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“Golden Wings” by Jackson Scholz

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

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

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

 

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

 

Writing and Running Keep Jackson Scholz Busy

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


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

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

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

He doesn’t care for night clubs.

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

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

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

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

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

Scholz Not Blatant.

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

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

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

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

Writing Sport Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeps Detailed Diary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Became Newspaperman.

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

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

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

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

Traveled With Hahn.

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

Nor are all his records sprint records.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Children’s Applause Pleasing.

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

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

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

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

Throngs Left for Tea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raced on Berengaria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Eugene M. Frandzen painted the covers of Sky Fighters from its first issue in 1932 until he moved on from the pulps in 1939. At this point in the run, the covers were about the planes featured on the cover more than the story depicted. On the November 1936 cover, It’s a S.V.A. coming to chase of a Fokker D6 trying to thwart the Italians from moving a canon between mountains platforms!

The Ships on the Cover

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

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

An Almost Unknown Ship

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

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

Enemy Planes Come Closer

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

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

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

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

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

“Dreadnoughts of the Air” by Ralph Oppenheim

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

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

“Get That Gun!” by Ralph Oppenheim

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

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

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

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

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Eugene M. Frandzen painted the covers of Sky Fighters from its first issue in 1932 until he moved on from the pulps in 1939. At this point in the run, the covers were about the planes featured on the cover more than the story depicted. On the June 1936 cover, It’s the L.V.G. C6 being pursued through the Italian mountains by a Macchi M14!

The Ships on the Cover

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

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

Frantic Demands for Help

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

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

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

Blazing Cannon

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

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

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

“Hot Air” by Ralph Oppenheim

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“LET’S GO!” Once more, The Three Mosquitoes familiar battle cry rings out over the western front and the three khaki Spads take to the air, each sporting the famous Mosquito insignia. In the cockpits sat three warriors who were known wherever men flew as the greatest and most hell raising trio of aces ever to blaze their way through overwhelming odds—always in front was Kirby, their impetuous young leader. Flanking him on either side were the mild-eyed and corpulent Shorty Carn, and lanky Travis, the eldest and wisest Mosquito.

We’re back with the second of three tales of Ralph Oppenheim’s Three Mosquitoes we’re featuring this March for Mosquito Month! This week, Kirby experiences the pitfalls of pride when the Boche form an All-Ace squadron called the Avenging Yellow Jackets to take down the pesky Mosquitoes—while Shorty Carn and the lanky Travis urge caution, Kirby’s all guns ahead ready to rush in and take on all the Aces Germany can dish out. Problem is, believing his own press, he rushes into things foolishly and finds himself in “Hot Air!” From the February 2nd, 1928 issue of War Stories

The Boche was good and sore, tired of having his planes shot down one after another by the famous “Three Mosquitoes.” A special formation of Albatrosses, known as the “Avenging Yellow-Jackets,” was out to finish Kirby and his pals. Another of Oppenheim’s great flying yarns.

And check back next Friday when the inseparable trio will be back with another exciting adventure!

“Famous Sky Fighters, December 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

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STARTING in the October 1933 issue of Sky Fighters and running almost 5 years, Terry Gilkison’s “Famous Sky Fighters” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Gilkison would illustrate in a two page spread different Aces that rose to fame during the Great War.

Although Gilkison was probably better known for his syndicated newspaper work, he also provided black and white story interior illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. Gilkison provided similar features in a few other Thrilling Publications—there was “Famous Soldiers of Fortune” and later “Adventure Thrills” in Thrilling Adventures, Famous Crimes” in Thrilling Detective, and the fully illustrated air adventure stories of Buck Barton “The Flying Devil” in The Lone Eagle! He signed most of this work with only his initials “T.G.” to maintain a low profile and preserve his reputation as a syndicated newspaper cartoon artist.

The December 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Major David McKelvy Peterson, Werner Voss, and Captain Charles Guynemer!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features three Lieutenants—Rene Montrion, George “Lucky” Kyle, Max Ritter von Mulzer—and a Major—the incomparable Raoul Lufbery! Don’t miss it!

