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“The Secret of QX-31″ by James Perley Hughes

Link - Posted by David on July 20, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of a prolific pulp author James Perley Hughes! Hughes was a frequent contributor to various genres of pulps, but he seemed to gravitate toward the air-war spy type stories. And this week’s tale is a prime example—two excellent combat pilots, Sandy Patton and his wingman George Bridges, find themselves transferred to the NIght Owls, a bat patrol that ferries spies over the lines, after a drunken boast. They soon find trouble and intrigue on both sides of the lines from their very first mission when they must fly to QX-31 to extract some agents—a location from which few pilots have ever returned! From the August 1931 issue of Sky Birds, it’s James Perley Hughes’ “The Secret of QX-31!”

Up to the hangars of the Night Owls, that squadron whose history was as dark as the night skies through which they winged, came those two Yanks, leaving behind them the free reckless battles with the Boche in sun-flooded skies. For there, shadowy ships swept through the night to strange and unknown destinations, and the muffled figures in their cockpits sometimes did not return. There, men had numbers instead of names—and victory meant to a pilot only that he and his ship came back.

“How The Aces Went West: Major Edward Mannock” by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on June 6, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

MAY may have ended, but we have one last burst of the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! We have the final installment of C.B. Mayshark’s “How The Aces Went West!” It was an informative feature that spotlighted how famous Aces died. For the December 1935 issue of Sky Birds, Mayshark looks at how Major Edward Mannock “Went West!”

How The Aces Went West
“How The Aces Went West: Major Edward Mannock

by C.B. Mayshark (Sky Birds, December 1935)

“How The Aces Went West: Lieutenant Frank Luke” by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 30, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Along with his cover duties for Sky Birds and Flying Aces in the mid-thirties, Mayshark also contributed some interior illustrations including a series he started in the April issue of Sky Birds that would run until the final issue that December—How The Aces Went West! It was an informative feature that spotlighted how famous Aces died. For the September 1935 issue of Sky Birds, Mayshark looks at how Lieutenant Frank Luke “Went West!”

How The Aces Went West
“How The Aces Went West: Lieutenant Frank Luke

by C.B. Mayshark (Sky Birds, September 1935)

“Sky Birds, November 1934″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 28, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties for Sky Birds with the July 1934 and would paint all the remaining covers until it’s last issue in December 1935. At the start of his run, Sky Birds started featuring a different combat maneuver of the war-time pilots. The lower corner presenting a play-by-play of that month’s maneuver with the remainder of the cover illustrating it. For November 1934 issue Mayshark gives us “Armored Audacity!”

Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots:
Armored Audacity

WITH one or two exceptions, th_SB_3411 all metal planes were uncommon during the war. The ships which saw service on the Front were of fabric construction, with wooden spars, longerons and ribs used throughout.

On planes of 1917 and 1918 design, however, metal was employed for hoods on the water-cooled jobs, as well as for the cowlings of radials and rotaries. Metal was not used further than this, except on ships of rare design, most of which never got into active service. In the hectic days of the war, manufacturers were reluctant to depart from time-proven standards and pitch headlong into the mass production of a design which had not established its worth over the blood-stained battlefields of France.

However, there is always some one a step ahead of the rest of the world—some one with courage and foresight enough to make a radical departure from conventional design. Such a step was taken by the engineers of the Bristol Works in England during 1918. The result of their efforts is the Bristol M-1, an all-metal adaptation of the famous Bristol Fighter.

The main object in building the M-1 was to produce a ship capable of resisting the climatic variations of hot countries such as Egypt and India. However, several M-1’s found their way across the Channel and into France. The M-1 was very similar in appearance to the Bristol Fighter, the important changes in design occurring in the center-section of the lower plane, which is entirely cut away, with only the two main spars remaining intact, and in the tail assembly, which carries a larger fin and a smaller tailskid than the Fighter.

Steel is employed throughout the fuselage construction, a light-weight composition metal being used on the outer covering. The spars and ribs of the wings are steel, fabric being used for a covering. The M-1 carries a 200-h.p. Sunbeam “Arab” in its nose, and Is capable of making about 124 miles per hour. The regulation Scarff mounting is used over the observer’s cockpit, on which either single or double Lewis gun units can be fitted. Twin Vickers are carried beneath the engine hood, and are equipped with an interrupter gear for firing through the prop.

The other ship pictured on this month’s cover is a single-seater German “Kondor.” It will be observed that the center-section on the upper plane is entirely cut away, even the main spars being eliminated. The ship is powered with a 140-h.p. Goebels rotary with air-cooling being accomplished by means of holes bored through the front turn of the cowling.

