“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.
“Transpacific Plunder” by Frederick C. Painton
Tony Blaine knew it was a bad idea to be in that Manilla bar in the first place—after all his first take-off as chief pilot of the Pacific Cruiser was less than four hours away. And when that girl approached him, deep down in his gut, he knew trouble was also going to be aboard this flight
“Tarmac of Treason” by Frederick C. Painton
The dread skull emblem on their planes was the only flag the men of the Squadron of the Dead would follow, and to them fell the deadly tasks which no other squadron dared attempt. Yet powerful as they had become in the service of the Allies, a more terrible force had organized against them. For the German chief of Imperial Intelligence had proclaimed the grim order: “Every man in the Squadron of the Dead must be destroyed!”
“The Glory Gambler” by Frederick C. Painton
The Squadron of the Dead return for another mission, but this one is unlike any they have taken on before.
Death lay behind those men in the somber, black uniforms, for every man in that squadron had been sentenced to die. Death lay ahead of them, for to them were assigned the grim missions no other squadron dared to take. Then at last came a task which even those ghosts of the war skies dreaded to face—yet it was a task in which death played no part.
“Today We Die” by Frederick C. Painton
The names of the men in that strange, ill-assorted squadron were listed only in the most secret annals of Allied Intelligence. To everyone else they were known merely as the Squadron of the Dead. Americans, British, Russians—even Germans—made up their ranks, and only one bond held them together. They had all been condemned to die! An unusual story of an unusual squadron.
“Duel of Dishonor” by Frederick C. Painton
Meet “The Squadron of The Dead.” Reminiscent of the Dirty Dozen, condemned airmen from different nations are banded together in one squadron to battle the Germans in WWI. Their only hope is to die in combat rather than be returned to their countries to face the gallows. Author Frederick C. Painton was a WWII correspondent and died of a heart attack on a Guam airfield while covering the Pacific war.