Looking to buy? See our books on amazon.com Get Reading Now! Age of Aces Presents - free pulp PDFs

“Intelligence Pest” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on January 30, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

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

Phineas Pinkham was so pleased with his particular prisoner that he even offered him a cigar that wasn’t loaded. Yes, they call that fraternizing with the enemy!

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 6

Link - Posted by David on January 29, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, there were correspondence between Robert Hogan and Henry Steeger and a copy of the Newton, New Jersey Sunday Herald from October 21st, 1962.

While we don’t have a copy of Bob Swift’s G-8 homage that ran in the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine on July 8th, 1962, we do have an article on Robert J. Hogan that ran in his local paper, the Newton, NJ Sunday Herald in October of 1962. We posted the article—“Lurid Plots Hatched In Sussex Boro”—back in October. What follows is the correspondence between Robert J. Hogan and Henry Steeger in regard to this article. . .

 

October 22, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

    Seemed to us the editors did a specially fine job on the local story of G-8. See pages 6 and 7 of our little Sunday Section inclosed. I’m sending a couple of copies in case you might want to send one around to agencies or whatever. If you should want more of this or the Sunday Magazine of the July 8th Miami Herald let me know and I’ll get you more.

Seems as if we might interest some soft cover publisher into trying one printing of a G-8. We could offer it with no cost to him and the use of the cover painting for the cover of the book. We could take our royalties later, if any, so the soft cover publisher wouldn’t be losing any advance money that the first try didn’t earn. If we were going to be north longer I’d take these two G-8 writeups and see what I could do canvassing the various soft cover markets. But we’re starting south in a few days. Betty’s father is worse and we want to get down nearby where we can help out.

Since we’ll be on the move by the time you receive this, I’m giving you the address of the Hogan shanty in Coral Gables.

Sorry we didn’t get together while we were north, but maybe next time, let’s hope.

                    Best,
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

October 30, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

I was certainly surprised to see the article about our good friend G-8 in the New Jersey Sunday Herald. Even though the first World War is a long distance away, G-8 still flies all over the place. Thanks so much for sending me the two copies. I enjoyed reading the article immensely.

It would be great if we could find some soft cover publisher who would like to try a printing of G-8. It certainly would be OK with me, Bob, if you know such a publisher. I don’t believe I have any friends in this particular field.

I’m so sorry we didn’t have the opportunity of getting 
together for a bull fest. It would have been grand to 
see you, and I can tell from the photographs in the
 Sunday Herald that you look exactly the same as you al
ways did. I was most disappointed to find out you had
 been at the office while I was away. Let’s try to arrange a meeting next time you move north.

Here’s all the best to you and Betty,

 

 

Berkely Medalion would eventually publish a series of 8 G-8 and His Battle Aces unabridged paperbacks from 1969 through 1971—the first three with new cover art by Jim Steranko.

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 5

Link - Posted by David on January 28, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

The correspondence continues. Bob Swift’s G-8 piece has been published in the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine Sunday July 8th, 1962. (Steeger did not include a copy of the article with his correspondence files and we have been unable to get a hold of a copy of this article otherwise). . .

 

July 12, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

    The G-8 piece finally came out and we all feel it was well worth waiting for. I saw Bob Swift yesterday and he said hed sent you a copy and returned the G-8 magazines you had sent him. So you should see it for yourself if you haven’t already.

    Bob Swift feels very strongly that G-8 should be a TV series and so do we all, of course. They’ve had about every type now except the World War One flying stuff and G-8 should do it well. I think if j:e could get a piece like this or this piece itself or an enlargement of this G-8 piece in a national magazine we might be on our way to the TV moneybags.

    We’re heading north July 26th so we’ll be there during August and probably the fall and hope I can drop in for a hello when we get into New York.

    A chance came along to rent our home down here to some nice folks until November 1st. They had to get in right off so we’ve taken an apartment here where we’ve been on similar occasions. Third floor and nice and cool.

    If you write after the 26th of this month better address us at our old stand:
                                    Box 248
                                    Sparta
                                    New Jersey

                    Best,
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

July 16, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

I enjoyed hearing from you. It’s good to know that the G-8 piece finally came out and I shall look forward to having a gander at it. So far it hasn’t arrived.

We’d have great fun with, a G-8 TV shov and it’s a tribute you certainly deserve. I’ll keep ay finders crossed that something will happen.

I’m in New York City during the week during the summer and out on the Island for weekends. It’s nice and cool out there, but I remember from the past that you said Florida was comfortable even in the summertime.

Hope to say hello to you one of these days.

                    Best,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 
And to Bob Swift at the Miami Herald:

July 18, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

That’s a great article! I got such a kick out of it that I practically drooled nostalgia all over my desk.

The Miami Herald Sunday Magazine and your letter arrived just a few minutes ago and I read each of them immediately. You did the job to perfection and I congratulate you for having captured so well all the delights and joys of a 14-year-old’s heart. I know Bob Hogan himself enjoyed your article very much because I had a letter from him yesterday in which he told me about it. I hope it gets around to all the places where it will do the most good. If Bob could sell a TV show from it, he would indeed be a very happy feller.

I am glad you had such gratifying results from the story. I started publishing as soon as I was out of school and G-8 was one of the first publications. In about 3 years from the standing start we had the largest pulp magazine house in New York – and we were still in our 20’s. In fact, we eacj borrowed $5,000 to get it started, and no one ever had it so good as did we during the war! After that, rising costs killed off the pulp market and people became interested in a more ritzy product. It took us several years to get ARGOSY really rolling and each issue costs anywhere from 30 to 50 times what a pulp magazine would have set us back.

I wonder if it would be possible for you to send me 2 more copies of the Sunday Magazine. I’d like to send one to John Fleming Gould, illustrator for the G-8 stories, because he, too, enjoyed doing this work so much. I’d like to send the second one to a New York advertising agency in the hope that some interest might be sparked for a TV show.

Thanks for sending back the copies of G-8 and His Battle Aces – and good luck.

                    Regards,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

 

Dear Harry:

Here are a oouple more issues of the magazine. Hope John Gould enjoys seeing his old stuff in print again. Bob Hogan is probably en route north by now so expect you’ll see him shortly. I hope either you or Bob will let me know if you do anything further with G-8, in print or on TV.

Regards,
Bob Swift

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

August 9, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

Many thanks for sending along the two copies of G-8. I’ll use them where they’ll do the most good, I hope, and if there are any TV or other offers I’ll keep you advised.

Kindest regards.

                    Sincerely,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 
And to Edward J. Degray of Degray & Associates:

August 9, 1962    

 

Dear Ed:

I have a possibility in mind for a TV show. It may be remote and unusable, but you are the guy to judge. It’s concerned with an old magazine we published called “G-8 And His Battle Aces”. This was pure kid stuff but it appealed to kids all oyer the United States and, like the Model A Ford, copies of G-8 are now selling for 50 bucks apiece.

The author wrote me recently, saying there had been some talk of a TV show and, as usual, the letters TV brought you immediately to mind. I have an article from the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine telling all about G-8 And His Battle Aces – and if you’d like to have a gander at it, please let me know and I’ll shoot it along.

Kindest regards.

                    Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as we’ve been able to assertain, a possible G-8 and his Battle Aces tv show never got beyond the talking stage. Sadly, Robert J. Hogan would pass away the following year

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 4

Link - Posted by David on January 27, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

The correspondence continues but this time with a series of memorandums between Henry Steeger and Bob Swift, editor of the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine, as he prepares to publish the article on Robert J. Hogan and G-8 and his Battle Aces. . .

 

Feb. 17, 1962    

 

Dear Mr. Steeger:

Sorry to be so late returning your file copy of g-8, but my color lab people kept experimenting to see if they could get a better reproduction of the cover.

I’m just about set to go with the story about B0b Hogan. But first, can I impose on you to send me a few more copies of G-8? I really would like to quote from more than one novel and use illustrations from several books if I can. Besides, I’d like to read the damned things. They take me back, with all that jazz about Spandaus and tarmac and ach du liebers.

Thanks again for your help.

Sinceraly,
Bob Swift, Editor
Sunday Magazine

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

February 26, 1962    

 

Dear Mr. Swift:

I got quite a kick out of going through that copy of G-8 myself. I’ll try to dig up a few mora for you and shoot them along. I’d appreciate it if you’d return them to me when you’ve finished with them so that we can restore them to the files.

I’ll be looking forward to your article.

                    Sincerely,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

March 13, 1962    

 

Dear Mr. Swift:

Thanks for returning the June 1935 issue of G-8 AHD HIS BATTLE ACES.

We’ve dug up three more issues – October, November and December 1936 – and these are enclosed, You can shoot them back when you’ve finished with them.

                    Sincerely,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

July 11, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

Here are your copies of G-8, and I must say I return them with great regret. There’s a great deal of nostalgia about the pulps and I mourn their passing, as you may gather from my story about Bob Hogan and G-8.

The response to the story has been gratifying, with a great deal of comment from balding, bespectacled guys in their 30’s and early 40’s. Most of that comment concerns the nostalgia they felt for the old days in the small towns, journeying to drug store or news stand for G-8 and all the other pulps, the whole flavor of being 10 or 14 or so during that era.

