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“Black Flight” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 20, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with one of his pulp stories each Friday.

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!

On Easter Sunday, April 9 , 1917, the greatest British offensive of the war got under way. A blazing line of steel whipped across France and into Belgium; from Croiselles to Loos, from Ypres to the Nieuport Canal and to the sea. Under the greatest artillery barrage in the history of the world a grim horde of muddy infantry hit the Hindenburg Line.

April ninth was also the day on which Second Lieutenant Teddy Campbell, R.F.C., reported for duty to the headquarters of Fifth Wing at Albert. He came up jauntily with the pinkest breeches in the entire, air force, with his monkey hat at the correct angle and with the glow of training-camp victories still upon him. His heart raced madly but he strove to capture in his expression an attitude of casual indifference to everything. Like all of his breed he succeeded merely in looking like a raw kid.

However, by the next day he was a veteran and suspected of murdering his flight leader! From the August 1931 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Black Flight!”

Every man but one in that flight hated their commander. When they pulled a murderous blade from his heart all were forced to shoulder the guilt, until the Reaper’s Scythe hacked the secret from one man’s wings.

Editor’s Note: The story is referred to as “The Raiders” on the cover which does not seem to be applicable to this story at all. A more apt title than “Black Flight” would have been “The Murder Flight!”

“Synthetic Ace” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 13, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with one of his pulp stories each Friday.

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!

“Memphis” Mason is a synthetic ace, probably the only one of his kind in existence. Accidental aces there were aplenty in that big he war, but there was nothing accidental about Memphis Mason’s accomplishment. It was planned with an attention to detail that would do credit to a brigadier and it was attested by five of the finest fighters in the R.A.F. Those signatures are at the root of Mason’s secret sorrow to-day. At the foot of a square sheet of note-paper they bear flourishing witness to the fact that the signers witnessed the bringing down of five German planes by one Memphis Mason. Not one of those signers would have lied for anyone. They were officers and gentlemen and they saw what they said they saw. Yet, strangely enough, Memphis Mason never reached France. Therein lies a tale; one of the oddest tales to come out of the war and one that has never been told until this telling.

There was a new breed of angel in the sky one that used Vickers instead of a flaming sword; and the tracer stream of his vengeance spelled death to Prussians!

From the February 1931 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Synthetic Ace!”

“The Black Bat” by Syl MacDowell

Link - Posted by David on September 4, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by Syl MacDowell! MacDowell is probably best known for his westerns. This time, MacDowell gives us brief tale of the mysterious Black Bat—is he man or beast? From the November 1931 issue of Aces, it’s “The Black Bat.”

Behind the curtain of night Weird wings hovered over the Yank tarmac. A ship crashed with no hand at the stick. . . . And the priceless eye of the army was missing.

“Sea Bats” by Lester Dent

Link - Posted by David on August 21, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

LESTER DENT is best remembered as the man behind Doc Savage. But he wrote all number of other stories before he started chronicling the adventures of everyone’s favorite bronze giant. Here we have an action-packed tale of war time intrigue from the pages of the April 1932 issue of War Birds—”Sea Bats!”

A flying ship without a pilot; a murder without a murderer; a base without a hangar—Squeak knew something was haywire. It took double-crossed wings to throw the shadow of black crosses where they belonged.

 

And as a bonus, here’s another newspaper article about Lester Dent! This time it’s an article of Lester planning on touring the west retracing the route he had taken as a kid in a covered wagon. From The La Plata Home Press, it’s “Magazine Writer To Tour West!”

 

Magazine Writer To Tour West

La Plata Home Press, La Plata, MO • 13 AUGUST 1931

Doing Farm Work Here Occupied Part of Vacation

THIRTY years ago, Bern Dent of LaPlata, then a rancher in the West, trailed cattle herds over a route thru the Northwest. The country was then sparsely settled. Today, his son, Lester Dent, New York fiction writer and author of western stories, starts from his LaPlata farm home to cover this same territory and on to the coast, not in a slow-moving van, but in a high-powered motor car.

