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“The Hawker Fury” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on March 18, 2019 @ 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. On Dare-Devil Aces’ January 1937 cover, Mr. Blakeslee gives us a couple of Avia ’34’s trying to drive a bunch of Hawker “Furys” away from their Zeppelin base!

th_DDA_3701IN THE action on the cover, the reader will have no difficulty in discerning that a group of British ships are bombing a combined airdrome and dirigible depot. The green ships and the yellow plane are easily recognizable as variations of the Hawker ‘Fury,’ so we need give little of our time to them.

The plane in the upper left of the picture, however, is of a type not nearly so common as the others. It is an Avia ‘34’, if that means anything to you sky-hawks.

Germany, as you know, is exceedingly secretive concerning her air force and the new developments that she has undoubtedly made, so I’m frequently forced to ascribe to her ships which really are those of other countries.

Britain, of course, manufactures ships for a great number of countries. In fact, the green plane on the cover is a replica of a ‘Fury’ which was made for the Portuguese Air Force. The similarity existing between this ship and the truly British ships can easily be seen.

When we speak of European aircraft, we unconsciously think of the products of Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy, but strangely, the Avia with which we are concerned is the creation of none of these, but of tiny Czechoslovakia.

This country, of which we hear but little when the war drums throb in the sullen sky, is well equipped with beautiful, efficient ships of many varied types.

The Avia is a fighter of a single-seat type, and is powered by a 650 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engine of the latest design. It is unique in that it carries four machine guns,—two on the wings near the outer struts, which are not shown, and the usual pair,—one on each side of the fuselage. These latter two fire through invisible troughs.

This fighter has a speed of 200 m.p.h. at sea level and its service ceiling is 24,600 feet.

Fred Blakeslee

The Story Behind The Cover
“The Hawker Fury: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick Blakeslee
(January 1937, Dare-Devil Aces)

“P.D.Q-Boat” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on February 22, 2019 @ 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!

Deeds of extraordinary valor had made Phineas Pinkham a colonel. But one potent punch to the proud proboscis of a brigadier had amended that over zealous act on the part of the high cockalorums of the A.E.F. Everybody on the jittery front from the Channel to the Italian border breathed easier. But Lieutenant Pinkham had not forgotten a certain von Spieler. He was one Von whom Phineas had not been able to wash up completely and the Heinie’s name was written on the intrepid Yank’s books under the heading of “Unfinished Business.” From the February 1937 issue of Flying Ace, it’s Phineas Pinkham in “P.D.Q-Boat!”

Old Lady Fate had put through a mixed grill order, and it looked like the Krauts would bring home the bacon. Allied marine moguls got their ships mixed, Garrity got his signals mixed, and Goomer got his bottles mixed. All of which boiled down to the fact that Phineas was on the spot—only the M.P.’s didn’t know which spot.

“Flight Opera” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on January 25, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

“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.

History’s pages show us that very strange things have happened in wars. They tell us that Hannibal pushed a big herd of pachyderms over the Alps to stomp on the Roman legions. They tell us about the wooden hobby horse that the Greeks pushed through the gate of Troy and how the faces of the Trojan boys went red when they discovered that the jokers from Athens had not come in to open a restaurant. There is the tale about George Washington crossing the Delaware when it was filled with ice cakes and how his Continentals kicked the Hessians around because they had been drinking too much New Jersey corn. But the strangest thing that ever happened in any war took place in France in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Eighteen. Somebody made Lieutenant Phineas Pinkham a colonel!

From the pages of the January 1937 Flying Aces, it’s Joe Archibald’s “Flight Opera!”

That letter the War Department tossed across the Atlantic smack onto Garrity’s desk certainly had an innocent appearance. But when it was opened, the 9th Pursuit was turned upside down so fast that it looked like the 6th. For Phineas Pinkham had been made a COLONEL!

