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“Lives of the Aces in Pictures – Part 16: Georges Madon” by Eugene Frandzen

Link - Posted by David on February 1, 2017 @ 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 French flying Ace—Capitaine Georges Madon!

Capitaine Georges Madon was one of the most famous of the French flying aces. Along with Guynemer, Navarro and Nungesser, he furnished the spectacular flying news that filled the newspapers in the early days of the World War. He was credited with forty-one victories—only the great Guynemer topped him in the list of French aces during his time on the battle front—and awarded the Legion d’Honneur, Medaile Militaire, and Croix de Guerre.

Cool, courageous and audacious, he kited the battle skies, making short shrift of all the enemy flyers who were unfortunate enough to encounter his specially gunned Nieuport fighter.

Unlike the great Guynemer, Capitaine Madon survived the war. Sadly, he died in a plane crash on 11 November 1924—the sixth anniversary of the end of the First World War—while flying in tribute to the deceased French aviation legend Roland Garros. His aircraft having malfunctioned he deliberately crashed his aircraft into the roof of a villa rather than hit watching spectators. He was 32.

(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.)

“Ace of the Storm” by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on November 6, 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. This time we present Blakeslee’s cover for the September 1933 issue—”Ace of the Storm”…

th_DDA_3309ALL BOCHE machines on the French side of the lines turned and fled toward Germany—Allied ships on the German side turned and fled toward France—dogfights were broken off abruptly. The cause of this was a mutual enemy and one whom no man could fight—a thunderstorm.

A lone Allied pilot, deep in Germany, saw it coming and swung his Nieuport back toward the front. Just as he was passing the head of the storm, two L.V.G.’s approached. He knew they were Boches, but the storm was close and looked ugly, so he decided to pass them. However, as he sped by with a wave of his hand, one of the Jerry gunners sent a burst of steel into his ship which just missed the cockpit.

Enraged, he turned. Sweeping in from the side in a figure eight, he sent a burst into the gunner’s cockpit—and was gratified to see the Boche crumple up. But at the same time he saw flaming tracers flash by his head. Without turning, he looped just in time to spot a Halberstadt flash by underneath. It apparently had arrived from nowhere and, unknown to him, had been riding his tail. A blinding flash of lightning just then made him decide not to attack the newcomer.

The storm by now had cut off the further retreat of the Germans and they were diving toward earth, presumably to land. There was only one opening beyond which the sky showed brightly. Behind and on two sides the storm was raging and fast closing the gap. Bewildered by his useless compass, and not knowing whether the gap led toward France or Germany, the Yank made for it in desperation. He reached it and had just landed when the storm broke.
German reports for that day list five ships missing. Among them one Halberstadt and two L.V.G.’s!

During 1917 and 1918 the Halberstadt firm produced one of the best two-seater fighters of the war. The first one was brought down at Villes Bocage by Lieutenants Armstrong and Mert in an R.E.8 on September 6, 1918.

The Halberstadt. in all probability, represents the high-water mark of two-seater German airplane construction, as it was not only well and strongly constructed, but its general behavior in the air was good according to the standards of the day.

The Story Behind The Cover
“Ace of the Storm: The Story Behind The Cover” by Frederick M. Blakeslee (September 1933)

Check back again. We will be presenting more of Blakeslee’s Stories behind his cover illustrations.