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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!

An Elmer Hubbard Bibliography

Link - Posted by David on December 18, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

This month we’re celebrating the talents of that pulp stalwart—Joe Archibald. Archibald wrote hundreds of stories for the pulps, both dramatic and humorous. His bread and butter it would seem was the humorous tale. He had long running series in several pulp titles. In the detective titles there was Alvin Hinkey, the harness bull Hawkshaw, in 10 Story Detective; Scoops & Snooty, the Evening Star’s dizzy duo, in Ten Detective Aces; and the President of the Hawkeye Detective Agency himself—Willie Klump in Popular Detective. While in the aviation titles he had the pride of Booneville—Phineas Pinkham in Flying Aces; and the one-two punch of Ambrose Hooley & Muley Spinks in The Lone Eagle, The American Eagle, Sky Fighters and War Birds!; and Elmer Hubbard and Pokey Cook in Sky Birds!

Joe Archibald also supplied illustrations for his Elmer Hubbard stories
as he was doing with the Phineas Pinkham howls in Flying Aces.

Archibald wrote the Elmer Hubbard stories as if they were letters Elmer was writing home to his friend Pete back in Rumford Junction, Maine. In these Billy Doos he tells Pete all about his adventures as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Corpse—the hi-jinx he gets up to with his buddy Pokey Cook knocking around Paris and knocking down germans. All the usual Archibald humor abounds.

A listing of all the Elmer Hubbard stories.

title magazine date vol no
Elmer of The Air Core Sky Birds Sep 07 6
Local Boy Makes Good Sky Birds Oct 07 7
Paree—And Busted Sky Birds Nov 07 8
Nitwit’s Nest Sky Birds Dec 07 9
Elmer Knows His Groceries Sky Birds Jan 07 10
Assault and Flattery Sky Birds Feb 07 11
Chute The Works Sky Birds Mar 07 12
Elmer and His Tin Fish Sky Birds Apr 10 1
School Daze Sky Birds Jun 10 2
Duck Soup For Elmer Sky Birds Aug 10 3
Hedgehopper’s Heaven Sky Birds Sep 10 4
I.O.U.—One Ace Sky Birds Oct 11 1
Stick With Me, Elmer Sky Birds Nov 11 2
Sadder, But Not Wiser Sky Birds Dec 11 3
Cook’s Detour Sky Birds Jan 11 4
Good Night, Nurse Sky birds Feb 12 1
To The Highest Kidder Sky Birds Mar 12 2
Kilt In Action Sky Birds Apr 12 3
Bullet Spoof Sky Birds May 12 4
Scent By Air Sky Birds Jul 13` 1
A Spree De Corpse Sky Birds Aug 13 2
I Cover The Western Front Sky Birds Sep 13 3
Spark Pugs Sky Birds Oct 13 4
Ain’t We Got hun Sky Birds Nov 14 1
Page Mr. Handley Sky Birds Dec 14 2
Channel Skimmers Sky Birds Jan 14 3
The Vanishing Americans Sky Birds Feb 14 4
Uneasy Marks Sky Birds Mar 15 1
Three Flights Up Sky Birds Apr 15 2
By Hook or Cook Sky Birds May 15 3
The Tusk Patrol Sky Birds Jun 15 4
Hokus Focus Sky Birds Jul 16 1
Stormy Petrol Sky Birds Aug 16 2
Spy Crust Sky Birds Sep 16 3
France Formation Sky Birds Oct 16 4
Fudge Fight Sky Birds Nov 17 1
Yankee Boodle Sky Birds Dec 17 2
The Oily Bird Sky Birds jan 17 3
Observation Bust Sky Birds Feb 17 4
Red Herrs Sky Birds Mar 18 1
Crash and Carrie Sky Birds Apr 18 2
Heir Attack Sky Birds Jun 18 3
Shoe Flyers Sky Birds Jul 18 4
Zoom With Bath Sky Birds Aug 19 1
Stars and Tripes Sky Birds Sep 19 2
Slip Screams Sky Birds Dec 19 3


We present as a bonus, Joe Archibald’s first tale of Elmer Hubbard. Elmer writes his first letter to Pete back in Rumford Junction telling him all about his first days in France as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force with Pokey Cook.