Richard Knight faces “Hell Over China” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on September 14, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THE prolific Donald E. Keyhoe had a story in a majority of the issue of Flying Aces from his first in January 1930 until he returned to the Navy in 1942. Starting in August 1931, they were stories featuring the weird World War I stories of Philip Strange. But in November 1936, he began alternating these with sometime equally weird present day tales of espionage Ace Richard Knight—code name Agent Q. After an accident in the Great War, Knight developed the uncanny ability to see in the dark. Aided by his skirt-chasing partner Larry Doyle, Knights adventures ranged from your basic between the wars espionage to lost valley civilizations and dinosaurs. In their seventh outing from the pages of the November 1937 issue of Flying Aces, Knight and Doyle are sent to China and find themselves embroiled in a dramatic oriental sky mystery confronted by a death-ray that destroys all in it’s path! Can Agent “Q” avoid a mutated death within that eerie ray as he faces “Death Over China!”

On the twisted body of that ruthless killer they had gunned from the skies, Richard Knight found an ominous message. “I will call again,” those brush-written characters announced, and appended was the dread symbol of Mo-Gwei—the sign of “The Devil”! Then “muted death” whipped across those gloomy heavens to fulfill that satanic threat. And as the shattered bodies of wretched airmen plunged to the earth, there came an infernal laugh. The cone of silence had found new victims!

Richard Knight in “Wings of the Emerald” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on July 13, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THE unstoppable Donald E. Keyhoe had a story in a majority of the issue of Flying Aces from his first in January 1930 until he returned to the Navy in 1942. Starting in August 1931, they were stories featuring the weird World War I stories of Philip Strange. But in November 1936, he began alternating these with sometime equally weird present day tales of espionage Ace Richard Knight—code name Agent Q. After an accident in the Great War, Knight developed the uncanny ability to see in the dark. Aided by his skirt-chasing partner Larry Doyle, Knights adventures ranged from your basic between the wars espionage to lost valley civilizations and dinosaurs. Still in Spain, Richard Knight heads back into war-torn Spain in an effort to retrieve the Green Madonna—only to find The Hawk has kidnapped Benita Navarre!

Through those blood-red skies that hung like the hand of Doom over war-wracked Spain, there swooped a winged, incarnate devil—a greedy ghoul men called “The Hawk.” Sparing neither Rebel nor Loyalist, this eerie fiend struck without warning. Wretched Iberia herself was his victim; ruthlessly he pounced upon her, and from her defenseless form his merciless talons tore priceless treasures. And now those bony claws clutched the gleaming “Green Madonna”—sought to wrench from that brilliant jewel a secret known only to Death.

Richard Knight in “Masks Over Madrid” by Donald E. Keyhoe

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

THE unstoppable Donald E. Keyhoe had a story in a majority of the issue of Flying Aces from his first in January 1930 until he returned to the Navy in 1942. Starting in August 1931, they were stories featuring the weird World War I stories of Philip Strange. But in November 1936, he began alternating these with sometime equally weird present day tales of espionage Ace Richard Knight—code name Agent Q. After an accident in the Great War, Knight developed the uncanny ability to see in the dark. Aided by his skirt-chasing partner Larry Doyle, Knights adventures ranged from your basic between the wars espionage to lost valley civilizations and dinosaurs. Knight is sent to Spain to get the American military men out of the Spanish Cival War, only to find the mysterious Four Faces—a criminal cabal that seek to control all crime on the earth—trying to turn La Guerra Civil into another World War with America taking all the blame!

Above those barrage – battered buildings of Madrid, vengeful Heinkels had hemmed in a lone flyer, were pouncing in for the kill. Fascinated, Richard Knight stared up at that grim drama, saw the doomed airman cast from his lead-flailed cockpit an oddly-fashioned chest bound to the chute that would have saved him. But when Richard Knight pried the lid from that strange box, he halted, transfixed. Inside was naught but a yellowed human skull! Why had a man given his life for this?