“Down from the Clouds” by Ralph Oppenheim

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MARCH is Mosquito Month! We’re celebrating Ralph Oppenheim and his greatest creation—The Three Mosquitoes! We’ll be featuring three early tales of the Mosquitoes over the next few Fridays as well as looking at Mr. Oppenheim’s pre-pulp writings. So, let’s get things rolling, as the Mosquitoes like to say as they get into action—“Let’s Go!”

The greatest fighting war-birds on the Western Front are once again roaring into action. The three Spads flying in a V formation so precise that they seemed as one. On their trim khaki fuselages, were three identical insignias—each a huge, black-painted picture of a grim-looking mosquito. In the cockpits sat the reckless, inseparable trio known as the “Three Mosquitoes.” Captain Kirby, their impetuous young leader, always flying point. On his right, “Shorty” Carn, the mild-eyed, corpulent little Mosquito, who loved his sleep. And on Kirby’s left, completing the V, the eldest and wisest of the trio—long-faced and taciturn Travis.

Let’s get things off the ground with an early Mosquitoes tale from the pages of the August 19th, 1927 issue of War Stories. A new C.O. has been assigned to the squadron and he can’t stand pilots who “grand-stand” which is the Mosquitoes stock-in-trade and boy do they catch hell when they get on the C.O.’s wrong side—that is until the C.O. gets in a jam and it’s trick flying that’ll save him when the Boche come “Down from the Clouds!”

The C.O. of the flying field was sore—the Three Mosquitoes, dare-devils supreme were doing their “grand-stand stuff” again. But when the C.O. found himself in difficulties, with Boche planes swarming all around him—things were different. The best flying story of the month.

And check back next Friday when the inseparable trio will be back with another exciting adventure!

“Fairey Hendons and the Gladiators” by Frederick Blakeslee

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FREDERICK BLAKESLEE painted all the covers for the entire run of Dare-Devil Aces. And each of those covers had a story behind it. For the June 1937 Dare-Devil Aces, Mr. Blakeslee’s paints a flock of Fairey “Hendons” bombing a big gun emplacement along with a flight of Gloster “Gauntlets”.

th_DDA_3706ON THE cover this month you will find a flock of Fairey “Hendons” bombing a big gun emplacement. They’ve come over just around dusk, when everything is quiet, and they’re giving the boys below plenty of hell.

As an escort, they have a flight of Gloster “Gauntlets,” those fast, speedy jobs that we’ve heard so much about recently. One of the most feared types of planes in the world, the “Gauntlet” is a tough baby to mingle with.

But we’re not concerned for the moment with the “Gauntlets.” We’ve devoted our attention to the nearest plane, the one without the streamlined pants on the wheels. It’s a “Gladiator” and gentlemen, what a job!

The “Gladiator” is a development of the “Gauntlet” and it’s really a better ship. You will notice that the “Gauntlet” is a two-bay wing job. Well, the designers saw fit to make the “Gladiator” a single-bay ship, and I think they were right.

Another deviation from the “Gauntlet” is the single-strut cantilever undercarriage. They constructed these babies so that they’d last and this single-strut business is a testimonial to their confidence.

When it comes to throwing steel around the sky, the “Gladiator” can take fine care of itself. Its armament consists of four machine guns, and they speak a language of their own. Personally, I wouldn’t want to speak with any of them.

When you talk about power, the “Gladiator” must be considered. In its motor-bed is a Bristol “Mercury IX,” a nine cylinder radial job. This power-house is air-cooled and supercharged, and when you give it a bit of throttle it goes places!

Do you want speed? This baby will do 255 m.p.h. at 14,500 feet, and it has a service ceiling of 32,800 feet.

The “Gauntlet” isn’t far behind in performance. It’s equipped with a Bristol “Mercury V.I.S.,” another radial, air-cooled engine. It boasts of speed of 230 m.p.h. at 15,500 feet and has a service ceiling of 33,500 feet.

Frederick Blakeslee.