Actually, I cheated a little. I was only four years old when G-8 first appeared and didn’t actually pick up on him until about 1939 or 1940. But I made up for it by buying all the old copies I could find in the second hand book stores.

Anyway, thanks for your help and patience. By the way, if you’d like to run a story about Hogan and G-8 in one of your present books I’d like the assignment. Perhaps a similar story?

Regards,
Bob Swift

 

 

 

 

“O. B. Myers: Flying Hero” by Kenneth L. Porter

Link - Posted by David on January 26, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

Editor’s note: Here you are gang, a real surprise for you this month. You have all read and enjoyed the ceiling-smashing stories that O.B. Myers writes for you every month. But did you know that he had won the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in one of the toughest scraps of the war? That almost single-handed he engaged a powerful German squadron and made monkey meat out of them? Yes, sir, and below you will read this amazing true story. It’s told for you by one of Obie’s best friends, Kenneth L. Porter, who was along on that eventful day as Flight Commander, and what he tells you, he saw with his own eyes.


1Lt Kenneth Lee Porter of the 147th Aero Squadron stands before Nieuport 28 N6256 ‘15′ in which he shared in the downing of a Pfalz D Ilia with five squadronmates on 2 July 1918.

Ken Porter is himself one of America’s sixty-six accredited aces, with five enemy planes to his string of victories. On the cover, this month, is the actual picture of O.B. Myers in the act of downing the German observation plane. Obie is one swell guy whom you would all like to know personally. He’s also a modest cuss, and if he had any inkling that this was being printed, he’d probably land on our necks with a ton of T.N.T.

O.B. Myers: Flying Hero

By Kenneth L. Porter • Battle Aces, November 1931

FOLLOWING is O.B. Myer’s citation: Extract from General Orders No. 1, War Department, 1919.

“Myers, Oscar B., Near Cierges, France, September 28, 1918. First Lieutenant, 147th Aero Squadron, Air Service. Sent on a particularly hazardous mission, he harassed and routed enemy troops. He then climbed higher to look for German planes. With two other officers, he encountered 9 Fokkers protecting a reconnaissance machine flying in one of the most effective formations used by the enemy. Outmaneuvering the hostile planes, the three officers succeeded in routing them. After a quick turn he dived at the reconnaissance machine and crashed it to the ground in flames.”

th_BA_3111DURING the latter part of September, 1918, the start of the big Argonne push was getting under way. At the time, we of the 147th aero squadron, 1st pursuit group, A.E.F., were stationed at Rembercourt almost due west of St. Mihiel and south of Grand Pre. The first pursuit group was called upon to carry out a great variety of special assignments in collaboration with the movement of ground troops. Some of these assignments were balloon strafing, troop strafing, contact patrol and escort work of various kinds.

Our troops were attempting to straighten out the line and in doing so encountered very strenuous resistance from both the German artillery and infantry.

On the morning of September 28th, the operation officer called me into his office and advised that our troops were experiencing difficulty in straightening out the line near Cierges, France. He advised that I was to take a patrol out and strafe the German front-line troops. At the same time he ordered me to be on the lookout for enemy two-seaters which might be regulating artillery fire in that specific sector.

After receiving the orders I walked out onto the line to ascertain how many ships I had available for patrol duty. I found that, including my own, we had only three serviceable ships—those of Lt. O.B. Myers and Lt. L.C. Simon, Jr. I immediately rounded up “Obie” Myers and “Red” Simon and informed them of the somewhat difficult mission.

We accordingly took off and proceeded immediately to the Front, Obie flying on my immediate left and Red on my immediate right. We easily located the particular portion of the line which was causing the difficulty by the great concentration of artillery fire, machine-gun activities, etc. After carefully sizing up the situation, we realized the reason for our inability to displace the German position. The front line of the enemy was immediately back of the crest of a small ridge, making it easy for the Boches to keep up a scathing fire without undue exposure to themselves.

Hastily glancing at the sky to see that there were no enemy Fokkers lurking around, I swung my formation into an attacking position and raked the entire crest of the ridge with machine-gun fire. Immediately the Germans let loose with their anti-aircraft defense. Upon pulling away after the first attack I noticed that our anti-aircraft guns were sending shells into our vicinity, which caused me to more carefully survey the skies. Immediately I discovered a patrol of nine enemy Fokkers rapidly approaching. I decided to make one more hasty attack at the troops on the ground and then attempt to better our own defensive position from the attack of the nine Fokkers.

After completing the ground attack I rapidly climbed the patrol and at the same time signaled both Obie and Red to close in. We had gained about 500 meters when I discovered the reason for the presence of the nine Fokkers. A German Hanoverian two-seater was regulating artillery on our ground-line troops which were attempting to take the ridge that we had just strafed. I swung my patrol over toward the Hanoverian and the Fokkers made immediate plans to attack us.

As we crossed over the position of the Hanoverian, Obie dived out of formation and coming up under the tail of the Hanoverian raked it with devastating fire from his machine gun. The Hanoverian fell off almost immediately and burst into flames, crashing right near the town of Cierges. Meanwhile the Fokkers had jumped us and were making things very interesting for Red and me. We were seriously outnumbered and were making a running fight of it all the time working our way toward home, when Obie climbed back into position and flew straight into the middle of the fight, shooting at everything that came in his way. This diversion put the Fokkers on the defensive and we immediately drove them back toward their line. Out of the group we shot down one Fokker and badly disorganized the rest.

Upon returning to the airdrome we discovered that all of our ships had been pretty badly shot up in the engagement, but no serious damage done. The first thing that Red said on landing was “Oh boy, did you see that Boche burn!” Obie replied that he had not seen the ship go down in flames but he was sure that he had gotten it from the way it fell out of control. Both Red and myself saw the two-seater burst into flames. The victory was later confirmed by our own ground troops. While Obie always claimed that it was a bit of luck on his part to have gotten the two-seater so quickly, I always claimed that it was very pretty flying.

The ships used at this time by our squadron were Spad’s, type 13, and the ship flown by Obie bore the squadron number 28. These ships were equipped with 220 H.P. Hispano motor with geared-down propeller. This was one of the earliest types of service machine to use a motor with a gear reduction. The Spad was a small biplane of about 30 feet wing-spread, the wings having neither stagger nor dihedral. The armament consisted of two Vickers machine guns mounted and synchronized to shoot through the propeller. In order to aim the guns the ship had to be aimed, in other words flown into firing position. This type of Spad was capable of a top speed of 135 miles per hour and up to that time, with the exception of the Fokker D-7, was about the best ship on the front.

O.B. Myers: Flying Hero
“O.B. Myers: Flying Hero” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (November 1931)

You have just read in the foregoing story how O.B. Myers won his Distinguished Service Cross. All of the authors in BATTLE ACES are real flyers and fighting aces, and believing that you would like to know a bit about them personally as well as to read the stories they write, we got Ken Porter to tell you the interesting story about Obie’s first flight across the lines. Usually, when a green peelot took his first trip over, he missed his landmarks, got jumpy under anti-aircraft barrage, and couldn’t even see enemy planes if he was attacked. But did Obie beat it at the first sign of trouble? Wow—we’ll tell the cockeyed flying world he didn’t! Ken Porter, who was assigned to break him in, tells this unusual story here for the first time.

Obie’s First Flight

By Kenneth L. Porter • Battle Aces, November 1931

EARLY in September, just after the completion of the St. Mihiel push, we were located at Rembercourt which was almost due south of Souilly and approximately sixty or seventy kilometers from Bar-le-Duc. For quarters we had tents which were pitched in a small clump of trees on the side of a hill just across the road from our airdrome. Whenever it rained the water succeeded in flooding our tent and making us very uncomfortable.

The St. Mihiel Drive had thinned our ranks considerably and we were expecting several replacements at any time. One evening, just after mess, we returned to our tent and discovered that five or six new pilots were temporarily housed in C Flight tent. It was customary, upon the arrival of new pilots, for the boys to look them over and decide in their own minds just who they wanted attached to their particular flights.

Among the new arrivals was one Lt. O.B. Myers and Lt. Hayward Cutting. “Whitie,” who was flight commander at that time, drew me aside and asked me what I thought about the new arrivals. I told him that if possible we should get Myers and Cutting attached to our flight. Whitie accordingly called on the C.O. that evening and requested that the two boys in question be attached immediately.

It is a rather peculiar situation when new pilots arrive on the Front as they are more or less under a tension and as a rule don’t act naturally. They seem to think that they have to throw some kind of a bluff to impress the boys who are already there. One of the outstanding characteristics of Obie was that he seemed perfectly natural and entirely unperturbed as to what the future held. Of course, all new pilots, upon arrival, immediately want to have a ship assigned to them and participate in regular patrols.

A few days after his arrival, Obie sought me out one morning and asked me when he could expect to participate in regular patrols. I pointed out to him that we were rather short on planes at the time, but I would see what I could do about the situation and try to get him a joy hop anyway. I had a talk with “Whitie” and we decided that we would let Obie use Lt. Bronson’s ship for a little joy ride, as Lt. Bronson was away on leave. I took Obie over to the airdrome and told him to take Bronson’s ship up for half or three-quarters of an hour to familiarize himself with a new type of plane and that after he felt that he was satisfied with the handling of the ship, he could go over to a nearby lake and practice shooting at the flying target which we had anchored there.

