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“The Laughing Major” by George Bruce

Link - Posted by David on December 11, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

TODAY we have a story from the highly prolific George Bruce. Bruce, a former pilot, began writing in the 1920’s and became noted for his aerial war stories—several publications even bore his name. In the 1930’s and ’40’s he transitioned into screenwriting for Hollywood action films and then into tv in the 1950’s and ’60’s.

The Fourth Squadron hated Major Powers. That hatred seeped out of the soul of the lowliest of the ground crew exactly as it surged unceasingly in the souls of the pilots.
He never seemed burdened by fatigue. His eyes never lost the half-feverish, half-mocking light—never lost a peculiar brilliancy which seemed to feed upon his soul. His face was never anything but a pale mask, contorted by a never-changing grin which drew his thin lips back over his white teeth—and made every man on the field harbor the insane desire to smash his fist against Powers’ face and drive those wolf-like teeth down the Major’s throat. Yes, The Fourth hated Major Powers—that is, until they got to know him.

The pilots of the Fourth fought black-crossed ships, but they kept their hate for the man who led the way into the sky. They hated his sneer, his jeers, his scorn—but most of all they hated his laugh.

From the December 1931 issue of Aces, it’s “The Laughing Major” by George Bruce!

“Dual Control” by E.W. Chess

Link - Posted by David on December 2, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

TO START off our twelve stories of Christmas 1931, we have an excellent tale by E.W. Chess from the pages of the December 1931 Aces magazine!

Martin Hale became a man without a country—He had been found guilty of desertion and insubordination. Rather than leave the war, Hale assumes the identity of an American pilot who has been presumed dead after his plane crashes and burns. But just who is Jerrald Hammond? What starts out as a way to stay in the war turns into a tale of espionage and intrigue.

One pilot passed to the tune of tapping drums, another fell with crimson flame to mark his end. But behind the Front was a strange rendezvous for the ghosts that walked the war night.

From the pages of Aces, it’s “Dual Control” by E.W. Chess!

Pulpflakes posted an excellent post about the life of “Elliot Chess—Fighter pilot, Author” last year. You can check it out here!

The Aces of Christmas 1931

Link - Posted by David on November 30, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

WHILE browsing through eBay a couple months ago, I came upon these two snapshots from a family’s Christmas in Memphis 1931. What caught my eye was the little boy all dressed up as a WWI ace with leather jacket, aviator’s cap with goggles, and some sort of tall leather boots(?)! It got me thinking about what stories that boy could have been reading that rather mild, snowless December in Memphis.

So this month we’ll be featuring stories published in the December 1931 issues of Aces, Sky Birds, War Aces and War Birds, by some of our favorite authors—Arch Whitehouse, O.B. Myers, Frederick C. Painton, Frederick C. Davis, Donald E. Keyhoe, and George Bruce—as well as a couple new or seldom seen authors to our site—Elliot W. Chess, Edgar L. Cooper, and Robert Sidney Bowen.

Looking at that impressive list, you may be wondering where a few of our most often posted authors are. Authors like Ralph Oppenheim, Harold F. Cruickshank, Lester Dent and Joe Archibald. That’s a bit of good news/bad news. The good news, we’ve already posted the stories Ralph Oppenheim (“Lazy Wings”) and Lester Dent (“Bat Trap”) had in the December 1931 War Aces; the bad, I don’t have the December 1931 issues of Wings featuring George Bruce, F.E. Rechnitzer and Edwin C. Parsons or Flying Aces with Keyhoe, Archibald, George Fielding Eliot, Alexis Rossoff, and William E. Poindexter. And as for Cruickshank—he didn’t have a story in any of the air pulps that month.

With that in mind—and since it’s Monday, let’s get the ball rolling with the covers of Christmas 1931!


ACES by Redolph Belarski


BATTLE ACES by Frederick Blakeslee


FLYING ACES by Paul J. Bissell


SKY BIRDS by Colcord Heurlin


WAR ACES by Eugene Frandzen


WAR BIRDS by Redolph Belarski


WINGS by Redolph Belarski

Come back on Wednesdays and Fridays this month for some of the great fiction from these issues!

“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.

“The Flying Fortress” by Arch Whitehouse

Link - Posted by Bill on February 18, 2010 @ 2:48 pm in

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?