Elmer Hubbard, second looie in the U.S. Air Force, hadn’t done what he did, he’d have been just a gold star in the window of Perkins & Biggers, Tires and Accessories, Rumford Junction, Maine. But let Elmer tell it himself—and don’t ask us how it got passed by the censor!


And check out these previously posted letters home from Elmer Hubbard of his exploits on the Western Front with Pokey Cook.

Duck Soup For Elmer

Rittmeister von Gluck was making things so tough on the tarmac where Elmer of the Air Corps parked his Spad that G.H.Q. threatened to move the whole drome back. But there was a very special reason why Elmer didn’t want that to happen—a reason named Gwendolyn. Now don’t get us wrong—Gwendolyn was no lady!

Channel Skimmers

There’s no stopping a pair of daring explorers like Elmer of the Air Corpse and Pokey Cook. This time they find themselves in England—but Pokey wants a bridge built across the Channel before he’ll go back. No stopping them? Well, not much!

The Varnishing Americans

If you thought Elmer Hubbard and Pokey Cook were a couple of wild Indians before, just wait until you see them with their war paint and feathers on! Even C.O. Mulligan had to listen to their war whoops with a smile.

Introducing Your Friend—Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on December 7, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

Since we’re celebrating the man behind the mirthquakes this month, a little introduction is in order. Here is a brief bio that ran in the back of the September 1935 issue of Sky Birds as part of Magazine Publisher’s The M-P News Flash—a one page newsletter of sorts getting readers interested in and informed about what’s in the other titles they publish. The prolific Archibald ran stories in all their titles.

JOE ARCHIBALD is one of the veterans of the Magazine-Publishers group. Since its conception, the words he has pounded out are beyond computation. The short chunky little writer who is never seen without a cigar has had a diversified career to put it mildly. In 1917 be was selected as one of a small group from the Chicago Academy of Arts to draw pictures of mother earth from the air. Joe arrived at Kelly Field and was about to climb in a plane when a telegram arrived from his fond parents. He was under age and they clipped his wings! A year later he joined the Navy and chased up and down the New England coast looking for German subs. After the fuss was over he became a police reporter on the “Boston Telegram” and “Post.” Joe can also swing a pencil. He stopped haunting Beantown’s underworld and signed up to draw two or three features for the McClure Newspaper Syndicate. From there he went to the United Press to draw sport cartoons and write a column.

“The New York Graphic” drew Joe next. He claims to have been the pioneer in detective strips. But the yen to write fiction was strong and he quit newspaper work to devote his entire time to turning out flying, detective. western and adventure stories for WESTERN ACES—WESTERN TRAILS—TEN DETECTIVE ACES—FLYING ACES and SKY BIRDS.

The majority of his readers do not have to be told that Joe prefers to dish out humor more than anything else. He assures us that a man has to possess an abnormal funny bone to have been a hotel man, a wrestler, a bookkeeper, an artist, a writer and a newspaper reporter during a period of seventeen years. Life has not begun for Joe as yet. He’s nowhere near forty. There’s no telling what he’ll try his hand at next.

A Phineas Pinkham Bibliography

Link - Posted by David on December 4, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

This month we’re celebrating the talents of that pulp stalwart—Joe Archibald. Archibald wrote hundreds of stories for the pulps, both dramatic and humorous. His bread and butter it would seem was the humorous tale. He had long running series in several pulp titles. In the detective titles there was Alvin Hinkey, the harness bull Hawkshaw, in 10 Story Detective; Scoops & Snooty, the Evening Star’s dizzy duo, in Ten Detective Aces; and the President of the Hawkeye Detective Agency himself—Willie Klump in Popular Detective. While in the aviation titles he had Elmer Hubbard and Pokey Cook in Sky Birds; the one-two punch of Ambrose Hooley & Muley Spinks in The Lone Eagle, The American Eagle, Sky Fighters and War Birds; and last, but by no means least, the pride of Booneville—Phineas Pinkham in Flying Aces!