Obie went through these preliminary tests very satisfactorily and upon his return to the ground he collared me and pleaded with me to take him out for a look at the lines. I told him that if the weather improved a little, we would take an observation tour on the next morning.

When we awoke the following day, the weather looked none too good. There was considerable haze on the ground and the clouds were not over 1,200 meters high. Not only that, but it had been raining slightly during the night. I requested information of headquarters as to weather conditions on the Front and found they were about the same as those prevailing at our own airdrome. Accordingly, about ten o’clock, we decided to make a tour of the Front with a view to familiarizing Obie with the landmarks and conditions as they existed up there. Taking him into the operations tent where there was a map of our entire sector, I carefully pointed out the exact route we were to follow.

Now, among other things that are lacking when a pilot arrives on the Front is his ability to see things from the air. Some pilots acquire it very quickly, while others take time, but as a rule when they do acquire it, it happens all of a sudden. I told Obie that we would fly due east to St. Mihiel and from there to the north over the ridge of hills to Verdun. From Verdun we would swing west along our front line over Montfaucon to the river which goes through the middle of the Argonne forest.

It is a rather ticklish situation to have a new pilot with you on his first trip over the lines, so I was very explicit in requesting Obie not to pay too much attention to landmarks, but to stick close to me, and that above all, if we got into any trouble, to stay close on my tail and that I would lead him home. I further advised him that if we met any Germans he was to stay out of the fight and watch me, as he probably could learn more from watching my tactics than he could from getting himself shot up.

As it was immediately after the St. Mihiel Drive and just prior to the final Argonne push, there were practically no aerial activities and I felt fairly safe. In fact I didn’t expect to see anything more than a good anti-aircraft barrage. Finally feeling that Obie fully understood the instructions, we took off and made our way leisurely to the Front by way of St. Mihiel. We were flying pretty close up under the clouds at about a thousand meters altitude when we reached St. Mihiel. From time to time, I glanced back to see just where Obie was. Each time I looked back, it seemed that he was closer to me; in fact he was riding so close to my tail that it was a little bit uncomfortable.

Consequently when we arrived at St. Mihiel, the Boches let loose with their anti-aircraft guns and we received a very nice dose of it. I expected, after the barrage, to find Obie at a considerable distance away from me, but upon looking back I discovered that he was in his usual position—right on my tail. This was somewhat unusual, as most new pilots, upon experiencing their first heavy barrage, go through all sorts of aerial acrobatics and stunts and find themselves a considerable distance away from where they should be. I began to feel a little less worried about Obie and proceeded more confidently to Verdun.

We had almost reached Montfaucon when I noticed that the Germans were putting up one of their balloons just to the east. Everything had been going so smoothly that I decided to show Obie how a balloon was shot down. As we approached the Boches apparently divined my purpose, because they immediately started to pull the drachen down.

Prior to leaving the ground I had told Obie that in the event of attacking any balloons or going close to the ground he was to remain up above and watch. I therefore signaled him that I was going to dive and without looking around, did so. The balloon was about halfway down when I opened fire, raking it from end to end with machine-gun fire. Incidentally, I didn’t have any incendiary ammunition in my guns, as we were not supposed to carry it unless specifically ordered to strafe balloons. The air being damp and the envelope of the balloon covered with moisture, there was no apparent effect of burning as a result of my shots. I pulled off and climbed back up a short distance to attack the balloon once more, when to my astonishment I saw Obie giving the sausage a dose of the same medicine.

He pulled up from his attack and dove in again. By this time the balloon was pretty close to the ground. As I opened fire the second time, they let loose at me from the ground with everything they had—machine guns, flaming onions, rockets and what have you. Following my example, Obie also came in for a second dose, and was treated to the same display of fireworks. While we didn’t burn the balloon, we put enough holes in it to keep it on the ground for a couple of days while it was being patched. As I pulled up from my second attack and circled over, Obie climbed up and got into his usual position on my tail. By this time, I was beginning to feel that he was almost a passenger in my own plane and had no more fears that I would lose him, or could even shake him loose if I wanted to.

We had hardly reached our lines before I noticed a barrage of our own antiaircraft. This barrage was in front of me—or in other words, between me and home and would indicate that there were German airplanes in that vicinity. I felt that I would probably run into some kind of a fight before we had proceeded much further. Almost immediately I saw what the cause of the excitement was—a two-seater Halberstadt, which was regulating artillery fire on our troops, The clouds were so low that I didn’t like the looks of the situation because I felt that the two-seater would probably have some chasse protection. However, I couldn’t seem to find them and decided that the two-seater must be done away with. We already had him blocked off from home and so I now endeavored to force him still further back into our lines where the advantage would be much more in my favor. However, the Jerry seemed to think otherwise and headed straight for home. Consequently, I again signaled to Obie to stay up above, and dove in to attack.

Then I put the ship into a steep dive and came up under the tail of the two-seater, slightly from one side. I got in about ten rounds before I fell off, and was swinging around to make another attack when, to my astonishment, again Obie was attacking the two-seater from above. I immediately turned sharply and gave him another burst from below, with the result that the two-seater went down out of control. Meantime, Obie had climbed back up and I was probably 400 meters below him, when two German Fokkers dropped down from the clouds. For a few minutes I was so busily engaged that I had no more than a passing moment to think of Obie. I was hoping that there were no more than two of them, and that he had not been surprised by the attack. I finally got on the tail of one of the Fokkers and was giving him the works when I heard guns and was aware of bullets going by my head and realized that another Boche was immediately on my tail.

It was necessary for me to pull over in order to protect myself. As I did so, I heard the sound of some more guns, and both the Jerry and Obie dove past me hell-bent. We now had the two Dutchmen below us and I swung back to renew hostilities, but by this time I discovered that we had drifted considerably into German territory, and as we had been out about an hour and a half, we only had about enough gas to get us home. Consequently, I dove in front of Obie and signaled him to follow me. Then we turned back home. We arrived without any uneventful happenings other than my mixed feelings and amazement at the show this new pilot had put up.

After each patrol it is customary for a pilot to make out a combat report. I was interested to see what kind of one Obie was going to make of his first flight. While we were in the operations tent preparing to make out these reports, the flight sergeant came in and reported that Lieutenant Myers had eight bullet holes in his plane and that the tail of my ship had so many in it he couldn’t count them. I told Myers to go ahead and make out his report. He advised me that I had better make mine out first, as, while he knew we had shot at a balloon, engaged a two-seater and two Fokkers in combat, he had no idea where the action occurred. This, of course, was no more than was to be expected from a man who is unfamiliar with the territory over which he has flown. I therefore wrote out my report and Obie practically wrote “ditto.”

Later we received confirmation of the victory over the two-Seater, and the fact was also mentioned that we had succeeded in forcing the Germans to pull down one of their balloons. While we didn’t claim a victory over either of the Fokkers, one of them was reported to have crashed just inside the German lines. Obie, in his first show, had proved himself to be decidedly an exception to the average both as to attitude and results.

The 147th
The 147th Aero Squadron They are, standing, from left to right, 1Lt Oscar B Meyers, 2Lt Arthur H Jones, 2Lt Edward H Clouser (adjutant), 2Lt Ralph A O’Neill (five victories), ILt James A Healy (five victories), 2Lt Charles P Porter, Maj Harold E Hartney, commander 1st Pursuit Group (seven victories), Capt James A Meissner, commander 147th Aero Squadron (eight victories), 1Lt Heywood E Cutting, 1Lt James P Herron, 2Lt Francis M Simonds (five victories), 1Lt George H Brew, 2Lt G Gale Willard, 2Lt Cleveland W McDermott and 1Lt Collier C Olive. Squatting, from left to right, ILt Walter P Muther, 2Lt Frank C Ennis, 2Lt Louis C Simon Jr, 1Lt G A S Robertson, 2Lt Stuart T Purcell, 2Lt Thomas J Abernethy, 1Lt Horace A Anderson (supply officer), 1Lt Josiah P Rowe Jr, 2Lt James C McEvoy and 2Lt John W Havey (armament officer)

Both of these stories are featured in our collection of stories by O.B. Myers—The Black Sheep of Belogue: The Best of O.B. Myers which collects his Black Sheep of Belogue stories featuring Yank Ace Dynamite Pike and his trusted mechanic Splicer Teale and The Mongol Ace stories which pits American pilot Clipper Stark against the seemingly invincible “Mongol Ace”—Janghiz Kaidu, a descendant of Genghis Kahn who has joined the German army. Some great stories!

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 3

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

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

The correspondence continues . . .

