“Soft Thunder” by Frederick C Painton
The Strange Enemy of our new book Captain Philip Strange: Strange Enemies, Fraulein Doktor, pops up in the oddest places. Here she is causing trouble in Frederick C Painton’s “Soft Thunder” a year and a half before her first appearance in Donald Keyhoe’s Philip Strange stories.
We’ve posted a number of Frederick C. Painton’s stories in this space already including a few of his Dirty Dozen-esque Squadron of the Dead stories. He’s a great writer with a background in newspapers as this short autobiography from the April 1942 issue of Blue Book Magazine attests:
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Unfortunately he died of a heart attack on a Guam airfield while covering the Pacific war.
He was just a kid who played Tennis to those two hard-boiled soldiers—but there was stuff in his make-up that kept him battling in the flaming skies. It was a grim game they played—they stuck to the rules and played like sports, but they knew that the loser would find flying death. And then into their game kited a kid who seemed soft—but there is lightning with even soft thunder.
“Double Death” by William E. Barrett
Here is a smashing complete novelette of strange wings over the Italian front!
Ships were being blown to shambles in pairs—two or four at time, never three or five or just one—and none knew why. Until Jack Lannigan came. Find out why in William E. Barrett’s intriguing novelette “Double Death.”
William E. Barrett wrote a number of aviation themed stories for the air pulps in the 1930s. His nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s have been collected in one volume and available from our books page. Barrett would later become famous as the author of “Lilies of the Field” and “The Left Hand of God” amung other books.
“The Flying Fortress” by Arch Whitehouse
A Yank pilot said too much at a Paris estaminet, a British airman said too little on the way to the Front. And a battle that began at twelve thousand feet hurtled to a hangar door. Will this be the end of The Casket Crew?
War Skies of Shanghai by Arch Whitehouse
Reporter/Flying Ace Billy “Buzz” Benson returns with a new adventure. Westward toward Shanghai, where smoldered a fire of war that threatened to blaze forth and enflame the whole world, a Yankee submarine cut through the waters of the Pacific. Deep in its hold was the Sea Hawk, the plane chosen to carry Buzz Benson straight through the Japanese air zone with secret orders that would mean war or peace. But not twenty cable lengths away steamed a Japanese sub, and in its hold was another Sea Hawk—awaiting the moment when Benson should begin his mad air race to Shanghai!
“Devildog Doom” by Donald E. Keyhoe
Four squadrons had been wiped out by the unknown menace that struck from above, and in the smoldering ruins of those Allied dromes not a man was left alive. Now in the air before Cyclone Bill Garrity’s eyes four Spads had vanished, and only smoke and fiery fragments showed where the fearful man-made lightning had taken its toll. The drome of the 81st lay directly in the path of this weird, flashing doom from the skies—and the Devildogs would be next!
“Lucky’s Day” by Donald E. Keyhoe
And now an exciting tale of The Devildog Squadron!
Lucky Lane swore as he realized he had lost his formation in the billowing gray clouds. He leveled off between two layers of leaden mist and peered about him. The other three of the “Four Lunatics” had been behind his Spad not thirty seconds past. But now he was alone. Not only that, but his gas was running low and he was not even sure of his location.
The bullet-scarred Spad ripped on through the cloud. Lucky eased back on the stick as he saw the mists begin to thin. He was down to three thousand feet—and there was a good chance that he was still over German soil…
“Nippon Nemesis” by Arch Whitehouse
An exciting Buzz Benson Adventure!
“There’s something devilish going on. They intend to bomb an important point somewhere on the western coast of the United States. Don’t ask me how they intend to do it. I‟ve seen enough of these Japs to know that they can do anything once they set their minds to it. I don‟t believe in ghosts, spirits or the black art, but I‟ve seen some queer things happen out here in the Orient. If we got a wire this minute, saying that San Francisco had been raided or bombed by Japanese planes, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised…
“Duck Soup for Elmer” by Joe Archibald
Rittmeister von Gluck was making things so tough on the tarmac where Elmer of the Air Corps parked his Spad that G.H.Q. threatened to move the whole drome back. But there was a very special reason why Elmer didn’t want that to happen—a reason named Gwendolyn. Now don’t get us wrong—Gwendolyn was no lady!