Joe Archibald’s Phineas Pinkham was the longest continuously running aviation character in the pulps. Running in the pages of Flying Aces from November 1930 until the magazine dropped it’s Fiction section in November 1943. In 151 stories, Pinkham bedevils the men of the 9th Pursuit Squadron, all the Hauptmanns and vons the Boche send his way and his hapless C.O. Major Rufus Garrity with his pranks, jokes and insane inventions that seem only to amuse Phineas.

Here is a checklist of his adventures:

title magazine date vol no
Sneeze That Off Flying Aces Nov 6 6
The Hardware Ace Flying Aces Feb 6 9
Rock-A-Bye Jerry Flying Aces Jun 9 1
Bargains For Blois Flying Aces Jul 9 2
Tell It To The King Flying Aces Aug 9 3
For Dear Old G.H.Q. Flying Aces Sep 9 4
Crazy Like a Fox Flying Aces Oct 9 5
Junkers—C.O.D. Flying Aces Nov 9 6
Please Omit Flowers Flying Aces Dec 9 7
Half-Shot at Chaumont Flying Aces Jan 9 8
A Flyer In Tin Flying Aces Feb 11 1
Too Good for Hanging Flying Aces Mar 11 2
From Spad to Worse Flying Aces Apr 11 3
Pride of the Pinkhams Flying Aces May 11 4
No Money, No Flyee Flying Aces Jun 12 1
Herr Tonic Flying Aces Jul 12 2
Sky A LA Mode Flying Aces Aug 12 3
The Reel Hero Flying Aces Sep 12 4
The Bat’s Whiskers Flying Aces Oct 13 1
Good To The First Drop Flying Aces Nov 13 2
Shower Kraut Flying Aces Dec 13 3
The Bull Flight Flying Aces Jan 13 4
Sleuthing Syrup Flying Aces Feb 14 1
Nothing But The Tooth Flying Aces Mar 14 2
The Fryin’ Dutchman Flying Aces Apr 14 3
The Grim Reaper Flying Aces May 14 4
Spin Feathers Flying Aces Jul 15 1
Take The Heir Flying Aces Aug 15 2
Stage Flight Flying Aces Sep 15 3
Herr Net Flying Aces Oct 15 4
Bomb Voyage Flying Aces Nov 16 1
The Frying Suit Flying Aces Dec 16 2
Smell-Shocked Flying Aces Jan 16 3
String ‘Em Back Alive Flying Aces Feb 16 4
Hans Up Flying Aces Mar 17 1
Hose De Combat Flying Aces May 17 2
No Fuelin’ Flying Aces Jun 17 3
Hunbugs Flying Aces Jul 17 4
Intelligence Pest Flying Aces Aug 18 1
Scrappy birthday Flying Aces Sep 18 2
Tattle Tailwinds Flying Aces Oct 18 3
Parlez Voodoo Flying Aces Nov 18 4
Good Haunting Flying Aces Dec 19 1
An Itch In Time Flying Aces Jan 19 2
Crepe Hangers Flying Aces Feb 19 3
Horse Flyers Flying Aces Mar 19 4
Geese Monkeys Flying Aces Apr 20 1
Cinema bums Flying Aces May 20 2
Prop Eyes Flying Aces Jun 20 3
Rice and Shine Flying Aces Jul 20 4
Dog Flight Flying Aces Aug 21 1
Pfalz Teeth Flying Aces Sep 21 2
One Hun, One Hit, Three Errors Flying Aces Oct 21 3
Sea Gullible Flying Aces Nov 21 4
Fallen Archies Flying Aces Dec 22 1
Spy Larking Flying Aces Jan 22 2
T.N.T. Party Flying Aces Feb 22 3
Doin’s In The Dunes Flying Aces Mar 22 4
The Batty Patrol Flying Aces Apr 23 1
Smells, Spells, And Shells Flying Aces May 23 2
Sky Finance Flying Aces Jun 23 3
Scratch-as-Scratch Can Flying Aces Jul 23 4
Blois, Blois, Blacksheep Flying Aces Aug 24 1
Fish and Gyps Flying Aces Sep 24 2
Watch Your Steppes Flying Aces Oct 24 3
C’est La Ear Flying Aces Nov 24 4
Scrappy Birthday Flying Aces Dec 25 1
Flight Opera Flying Aces Jan 25 2