Richard Knight in “Falcons from Nowhere” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on November 17, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

THE unstoppable Donald E. Keyhoe had a story in a majority of the issue of Flying Aces from his first in January 1930 until he returned to the Navy in 1942. Starting in August 1931, they were stories featuring the weird World War I stories of Philip Strange. But in November 1936, he began alternating these with sometime equally weird present day tales of espionage Ace Richard Knight—code name Agent Q. After an accident in the Great War, Knight developed the uncanny ability to see in the dark. Aided by his skirt-chasing partner Larry Doyle, Knights adventures ranged from your basic between the wars espionage to lost valley civilizations and dinosaurs. The mysterious Four Faces—a criminal cabal that seek to control all crime on the earth—has found a way to turn people to stone, which comes in handy while they continue to build their air fleet of stolen ships!

Through the growing twilight sped a powerful Northrop, and from its front pit peered Richard Knight. He saw no other ship in the sky; the secret of their mission was safe. But Richard Knight was unaware that an unseen hand was reaching through that descending pall to tear away an invisible veil—to loose upon him a hideous fate that had never before been faced by man. That fate was the ‘doom of stone’—and it had been streaming across the boundless wastes of eternity since the dawn of time.

Richard Knight in “Death Flies The Equator” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on September 15, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

THE unstoppable Donald E. Keyhoe had a story in a majority of the issue of Flying Aces from his first in January 1930 until he returned to the Navy in 1942. Starting in August 1931, they were stories featuring the weird World War I stories of Philip Strange. But in November 1936, he began alternating these with sometime equally weird present day tales of espionage Ace Richard Knight—code name Agent Q. After an accident in the Great War, Knight developed the uncanny ability to see in the dark. Aided by his skirt-chasing partner Larry Doyle, Knights adventures ranged from your basic between the wars espionage to lost valley civilizations and dinosaurs. In this, his third adventure, Knight and Doyle come up against the mysterious Four Faces—a criminal cabal that seek to control all crime on the earth.

A haunted look came over the Admiral’s face. “That lost Wapiti,” he told Knight, “was found high on the beach at Crazy Day Atoll—that tiny mid-Pacific dot lying exactly at the point where East meets West, and North meets South. Underneath the island’s single palm tree sat the pilot and observer. Their bodies were stark as in death—yet they still lived! Their eyes were open—but they were eyes which only stared unseeing over the broad wastes of the sea.”

“Hell Flies High” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on May 5, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

THE unstoppable Donald E. Keyhoe had a story in a majority of the issue of Flying Aces from his first in January 1930 until he returned to the Navy in 1942. Starting in August 1931, they were stories featuring the weird World War I stories of Philip Strange. But in November 1936, he began alternating these with sometime equally weird present day tales of espionage Ace Richard Knight—code name Agent Q. After an accident in the Great War, Knight developed the uncanny ability to see in the dark. Aided by his skirt-chasing partner Larry Doyle, Knights adventures ranged from your basic between the wars espionage to lost valley civilizations and dinosaurs. This, his second tale from January 1937, is more espionage than lost civilizations (like his first).

“Washington to Gray, Flight Eight . . . Washington to Gray . . . Report your position . . .” No sooner had that message rung across those leaden skies when just ahead of his speeding Northrop Richard Knight glimpsed a huge Douglas transport roaring through the snowy blur. And as he saw that ship he cringed. Gray had reported for the last time. For out of that craft’s windows there stared dilated, terrified eyes—the unseeing eyes of the dead. And the faces from which they peered were—a hideous green!

Editor’s Note: His first story, Vultures of the Lost Valley (November 1936, Flying Aces) can be found here.

“They Had What It Takes – Part 11: Richard E. Byrd” by Alden McWilliams

Link - Posted by Bill on July 22, 2010 @ 7:10 pm in

This week we bring you Part 11 of Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation. He called it “They Had What it Takes” and this installment appeared in the December 1937 Flying Aces. It features Richard E. Byrd, the conqueror of the North and South Poles.