The maneuver executed by the pilot of the Bristol is quite appropriately termed audacious. With the Kondor on his tail, the Bristol pilot exposes himself and his observer to great apparent danger. As he fakes a dive, he hoiks the ship up and thunders before the German, directly in the line of a deadly fire. But the Spandau tracers cannot find a vital spot beneath the Bristol armor, and as the German pilot frantically fights for altitude, the Bristol observer, well in the German’s blind spot, lines up the best target he has ever seen through his Lewis sights.

As he trips the trigger, one burst of fire is emitted. The Kondor staggers, with prop spinning madly. The German plane levels off. Its nose begins to sink, and as it begins a long, wide, uncontrolled spiral, it sets itself to its last task—its last descent.

The Story of The Cover
Sky Birds, November 1934 by C.B. Mayshark
(Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots: The Story Behind This Month’s Cover)

“How The Aces Went West: Captain Lanoe George Hawker” by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 23, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Along with his cover duties for Sky Birds and Flying Aces in the mid-thirties, Mayshark also contributed some interior illustrations including a series he started in the April issue of Sky Birds that would run until the final issue that December—How The Aces Went West! It was an informative feature that spotlighted how famous Aces died. For the August 1935 issue of Sky Birds, Mayshark looks at how Captain Lanoe George Hawker “Went West!”

How The Aces Went West
“How The Aces Went West: Captain Lanoe George Hawker

by C.B. Mayshark (Sky Birds, August 1935)

“Sky Birds, October 1934″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 21, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties for Sky Birds with the July 1934 and would paint all the remaining covers until it’s last issue in December 1935. At the start of his run, Sky Birds started featuring a different combat maneuver of the war-time pilots. The lower corner presenting a play-by-play of that month’s maneuver with the remainder of the cover illustrating it. For October 1934 issue Mayshark gives us “The Camera Crasher!”

Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots:
The Camera Crasher

ONE of the most skilled, daring, th_SB_3410 and probably least appreciated members of tho air services during the war was the observer who happened to be capable of using an air camera. Actually, there were very few who could do this job well, in spite of the fact that all airmen were supposed to be trained in the use of the instrument. There was always one man in every squadron who was unlucky enough, right from the start, to be able to get good pictures. From that day on, he was marked.

The air photographer had to be a strange combination of grim, fighting courage, cool, methodical cunning and unbelievable patience. In the first place, he had to be an observer, a man worthy of any one’s respect. Then he had to be a plodding soul who was game enough to keep his pilot on a straight course while he got strips of pictures to make up the innumerable mosaic maps that the Army seemed to consume with amazing rapidity. Next, he had to be a capable fighting man, in order to do two things at once—and do them both well. He had to be able to fight with one hand on his Lewis or Parabellum gun while with the other he was ramming the plates through the camera with, machinelike precision.

Try holding off two Huns with one hand, ramming the feed handle of the camera back and forth with the other, while you count slowly to eight between plate changes— and you get an idea what it was all about. If your pilot got “windy” during the spree and let his ship run slightly off line to dodge the crackling tracer, you arrived back to find that half your plates had been exposed over a section you had taken the day before. Then back you went again, to try it all over.

The photography proposition was a serious business in the war days. The areas involved had to be photographed regularly, and not just in single shots, as most air-story readers believe. You had to get eighteen plates in a row at a time. The single plate exposure of some particular pinpoint came now and again, but not often enough to make up for the hair-raising experiences getting the mosaic strips.

Then there was the other side of the photography game—the defense against it. This is where we got the idea for this month’s cover.

Here we see a German two-seater that has sneaked over the French lines and caught an important strip which may or may not have considerable bearing on a coming offensive. That ship must be stopped. It must never get back to Germany. But it has already nailed the picture, and there is but one thing to do.

To shoot it down might help, but you cannot be sure. You might kill both the pilot and the observer, and yet the camera plates might still be intact. Then, if they are recovered from the wreckage and developed, they can still do the damage the French feared.

It was to this end that several countries on the Allied side of tho line worked on the development of a cannon-plane, or a ship that was armed with a one-pounder for a particular purpose. That purpose was the same for which Buckingham ammunition was intended—destruction by fire. When a ship was shot down in flames, everything aboard, including cameras and plate boxes, was usually consumed by fire.