P.D.Q.—Boat Flying Aces Feb 25 3
Smoke Scream Flying Aces Mar 25 4
Poosh ‘Em Up, Pinkham Flying Aces Apr 26 1
Wrong About Face Flying Aces May 26 2
Bagger In Bagdad Flying Aces Jun 26 3
Spree With Lemon Flying Aces Jul 26 4
Swiss Wheeze Flying Aces Aug 27 1
Peck’s Spad Boys Flying Aces Sep 27 2
Scott Free-For-All Flying Aces Oct 27 3
Crash or Delivery Flying Aces Nov 27 4
Yankee Doodling Flying Aces Dec 28 1
Flight Team Flight Flying Aces Jan 28 2
Cat’s Spad-Jamas Flying Aces Feb 28 3
Eclipse of The Hun Flying Aces Mar 28 4
Hoots and Headlights Flying Aces Apr 29 1
Kraut Fishing Flying Aces May 29 2
The Spider and The Flyer Flying Aces Jun 29 3
Zuyder Zee Zooming Flying Aces Jul 29 4
Tripe of Peace Flying Aces Aug 30 1
Cocarde Sharpers Flying Aces Sep 30 2
Heir-O-Bats Flying Aces Oct 30 3
Skyway Robbery Flying Aces Nov 30 4
Happy Hunning Ground Flying Aces Dec 31 1
A Haunting We Will Go Flying Aces Jan 31 2
Don Patrol Flying Aces Feb 31 3
Kaiser Bilious Flying Aces Mar 31 4
Slaked Limeys Flying Aces Apr 32 1
Spin Money Flying Aces May 32 2
Flight Headed Flying Aces Jun 32 3
The Airy Ape Flying Aces Jul 32 4
Herr Dresser Flying Aces Aug 33 1
Duc Soup Flying Aces Sep 33 2
C’est La Goat Flying Aces Oct 33 3
Nippon Tuck Flying Aces Nov 33 4
Ye Ould Emerald Oil Flying Aces Dec 34 1
Impropa Ganda Flying Aces Jan 34 2
Fright Leader Flying Aces Feb 34 3
Take It or Leafet Flying Aces Mar 34 4
Briny Deep Stuff Flying Aces Apr 35 1
Flight to the Finish Flying Aces May 35 2
Pharaoh and Warmer Flying Aces Jun 35 3
Dawn Parole Flying Aces Jul 35 4
Horse of Another Cocarde Flying Aces Aug 36 1
Air or Nautical Flying Aces Sep 36 2
The Foil Guy Flying Aces Oct 36 3
Bull Flight Flying Aces Nov 36 4
Leave La Frawnce Flying Aces Dec 37 1
Crow de Guerre Flying Aces Jan 37 2
I Knew De Gaulle Flying Aces Feb 37 3
Daze In Dunkirk Flying Aces Mar 37 4
Zooming Zombies Flying Aces Apr 38 1
Dawn Petrol Flying Aces May 38 2
Jerry Prison Scamp Flying Aces Jun 38 3
The Eyes Have It Flying Aces Jul 38 4
Nieuport News Flying Aces Aug 39 1
Chuting Star Flying Aces Sep 39 2
Zoom Like It Hot Flying Aces Oct 39 3
Gleech of Promise Flying Aces Nov 39 4
Gas Me No Questions Flying Aces Dec 40 1
Tanks For The Memory Flying Aces Jan 40 2
The Moor The Merrier Flying Aces Feb 40 3
Hot Francs Flying Aces Mar 40 4
Contact Bridge Flying Aces Apr 41 1
The Crate Impersonation Flying Aces May 41 2
Grim Ferry Tale Flying Aces Jun 41 3
Maltese Doublecross Flying Aces Jul 41 4
Spy and Ice Cream Flying Aces Aug 42 1
Air Screwball Flying Aces Sep 42 2
Glider Than Air Flying Aces Oct 42 3
Flight Headed Flying Aces Nov 42 4
Pot Luck Flying Aces Dec 43 1
Heir Minded Flying Aces Jan 43 2
Chateau Theory Flying Aces Feb 43 3
Pinkham’s Pixies Flying Aces Mar 43 4
Laughing Gas Model Flying Aces Apr 44 1
Hide and Go Sheik Flying Aces May 44 2
Jappy Landing Flying Aces Jun 44 3
Three Aces Feast Flying Aces Jul 44 4
Italian Vamoose Flying Aces Aug 45 1
Czech Mates Flying Aces Sep 45 2
Gamboling With Goebbels Flying Aces Oct 45 3
Sounds Vichy Flying Aces Nov 45 4