Crossing the Big Horn mountains, Mr. Dent will also retrace the course of a trip he, as a small boy, made in company with his parents in a covered wagon, before the era of motor cars and good roads. On this trip, there were no bridges and they camped three weeks on the banks of Big Powder river, waiting for that fast-flowing stream to subside until it could be forded.

After helping put up hay, and wielding a hoe on his father’s farm here, Lester Dent went to Carrollton, Mo., Thursday, where he plans to join his wife for a motor trip through the Black Hills, the Yellowstone and Jackson Hole country, Oregon, Utah and Colorado. A sister-in-law, Miss Corrine Gerling, of Carrollton, will accompany them.

Mr. Dent will obtain material to be used in a series of western stories he is writing. He will return to LaPlata in three weeks or a month, and in October will return to New York for the winter.

The story of Lester Dent and his development as a fiction writer is as interesting as any story he has written. On the cover page of such magazines as All-Fiction, Popular, Western Trail, War Brides, War Aces, you will find the name of Lester Dent, and now, after writing all kinds of adventure stories, his name is found in Scotland Yard and other such magazines, as a writer of detective stories.

“The High Sign” by Colcord Heurlin

Link - Posted by David on August 17, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present another cover by Colcord Heurlin! Heurlin worked in the pulps primarily over a ten year period from 1923 to 1933. His work appeared on Adventure, Aces, Complete Stories, Everybody’s Combined with Romance, North-West Stories, The Popular, Short Stories, Sky Birds, Sea Stories, Top-Notch, War Stories, Western Story, and here, the cover of the September 1931 Flying Aces!

The High Sign

th_FA_3109SURRENDER in the air! It often happened when some one got the breaks. And often it was planned for when the Allies wanted a special type of German machine.
On the occasion depicted on our cover this month, a German two-seater of new design has had its prop shattered and its crew is helpless over Allied territory. It would have been easy for the man in the Allied scout plane to shoot them down, but he preferred to take them whole.
He signaled to the enemy airmen to land and the observer indicated that he had seen, by holding his hands high and well away from his gun. The rest was easy—a complete German ship to study and a clear confirmation for the victorious pilot.
This cover is a reproduction of an actual incident. A photograph owned by one of our authors will confirm it.

The Story Behind The Cover
“The High Sign”
Flying Aces, September 1931 by Colcord Heurlin

“His Last Salute” by Colcord Heurlin

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

THIS week we present a cover by Colcord Heurlin! Heurlin worked in the pulps primarily over a ten year period from 1923 to 1933. His work appeared on Adventure, Aces, Complete Stories, Everybody’s Combined with Romance, North-West Stories, The Popular, Short Stories, Sky Birds, Sea Stories, Top-Notch, War Stories, Western Story, and here, the cover of the August 1931 Flying Aces!

His Last Salute

th_FA_3108THE chivalry of the clouds—the code that persisted even in moments of grim tragedy—is depicted on this month’s cover. The German plane, riddled by Allied bullets, is going down—a flaming coffin. Its pilot, about to take the leap that means death, turns to make one last gesture—a salute to the Allied pilot who has sent him down—and his conqueror answers the salute. Fighting for different causes though they were, those two airmen, like all the true knights of the air, held one thing highest—Courage, in life or in death!

The Story Behind The Cover
“His Last Salute”
Flying Aces, August 1931 by Colcord Heurlin

“Creased!” by Arnold Lorne Hicks

Link - Posted by David on July 20, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present a cover by Arnold Lorne Hicks! Hicks worked in the pulps primarily from the late ’20’s to the mid 30’s, producing covers for such magazines as North-West Stories, Navy Stories, Police Stories, Detective Dragnet, Sky Birds, Golden West, Western Trails, Love Adventures, and a couple covers for Flying Aces!

Creased!

th_FA_3106THE deadliest wound possible to receive in the air, outside of a bullet through the heart, is the “creaser.” Many an airman has gone west in a crash as the result of a bullet wound across the head that stuns him long enough to allow the plane to get completely out of control. The same wound, received on the ground, would result in nothing more uncomfortable than a numbing headache after a surgeon had attended it. Hundreds of aviators have received serious wounds in the stomach, lungs or limbs and have been able to bring their ships down in safety, but a “creaser” leaves the pilot unconscious and unable to save himself. Captain Ball, who fell after winning the Victoria Cross, and Major Hawker, another British ace with a long list of victories, both went down to their deaths after receiving slight head wounds—wounds that, compared to their actual deaths, were mere pin scratches. Our cover this month shows us a war pilot in a similar difficulty.