The Spad-Cannon is well known, mainly because it was used with fair effect by both Fonck and Guynemer. The real truth of the matter, however, is that the cannon-ship was actually developed for the purpose of destroying enemy camera ships by setting them on fire. The shell used was a graze-fuse incendiary missile. The Buggatti-Spad shown in the upper portion of this month’s cover was a special two-seater using a Buggatti motor, with barrel-type water and oil-cooling chambers shown beneath the nose. The gun used was a spring-recoil weapon fitted to fire through the propeller-shaft, which was hollow and geared to the two eight-cylinder crank shafts. How many of these ships were built and titled on the Front is not known, but we are presenting it to show just how these much-talked-of cannon-ships were employed.

The Albatros CV shown is also a 1918 type, fitted with a 225-h.p. B.W.F. motor. The upper wing had a span of 41 feet, 6 inches, and the lower a span of 40 feet, 4 inches. The strangely balanced ailerons should be noticed. The unfortunate observer-camera man has ripped his Parabellum out of the Gotha-type gun mounting, a steel post which swivels from a point in the center of the floor, and fits into holes or slots around the ring.

The Story of The Cover
Sky Birds, October 1934 by C.B. Mayshark
(Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots: The Story Behind This Month’s Cover)

“How The Aces Went West: Werner Voss” by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 16, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Along with his cover duties for Sky Birds and Flying Aces in the mid-thirties, Mayshark also contributed some interior illustrations including a series he started in the April issue of Sky Birds that would run until the final issue that December—How The Aces Went West! It was an informative feature that spotlighted how famous Aces died. For the July 1935 issue of Sky Birds, Mayshark gives us “How Werner Voss Went West!”

How The Aces Went West
“How The Aces Went West: Werner Voss

by C.B. Mayshark (Sky Birds, July 1935)

“Sky Birds, September 1934″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 14, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties for Sky Birds with the July 1934 and would paint all the remaining covers until it’s last issue in December 1935. At the start of his run, Sky Birds started featuring a different combat maneuver of the war-time pilots. The lower corner presenting a play-by-play of that month’s maneuver with the remainder of the cover illustrating it. For September 1934 issue Mayshark gives us “Death For The Decoy!”

Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots:
Death For The Decoy

THIS month our cover depicts a th_SB_3408 maneuver used many times during the latter months of the war, but not greatly exploited in story or illustration. It is not known who originated the decoy idea, but a defense for it was perfected by the British.

The painting shows two unusual ships, a German L.V.G. scout and the British Austin “Greyhound” two-seater fighter. It is improbable that either of these ships ever reached the Front and saw squadron service, but it is known that two or three were sent out and tried by the service-test pilots, whose duties were to flight-test new machines in actual combat, after they had been passed on construction, maneuverability and performance. The faults that lie hidden while ships are undergoing tests over friendly soil are usually brought out in the heat and flame of aerial warfare.

So, in order to give you new models to study, we show the British Austin “Greyhound” getting the D-type L.V.G. scout. We know of no better way of giving you accurate detail pictures, and at the same time explaining some of the intricate maneuvers used on the battlefront.

In this case, we have the original move of the German Staffel commander in sending down the unfortunate decoy. This ship was usually flown by a smart pilot who not only knew how to fake a “greenie” in the air, but was expected to be able to entice the Allied ships down and keep them occupied until the Staffel above could get down and come to his “rescue.” He not only had to be a game pilot, but he had to know every trick in the game. It was necessary that he know every inch of his Front, too, so that if his ship was damaged and he had to make a forced landing, he could cut into the bend in the line and be certain he was well inside his own territory.

This time, the British two-seater leader spots the move. It is possible that the lurking German scouts above have not made full use of the sun, or else they have been spotted as they tore through a hole in their cloud hideout. At any rate, the British commander gives his sub-leader a signal, and the pilot fires a red light, indicating that he is having engine trouble and wants to go back.

Instead of cutting into Allied territory, however, the decoy-destroyer cuts back at the first opportunity, slides into the L.V.G.’s blind spot and works his way into a position where the gunner can get in a terrible burst. If all goes well, the decoy is caught napping, or at least is made to fight, thus drawing the attention of the lurking Germans above.

Down they come, to protect their bait, not noticing the other two-seaters that have withdrawn to a suitable position beneath the Staffel. Once the big formation is on its way down, the British two-seater dives and reverses the role of decoy. The Germans go after him, but put themselves where the British can chop down on them before they have an opportunity to win back a better position. And, in 1918, two sets of guns against one was bad medicine.

The “Greyhound” is really an adaptation of the S.E.5 or the Nieuport Night-hawk in two-seater form. It had an A.B.C. Dragonfly radial engine of 320 h.p. and could do 130 m.p.h. at 10,000 feet. It landed at 45 m.p.h. and climbed to 10,000 feet in 11 minutes.