“Haw-w-w-w-w!” As a bonus, here’s Phineas Pinkham mirthquake from 1934. From the February number of Flying Aces Phineas goes to some inventive extremes to get a captured flyer back in “String ‘Em Back Alive!”

Major Garrity had an idea. It involved sending Phineas Pinkham back to training school in his stolen Fokker to teach rookies to fight. Phineas had an idea, too. It involved taking that stolen Fokker across the lines to teach the Mad Butcher not to fight. Lay your bets, gentlemen!

Editor’s Note: This story was posted a number of years ago, but this is an update PDF with Archibald’s illustrations included to add to the merriment!

“Aces and Boses” by C.M. Miller

Link - Posted by David on November 6, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

This week we have a story by C.M. Miller, author of Chinese Brady: The Complete Adventures! A short story of a green recruit who challenges his commanding officer’s orders in a way that yields surprising results! From the December 1935 number of Sky Birds, it’s C.M. Miller’s “Aces and Bosses”—

No Vandyke-bearded, college-prof cadet was going to tell Bull McGrady which way his propeller was turning—for Bull was head man of the Peppermints, and no mistake! “Those whiskers,” he told the tall newcomer, “will have to come off!” And they finally did—but not the way Bull expected . . . .

“The Mail Must Go Through!” By Arch Whitehouse

Link - Posted by David on December 9, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

Here it is—the first of a thrilling series of True Air Adventures—amazing yarns based on the real adventures of airmen all over the world today! This month, read the true story of what happened to a pilot who stuck to the motto of the Air Mail—”The Mail Must Go Through!”

The Mail Must Go Through

By Arch Whitehouse (Sky Birds, March 1933)

OVER the facade of the New York Post Office building runs a word motto reading to the effect that, in spite of wind and weather, the postal department must remain true to its trust and carry out the business of the Postal Department. But the Air Mail pilot has chopped it all down to a few words: “The Mail Must Go Through!”

It is upon this motto that an almost unbelievable esprit de corps has been founded by the men who carry Uncle Sam’s mail over the skyways.
Things have changed a lot in the past few years, as far as flying the mail goes. The ships are better and faster. The motors are more reliable.

The routes are carefully marked with flashing beacons every ten miles. The airports are no longer cleared cow pastures with a shed at one end. Radio has come to guide the knights of the muzzle-mike. An efficient meteorological system has been worked out, and pilots are warned every few minutes what weather they can expect ten miles ahead.

Above all, every pilot is provided with the airman’s life-preserver—the parachute. If things go wrong, all he has to do is to cut the switch and step off. A billowing canopy of silk blossoms out above him, and he descends slowly to the ground.

But there are airmen in the Air Mail who balk at stepping off and letting the mail go down to a splintering crash—perhaps to a flaming finish. There may be valuable papers in those bags. There may be some widow’s pension stowed away. A love-letter, perhaps, reconciling two youngsters who have been parted by a petty quarrel. There may be the evidence that will save an innocent man from the chair. Or, perhaps, just a letter to some old lady who waits patiently for a happy word from her boy, who has gone away to try his fortunes in some other part of the country. One never knows what’s in the mail bag.