The Ships on The Cover
“Creased!”
Flying Aces, June 1931 by Arnold Lorne Hicks

“Out of Formation!” by Arnold Lorne Hicks

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

THIS week we present another cover by Arnold Lorne Hicks! Hicks worked in the pulps primarily from the late ’20’s to the mid 30’s, producing covers for such magazines as North-West Stories, Navy Stories, Police Stories, Detective Dragnet, Sky Birds, Golden West, Western Trails, Love Adventures, and a couple covers for Flying Aces!

Creased!

th_FA_3107AN ALLIED scout was struck by one of the bombs from the Allied machine it was escorting! It actually happened because the scout pilot, in fighting an enemy ship that was bent on destroying the bomber, got out of formation and flew into the danger zone below his own bombers. What really saved him was the fact that the bomb, set with a delayed-time detonation—so that it would fall well into the hangars before explosion—did not explode until it had fallen more than 600 feet below the battered scout. There was a time when seconds counted!

The Ships on The Cover
“Out of Formation!”
Flying Aces, July 1931 by Arnold Lorne Hicks

“Hell in the Heavens” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on June 5, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Being a Navy man, Bosworth’s stories primarily dealt with the Navy. In this week’s story from the pages of War Aces, Bosworth gives us something different—the story of The Slasher!

Old-timers told of Boche pilots who flew low over marching infantry during the first year of the war, and tossed out handful after handful of these steel darts. Needle sharp, weighted at the lower portion before tapering to a deadly point, they would plummet downward to strike the helpless foot-sloggers. Now The slasher had revived the flechettes and was making hell in the heavens for the Umpty-third. Six fine men lost, four of them down over the trenches or enemy soil. Two others who managed to land their planes near the home tarmac, with cruel steel flechettes piercing their bodies, dying before they could tell how it had happened! From the pages of the April 1931 issue of War Aces, it’s “Hell in the Heavens!”

The “Slasher” scorned guns! His victims felt the deadly bite of steel darts. The hands of all men were against him but only one dared to attack.

“The Cradle of Hell” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 22, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with one of his pulp stories each Friday.

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!

In this final Barrett story for the month we have the story of Captain Jim Fogarty, a Montana Irishman in the service of Britain. He was Youth triumphant, a, veteran of six weeks on the fighting Front, commander of a squadron, and officially credited with victories over sixteen enemy airmen. The twin Ds of Death and Defeat had not touched him—but when it did, they brought him straight down into the cradle of hell and nearly cost him his life!

At the mercy of those taunting Boche guns, Fogarty learned that there can be a worse end than death. Only when Death’s substitute pointed her hand at him did he know the terrific cost of his ransom.

From the October 1931 War Aces, it’s the novel you won’t forget—William E. Barrett’s “The Cradle of Hell!”

“Breed of Angels” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 15, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with one of his pulp stories each Friday.

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!

Today we have the story of Captain Frederick Dietterich who is being relieved of his temporary command as captain and squadron leader to serve under a Prussian, Hauptmann von Kopf. Dietterich was an Alsatian and that had been a handicap. The Imperial Government accepted great service from Alsatians but withheld its trust while accepting them. His reputation on the other side of the line had hurt, too. He had been known as a clean sportsman. H.Q. had frowned at that. It favored officers who were feared. The last touch was his popularity with his men. The men of his jagdstaffel spoke of him as “Fritz”. The Imperial command could not associate authority with familiarity and Dietterich was going back to the flying ranks.

Von Kopf biggest problem upon assuming command is an American flyer known as The Angel who has already downed four of the Jadgstaffel’s Fokkers and seven others. When Dietterich manages to shoot Angel down, it is von Kopf who underestimates the Yankee flyer!