Little is known of the L.V.G. except that it used the 230-h.p. Benz, and had unusually clean lines. It probably had a speed of about 118 m.p.h.

The Story of The Cover
Sky Birds, September 1934 by C.B. Mayshark
(Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots: The Story Behind This Month’s Cover)

“How The Aces Went West: Major Raoul Lufbery” by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 9, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Along with his cover duties for Sky Birds and Flying Aces in the mid-thirties, Mayshark also contributed some interior illustrations including a series he started in the April issue of Sky Birds that would run until the final issue that December—How The Aces Went West! It was an informative feature that spotlighted how famous Aces died. For the June 1935 issue of Sky Birds, Mayshark gives us “How The Aces Went West: Major Raoul Lufbery!”

How The Aces Went West
“How The Aces Went West: Major Raoul Lufbery

by C.B. Mayshark (Sky Birds, June 1935)

“Sky Birds, August 1934″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 7, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties for Sky Birds with the July 1934 and would paint all the remaining covers until it’s last issue in December 1935. At the start of his run, Sky Birds started featuring a different combat maneuver of the war-time pilots. The lower corner presenting a play-by-play of that month’s maneuver with the remainder of the cover illustrating it. For August 1934 issue Mayshark gives us “Triplane Trickery!”

Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots:
Triplane Trickery

PROBABLY no more interesting bit th_SB_3408 of air action could ever be seen on any front than that involving two triplanes, one a Sopwith, the other, of course, the much discussed Fokker. Both were fast on the controls, almost equally powered and remarkable climbing ships.

The most amazing feature about this triplane business is that even today, with all the publicity that has been given to World War planes, few realize that the greatest triplane on the Front was the Sopwith—not the Fokker.

The Fokker triplane has drawn an unusual amount of regard mainly because von Richthofen flew it for a considerable period. Voss, the great German sportsman, also won twenty-two victories in three weeks in a triplane. The German triplane has attracted attention also because of the garish designs that have been credited to various noted German Staffels. A German triplane decked out in fantastic colors and diced designs looks more offensive than a Sopwith which had to retain its factory colors. The triplanes used by Ray Collishaw and his Black Gang when they were ordered to keep every German observation plane out of the air over Messines, in 1917, were the only British ships used on the Front during the daytime which were daubed up with unorthodox coloring. Our readers will recall that they were all painted black.

The Sopwith triplane was finished and first delivered on May 28th, 1916. The Fokker triplane came out several months later, and had many of the interesting features of the British ship. Except for the Fokker cantilever wing, which made it a stronger ship than the Sopwith, the Fokker was generally considered a steal.

Be that as it may, both were fine ships. The Sopwith triplane was first used by the Royal Naval Air Service and did fine work, but after several months of front-line and coastal action, it was practically superseded by the Camel, which came out in December, 1916. The one fault with the Sopwith was its unusually high landing speed, which frankly made it unsuitable for the temporary airdromes in vogue in France in those days. For this reason, it was practically abandoned. However, when Ray Collishaw, given the unenviable job of clearing the air for a period of three months over Messines, was asked what ship he preferred for the work, he practically stunned everyone by stating that the Sopwith triplane would be his selection.

They gave him five and let him daub them up as he liked. He selected four other young hellions like himself and went to work clearing the air over Messines while the British sunk their memorable mine under the German lines. In two months Collishaw shot down 29 German planes. His Black Gang accounted for nearly forty, altogether, and eventually Messines went up without a German’s knowing what had been going on.

Where the British triplane had it all over the German was in climbing. In the first place, it was much lighter and better powered. In our cover drawing this month, we show a typical maneuver during a raid on a German drome. The British ship had broken out of a patrol to give a line of hangars a dose of Vickers. A German had been taking off just as the Sopwith pilot reached his lowest point. Naturally the Fokker had the early edge in height, but the Sopwith pilot was taught to fake a dive on his enemy at the first opportunity he got. If he hit, okay. If not, he continued on under the Fokker yanked up hard and, with this added momentum, the Sopwith shot into the sky like a high-speed elevator. From that point on, the Fokker was completely outclassed, for while a pilot is struggling to climb, he has little chance to get his nose on an enemy.

Of course, if the Sopwith had tried to out-dive the Hun—that would have been different. But these are the tricks of the triplanes.