John Wolf, an Air Mail pilot, took off from Cleveland one night for Newark, 390 miles away. In the back pit of his Douglas mail ship lay 900 pounds of Uncle Sam’s choicest postal cargo. Pilot Wolf had often wondered what was in this mail. He’d pondered over it many times as he pounded his way across “the hump” of the Allegheny Mountains.

The airmen have named the hump the Mail Pilots’ Graveyard, for the whole trail is scored and marked with the numberless crashes that have occurred there. Pilot Wolf often wondered whether it was worth it. Then he’d stare at the insignia on the side of his ship—”U. S. Mail”—make an imaginary salute, and climb into the cockpit.

But on this night in question—about a year ago, to be exact—Pilot Wolf would have had all the excuse in the world for saying, “Bad weather upstairs. No use risking a crash tonight.” For there was a welter of fog and rain sweeping across the Cleveland field when he went out to the throbbing Douglas. He had been inside the operations office to look at the weather report coming through from Newark—and it was none too encouraging.

But Wolf took off. The mail had to go through!

Fifteen minutes after he took off, his radio set went dead. This would have been sufficient for most people, but Wolf kept on. There might be a break near Newark. After all, there were 900 pounds of mail in the back pit. He climbed to 12,000 feet to make sure that he’d clear the hump, but ice began to form on his wings, changing the camber and choking the controls. He had to go down lower and risk a crash in the Mail Pilots’ Graveyard.

For four hours he flew, averaging about 115 miles per hour, but no sign of Newark could he find. He was above a fog blanket that shrouded everything. On eastward he continued to push—hoping for a break. His ship bounced and pounded against the icy winds. New and amazing things happened to his instruments, and at times he found himself flying on his back. He kept fighting the Douglas, got back on the course and peered down again. No sight of Newark—or of anything else.

“Look here, John,” Pilot Wolf must have argued with himself. “You only have so much gas in this boiler. How about going down and taking a chance? Or how about slipping off and taking to the silk? Why risk your neck for 900 pounds of mail that is probably only bills, advertisements or dunning letters?”

But he glared at himself in the reflections cast by the dials of the in struments and shook his head. He had to go on.

He finally realized that there was none too much fuel left, however, and common sense prevailed.

He went down—down—down until he felt that he must crash into some buildings. Then he steadied himself and released a parachute flare. The big flaming ball of fire seeped away and went down farther and then, Pilot Wolf saw the cruel, reaching whitecaps of the Atlantic Ocean!
“Whew! Where am I?” he growled yanking back on his stick and pulling the Douglas out of the glide.

Turning westward, he tore back toward land, expecting any minute to find himself impaled on the lofty masts of some fog-bound transatlantic liner. He sat tense for nearly half an hour and raced westward peering over the cowling into the blanket of fog.

Then, a light! A dim but heaven sent gleam twinkled ahead. Pilot Wolf shot his Douglas for it with every ounce of power in the big Liberty engine. It was a lighthouse, he could tell by the time of the flashes. He tore up toward it and recognized it as Montauk Light on Long Island. Evidently he had passed over Newark without seeing it.

Now should he bail out? He was over ground, he was certain of that. There was not much gas left, so it would be wise to get out while the getting was good. No, the mail must go through!
He circled the village twice, seeking a place to land. He couldn’t get back to Newark now. He dropped more flares in an effort to find a level space to set the big mail ship down. There was nothing in sight.

Then one of those things happened that people think can happen only in fiction. Some one—a member of the village fire department—was air-minded enough to realize what was the matter. He probably had been a reader of a good aviation magazine—like Sky Birds, for instance. The pounding of the big Liberty up there in the soup and the trickling pathetic flares coming down through the fog told their story.

