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“Fairey Hendons and the Gladiators” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on March 2, 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 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

Link - Posted by David on February 28, 2020 @ 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. 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.

“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)

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)

“Wrong About Face!” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on November 29, 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.

It was reported that plans vital to the Allied cause had been stolen from a certain general in a hotel in Bar-Le-Duc. Potsdam’s spies had been out-snooping the Allied slewfoots. Things were known on the German side that should not have been known—and wouldn’t have been unless there was skulduggery on the Democratic side of the lines. Washington, London, Rome, and Paris were getting inklings here and there anent a mysterious Teuton Intelligence Dynasty. The scions of a well-born family irrigated with blue Dutch blood were spread all over the Western Front. A lot of practical brass hats called it an Old Wives’ tale. They said that it was propaganda to irk the morale of the Allies. But when a certain concentration center or important dump was shellacked with deadly precision, the same brass hats began to bite their finger nails and believe in anything—even a pilot called Patrick Henry the Third!

From the pages of the May 1937 Flying Aces, it’s another sky-high “Phineas Pinkham” mirthquake from the Joe Archibald—It’s “Wrong About Face!”

When Patrick Henry the Third shoved his super-schnozzled pan into Major Rufus Garrity’s flight office, the ozone above the drome rang with the patriotic cry of “Give me a Liberty or give me a Hisso!” But before long someone started to play a game that called for an aunt instead of an ante. And Phineas? Well, he played a Pat face against a Pat hand.

“Poosh ‘Em Up—Pinkham” by Joe Archibald

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

“HAW-W-W-W-W!” That sound can only mean one thing—that marvel from Boonetown, Iowa is back causing more trouble than he’s worth! During the last year of the colossal fuss the Italian board of strategy powwowed at Padua and came to the conclusion that something had to be done about the Austro threat across the Piave and sent out an S.O.S. to the western front calling for a triple threat airman who would be able to cope with one Baron von Zweibach who had become widely known from the Dardanelles to the Dover Straits as “The Caproni Crusher.” The only way to fight a triple treat is with a triple threat, so Wing sent that jinx to Jerries to Italy! It’s another Phineas Pinkham laugh panic from the pages of the April 1937 Flying Aces!

Things looked pretty dark on the Piave, and the Roman Brass Hats admitted it. For “The Caproni Crusher,” Baron von Zweibach, was loose—and they didn’t have a flyer good enough to dunk him. But the situation could have been worse—in fact, when Phineaseppi Pinkhamillo arrived on the scene it was worser!

“Smoke Scream” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on August 30, 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!

It’s a simple formula. Take one Brigadier who’s lost important plans for the big push add to it the crafty Baron von Spieler. Multiply it by an elephant hopped up on arnica on a rampage. Throw in a hindu mystic and take all of it to the Phineas Pinkham power and you get “Smoke Scream,” Joe Archibald’s latest side-splitting Phineas laugh riot from the pages of the March 1937 Flying Aces!

Lost battle plans! That’s what worried the Brass Hats. But Lieutenant Pinkham, Boonetown’s gift to the 9th Pursuit, went out for bigger things—to be specific, something a couple of tons bigger which answered to the monicker of Hungha Tin. All of which led to a riddle which was still bigger, to wit: Which came first, the bruises or the arnica?

“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.”

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