The Story of The Cover
Sky Birds, August 1934 by C.B. Mayshark
(Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots: The Story Behind This Month’s Cover)

“How The Aces Went West: Captain Albert Ball” by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 2, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Along with his cover duties for Sky Birds and Flying Aces in the mid-thirties, Mayshark also contributed some interior illustrations including a series he started in the April issue of Sky Birds that would run until the final issue that December—How The Aces Went West! It was an informative feature that spotlighted how famous Aces died. For the inaugural installment from the April 1935 issue of Sky Birds, Mayshark gives us “How The Aces Went West: Captain Albert Ball!”

How The Aces Went West
“How The Aces Went West: Captain Albert Ball

by C.B. Mayshark (Sky Birds, April 1935)

May is Mayshark Month!

Link - Posted by David on May 1, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! On Mondays we’ll be exploring his combat maneuver covers he did for Sky Birds in 1934; Wednesdays bring his “How The Aces Went West” feature from 1935 issues of Sky Birds; and Fridays bring his covers from Flying Aces (1934-1936) and a story attributed to him from Dare-Devil Aces!

We featured his first Sky Birds cover yesterday to get the month rolling a day early. Today we have a bio of the man from Age of Aces’ resident art historian, David Saunders. Saunders’ Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists is an excellent site profiling any pulp artist and illustrator you can think of. Here is his entry for C.B. Mayshark:

CASIMIR B. MAYSHARK
(1912-1978)

CASIMIR BENTON “DUKE” MAYSHARK was born Casimir Mieczyslaus Mayshark, Jr., on January 3, 1912 in Sacramento, California. His father, Casimir Mieczyslaus Mayshark, was born in 1881 in Poland and came to the U.S. in 1893 and settled in San Francisco, California.

The family name Mayshark is an English transliteration of the Polish name in the Cyrillic alphabet, so U.S. immigration officials had to assign approximate phonetic equivalents. Other members of the same family who came to the U.S. were assigned various names of similar sounds, such as “Maycherczyk,” “Marzajek,” “Majchrzak,” and “Mazureck.”

The father was a commercial artist in the advertising industry of San Francisco. It was the father’s second marriage, the first one having ended unhappily, after he deserted his wife and two sons in Missouri.

The mother, Oreon Gracie Page, was born in 1875 in Mississippi, so she was six years older than her husband. She was also and artist. She designed and decorated Art Nouveau china. It was also her second marriage, the first one having ended after one year, when her husband, Percy Frank Wilson (1878-1906), the city editor of the Memphis News Scimitar, died of typhoid fever on January 15, 1906. After his death she lived with her parents in El Paso, Texas, where she operated a private art school.

In 1908 she advertised her classes in the local newspaper. By 1910 she had moved to Los Angeles, California, where she met and married Casimir Mieczyslaus Mayshark on May 7, 1910. They had two children, Casimir Mieczyslaus Mayshark, Jr., (b.1912), and his younger brother, James Page Mayshark, born June 5, 1913. The family lived at 278 29th Avenue in San Francisco.

On May 25, 1913 The San Francisco Call reported in the Art Notes column by Porter Garnett, “Casimir M. Mayshark has recently shown a landscape at the Bohemian Club. This is the first easel picture that Mr. Mayshark, who has specialized in scenic decoration in European and Eastern theaters, has exhibited here. It arrests the attention immediately by its personal quality, its quietness and its altogether delightful color.”

In 1913 the San Francisco Sketch Club organized a poster contest to commemorate the city’s patron saint, Saint Francis. On November 1, 1913 The San Francisco Call published the results of the contest. Casimir M. Mayshark was listed as an entrant but failed to win the $500 prize, which went to the NYC artist Adolph Treidler (1886-1981).

In 1914 Casimir M. Mayshark, with his wife and two sons, moved to El Paso, Texas, where they lived with the mother’s family and the father worked as a manager of the Tuttle System outdoor advertising agency.

In 1915 Casimir M. Mayshark, with his wife and two sons, moved to the East Coast to pursue his career as a Commercial artist in New York City. The family lived at 24 Van Dyke Place in Summit, New Jersey. The father commuted by ferry boat to NYC, where he worked as a freelance commercial artist.

On September 12, 1918 during the Great War Casimir M. Mayshark registered with the draft board. He listed his occupation as Poster Designer. He was recorded to be of medium height, slender build, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was thirty-six, married and supporting two young sons, so he was not selected for military service.

In 1919 the father deserted the family and was never heard from again. Casimir, Jr., was age seven and James was age six. After the marriage was legally dissolved, Casimir Mieczyslaus Mayshark, Jr., was renamed Casimir Benton Mayshark.