 

Feb. 3, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

    It was so nice to heer the enthusiastic agreement with our 50-50 idea on good old G-8. We’re working on it. Betty came up with an idea a while ago. She said it seemed that Walt Disney would be the only outfit on the coast or anywhere to do justice to G-8 if he came back for movies and/or TV. Betty always was the brains of our family and that proves it. Of course, Disney, when the time is right. I believe this is something that needs care and good, Efceajiy buildup (if we live so long) if we can get the idea off the ground at all. But strange things happen. Sax Rohmer’s brother-in-law is a friend of ours down here. Bill said some outfit paid Sax $4,000,000 for all rights to Fu Manchu not long before his death and the old Chinaman had been outmoded and outdated for many years. TV is a hungry monster and no telling which ways the giant jaws may snap. Certainly not our way, likely, but it’s just as well to be prepared.

    I liked the way Erle Gardner handled Perry Mason for TV. Of course we haven’t got a Perry Mason but the approach (and it does seem we do have a sizeable ready-made audience), seems to me, should be the same, slowly and carefully until we get things right. I could use a little or a lot of money myself at this or any time (who couldn’t) but not to the extent that we have to make a quick sale at sacrifice to a well done product. Last night I watched the rehash of the 1946 spy movie 13 Rue Madeleine on our TV. The review said it was GOOD. I decided after watching it that some of the old G-8s could show Madelein some real suspense. Kind of got me itching to get things going. Anyway, we’ll see.

    I’m writing mainly to say thanks and to give you our new temperary address. Don’t feel you must answer this, but any ideas are always welcome. We’ve rented out Coral Gables shanty till April 10th to some nice folks (we hope) from Darien, Conn. So we’re very comfortable near Betty’s folks In a one bedroom apartment where we’ve spent two winters before this, secomd floor overlooking a lovely garden, coconut palms, avacado and grapefruit trees outside the window and such. And right now it’s in the mid 70s. How about you and Shirley coming on down? We’ve got the big, old Chrysler to get around in.

    Bob Swift of the Herald Sunday Magazine said last time I talked to him that the photo lab hasn’t brought down your G-8 mad yet. Soon as they do he’ll return it to you. Meantime, he’s slated the article for Sunday magazine early in March.

                    Best,
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

February 5, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

    Let’s all Keep our fingers crossed that G-8 hits the TV screens!

    It was good to hear from you again – and let’s hope a sale is made. I agree with you that G-8 could show many of these programs some real suspense.

    Be sure to send me a copy of the Herald Sunday Magazine when G-8 makes his bow early in March.

    Wish we could get down to see you, but Shirl and the kids and I usually go north to ski during the winter time.

    Your set-up sounds terrific and I can lmaglne life must really be pleasant in your Florida home.

                    Best,

 

 

The Miami Herald Sunday Magazine feature on Robert J. Hogan and G-8 and his Battle Aces would not see print until July of 1962. Our correspondence picks up next week with notes between Bob Swift and Henry Steeger.

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 2

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

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

Responding to Steeger’s letter of the 11th, Hogan fills Steeger in on the interview with Bob Swift for the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine and talk of the rights structure to the G-8 stories and the possibility of a G-8 television show. . .

 

January 22, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

    So good to get your letter of December 11th. Thanks for your congrats and your always kind words.

    We’ve had the interview with Bob Swift, Editor of the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine, and photographer. Also met Jim Eussell, Business and financial Editor of the Herald, who as a Louisiana boy had G-8 mania. These G-8 fans I’ve met and heard from in recent years are a high-type bunch of guys, literate and respected. Fact, I’ve never met or heard from a G-8 reader who didn’t seem someone to be proud of. The G-8 interview, with pictures, was supposed to consume about an hour last Tuesday afternoon. It consumed 3½ hours Instead, and two days later Bob Swift talked for an hour and a half on the phone, all of which I enjoyed, of course.

    Bob is returning the magazine you sent him as soon as the photo lab at the Herald gets squared away for their color print from the cover. Then, I believe, he hopes to ask you for several more to choose typical passages from for the article. Also, he said, “I’d read every one if I could get them again.” That seemed to me a fantastic angle. Bob read G-8s as a boy. Now he’s editor of one of the largest magazine Sunday supplements in the country and still likes to read them. He said he enjoyed reading the novel you sent him just as much as when he was a kid. Said, as before, he couldn’t lay it down.

    That seems to be the opinion of others who have grown to positions of responsibility. A letter arrived the other day from an old reader who got our Coral Gables address from a recent SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. It was written on the stationary of one of the larger Madison Avenue advertising agencies and he signed himself; “Executive Producer Radio-TV Programming Department.” I’d like to think it’s a feeler for some use of G-8 in either of his mediums, but more than likely not. Anyway, it could be a wedge. He says, in part: “With regard to G-8, I would certainly like to see more of this kind of reading for my boy who is just about the age I was when I was first Introduced to our hero.” He also said he deplored a lack of back copies of the magazine and was trying to think of some way to get the past ones reprinted possibly as paperbacks. He went on about settling a little bet with another G-8 fan as to whether there was ever a woman villain in any of the G-8 stories. He ended the letter: “With many thanks again for everything you have done for us indirectly —-” There must be some smoke behind all these little signal fires, which might be to our advantage if handled correctly.

    You mentioned in your letter, Harry, that you had no sales set-up for a G-8 renaissance and suggested I try selling G-8 to one or several mediums. So far as adapting or scripting any of the old stories for TV or whatever, I’ve never done a script although my/stuff has sold to TV in GE and Loretta Young and to the movies, all of which was adapted in the studios, the only thing I might help out in, beside sales, would be in an advisory capacity. I’m also afraid any efforts to write new G-8 stories would lack the old zing of twenty or more years ago. Anyway, there were a hundred odd old stories, which the old readers have forgotten and, according to their many expressions of hope, would like to read over again in newly published paperback editions. Also new reader possibilities.

    I’ve thought of the autobiographical book I mentioned in my other letter (a backward look at the old pulp days with a G-8 novel added) as a possible build-up to a string of republished G-8 paperbacks, if we could sell the idea to any of the paperback publishers. This might eventually lead to the sale for TV. In any event, it Is a very long shot in the dark. However, with all the furor the old readers have whipped up, particularly in the nation-wide organization known as “The Society of World War I Aero Historians,” which boasts a pretty impressive membership of successful young executives, including the advertising guys I mentioned, something might go.

    Betty’s father, Vic Lambdin, lives near us. He, my father-in-law, has been political cartoonist and newspaper man all his life (now retired). He says this thing busting out as a feature in the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine could very well bring what is needed to set off G-8 as a big thing. Turns out there are upwards of 5,000,000 readers of the Sunday Magazine down here at this time of year, with Florida loaded at the peak with what some laughingly call “the nation’s most important people.” Vic says they’re likely to burn up the Hogan phone with various offers or whatever. I don’t count on it, but it would be fun up to a point and, If so, it would be well to be prepared. With that in mind, it seems that maybe we should have some better idea of rights, mine and yours, in this thing.

    Here is the way I recollect the G-8 set-up as to ownership. I remember near the start you told me it was understood that the magazine was yours. As long as I wanted to and/or could write the G-8 stories, that was fine. But if anything happened to me, you wanted Betty to understand that you would have to get someone else to write it under Robert J. Hogan. Of course we agreed.

    As to the rights to all stories I wrote for you, at first you purchased only first serial rights. Then, because some writers were selling second serial rights to competing magazines, you bought all serial rights. At the time you explained this to me, you said that at any time I had legitimate sales for my writing to mediums other than competing magazines you would release the rights back to me.

    So, from the above, you own the magazine and I own the story rights. Now it seems to me with the bare possibility of something some day coming of this G-8 furor in paperbacks, TV, radio or whatever, there could be overlapping of rights and interests here and there. Also, we’ve always had the best relations with each other, Harry, and never a line of written contract. It seems to Betty and me that the best way to handle this, for all concerned and our joint good, would be on a fifty-fifty basis on all past G-8 stuff. If G-8 went into paperbacks I would like to write a forward for each, telling how that particular story came to be written and how I got the idea for that menace or war machine which seems to be the main part that the old readers still go nuts over. That would be part of our joint paperback sales, if any.

    In other words, whatever we could make out of old G-8 we would split the gross take, you and I, fifty-fifty. We might need an agent, but so far we have never needed one, and if contracts required a careful check, your Popular Publications attorney might take care of it.

    There probably isn’t a chance in the world that this G-8 comeback will amount to anything. However, some crazy things are happening these days. And wouldn’t it be fun to see the old boy diving in again with Nippy and Bull flying wing in Spads 13 and 7?

    If this idea is agreeable with you—the feature story is due out in a week or two—would it be well for Bob Swift to mention in the article that the G-8 stories, series or whatever, are being submitted or negotiated for paperback and/or TV? How would you suggest wording it on the chance of raising some interest?

                    Our best to you and yours, Harry.
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

January 25, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

    Needless to say, I enjoyed your letter of January 22nd very much. It was nice to hear from you and it was good news that the popular demand for a return of G-8 and his Battle Aces appears to be growing.

    I think your idea for a fifty-fifty split on possible sales is very fair and I agree with your letter in every respect. Since I agree completely, I am sure it won’t be necessary for me to requote these points.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a pocketbook of G-8 stories or a television program? I’m sure that either one would be a real success. In fact, just the reading of your letter made me feel nostalgic again about Nippy and Bull.

    Here’s wishing us luck, Bob – and my kindest personal regards to you and the family.

