and panel cartoonist for the McClure Newspaper Syndicate.

In 1928 he created his first comic strip syndicated by the New York Evening Graphic. Here he had characters, continuity and action. What he came up with was “Saga of Steve West,” a strip about a young man who leaves the farm and heads to the big city to find his way in life. The principle characters are: Steve West, the young man in question who appears to be in his late teens or early twenties; George Edwards who is Steve’s friend and benefactor and—a bootlegger; Edwards’ secretary and sometimes girlfriend, Helen Wyatt, who has a secret warm spot in her heart for Steve; Detective Gaffney who has matched wits with Edwards in gangland; and rounding out the main cast is Steve’s pal Pete Collins.

Beginning on November 12the 1928, the strip ran for almost a year according to Stripper’s Guide—ending its run in late September or early October 1929.

Here’s a taste of what was going on the first week of March 1929. As we join the action, Pete has been hi-jacked while driving one of George Edwards’ trucks. The truck stolen and shot through the shoulder, Pete has managed to make his way to not so nearby farmhouse three miles away where he was cared for and able to contact Edwards and Steve who have shown up to help hide him from “Red” and “The Greek.”

Strips courtesy of The Daily News of Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.

To find out what happens next. . .

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