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“Lives of the Aces in Pictures – Part 12: Major MacClaren” by Eugene Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on October 12, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Starting in the May 1932 issue of Flying Aces and running almost 4 years, Eugene Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” was a staple of the magazine. Each month Frandzen would feature a different Ace that rose to fame during the Great War. This time around we have Canadian Ace—Major Donald MacClaren!

Donald MacLaren joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917 and quickly accrued 54 victories, making him the highest scoring ace to fly a Sopwith Camel. He was awarded the Military Cross & Bar, Distinguished Service Order, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion d’Honneur and Croix de Guerre. MacLaren recorded his last victory on October 9, 1918—as his combat career came to an end the next day when he broke his leg while wrestling with a friend.

Following the Armistice, he helped form the Royal Canadian Air Force before retiring to begin a career in civil aviation where he formed Pacific Airways which was eventually acquired by Western Canada Airways.

He died on 4 July 1988, aged 95.

(Editor’s Note: These early installments of Frandzen’s “Lives of the Aces in Pictures” that were published in the pulp-sized issues have been reformatted from a two page spread into a one page feature.)

“The Flaming Coffin” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on October 2, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Frederick Blakeslee painted the covers for Dare-Devil Aces‘ entire fourteen year run. Every one of those covers told a story, and Blakeslee had a page with which to do so. Although this time we get a story that’s not quite the story of the cover, but still a good story. This week it’s Blakeslee’s cover for the April 1933 issue of Dare-Devil Aces—”The Flaming Coffin!”

th_DDA_3304TWO British planes left on a bombing raid that was not only unsuccessful but that gave the pilots more fighting and trouble in five minutes than they had had all through the war.

The difficulties started soon after leaving, when one of the bombers developed engine trouble. Its companion slowed down to stay with it, and their escort flew ahead. No sooner were they alone than they espied a Gotha approaching accompanied by a flock of fighting ships. Almost at the same moment fire broke out in the laboring motor of the first bomber and it was compelled to turn about, leaving the other to fight alone. Then began a race against fire and destruction to regain the lines. The crew dropped their load of bombs and exhausted their fire extinguishers only to have the fire break out with renewed fury.

They could not maneuver because of the fire and when the flames got beyond control, it became necessary to land. How the crew escaped from the resulting wreck which was instantly a raging furnace, no one knows, but all succeeded in regaining the lines to safety. The bomber shown on the cover is a Grahame-White E IV “Ganymede.” This is not the type involved in the above episode. It did not fly in France, having been designed prior to the signing of the Armistice. However, it is a War type craft and very interesting in construction. It had a double fuselage with a central nacelle between. It had three motors and three gunpits and carried a crew of six. The principle dimensions are as follows: Span 89′-3″; length 49′-9″; height 16′; Chord 10′-3″; Gap 9′-3″. Its speed low down was 105 mph. and at 10,000 ft. 93 mph. with a landing speed of 52 mph. It weighed, when fully loaded, 16,000 lbs.

The Story Behind The Cover
“The Flaming Coffin: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (April 1933)

Check back again next Thursday for the continuation of this story on May’s cover!