                    Sincerely.

 

 

“Lives of the Aces in Pictures – Part 30: Captain Frederick McCall” by Eugene Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on January 21, 2015 @ 12:00 pm in

Here’s another of Eugene Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” from the pages of Flying Aces Magazine. The series ran for almost four years with a different Ace featured each month. This week we have his illustrated biography from the December 1934 issue featuring that famous Canadian Ace—Captain Frederick McCall!

By the end of the great war, McCall had become Canda’s fifth most successful flying aces with 35 confirmed and two unconfirmed victories. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross & Bar and the Distinguished Flying Cross!

After the war he went into civil aviation, trying his hand at Barnstorming and stunt flying as well as founding a pair of aviation companies. In 1920 he founded McCall Aero Corporation Limited which flew commercial freight and passengers and opened up regions of Canada that had previously been hard to reach. He later founded Great Western Airways in the late ’20’s once again flying cargo hither and yon. Including flying 200 quarts of nitroglycerin from Shelby, Montana to Calgary! On another occasion, he ignored all bad weather reports to fly a much needed doctor to the Skiff oil fields to treat two seriously injured workers. All the while, McCall worked to encourage the formation of Canadian flying clubs!

With the arrival of the Second World War McCall was recalled to service with the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Squadron Leader, based at numerous western Canadian bases.

McCall passed away in Calgary, Alberta on the 22nd of January 1949. He was 52.

“The S.E.5 and Lt. Lindsay” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on January 19, 2015 @ 12:00 pm in

Editor’s Note: Every month the cover of BATTLE ACES depicts a scene from a real combat actually fought in the War and a real event in the life of a great ace. The series is being painted exclusively for this magazine by Frederick M. Blakeslee, well-known artist and authority on aircraft and was started especially for all of you readers who wrote us requesting photographs of war planes. In this way you not only get pictures of the ships—authentic to the last detail—but you see them in color. Also you can follow famous airmen on many of their most amazing adventures and feel the same thrills of battle they felt. Be sure to save these covers if you want your collection of this fine series to be complete.

th_BA_3110THE COVER this month might be called “Turn, Turn Who’s Going to Turn.” Of course you know the answer, but just a second before the scene depicted occurred it was a toss-up whether the leading Boche would turn or whether the American ship would be flattened on its nose. However, the Jerry did the turning and all the others did likewise. This tactic of rushing head-on at each other was used by both sides. There were pilots who said that no German could stand up under the terrific strain of an impending collision. Of course this is not true. There must have been Boches who refused to turn, but since no one survived to tell of it, we only hear of the ones who did.

Such a battle of nerves happened to First Lieutenant Robert O. Lindsay of the 139th aero squadron near Bantheville on October 27th, 1918. While on a patrol in company with two others, he met three Jerries with the usual exchange of compliments. The combat took place at three thousand meters and after a sharp combat Lieutenant Lindsay shot down one. While he was maneuvering for position on the tail of another Jerry, he noticed a flock of eight Fokkers coming at him. Without a moment’s hesitation, he turned, and sped straight at the startled Boches.

The German leader held to his course until he saw that Lindsay was not going to turn and then he veered aside at the last moment. The others got out of the way as best they could. In a flash Lindsay was through the formation. Then he whirled around and dove on the last Fokker which, after the first burst, rolled on its back and started the long but swift plunge into eternity. Lindsay then streaked for home as the others in his patrol had done long before. The Jerries got themselves organized and searched an empty sky for the nervy Yank.

On the cover you see Lindsay halfway through the formation and seeing this you are inclined to say that the chances of a collision were remote. But there is an element you might not have taken into consideration—speed. We’ll say Lieutenant Lindsay was traveling over 125 m.p.h. and the Boches at the same speed. That would mean the Jerries were approaching Lindsay at well over 250 m.p.h. At that rate, it doesn’t take long for an object to pass a given point; and so, although the farthest planes from Lindsay seem a long way off, he actually grazed them in passing, for it took only the wink of an eye to close the distance between them.

For this exploit Lieutenant Lindsay won the Distinguished Service Order.

No doubt you will recognize the plane in the foreground as an S.E.5. This was not the type of plane flown by the 139th squadron at that time. In our series, we don’t always show the machines that we actually used in the incidents pictured, because frequently they were the same type, and one of our aims is to give you pictures of every one of the machines. We have used the S.E.5. before in a cover, but have not shown a drawing of it, therefore we include the drawing this month. The Fokker D.7 will be a feature on the December issue.

The S.E.5 and Lt. Lindsay
“The S.E.5 and Lt. Lindsay” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (October 1931)

The Hogan/Steeger Letters

Link - Posted by David on January 16, 2015 @ 8:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

On December 7th, 1961, prompted by the growing nostagia over World War I and G-8 and his Battle Aces in particular, Robert J. Hogan took the time to write to his old publisher and friend Harry Steeger. . .

 

December 7, 1961    

 

Dear Harry:

    For some time I’ve been going to drop you a line on the matter of an old friend. Tempus fidgets and none of us is getting younger, except one old geezer who seems to be looming out of the past to haunt me, bless him. He, according to books, mailed reports, phone calls and magazines articles, seems to be growing younger and it does me good to think that I gave birth to this full sized adult who, defying the laws of Nature and Biology, seems to be gradually taking a second hold on life. Namely good old G-8 and His Battle Aces.

    I received my first inkle of this shot in the arm for the old boy perhaps three years, yes? over three years ago, when a guy phoned me long distance from somewhere to tell me how much he used to enjoy G-8 and to ask me if I had any copies of G-8 magazines I would care to part with. I said I had none for sale or loan but that I did love his flattery. He went on to say that he had been trying to buy some old back copies of G-8 and recently had been offered a brace of three, without covers, but assured that the first page of contents was there WITH THE AUTHOR’S NAME visible. The back number mag merchant would part with these three for the meager price of $7.00 for the three. He said he had asked what he might get one or more with covers and in good condition for and was told that if such a rare item could be found anywhere they would run from $10. each up and up and up. That was well over 3 years ago.

    A year ago Betty picked up a well written contemperary paper back novel wherein some guy was sounding off on “My country right or wrong,” after which he apologized by saying, “Damned if I don’t sound like G-8 and his Battle Aces.” Then continued a few sentences of dialogue something like, “Damned if you don’t look like G-8,” and “Wasn’t that the best damned set of character stories that ever hit print?” etc. etc.

    Next thing, one of the boys in the Sparta PO said someone had come through asking where the house of Robert J. Hogan was. Said he wanted to see where G-8 stories were written. This was nearly 15 years after publication was suspended.

    I’ve had the general run of pleasant flattery all the way. But a few months ago the magazine section of the Miami Sunday Herald came out with a piece about World War I planes and the furor that is now cooked up. Mel Torme, the singer, is head of a club, as you likely know, who hold a kind of worship for World War I fliers and planes and who make a thing of collecting G-8 and his Battle Aces magazines. This article referred to G-8 as a fast returning popular character. I phoned the editor of the mag section and asked him, a nice guy named Bob Swift, how come he had mentioned G-8. He said, “Because it’s the hottest thing in present day collectors’ items. I read it, every issue, when I was a kid. Used to sit on the curb in front of the mag store where I bought it because I couldn’t wait to get home to read it.”

    The upshot of all this is that he wants to run a piece on ye old creator and writer of G-8 and His Battle Aces. I told him I had nothing on G-8 down here with me. He said he would write you and ask if you might have an old proof sheet or something you could send him of one of the old cover prints. He wants to do a special in full color in the Sunday mag. No doubt you have heard from him by now.

    On top of that comes an article in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED? October 30th 1961 issue, by Robert H. Boyle, titled HELL’S OLD ANGELS. On page 61 on and on under the paragraph head THE FLYING SPY he does some nice stuff on old G-8 and says that Hollywood and other sources are now probing the possibilities of making TV series out of World War I stuff and—well you can read it. You’ll get a kick out of it, I know.

    Wouldn’t it be something if they saw a good TV series in G-8 and His Battle Aces? I know that if or when G-8 sells to TV or whatever interests, you’ll see to it that they make fitting payment to the guy who originated and wrote the series. Believe me, we can use it.

    For now, I’m writing about another angle of this new G-8 popularity. Because of this furor that seems to have been growing over G-8, bless his handsome heart and diary, I’m planning to do a sort of autobiographical book about the old pulp days as I knew them and the development of said G-8 and His Battle Aces and how they grew. So many amazing and Interesting things connected with the writing of the magazine and the pulps in general. Why and how come practically every owner of a seat on the NY stock exchange came to read G-8 and His Battle Aces, a magazine aimed at age 14 I believe you said, and never missed a copy during the 30s. The fun we had writing for the pulps and the funny things that came up from the thousands of letters we received from fans all over the world. And I’m hoping I could have your permission (when I get the autobiog. part done) to publish one of the G-8 novels at the conclusion of the book, with illustrations, cover and all. At least some arrangement so any cost for such rights, if any, wouldn’t come out of me and my royalties.

