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“Code of the Cuckoos” by Alexis Rossoff

Link - Posted by David on August 7, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a fun tale of the Cuckoo’s Nest from the prolific pen of Alexis Rossoff. The Cuckoo’s Nest stories ran in War Birds in 1930. The Cuckoo’s are an outfit a lot like Keyhoe’s Jailbird Flight—a group of hell cats who found themselves afoul of military rules who have been given another chance to die fighting rather than rotting in Blois cell.

Twenty saddened Cuckoos stood with heads uncovered and bowed in the eerie ghost dampness of the new dawn, paying their last respects to all that remained mortal of Jerry Coyne. A sorrowful grease-ball smoothed the surface of the fresh mound while Johnny Walker—his voice husky with emotion—intoned the war-bird benediction. “God, be kind to Jerry Coyne. He was a good scout and our buddy.” The Cuckoos added their earnest “Amen,” and the ordeal was at an end. One more of the flock had gone West to paradise on spirit wings. Who would be the next to follow Jerry Coyne? That was the question. From the April 1930 issue of War Birds it’s Alexis Rossoff’s “Code of the Cuckoos!”

Already the throbbing sky in the distance was heavy with dire promise. It was a grim, spectacular game—the cards were dealt out to a strange group of fighting war birds—as strange as that part of the Front had ever heard of, and the stakes were the now-worthless lives of those men. Johnny Walker winged on to an ominous rendezvous with death. A yarn about an outfit you will never forget!

“The General’s Glasses” by O.B. Myers

Link - Posted by David on July 3, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week, he have \a story from the pen of a prolific pulp author O.B. Myers! Myers was a pilot himself, flying with the 147th Aero Squadron and carrying two credited victories and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

When the visiting General sent Jake Munns back to his headquarters to fetch his binoculars, he had no idea that t would be those same glasses that would save his life! From the June 1930 issue of War Birds, it’s O.B. Myers’ “The General’s Glasses!”

The cockeyed general sent Jake Munns winging for his field glasses. But when Jake went to look for the general again he found him in the center of No-Man’s-Land, and what they didn’t find out about those glasses!

“The Cloud Cracker” by Frederick C. Davis

Link - Posted by David on June 19, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a short story by renowned pulp author Frederick C. Davis. Davis is probably best remembered for his work on Operator 5 where he penned the first 20 stories, as well as the Moon Man series for Ten Detective Aces and several other continuing series for various Popular Publications. He also wrote a number of aviation stories that appeared in Aces, Air Stories and Wings. “The Cloud Cracker” was published in the September 1930 issue of Air Stories magazine.

A phantom flew with the Fourteenth’s patrols. Norton laughed when Fokkers lashed with fangs of steel at another Yank—for he played a double game to win doom wings.

“Test Flight” by Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by David on June 12, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by another of our favorite authors—Harold F. Cruickshank! Cruickshank is popular in these parts for the thrilling exploits of The Sky Devil from the pages of Dare-Devil Aces, as well as those of The Sky Wolf in Battle Aces and The Red Eagle in Battle Birds. He wrote innumerable stories of war both on the ground and in the air.

After Captain Ted Strang, Yankee Flight Commander, is injured in a crash—he fights his way back to being able to fly again. Thinking it may be his best chance, he makes the most of a test flight in hopes of getting back in the game! From the August 1930 issue of War Aces, it’s Harold F. Cruickshank’s “Test Flight!”

They clipped his wings and sent him to the rear. When the black menace of the enemy reached out to spread it’s venom over London he knew that only the magic of his guns could prove his valor.

“The Cuckoo’s Nest” by Alexis Rossoff

Link - Posted by David on May 8, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a fun tale from the prolific pen of Alexis Rossoff. Rossoff started out in the ’20’s writing air and war fiction for the various magazines. By the mid-30’s he had shifted his focus away from tales of WWI intrigue to sports stories. Here we have the first of his Cuckoo’s Nest stories that ran in War Birds in 1930. The Cuckoo’s are an outfit a lot like Keyhoe’s Jailbird Flight—a group of hell cats who found themselves afoul of military rules who have been given another chance to die fighting rather than rotting in Blois cell.

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

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

“Kilauea or Crash” by C.M. Miller

Link - Posted by David on April 10, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of C.M. Miller! Miller is known to Age of Aces readers as the author behind Chinese Brady, an old war horse who’s fought in most every scrap there’s been.

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

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

The Three Mosquitoes battle “The Squadron from Nowhere” by Ralph Oppenheim

Link - Posted by David on March 8, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

“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.

Were back with the second of three Three Mosquitoes stories we’re presenting this month. The Three Mosquitoes have been dispatched to the Scottish Highlands to investigate sightings of German Gothas! Equipped with brand new Sopwiths, the Three Mosquitoes take on The Black Raiders and try to fathom how these planes could even be this far from their Fatherland and so perilously close to the shipbuilding yards of Deemsgate! It’s a mystery whose answer lies in the craggy mountains of Scotland!