The mother and two sons moved to Chatham, New Jersey, where they lived at 222 Hillside Avenue. She supported the family as a commercial artist designing decorative wall paper for a manufacturer.

The father had moved to Atlantic City, NJ, where he worked as a sign painter.

On September 15, 1920 Casimir M. Mayshark addressed the 11th Annual Convention of the Outdoor Advertising Association, held in Cleveland, Ohio. His lecture topic was “Color in Outdoor Advertising.”

In 1925 Casimir M. Mayshark married his third wife, Jesse Whitney. She was born in 1889 in New Hampshire. They lived with her brother’s family at 54 Turner Street in Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as an Interior Decorator. They had two children, Cyrus, born August 3, 1926, who grew up to become an author, and Mary, born May 5, 1928, who grew up to become Mrs. Mary Mayshark Perkins.

In 1929 the father, Casimir M. Mayshark, lived with his third wife and two children at 54 Conant Street in Roxbury, MA, but the following year he again deserted his third wife and two children, after which that marriage was legally dissolved.

In June of 1930 Casimir Benton “Duke” Mayshark graduated from Chatham High School. He had always liked to draw, but by high school he had become interested in a career as a commercial artist.

In 1931 he attended the University of Alabama, where he completed his freshman year. The Great Depression brought hard times to most American families, which made college difficult to afford. By 1932 his younger brother, James Mayshark, had graduated high school with a promising record in football and a dream to play in college, so Casimir Benton “Duke” Mayshark entered the work force instead of returning to Alabama after his freshman year. His brother became a star player with the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

In 1932 C. B. Mayshark began to work as a commercial artist in NYC publishing and advertising. He attended night school art classes at the Art Students League at 215 West 57th Street, where his best teacher was Morris Kantor (1896-1974).

In 1934 C. B. Mayshark painted covers for the pulp magazines Sky Birds and Flying Aces. He also drew pen-and-ink interior story illustrations for these two titles. In addition, he wrote several descriptive articles about his cover paintings, which were featured inside the magazines. He signed his work for pulp magazines “C. B. Mayshark” and “C.B.M.”

The 1940 NYC Business Directory listed the art studio of C. B. Mayshark at 15 West 51st Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

In 1941 he was hired as a staff artist at the James M. Mathes Advertising Company in the prestigious Chanin Building, at 122 East 42nd Street, where Street & Smith, Ideal Publishing, and Decker Publications also had offices. While working at the advertising company he met Helen Lucille Dunaway. She was born December 30, 1919 in Yonkers, New York, and was a graduate of Smith College. She worked as a clerical secretary at J. M. Mathes.

By 1941 his estranged father, Casimir M. Mayshark, had moved to San Diego, California, where he worked as a draftsman for the Simpson Construction Company at the San Diego Naval Training Station. He lived in a lodging house at 432 F Street.

In 1943 Casimir Benton Mayshark was drafted. Before entering service he married Helen Lucille Dunaway. They eventually had three children, Joseph (b.1944), Cassandra (b.1946), and Sanford (b.1951). The family lived in Forest Hills, Queens, NY.

During WWII C. B. Mayshark served as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, 17th Bomber Wing, Second Air Corps, Radio Division. He was stationed at an air base in Idaho, where he painted a mural in Building 23 of the air base. He was not sent overseas.

His younger brother, James P. Mayshark, served as a Captain in the Army Tank Corps and was wounded in North Africa.

On 1943 nationwide newspapers covered the poignant story of his mother, Mrs. Oreon Page Mayshark, and her remarkable experience as she sat in a Times Square movie theater and watched a wartime newsreel with dramatic battle scenes, and suddenly recognized her son as he was wounded in combat.

After the war, C. B. “Duke” Mayshark started Mayshark & Keyes Advertising Art Company with a partner, Bill Keyes. The company grew successful during the post-war years.

His brother, James P. Mayshark, became a salesman of Pneumatic tools and moved to Buffalo, NY.

In 1950 C. B. Mayshark sold his share in the business to his partner and retired to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he designed and build the family home.

In 1952 he was appointed Director of the New Mexico State Tourist Bureau, of the State Department of Development, under Governor Ed Mechem.

In 1954 that political appointment ended, after which C. B. Mayshark started Mayshark Lithographing Company, which printed jobs for the public, but also won contracts to print posters for the New Mexico State Tourism Bureau.

In 1962 Casimir B. Mayshark’s mother, Oreon Gracie Page Mayshark, died at the age of eighty-seven in Santa Fe, where she had lived with the family.