    Best to Al Norton, Eva, Peg and any others of the old bunch who may still be about. And the best of the best to you, Harry. It’s beginning to look like we created an era that may live for some time in the memory of the old G-8 readers. How many total readers, would you guess, G-8 really had during the years? Seems about every young man I’ve ever talked to of that age range read the mag at some time.

                    Yours,
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

December 11, 1961    

 

Dear Bob:

    I can’t tell you what a big kick I got out of your letter of December 7th. It’s been a long time since we exchanged letters, and I’ve often wondered how you were doing.

    One of my chief regrets has been the demise of the pulp magazines. I thought they were great fun and G-8 was one of the best. I, too, have noticed the resurgence of popularity for G-8 and have seen his name mentioned even in newspaper pieces and magazine articles not mentioned in your letter. He must have struck a tremendous note of popularity which even we were not quite aware of. I was fascinated to read all of the listings made by you of his recent appearances. The old boy had a lot of fight in the beginning and he still has a lot of fight in him. More congratulations and felicitations to you, Bob. You did a magnificent job and you brought great happiness to what looks like all the kids of America. Certainly a large percentage of them.

    As you know, World War I planes are still very popular. People like to collect them and to look at them, much the same as old automobiles. They also like articles on old planes. Each time we’ve run an article in ARG0SY on old planes it has been extremely popular.

    Yes, I think a good TV series on G-8 and his Battle Aces would be quite some thing. Maybe you could sell some breakfast food company on the idea. There would certainly be no better person to write it than your noble self. However, we do not have any salesmen in this particular realm and, hence, could make no effort on our parts toward selling the property.

    An autobiographical book about the old pulp days would be most amuslng and I think quite a collector’s item. If you do it, I’m sure you would please many readers. If there is any way in which we can help, just call on us.

    It would be hard to guess how many total readers we had for G-8 during the years because, as you know, kids love to pass copies of the magazine around—so that each magazine could have had anywhere from 1 to 10 readers. In any event, it was a mighty large number.

    I am so glad for you and for us—but particularly you—that this resurgence of popularity has occurred. You certainly deserved it and we had a grand time putting the product together!

    All the best to you and your family, Bob.

 

 

Happy Anniversary!

Link - Posted by David on January 15, 2015 @ 12:00 pm in

No, not of Age of Aces Books, but of Popular Publication’s Dare-Devil Aces magazine! It was 83 years ago today that the first issue of Dare-Devil Aces hit the stands.

Popular Publications had been publishing for a few months over a year, and their Battle Aces magazine was doing well. Steeger had been able to get some of the best aviation writers out there for Battle Aces, so why not start up a sister mag—or in this case, a big brother magazine.

he First Issue Ad
Ad for the first issue of Dare-Devil Aces from the February 1932 issue of Battle Aces.

The Three Mosquitoes led off the issue with “The Night Monster.” Steeger had just rustled Oppenheim into the Popular fold, with the Three Mosquitoes first appearance being the previous month’s issue of Battle Aces! Here the Mosquitoes take on a dragon-like menace that has been terrorizing the Allied front lines. Entire armies fell before it—this dragonlike horror with flame-pointed breath and glimmering eyes. But there were three who dared challenge it—dared follow it down a sky trail of blood.

Next up is a short story by the incomparable O.B. Myers, “The Suicide Ace”—Those Fokkers gloated as they buzzed around their prey; they didn’t know he was of the already lost—that he fought not to escape but to hold them off for 14 minutes—14 minutes of living death.

Coming in next was “The Sky Killers” by Harold F. Cruickshank. Straight into that poison-gas barrage those two gutty Spads plunged, braving a hideous death in a mad scheme that meant victory or defeat for the Allies.

Steuart M. Emery was next to the deadline with “The Devil’s Flying Armada.” “Rescue Major Revel from the Boche prison camp!” That was the order that sent Joe and his buddy into peril skies on the most amazing adventure a pair of fighting fools ever tackled.”

“The Skeleton Flight” by William E. Poindexter was fifth in the flight. For weeks the ghost ship had patroled Allied skies. Now two Yanks were taking up the trail—determined to answer the grizly challenge with their life’s blood.

And flying in the safety position was Frederick M. Blakeslee with his Story Behind the Cover of a gallant British squadron that staged one of the most daring air raids of the war—”Revenge Bombs.”

Dare-Devil Aces would go on to be Popular’s longest running aviation title. In the early years of publication Steeger packed each issue full of every 14 year old boy’s favorite authors and series characters. There was Ralph Oppenheim’s Three Mosquitoes, Robert J. Hogan’s Red Falcon and later Smoke Wade, Harold Cruickshank’s Sky Devil, Donald E. Keyhoe’s Vanished Legion and The Jailbird Flight, Steve Fisher’s Captain Babface, C.M. Miller’s The Rattlesnake Patrol and Chinese Brady, as well as O.B. Myers and R. Sidney Bowen!

Hell’s Old Angels

Link - Posted by David on January 14, 2015 @ 12:00 pm in

In October of 1961, Sports Illustrated ran an article on the emerging hobby of collecting Spads, Nieuports and other real live airplanes from World War I. The article centers mainly around collectors Paul Mantz and Cole Palen, but it does mention the interest surrounding The Great War that was growing at the time with interst being shown by book publishers and movie and television producers. With a mention towards America’s number one World War flying Ace—G-8!


HELLS OLD ANGELS Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? You bet it’s a plane! To be precise, it’s two planes—both from World War I. Banking at right is a German Pfalz D-12, flown by Frank Tallman, a Hollywood stunt pilot with pluming scarf. Coming up under the tail is a Nieuport 28, piloted by Cole Palen of Rhinebeck, N.Y. Will the Nieuport get the Pfalz? Turn the page for more on the latest—and most esoteric—of hobbies.

The Playing Skies of World War I

by Robert H. Boyle (Sports Illustrated, 30 October 1961 (vol.15 no.18))

Every age in history has its admirers. Raymond Duncan, the dancer, wears a homespun tunic and longs for the glory that was Greece. The late Sol Bloom, Congressman, loved nothing more than to dress up as George Washington, the Father of our Country. A goodly number of Americans are so bewitched by the Civil War that they recently refought, with no noticeable change in the result, the Battle of Bull Run. Now the latest craze is World War I planes. Antique aircraft enthusiasts, joined by a smattering of sports car drivers, classic car buff’s and gun collectors, most of whom are psychologically driven to the exotic, have, in the last three years, seized upon World War I as an outlet for their romantic fantasies.

“The World War I interest is just doubling itself by the month,” says Robert McGrath, proprietor of the World War I Aero Bookshop in Roslindale, Mass. “With the advent of jets and missiles, aircraft lost their romance. A jet or a missile is just the carrier of a pilot. World War I pilots flew the plane. They were charioteers, and it was man against man.”


ORIGINAL COCKPIT of Spad 7 was meticulously restored by Owner James Petty of Gastonia, N.C., who spent six years searching the world for authentic parts.

Mel Tormé, the singer, a dedicated World War I fan, says, “People who are fascinated by flying are, if not disgusted, at least disillusioned by this jet age, this push-button age.” Two years ago Tormé and a number of other enthusiasts helped Hugh Wynne, an architect in Santa Ana, Calif., found The Society of World War I Aero Historians. The society now has upwards of 500 members in the U.S. and abroad and publishes a scholarly quarterly, Cross & Cockade Journal, given over to detailed articles on such subjects as the Austrian Berg single-seater and the Escadrille Lafayette. (”A lot of junk has been written about the Escadrille,” Wynne says, “and all kinds of people have claimed they were in it.”) In recognition of growing interest in World War I, the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton held a reunion for World War I flyers last June. The guests, led by Captain Eddie Rickcnbacker, America’s leading ace, looked on as pilots performed in vintage World War I planes. No one indulged in dogfighting, but the day that that returns may not be far off.

The World War I craze shows signs of catching on with a wider public. Li’l Abner, the comic strip, recently featured a dogfight between Captain Eddie Ricketyback and “Kaiser Bill’s Greatest Ace,” Baron Ludvig von Henhausen. A couple of Hollywood producers are racing to get their World War I series on TV first. (Actually, there may well be more than enough room for two. The World War I genre has, the Lord help us, all the exploitive potential of the Western.) Riverside Records, specialists in sports car engine sounds, have pressed World War I Fighter Planes in Action, the big selling point of which is the sound of two German Pfalz D-Xlls being pursued by two British Sopwith Camels. To add to the realism the sound track even includes machine-gun fire directed at the Bodies by a French infantryman, who opens up, according to the jacket notes, “a little soon to be effective.”

The book publishing business, too, is beginning to take note of World War I interest. The leader in the field is Harleyford Publications Limited of England. The firm has brought out several lavishly illustrated and expensive ($8.50 each) books, e.g., Air Aces of the 1914-1918 War and von Richthofen and The Flying Circus, which The Society of World War I Aero Historians has pronounced to be “a noble effort.” The main outlet for Harleyford in the U.S. is Gordon’s Bookshop on 59th Street in New York City, hitherto the unofficial headquarters for automobile cultists of all kinds.