An awed gasp broke from the tense watchers, for at that moment they saw a red light glow into sudden livid brilliance directly above them, until it became a ball of red fire which illuminated the whole sky. A parachute flare with a message from the mysterious raiders! Who were they? How did they get there? These and a hundred other questions baffled the Three Mosquitoes as they prepared to do battle with—black shadows.

If you enjoyed this tale of our intrepid trio, check out some of the other stories of The Three Mosquitoes we have posted by clicking the Three Mosquitoes tag or check out one of the three volumes we’ve published on our books page!

Humpy & Tex in “Flight of the Goofus Bird” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on January 4, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Bosworth wrote a couple dozen stories with Humpy & Tex over the course of ten years from 1930 through 1939, mostly in the pages of War Aces and War Birds. The stories are centered around the naval air base at Ile Tudy, France. “Humpy” Campbell, a short thickset boatswain’s mate, first class who was prone to be spitting great sopping globs of tabacco juice, was a veteran seaplane pilot who would soon rate two hashmarks—his observer, Tex Malone, boatswain’s mate, second class, was a D.O.W. man fresh from the Texas Panhandle. Everybody marveled at the fact that the latter had made one of the navy’s most difficult ratings almost overnight—but the answer lay in his ability with the omnipresent rope he constantly carried.

Humpy & Tex find themselves down in the ocean with a dead motor, their only hopes of rescue depend upon their beloved Goofus Bird! From the pages of the une 1930 issue of War Aces it’s Allan R. Bosworth’s—”Flight of the Goofus Bird!”

Down with a dead motor on the cold waters of the Atlantic they were at the mercy of the U-boat that lay in wait. Humpy and Tex faced a terrible death, but then there was their beloved Goofus bird—

“Sausage Men Are Crazy” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 2, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

NOVEMBER 16th is William E. Barrett’s Birthday, so all this month we’ll be celebrating some of Barrett’s contributions to the pulps! Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

We’ll be featuring four of Barrett’s aviation themed tales—one each Friday—and a few of his factual features—Famous Firsts and Is That a Fact?—peppered throughout the month. First up we have a tale of Tommy Curtis and Sergeant Clymer, observers with the 4th Balloon Company. Clymer was old and grizzled—as hard as they make them, and born to army life. He had hooted at first, when they teamed him with Tommy “That weak sister!” Curtis—nothing in his experience had prepared him to understand a man who blushed and stammered and carried another man’s picture in his watch! Curtis was a slender hundred-and-forty pounder, to whom no talk was fighting talk and Clymer had been prepared to dislike Tommy Curtis and to make his life miserable. That was before he took to the air with him!

Four crashing jumps from a flaming sausage in one day were enough for one man. When Eddie met the pilot who knocked them down and boasted—Sausage Men Are Crazy!

From the June 1930 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Sausage Men are Crazy!”

“The Ceiling Ace” by Raoul Whitfield

Link - Posted by David on October 19, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by Raoul Whitfield! Whitfield is primarily known for his hardboiled crime fiction published in the pages of Black Mask, but he was equally adept at lighter fair that might run in the pages of Breezy Stories. We’ve posted a few of his Buck Kent stories from Air Trails. While the Buck Kent stories were contemporary (1930’s), “The Ceiling Ace” from the August 1930 issue of War Aces is set in The Great War.

Every time the ships of the black cross ripped their lead at him he ran to the ceiling. They called him yellow, but that day when the heavens shrieked at man-made fury he held the fate of the squadron on his wings.

“Night Bird” by Syl MacDowell

Link - Posted by David on September 21, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by Syl MacDowell! MacDowell is probably best known for his westerns. Here, MacDowell gives us a aviation yarn with a western twist—the title character is an albino Navajo who is able to see clearly in the dark! From the December 1930 issue of War Aces, it’s “Night Bird.”

He was an Indian and proud of the red blood than ran in his veins. When other wings failed to smash the force of that attacking horde, he tried in his own way and showed them that the redman knew the meaning of courage.

Humpy & Tex in “Hell and Highwater” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on August 31, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Bosworth wrote a couple dozen stories with Humpy & Tex over the course of ten years from 1930 through 1939, mostly in the pages of War Aces and War Birds. The stories are centered around the naval air base at Ile Tudy, France. “Humpy” Campbell, a short thickset boatswain’s mate, first class who was prone to be spitting great sopping globs of tabacco juice, was a veteran seaplane pilot who would soon rate two hashmarks—his observer, Tex Malone, boatswain’s mate, second class, was a D.O.W. man fresh from the Texas Panhandle. Everybody marveled at the fact that the latter had made one of the navy’s most difficult ratings almost overnight—but the answer lay in his ability with the omnipresent rope he constantly carried.

Humpy & Tex find themselves in “Hell and Highwater” when they find themselves heading toward the front in a seaplane looking for some water to land in! From the pages of the May 1930 issue of War Aces

Action was slow over the English Channel and the demon sea plane pilots had a yen for the Front and hot combat. When their gas ran out there was only one river to land on, and that was lined with machine guns. They couldn’t land, and they couldn’t fly, so—

“Guns of Mystery” by Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by David on August 17, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by another of our favorite authors—Harold F. Cruickshank! Cruickshank is popular in these parts for the thrilling exploits of The Sky Devil from the pages of Dare-Devil Aces, as well as those of The Sky Wolf in Battle Aces and The Red Eagle in Battle Birds. He wrote innumerable stories of war both on the ground and in the air. From the premier issue of War Aces, Mr. Cruickshank gives us a story of the first installation of machine guns on planes—while not strictly factual, it’s a ripping good read! From the April 1930 issue of War Aces, it’s Harold F. Cruickshank’s “Guns of Mystery!”