The Story Behind The Cover
“Fairey Hendons and the Gladiators: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick Blakeslee
(June 1937, Dare-Devil Aces)

“Bagged in Bagdad” by Joe Archibald

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“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. The Boonetown miracle is sent to Bagdad to find out the lay of the land between Bagdad and Mosul—the strength of Turkish troops, the number of guns, and all that sort of thing. But most important of all, he is to ferret out the Turkish spy—Mustapha Murad. It is a dangerous job, that Phineas accomplishes in his own inimitable style. It’s the Arabian Nights a’la Phineas Pinkham! From the pages of the June 1937 issue of Flying Aces, it’s “Bagged in Bagdad!”

Off in Harun Al Raschid’s sinister land of mystery, Mussulman musclemen had muscled in, hence the Limeys’ battle layout didn’t look so lush. As for Phineas, both teams in the Big Scrap were after his scalp. For even though Beni Sentmi had scored a neat outfield assist, Mustapha Murad and Rancid Bey were next on the batting list. And they were ready to knock a Bagdad four-bagger right over the fez.

“Famous Sky Fighters, November 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on January 29, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

STARTING in the October 1933 issue of Sky Fighters and running almost 5 years, Terry Gilkison’s “Famous Sky Fighters” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Gilkison would illustrate in a two page spread different Aces that rose to fame during the Great War.

Although Gilkison was probably better known for his syndicated newspaper work, he also provided black and white story interior illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. Gilkison provided similar features in a few other Thrilling Publications—there was “Famous Soldiers of Fortune” and later “Adventure Thrills” in Thrilling Adventures, Famous Crimes” in Thrilling Detective, and the fully illustrated air adventure stories of Buck Barton “The Flying Devil” in The Lone Eagle! He signed most of this work with only his initials “T.G.” to maintain a low profile and preserve his reputation as a syndicated newspaper cartoon artist.

The November 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Major Edward Mannock, Lt. Clyde Balsley, and Lt. Victor Chapman!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Major David McKelvy Peterson, Werner Voss, and Captain Charles Guynemer! Don’t miss it!

“The Blackburn Shark” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on January 20, 2020 @ 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. For the March 1937 Dare-Devil Aces, Mr. Blakeslee’s paints a tale of British planes catching a battleship docked in a small seaside town.

th_DDA_3703THE scene of this month’s cover is any place your imagination cares to place it. For my own part, I thought a little seaside view might be pleasant and just took a stab at some water and somebody’s city. But the story behind the cover is obvious enough.

The British planes have caught a battleship in dock and are doing a job on it. I imagine the most interesting crate to the reader would be that torpedo carrier, number 720. This is the Blackburn “Shark,” though I imagine the side drawing of it above looks a bit different than the three-quarter rear shot on the cover appears. Its speed is 152½ m.p.h. maximum at 5,500 feet and a landing speed of
62½ m.p.h. The torpedo it lugs around through the sky weighs no less than 1500 pounds.

All the other ships but one, of course, are of the Hawker family. And if you’ve been guessing what that tricky little blue job might be, here goes:

It is the Swedish Svenska “Jaktfalk” single-seater fighter. In an imaginary war, you would naturally pick this ship to be allied with the British, especially when you consider the close relationship between these two nations. Its British-made, supercharged motor gives it a speed of 208 m.p.h. and its ceiling is 19,680 feet. Hope you liked it, and see you next month.—Fred Blakeslee.

The Story Behind The Cover
“The Blackburn Shark: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick Blakeslee
(March 1937, Dare-Devil Aces)

“Famous Sky Fighters, October 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on January 15, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

STARTING in the October 1933 issue of Sky Fighters and running almost 5 years, Terry Gilkison’s “Famous Sky Fighters” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Gilkison would illustrate in a two page spread different Aces that rose to fame during the Great War.

Although Gilkison was probably better known for his syndicated newspaper work, he also provided black and white story interior illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. Gilkison provided similar features in a few other Thrilling Publications—there was “Famous Soldiers of Fortune” and later “Adventure Thrills” in Thrilling Adventures, Famous Crimes” in Thrilling Detective, and the fully illustrated air adventure stories of Buck Barton “The Flying Devil” in The Lone Eagle! He signed most of this work with only his initials “T.G.” to maintain a low profile and preserve his reputation as a syndicated newspaper cartoon artist.