The Flying Spy

Long-forgotten histories of World War I aeronautics are suddenly being sought after as classics, and prices have tripled in the past few years. A fine copy of Norman Hall’s Balloon Buster Frank Luke of Arizona brings $30. Hall and Nordhoff’s two-volume study, The Lafayette Flying Corps, sells for up to $ 150, and the war letters and memorial volumes, dedicated to such flyers as Edmond Genet, Norman Prince, Victor Chapman and Hamilton Coolidge fetch as much as $75 apiece. The latest writer to come on strong is Elliott White Springs. His books, written in the ’20s, are common, but since his death two years ago interest in his work has revived. (An eccentric mill owner, Springs is perhaps best remembered as the author of the saucy Springmaid advertisements. An ace in World War I, he wrote a handful of flying stories and novels, notably War Birds, that were so astonishingly successful that they earned him $250,000.)

Even pulp magazines of the ’20s are in demand, particularly copies of the monthly, G-8 and His Battle Aces. G-8, it may be recalled, was not only the Master American Flying Spy but a master of the makeup kit. Whenever G-8 got in a tight spot, which was about every other page, he removed his makeup kit “from its secret hiding place,” disguised himself and quickly outfoxed the hated Huns who were searching the woods for that “verdammter Kerl!” Little did they know that the old farmer bicycling down the road was the Master Spy making his getaway. Assisting G-8 were his Battle Aces, big Bull Martin, “former All-American halfback,” and Nippy Weston, “the little terrier ace who defied superstition by flying Spad No.13 and who delighted in laughing in the very face of death.”

Of course, the most desirable possession any World War I hobbyist can have is a plane. According to a recent count taken by Professor Dean H. Obrecht and Leonard E. Opdycke of Rochester, N. Y., there are 70 authentically restored World War I planes in the U.S. today, 35 of them in flying condition. In addition, there are 44 replicas, which do not rank as high in the scheme of values as do restorations. If the plane is almost exactly as it was the day it left the factory or the day it arrived at the front, it is incomparably desirable. Restoration or replica, it is important to have an original engine. “The airplane can always be built,” explains Cole Palen, a prominent collector, “but building the engine is something else again.”

It is perfectly all right for a licensed pilot to fly a World War I plane today as long, of course, as the plane can pass Federal Aviation Agency inspection. (One collector was irked when an FAA inspector grounded his Spad because of rents in the original linen wing skin. “I thought it was all right,” the collector said, “but he was new, and I guess he was afraid.”)

Aloft, World War I planes are prohibited from flying over cities and villages or any open area of assembly. Though this would tend to indicate some doubt about the durability of the planes, pilots say that with the necessary maintenance the planes hold up reasonably well. In fact, many of the planes can outclimb and outdive light planes of comparable size today. A Spad, for instance, can climb 1,000 to 1,200 feet a minute, a respectable figure for almost any single-engine private plane. However, there are some problems, mainly in landing. The landing gear was built for grass, and a pilot who alights on concrete may as well write off the plane. A Spad is especially difficult to land because of its built-in urge to ground-loop. The Spad has too much weight in the tail, 333 pounds to be exact, and when it touches down in the classic three-point position, it shows a compulsive urge to go down the field backward instead of forward.


Paul Mantz (right) chats with X-15 Pilot Scott Crossfield checking out a Lincoln Standard.

There are three major collections of World War I planes in the U.S. The largest, 45 planes in all, belongs to Paul Mantz, three-time Bendix trophy winner and stuntman (he was the first in Hollywood to fly through an open hangar), who keeps the fleet on hand for the movies. (Counting all types of aircraft, Mantz once owned 600 planes, ranking just ahead of Nationalist China as an air power.) Alas, some purists look down upon Mantz’s collection. “He cuts up his planes a lot,” says Hugh Wynne, “and doesn’t worry much about preserving the original design. For example, he has a Nieuport with a couple of feet clipped off the end of each wing. I don’t know the engineering principle behind the alteration, but I guess it was done to get added speed for racing. Then, too, he has a Fokker D-VII that looks all right outside but doesn’t have the original engine. We aren’t lotus eaters on this subject, you understand, but we just feel that Mantz’s collection is not outstanding from a historical standpoint.”

Wynne has more respect for the collection of Frank Tallman, also a stunt pilot. Tallman, 42, whose father flew for the Navy in France, has been collecting World War I planes for 15 years, and he now has six of them. The prize of the collection is a Pfalz D-XII (the one Riverside used in its recording). Unfortunately, he wrecked it at Wright-Patterson in June after the engine stalled at 400 feet. He ground-looped on landing and smashed the lower right wing and landing gear. Tallman was unhurt. A dashing, mustachioed chap, Tallman revels in wearing riding boots, breeches and a white silk scarf. “When he gets dressed up,” an acquaintance remarks, “he looks like G-8 for sure.”


Collector Cole Palen shows one of his gems, a Fokker D-VH, at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.

In the East the outstanding collection belongs to Cole Palen, 35, an aviation mechanic. While learning his trade at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, Palen became enamored of half a dozen World War I planes on exhibit in the field’s museum. When the field had to make way for, of all things, a shopping center, he put in a successful bid for the planes. “It wasn’t much,” he says, “but it was every cent I had at the time.” A few years ago he bought a 100-acre farm outside Rhinebeck, N.Y., cleared a runway through pastures and began building the Old Rhincbeck Aerodrome, a replica of a World War I base in France. To raise money for its construction he has flown his planes at air shows all over the country, and he recently picked up a substantial sum exhibiting his Blêriot XI for a Wings brassiere advertisement.

Though much work remains, the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is open to the public for a modest admission charge. Palen has landscaped the grounds so that visiting cars are hidden behind an embankment, the only cars out in the open being a 1917 Maxwell truck and a 1910 Sears auto buggy. “I want to preserve the spirit of a World War I aerodrome,” he says. The corrugated hangar is decorated with World War I posters admonishing the viewer to halt the Hun by buying Liberty bonds. Visitors are free to inspect the planes. The most colorful is a Fokker D-VII rendered in a mottled camouflage pattern with a red-and-white polka dot squadron designation on the tail. Palen, decked out in riding trousers, scarf, helmet and goggles, acts as guide. As an added touch, a white handkerchief trails from the top of his helmet. “That’s to wipe the oil off the goggles,” he explains.

A lot of color

The tour over, some visitors are permitted to clamber into the cockpit of a Nieuport 28 and try out the controls. The plane is tied down, but there is a great sense of exhilaration as Palen starts the engine. There is even more if the engine happens to catch fire, which it is prone to do. “That adds a lot of color,” says Palen, eyes aglitter. “In fact, it’s got to the point where we might get it on fire on purpose.”


Most exoteric of Palen’s collection is a replica of a Demoiselle of 1910 called the “infuriated grasshopper.” Original flew to 8,000 feet.

 


pages 56+57


pages 58+59


pages 60+61


pages 62+63

 

“The Pfaltz Scouts and Lieutenant Alexander” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on January 12, 2015 @ 12:00 pm in

Editor’s Note: Every month the cover of BATTLE ACES depicts a scene from a real combat actually fought in the War and a real event in the life of a great ace. The series is being painted exclusively for this magazine by Frederick M. Blakeslee, well known artist and authority on aircraft and was started especially for all of you readers who wrote in asking for photographs of war planes. In this way not only do you get pictures of the ships—authentic to the last detail—but you see them in color. Also you can follow famous airmen on many of their most amazing adventures and feel the same thrills of battle they felt. Be sure to save these covers if you want your collection of this fine series to be complete.

th_BA_3109THE BEST way to tell the story of this month’s cover is in the words of the citation. The pilot was First Lieutenant Stirling C. Alexander of the 99th air squadron and the incident pictured happened in the region of Landres-et-St. Georges, on October 6th, 1918. Here it is.

“He, with Lieutenant Atwater, observer, while on a photographic mission, was forced back by seven enemy pursuit planes. A few minutes later he returned over the lines and while deep in enemy territory was cut off by twelve enemy planes (Pfaltz scouts). He maneuvered his plane to give battle and so effectively managed the machine that he, with his observer, was able to destroy one and force the others to withdraw. With his observer severely wounded, he managed to bring his plane safely back to his own aerodrome with his mission completed.”

Read over the last four words of the citation, and remember—he had twelve Boches to fight! Not three or four, which would have been plenty, but twelve swift pursuit ships that could fly circles around the, comparatively speaking, lumbering reconnaissance ship. With those odds against him he completed his mission. A real pilot!

It is hard to say who had the most important job, the combat pilot, or the reconnaissance pilot, but without any question the reconnaissance pilot had the hardest job. Where the combat pilot could pull out of a fight if anything went wrong, and, due to the speed of his ship, have a fair chance of getting away, the reconnaissance pilot in his slower ship had to rely on his observer’s aim. For him it was a case of fighting it out as best he could. If his observer was shot, or his guns jammed—well, it was just too bad.

The reconnaissance pilot’s work consisted of observing troop movements, often deep in enemy territory; photographing, sometimes at low altitudes; special missions or spy planting (a job no one wanted); artillery direction and, when necessity arose, of fighting his way home.

To fly on such a mission against such overwhelming odds was no mean feat.