There was a new breed of angel in the sky one that used Vickers instead of a flaming sword; and the tracer stream of his vengeance spelled death to Prussians!

From the April 1931 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Breed of Angels!”

“Suicide Struts” by William E. Barrett

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

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with one of his pulp stories each Friday.

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!

Today we have the story of Jack Kane, a pilot with the 17th Squadron’s C Flight who’s in over his head. Turns out C Flight plays hand after hand of poker in between patrols and young Kane has been doling out I.O.U.s to cover his debts and the time to settle up those debts is fast approaching. Problem is, he doesn’t have the money to cover those I.O.U.s. Kane believes it would be better to perish in battle and die a hero than face disgrace when his debts come due!

Disgrace faced young Kane in twenty-four hours. And there ahead of him, with guns jammed—a Fokker’s cold meat—was the man from whose hands disgrace would come. Fate was giving Kane his chance—yet he could not take it!

From the October 1931 Flying Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Suicide Struts!”

“Is That a Fact?” November 1931 by William E. Barrett

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

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday. 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!

Among those factual features was “Is That a Fact?” which ran frequently in the pages of War Birds. It was an aviation themed version of a Ripley’s Believe It or Not kind of feature with hard to believe they’re true facts. Although written by Barrett, the feature was illustrated by noted cartoonist Victor “Vic Vac” Vaccarezza.

The November 1931 installment, from the pages of War Birds, features the L59 Zeppelin, Lieut. M.H. Thunder, Lieut. Col. Paegelow and Lieut Charles Nungesser!

Next Monday Barrett features the Sop Pup, Jimmy McCudden, The First Tanks and Richthofen’s eightieth and final victory!

“The Flying Manual” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 1, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

WITH his birthday on the 16th, we’ll once again be celebrating William E. 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!

To get things going, may we present a poem Barrett published in the October 1931 issue of War Aces titled “The Flying Manual”

Starting next week we’ll be once again featuring his one page factual pieces Famous Firsts from War Aces and Is That A Fact? from the pages of War Birds, both illustrated by Victor “Vic Vac” Vaccarezza and of course a few of his great stories on Fiction Fridays!

“Bombers Down!” by Colcord Heurlin

Link - Posted by David on October 28, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a cover by the great Colcord Heurlin! He provided covers throughout the 1920’s and early 30’s for various pulp magazines—most frequently for your Adventure type magazines. Here we present his cover for the March 1931 issue of Flying Aces—a dynamic cover that once again has a story to tell.

Bombers Down!

th_FA_3103NOT all the danger attending the life of a bombardment pilot was crammed into the few mad minutes he spent over his objective, dodging enemy anti-aircraft fire, intercepting aircraft or the betraying beams of searchlights while his observer pulled the toggles that released the grim eggs. There was the dangerous take-off with a loaded plane. There was the wild flight across the line through the barrage of steel that vomited up from anti-aircraft batteries, and then, above all, there was the flight back.

To carry high explosive was no cinch at the best of times, and many a pilot lost pounds in weight or added years to his age as he sat in the ship carrying the dangerous missiles. Once over the objective, they could get rid of the stuff and heave a sigh of relief. But—suppose the bomb rack jammed and left the bombs hanging by a lone loop. Suppose the observer yanked and pulled on the toggles in an effort to get it off, anyway and anywhere at all, with no success.

This has happened on several occasions, and generally speaking, the airmen are in a tight position. They cannot land with the bomb hanging in that manner. With the nose portion clear of the rack, as is shown in this month’s illustration, the wind vane has been released and the percussion pin has been wound into concussion position. All it requires is a slight jounce, and the 500-pound shell of T.N.T. is touched off. There is nothing to do but try and get the shell off somehow. Many an observer today is wearing a ribbon on his old flying tunic for getting out and releasing a bomb from a rack that has jammed. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes the observer has had to get down on the landing gear and actually file the release pin off, or even shoot it away with an automatic.

There were times when it was done successfully. There were many when they were unable to release it before their gas supply ran out.

The Story Behind The Cover
“Bombers Down!”
Flying Aces, March 1931 by Colcord Heurlin

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