The October 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Colonel Charles Kerwood, S.A. Andree, Rene Fonck, Major Christopher Draper and the first licensed woman pilot in the US, Harriet Quimby!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Major Edward Mannock, Lt. Clyde Balsley, and Lt. Victor Chapman! Don’t miss it!

Dare-Devil Aces, February 1937 by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on January 6, 2020 @ 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. The February 1937 Dare-Devil Aces’ cover is the first of Mr. Blakeslee’s “Planes by the Numbers” covers where he has so many planes on the cover, he explains which plane is what with a legend on the story behind the cover page. He featured the Hawker Fury on the previous issue—on this issue he featured the other planes in the Hawker line of fighters.

th_DDA_3702SOME very particular gent wrote to me the other day. complaining about the covers. He yelled that I took too much liberty with facts, and grouped planes that seldom, if ever, are seen together. He must be a new reader, for I have oft stated that, as this magazine is a fictional enterprise, the covers try to keep pace with the contents. Of course the covers are slightly screwy! I’m afraid that they wouldn’t be very interesting if I showed you a squadron of planes that were exactly alike in every respect.

This month’s cover is an example of what I mean. About seven types of planes are represented, and although some of them are slightly out of place, I don’t think you’ll mind. Let me tell you about them.

You’ll notice that the silhouettes on this page are really ships on the cover, set in exactly the same positions.

No. 1 is the Hawker “Osprey”, a Fleet fighter that ordinarily operates from aircraft carriers and other ships of the Royal Navy. I don’t know just what it’s doing over the city. Maybe the guy is on leave. It has a top speed of 240 m.p.h.

No. 2 is a Hawker “Hart”, the standard single-engined day bomber of the R.F.A. It is the basic type for most of the other Hawkers, and does 184 m.p.h.

No. 3, there are two of them, are German Ardo fighters.

No. 4 is a Fairey “Hendon” night bomber, and don’t ask me what it’s doing out in the daytime. Maybe it hasn’t been home yet. You’ll notice that it has left the rest of the flight and is off by itself. Ginsburg is probably at the wheel, and you know that guy!

No. 5 is a Hawker “Hardy”, a general purpose biplane that is particularly adapted for use in India and the Near East. Details are lacking on this, however.

No. 6 is a Hawker “Audax”, an Army cooperation crate with a speed of 152 m.p.h., which is practically walking. The way it’s heading now, the pilot would have done better to stay in bed.

No. 7 is a Bristol “Bulldog”, a really high-class piece of business. It does 175 m.p.h. at sea level, and 218 m.p.h. at 20,000, which is really lugging the mail.

So look them over, gents, and remember that I warned you.

The Story Behind The Cover
“The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick Blakeslee
(February 1937, Dare-Devil Aces)

“Famous Sky Fighters, September 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on January 1, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

STARTING in the October 1933 issue of Sky Fighters and running almost 5 years, Terry Gilkison’s “Famous Sky Fighters” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Gilkison would illustrate in a two page spread different Aces that rose to fame during the Great War.

Although Gilkison was probably better known for his syndicated newspaper work, he also provided black and white story interior illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. Gilkison provided similar features in a few other Thrilling Publications—there was “Famous Soldiers of Fortune” and later “Adventure Thrills” in Thrilling Adventures, Famous Crimes” in Thrilling Detective, and the fully illustrated air adventure stories of Buck Barton “The Flying Devil” in The Lone Eagle! He signed most of this work with only his initials “T.G.” to maintain a low profile and preserve his reputation as a syndicated newspaper cartoon artist.

The September 1936 installment, from the pages of Sky Fighters, features Captain John Blair, Lt. Paul Neibling, and French sky fighter Lt. M. Navarre!

Next time in “Famous Sky Fighters”, Terry Gilkison features Colonel Charles Kerwood, S.A. Andree, Rene Fonck, Major Christopher Draper and the first licensed woman pilot in the US, Harriet Quimby! Don’t miss it!

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