The combat pilots of both sides were always on the lookout for the two-place ships, as they were considered cold meat for two or more fighting planes. There is only one case on record where a reconnaissance ship was unmolested. Even archie ignored this particular plane. Combat pilots would sight it from a distance and dive in to attack, but upon recognizing it, would veer off with a smile and look for victims elsewhere.

The ship was a German and was called “The Flying Pig.” It used to come out over the lines every afternoon in the same place, fly up and down and then go home. It never did any harm as far as could be observed and from the lumbering and clumsy way it was flown it derived its name. It was believed to be piloted by an old woman. When a combat ship approached too near, its attempts to escape were pathetic. It was a point of honor among Allied pilots never to harm it. One day, however, a new pilot spied it and dove to the attack. He had heard of this particular ship, and on coming close recognized it and zoomed away. No combat ship had ever come as close as this and the poor “Pig” nearly turned itself inside out getting to safety. Since it never appeared again, it was assumed that the pilot died of fright.

Now let us consider the Boche ship pictured on the cover. It is a Pfaltz scout DIII. Lieutenant Bert Hall of the French army had several battles with Pfaltz scouts and has this to say about them. “The new German Pfaltz single-place ships are damned good. They are as fast as hell and maneuver beautifully.”

The first ship of this type landed in the British lines near Bonnieul, on February 26th, 1918. It is first cousin to the Albatros and is like that ship in many ways. To quote from the report of the first machine captured—”It is light in construction and clean-cut in design, and from the great amount of care that has been taken to keep the fuselage of very good streamline shape, and so free from irregularities, it appears to be the result of a serious attempt to produce a scout machine with good performance. It is powered with a 160 h.p. Mercédés engine. Two Spandau guns fire through the propeller. Its speed at ten thousand feet is 102½ m.p.h. and at fifteen thousand feet, 91½ m.p.h. The estimated absolute ceiling is seventeen thousand feet.

“The machine is stable laterally and un-stable directionally and longitudinally. It tends to turn to the left in flight, is not tiring to fly and is normally easy to land.”

The Germans succeeded in producing a beautiful ship at all events, and one that did a great deal of damage. The faults of the DIII were corrected in a new modle, but it never appeared at the Front as the war ended before it could be brought up. Those who saw it after the Armistice said it was beter looking that the DIII, and if looks meant anything, a ship not to pick a fight wit.

The Pfaltz Scouts and Lieutenant Alexander
“The Pfaltz Scouts and Lieutenant Alexander” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (September 1931)

The original painting for this month’s cover was up for auction in 2012 by Heritage Auctions. They listed it as “The Jailbird Flight, Battle Acs pulp cover, September 1931.” Oil on canvas, it measures 30¼” by 21¼” and was initialed—fmb—by Blakeslee in the lower left. It’s condition reported as: “In-painting from previous frame abrasions visble along the right extreme edge; very light surface grime in the white painted areas; stretcher creases on the upper and right edges faintly visible; area of craquelure in the upper right corner; otherwise in very good condition. Framed to an overall size of 36¾ x 28 inches.” They estimated it would sell for between $3,000 and $5,000, but in the end sold for $2,250.

“Lives of the Aces in Pictures – Part 29: Oberleutnant Max Immelmann” by Eugene Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on January 7, 2015 @ 12:00 pm in

Here’s another of Eugene Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” from the pages of Flying Aces Magazine. The series ran for almost four years with a different Ace featured each month. This week we have his illustrated biography from the November 1934 issue featuring Der Adler von Lille—The Eagle of Lille—Oberleutnant Max Immelmann!

Max Immelman was the first German World War I flying Ace. He was a pioneer in fighter aviation and the first aviator to win the Pour le Mérite awarded by Kaiser Wilhelm II—Prussia’s higest order of merit. His name has become synonymous with with a common flying tactic—the Immelmann turn—in which the plane performs a simultaneous loop and roll thus allowing him to dive back at a pursuing plane!

Credited with seventeen (although some would dispute this and say fifteen) kills to his name, Immelmann met his fate on the 18th of June 1916 when he was shot down by British pilot George McCubbin.

“The R.E.8’s and Lieutenant Potter” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on January 5, 2015 @ 12:00 pm in

Editor’s Note: Every month the cover of BATTLE ACES depicts a scene from a real combat actually fought in the War and a real event in the life of a great ace. The series is being painted exclusively for this magazine by Frederick M. Blakeslee, well-known artist and authority on aircraft and was started especially for all of you readers who wrote us requesting photographs of war planes. In this way you not only get pictures of the ships—authentic to the last detail—but you see them in color. Also you can follow famous airmen on many of their most amazing adventures and feel the same thrills of battle they felt. Be sure to save these covers if you want your collection of this fine series to be complete.

th_BA_3108THE COVER this month tells one of the best stories of the War, and that’s saying a lot, because it’s hard to find one that isn’t good. It shows First Lieutenant William C. Potter winning his Distinguished Service Cross—a decoration well earned, as you shall see.

A formation of eight reconnaissance machines, when on a daylight bombing mission in the vicinity of Dun-sur-Meuse, on September 26th, 1918, was attacked by a force of enemy planes three times its number. Now twenty-four Jerries in one formation is a whale of a formation, believe me. Go out some nice clear morning, point your finger at twenty-four places in the sky, and you’ll get some idea of the amount of ammunition floating about that September day.

All hell broke loose when the two formations met. Potter, with his observer, was in the thick of it, and the Jerries had good cause to remember him that day. The fight had been on only a few moments when Potter noticed that his leader’s plane was pulling away from the battle toward Germany, and that the pilot was making desperate efforts to control the machine. The observer’s guns were inactive. Here was a bit of cold meat for the Boche flyers. They weren’t long in realizing it. A half dozen or more left the dogfight and tore in to finish the Yank off, but they hadn’t reckoned with Potter. He also left the fight, and, “under conditions demanding greatest courage and determination flew in close so as to protect him from the rear.”

He beat off the immediate attack on his leader, but by this time they were both well over Germany. The Allied ships had disappeared, and the disabled plane showed no indication of turning. Potter of course knew that something was desperately wrong. The observer was invisible—gone overboard perhaps—but why didn’t the pilot turn? Was he lost? Couldn’t he turn? That was it! The meaning of the pilot’s frantic signaling at last became clear. He couldn’t turn! For some reason the controls were jammed.

Well, he couldn’t leave a helpless comrade to the mercy of the Fokkers, so with renewed energy he fought on, determined to protect his leader to the last drop of blood or gas. By now they were deep in enemy territory and getting deeper every second. Chances of regaining their own airdrome were fast decreasing. The fight raged furiously, the only advantage on the side of the Americans being the Jerries’ inability to separate them, and the great number of German ships which had to watch each other to avoid collision.

Conditions were getting desperate, when suddenly, to Potter’s relief, the leader made a turn about, headed at last for home. Lieutenant Potter turned with him. Regaining his position he started to fight his way toward Allied territory, now miles ahead.

They had a long distance to go, gas was getting low and the ships were badly shot. But the planes continued to fly, and as long as the ammunition held out, the Yanks knew they now had a chance.

The frustrated Boche buzzed after them like a swarm of angry bees. Soon the two speeding planes were back over the lines where the Jerries decided to depart, helped in their decision by the presence of a few Allied wasps. The two tired pilots landed their riddled machines on their own airdrome on the last drop of gas.

It was found that the leader had been unable to turn because his observer had been killed early in the fight, and in falling had jammed the controls. It was only due to the skilled protection afforded by Lieutenant Potter that he had been given an opportunity to clear the jam.

The two ships pictured are not the machines that figured in this experience; we show these because they are more famous than the ones actually used. They are R.E.8’s, also known as the Harry Tate, a British experimental machine, hence the letters R.E.

First produced in 1912, the R.E. had a Beardmore 120 h.p. engine. It gave some good climbs, but being somewhat troublesome to land, was not built in quantities and was more or less obsolete during 1918. Later developments of the type produced in 1914-15-16, showed greater speed and were used in active service for certain specific purposes. The R.E.8, being the eighth in the series, was used during the later period of the war. It resembled somewhat the B.E.’s, known as “Quirks”—two guns fired through the propeller, that was very often four-bladed, and one gun on a swivel in the observer’s cockpit. It had an R.A.F. 4A, 150 h.p. engine; its weight was 2,680 lbs.; speed at 5,000 feet, 103 m.p.h., and at 10,000 feet, 96 m.p.h. It could climb to 5,000 ft. in 11 minutes, 25 seconds, and to 10,000 ft. in 29 minutes, 5 seconds. It’s absolute ceiling was 17,000 ft. Besides reconnaissance work, it could give a very good account of itself in a fight.

The R.E.8's and Lieutenant Potter
“The R.E.8’s and Lieutenant Potter” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (August 1931)

Next week the cover of BATTLE ACES will show a Pfaltz, attacking a D.H.9 which First Lieutenant S.C. Alexander of the 99th Aero Squadron is piloting. The OCTOBER number will show First Lieutenant R.O. Linsay in an S.E.5 fighting a flock of Fokkers. Others in the series will be announced later. The present cover is the third in the series. Last month we featured the B.E. Fighter, and the cover of the June issue showed a flight of S.E.’s attacking a Boche balloon.

Next Page »