It was the unpardonable sin to mount a gun on a plane, but when a blazing path of steel traced itself across his wings Kelly felt icy fingers on his heart and knew that a new horror was winging through the air.

Humpy & Tex in “Hell Bent for Heinie” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on August 3, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Bosworth is a third generation Texan, born October 29, 1901 in a tent on a west Texas cattle ranch. He attended school in Ozona TX—known as Millionaires Town, but he was not one of the millionaires—but dropped out junior year in high school. He held down a number of jobs starting from when he was very young. He turned an ice cream freezer for a drug store, skinned cattle killed in a stampede, owned and operated a peanut and popcorn machine, janitored for a pool hall, cowboyed, built fences, and fired a boiler on the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad—and all this before the Navy finally accepted his enlistment in 1922.

After serving four years in the Navy as an enlisted man and entered the Naval Reserve. He sought out work in journalism and quickly found it working as a police reporter for the San Diego Sun in 1926. This led to working on the editorial staffs of the San Diego Union, the Los Angeles Examiner, the Paso Robles Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, and the San Francisco Call-Bulletin. By the mid 1930’s he was the news editor and assistant managing editor of the Chronicle.

While working for the newspapers, Bosworth had been submitting stories to the magazines and finding some success by 1930. As his writing career started to grow more time consuming, Bosworth left newspaper work behind to focus on writing stories full time—selling more than 500 short stories to the magazines. Most of these stories appeared in western and adventure “Pulps,” but about 100 were in the “slicks,” including the Saturday Eve Post, Colliers, Liberty, American, Ladies Home Journal, Esquire, Women’s Day, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker!

Bosworth was commissioned Ensign in the Naval reserve working special intelligence duties. He was called back to active duty in 1940. He served in the North Atlantic, and in South Pacific, at Noumea, Guadalcanal and Bougainville, on the staffs of both Halsey and Nimitz.

After WW2, Bosworth saw Naval duty with the Atlantic Destroyer Force, and the military Sea Transportation Service. He had two tours of duty with the Commander Naval Forces Far East, in Japan, covering more than five years. He was selected for captain in 1951, and was on the staff of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (The NATO command) when he retired in 1960—after 38 years in the Navy.

He lived outside Roanoke, VA after the War and continued to write novels. Wikipedia lists twenty novels written from 1941 to 1969.

Allan Bosworth passed away July 18, 1986.

Bosworth wrote a couple dozen stories with Humpy & Tex over the course of ten years from 1930 through 1939, mostly in the pages of War Aces and War Birds. The stories are centered around the naval air base at Ile Tudy, France. It had been built after the goose and goat spoor had been cleared away. And even then they used a sardine factory for headquarters, and if there was anything rotten in Finisterre, it was the odor that assailed the noses of pilots who had been out flying over clean salt water and then came back to this seaplane station. “Humpy” Campbell, a short thickset boatswain’s mate, first class who was prone to be spitting great sopping globs of tabacco juice, was a veteran seaplane pilot who would soon rate two hashmarks—his observer, Tex Malone, boatswain’s mate, second class, was a D.O.W. man fresh from the Texas Panhandle. Everybody marveled at the fact that the latter had made one of the navy’s most difficult ratings almost overnight—but the answer lay in his ability with the omnipresent rope he constantly carried.

In “Hell Bent for Heinie”, the two-some are hunting U-boats off the coast of France—only problem is, by the time they find them they’ve already spent their bombs leaving them with just Tex’s rope and their own ingenuity to stop the German U-boats. From the pages of the premiere issue of War Aces

There was nothing but black water under them until destruction sang through the air. Skulking U-boats still held control of the Channel until a Yank cloud-cracker gripped their heart with the fear of death.

The Three Mosquitoes take on “The Flying Tank” by Ralph Oppenheim

Link - Posted by David on March 16, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THEIR familiar war cry rings out—“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.

Were back with the third of three Three Mosquitoes stories we’re presenting this month. This week the inseparable trio and sent to destroy an indestructible allied tank that has been stolen by a german spy. Kirby, Shorty and Travis must stop the germans from stealing all the secrets of the X Tank by any means possible and at all costs! From the June 1930 issue of Sky Riders, it’s “The Flying Tank!”

With a roar the Three Mosquitoes were off—off on one of the strangest and most perilous raids ever planned. They were off to bomb a British tank as it stood in the center of a German town. And down on the secret field they had just left, a worried brigadier general was glancing at his wrist watch. Just one hour and fifteen minutes to go!

If you enjoyed this tale of our intrepid trio, check out some of the other stories of The Three Mosquitoes we have posted by clicking the Three Mosquitoes tag or check out one of the three volumes we’ve published on our books page! And come back next Friday or another exciting tale.

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