In 1962 C. B. Mayshark closed the printing company when he was appointed Administrative Assistant for New Mexico Governor Jack Campbell.

In 1964 C. B. Mayshark became Executive Secretary to the Governor of New Mexico, in charge of Promotion of Business and Tourism with national advertising campaigns, New Mexico Magazine, and the organization of the New Mexico State Exhibition at the 1964 World’s Fair in NYC.

The father, Casimir Mieczyslaus Mayshark, returned to San Fransisco, where he lived at 715 Clementina Street, and continued to work as a Commercial Artist, until he died at the age of eighty-four on November 5, 1965.

In 1966 C. B. Mayshark was the Director of the New Mexico Department of Development.

In 1968 C. B. Mayshark retired from New Mexico State politics and concentrated on making art. His work was exhibited at the University of New Mexico, St. John’s College in Santa Fe, and the University of Hawaii.

C. B. “Duke” Mayshark (age sixty-six) and his wife, Helen Lucille Mayshark (age fifty-eight), were fatally injured in an automobile accident in Albuquerque, NM, on September 28, 1978.

 

David Saunders included many photos and illustrations in his entry for C.B. Mayshark on his site. Please check them out and come back frequently this month for more from C.B. Mayshark!

 

© 2015 David Saunders. David Saunders is the son of pulp artist Norman Saunders and an artist himself. The above article is from David’s website A Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists and is used with his kind permission.

“Sky Birds, July 1934″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on April 30, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we’re celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark and we’re getting things rolling a day early! Mayshark took over the covers duties for Sky Birds with the July 1934 and would paint all the remaining covers until it’s last issue in December 1935. At the start of his run, Sky Birds started featuring a different combat maneuver of the war-time pilots. The lower corner presenting a play-by-play of that month’s maneuver with the remainder of the cover illustrating it. For his inaugural issue Mayshark gives us “The Barrel-Roll Death Trap!”

Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots:
The Barrel-Roll Death Trap

THE rear gunner—aerial th_SB_3407gunner to the trade—was a much misunderstood figure. Few people today realize that the R.F.C. used many noncommissioned men on their fighting ships. As a matter of fact, the R.F.C. gunner was an important figure in the victorv that the Allied aerial arm scored over the enemy.

Take this month’s fighting maneuver, for instance. Here’s a case where the rear gunner was the real brains of the action. The D.H.9 in the foreground is being piloted by an officer, but he is, at the moment, under the direct guidance of the N.C.O. gunner, who might be anything from a second-class air mechanic to a sergeant.

The case in question is the matter of maneuvers while being attacked by single-seaters. The D.H.9’s are coming home from a bombing show. They have already dropped their load on Manheim, Ghent, Gontrode, or perhaps even the submarine bases above Ostend. All they have to do now is return to the back area, where they will be picked up by the advance scouts—Camels, S.E.G’s, or Spads-who will escort them over the lines.

But in the meantime, twenty or thirty miles have to be negotiated before they can expect such protection, and from their objective back to this point, the bombers have to rely on their own ability. So far, they have managed to hold formation, but at a point about fifteen miles from the line they run into a bank of cumulus clouds and are forced to break up for safety. You can’t fly formation in cloud banks.

This break-up gives the enemy scouts their chance. They pick on the lame ducks, the ships that stray too far away from the original line of flight.

That’s where the rear gunner comes in. As the Siemens-Schuckert monoplane sweeps in for the kill, the rear gunner taps the pilot on either side of the shoulder to indicate which way he should turn. Then, when things get too hot, he feigns being wounded and holds his fire.

The German single-seater darts in for the final burst. Then, watching closely, the gunner signals a fake loop. The D.H.9 starts the loop and the S-S follows. But the D.H.9, gaining speed in the dive, suddenly goes into a fast barrel roll. The S-S ship continues the loop, and when her belly is shown, the rear gunner comes suddenly into action with his Lewis gun. In the loop, the single-seater is slow and offers a rare target. The gunner lets drive with all his might and plants a beautiful row in her dirty belly. A tracer finds the tank and sets her afire. The poor German, wondering where the D.H.9 went to, suddenly finds himself sitting in a blazing cockpit. The rest is history. It was the maneuvering of the gunner that brought this about—but the officer will probably get credit for the kill!

The Siemens-Schuckert shown in the picture is an unusual ship. It is a monoplane with the old Oburursal rotary, a copy of the Le Rhone, but it was fast in maneuvers. Few were flown on the Western Front, but a number were sent to Austria to combat the fast Italian Fiat chasers.