We won’t have a new one for you next week as we will be in Columbus, Ohio for PulpFest. If you plan to be there stop by the Age of Aces table and say hello.

Download “They Had What It Takes – Part 11: Richard E. Byrd” December 1937, Flying Aces

More Amazing Blakeslee Covers!

Link - Posted by David on July 18, 2010 @ 2:26 pm in

This week we have more great Dare-Devil Aces covers by Frederick Blakeslee. Popular Publications published some dynamite aviation art on the cover of Dare-Devil Aces! Sadly, we don’t use more than a sliver of it for our books. But that’s a design choice — We’re not trying to keep anything from you. And now we’ve added two more years of great Blakeslee covers to our growing gallery––1936 and 1937!

Captain Babyface Backcover ThumbnailThe June and December covers of 1936 are probably the two most recognizable Dare-Devil Aces covers and we have featured both of them now on back covers of our books. Our very first publication, Steve Fisher’s Captain Babyface, featured the June cover on the back. Captain Babyface and Mr Death matched wits through ten of the twelve issues that year––their last scrap appearing in the November issue. William Hartley’s The Adventures of Molloy & McNamara started running in the July 1936 issue with the adventure we choose to use as the title for the volume, Satan’s Playmates, in the December issue allowing us to utilize it’s cover in the cover design of that book.

Red Falcon 4 Backcover ThumbnailAs 1936 gave way to 1937, Blakeslee’s covers move further away from depictions of planes in use during the late great hate and start to feature more contemporary planes in the frenetic melees depicted on the covers. Robert J. Hogan’s The Red Falcon was also printing it last stories in 1937 with the last Dare-Devil Aces Red Falcon story being published in the January 1938 issue. The June 1937 cover seemed to work best with the crimson cover of the Red Falcon’s fourth and final volume. This is the latest cover we’ve used, but fear not, this is not the last update to our covers gallery. There are more covers to come.

You can enjoy these as well as covers from 1932 through 1935 in our Dare-Devil Aces Cover Gallery!

“They Had What It Takes – Part 10: Major Al Williams” by Alden McWilliams

Link - Posted by Bill on July 15, 2010 @ 11:18 am in

In the late thirties Flying Aces ran Alden McWilliams’ monthly illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation which was called “They Had What it Takes”. In the November 1937 issue they featured the aerobatic genius, Major Al Williams.

Next week McWilliams looks at Richard E. Byrd, the conqueror of the poles.

“They Had What It Takes – Part 9: Ernst Lehmann” by Alden McWilliams

Link - Posted by Bill on July 8, 2010 @ 8:32 am in

Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation was called “They Had What it Takes”, and this week we bring you the 9th installment, which appeared in the October 1937 Flying Aces. It features the German zeppelin ace Captain Ernst Lehmann, whose last command was the ill-fated Hindenburg.

Next week, in Part 10, we will feature Major Al Williams who was considered the greatest aerobatic flier of his time.

“They Had What It Takes – Part 8: Igor Sikorsky” by Alden McWilliams

Link - Posted by Bill on June 30, 2010 @ 9:22 am in

This week we bring you Part 8 of Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation. He called it “They Had What it Takes” and this installment appeared in the September 1937 Flying Aces. It features aircraft developer Igor Sikorsky. Among Sikorsky’s many innovations was the first multi-motored plane.

Next week look for McWilliams’ feature on zeppelin ace Captain Ernst Lehmann, whose last command was the ill-fated Hindenburg.

“They Had What It Takes – Part 7: Amelia Earhart” by Alden McWilliams

Link - Posted by Bill on June 17, 2010 @ 11:50 am in

This week we bring you the seventh installment of Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation. He called it “They Had What it Takes” and this one appeared in the August 1937 Flying Aces. It features Amelia Earhart, “The First Lady of the Air”.

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