The D.H.9, one of the best two-seater bombers of the war, was powered with the B.H.P. 240-h.p. motor, a plane that was unusually suitable for fine streamlining, as seen in the nose detail. At 10,000 feet, it had a speed of 110 m.p.h. and was one of the important units of the R.F.C. in the late months of the war.

The Story of The Cover
Sky Birds, July 1934 by C.B. Mayshark
(Combat Maneuvers of War-Time Pilots: The Story Behind This Month’s Cover)

Now Available!

Link - Posted by David on July 23, 2016 @ 9:34 am in

IF YOU can’t make it to PulpFest in Columbus this weekend, you can still get copies of our new books online from the usual outlets. Both of our new books—Frederick C. Painton’s Squadron of the Dead and Donald E. Keyhoe’s Captain Philip Strange: Strange Spectres—are now available to order online from Adventure House, Mike Chomko Books and Amazon!

While you’re waiting for the books to arrive, why not check out some of the extras we’ve put on line for each book to whet your appetite. For Painton’s Squadron of the Dead we’ve posted the original pulp scans from Sky Birds magazine of the opening page art so you can see how it would have looked if you were reading the stories back in 1935 when they were originally published. You can also read the opening of the stories in the scans. Orignally we had posted a few of the Squadron of the Dead stories on our site—we had enjoyed them so much that we we had found all eight stories we decided to collect them into a book. The first one is still available here if you want to sample the book.

For the latest release of the weird World War I adventures of Donald E. Keyhoe’s Captain Philip Strange we have the original full page scans of the opening artwork for each of the six stories collected in Strange Spectres! For the last few volumes we’ve only been posting cropped artwork, this is the first time we’re posting the full page scan so you can read a bit of story and enjoy Eugene M. Frandzen’s art in all its glory from the pages of Flying Aces magazine. Painton’s Squadron also uses Frandzen’s art, but here in the bedsheet sized issues of Flying Aces you get those glorious painted images Frandzen would do—much better than his line art.

And the piece de resistance of any Strange book—Chris’ great cutout artwork he does for each of the stories! There are only six this time—but they’re all winners. You can check them out on the Strange Spectres Design page!

Both books are available for $16.99 wherever our books are sold, so pick up both today! You can order online from Adventure House, Mike Chomko Books and Amazon!

Premiering at PulpFest 2016!

Link - Posted by David on July 18, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Age of Aces will be back at PulpFest again this year where we will be debuting our two new titles!

First, we have the lastest in our Captain Philip Strange series—back with six more weird WWI stories in Strange Spectres! A mental marvel from birth, who used his talents on stage as a boy, Philip Strange is now known as “The Phantom Ace of G-2″ by the Allies during WWI. “Horrors of war” takes on a whole new meaning when WWI erupts with paranormal activity: Flaming planes piloted by charred skeletons; Battleship crews that mysteriously vanish; Medieval knights falling from the sky; The spirit of the Red Baron himself haunting the frontlines! When World War I gets weird, only America’s own “Phantom Ace of G-2” has a ghost of a chance against the supernatural slaughter. Captain Philip Strange in his strangest cases yet from the pages of Flying Aces magazine!

Our other title is from the pen of Frederick Painton, a prolific pulp author and venerated newspaper man. We’ve collected eight of his stories that ran in the pages of Sky Birds magazine in 1935 and are publishing them under the title Squadron of the Dead. The Squadron of the Dead contained all the hellions of ten armies! Men without hope; men courting death; men who loved to kill; men who laughed and fought, drank and cursed, lived hard, and died harder. Americans, British, Russians—even Germans—made up their ranks, and only one bond held them together: Death lay ahead of them. They were assigned the grim missions no other squadron dared to take—for they had all been condemned to die!

Painton’s Squadron of the Dead is a departure from our usual titles that feature a scrappy band of aviators flying through various adventures. Each of the eight stories in Painton’s Squadron of the Dead is the story of a different pilot who has been condemned to death and sent to the squadron to serve out his sentence. And die they did, dropping spies, bombing impossible places, strafing infantry for harassed Allied battalions. These men flew recklessly, savagely, knowing they could live again only when death really claimed them. Then their names would shine once again in the casualty announcements and they would be posthumously awarded the Legion d’Honneur.

In addition to these two volumes we’ll have all of our other titles that are still in print as well as our convention exclusive—Arch Whitehouse’s Coffin Kirk. So if you’re planning on coming to Columbus for PulpFest this year, stop by our table and say hi and pick up our latest releases!

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