A fire alarm was sounded, and all the volunteer firemen were sent to the widest fairway of the North Fork Country Club. The air-minded fireman, who goes nameless, superintended the placing of the cars so that their headlights lit up a wide swath of level turf.

Wolf, amazed at the sudden appearance of this uncharted landing field, took a chance. He cut his motor and glided down to a perfect landing—just as the idling Liberty spluttered its last gasp. The tanks were dry.

Wolf slept at the firehouse that night, after seeing the mail safely aboard a train for New York. The next morning he calmly told his story to the air-minded fireman who had unconsciously adopted the Air Mail motto, “The Mail Must Go Through!”

“The Broken Parole” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 18, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

William E. Barrett is an excellent author. Known for such classics as The Left Hand of God, Lillies of the Field, and our own The Iron Ace! In honor of William E. Barrett’s birthday this past weekend, we have for you a tale of broken wings from the January 1933 issue of Sky Birds. The brothers Cord, one stripped of his honor while the other was honor bound not to fly!

Flying high in a blood-red sky, von Sternberg had taken toll of the lives of many men. Over the brothers Cord he had thrown an even grimmer shadow, for he had robbed one of his honor, the other of the right to fly. But wings can be built that are too strong to be broken.

“They Had What It Takes – Part 33: Arch Whitehouse” by Alden McWilliams

Link - Posted by David on August 24, 2011 @ 9:12 pm in

This week we bring you Part 33 of Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation. He called it “They Had What it Takes” and this installment appeared in the October 1939 Flying Aces. It features our old pal here at Age of Aces—Arch Whitehouse. Whitehouse was a prolific writer, both for the pulps and aviation-themed books after the pulps ended. We’ve posted a number of Whitehouse’s stories from Flying Aces and Sky Birds with some of his long running characters like Buzz Benson, Crash Carringer, Coffin Kirk, The Casket Crew, Tug Hardwick and The Griffon!

Arch Whitehouse was blessed with a fertile imagination which seemed to spill over into the acounts of his own war record. McWilliams piece and Whitehouse’s own biography, Hell in Helmets, credit Whitehouse with shooting down 16 German aeroplanes—at most he may have had 4 kills—it seems that he was something of a serial exaggerator.

We’ve posted this installment long before we started posting the entire series of Alden McWilliam’s “They Had What It Takes”, but here it is in sequence in case you missed it.

Next time: Clarence Chamberlin—Trans-Atlantic Vet.

“They Had What It Takes – Part 32: “Casey” Jones” by Alden McWilliams

Link - Posted by David on August 16, 2011 @ 10:45 pm in

Age of Aces presents the thirty-second installment of Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation. This week McWilliams chronicles the life and contributions to aviation of aero booster No.1—Charles S. “Casey” Jones. Jones, a veteran of the hell skies of WWI, would rise to prominance as one of the great air racers of his time. He used his popularity to sell the American public on aviation, contributing to radio shows and having columns in two leading aviation magazines—”Flying Colors” in Air Adventures (1928-29) and “Casey Jones’ Flying Course” in Sky Birds (1933-34).

In 1932 he founded the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics along with Lee D. Warrender and George A. Vaughn Jr. The school went through a number on name changes, the most recent was in 2004 when it was remamed after Vaughn.

Casey passed away in February 1976.

“T.N.T. Transport” by Arch Whitehouse

Link - Posted by Bill on July 8, 2010 @ 7:12 pm in

Secret Service agent and flying reporter Buzz Benson approached Sunkist Airport in his slick speedy Corsair for the worst assignment he ever had. Ten days before, three gigantic Boeing transports had vanished from the sky—never to appear again. Was it another Jap plot or something more mysterious?

“The Suicide Strafe” by Major George Fielding Eliot

Link - Posted by Bill on March 24, 2010 @ 7:45 am in

Those four victories to his credit meant nothing to Bob Sexton—now. At last he had gotten Gerhardt, the invincible German ace—had sent his famous Red-Wing plane crashing down to a fiery doom. Yet that fifth victory—the descendu that made him an ace—was the one he would never be able to claim.

“The Squadron in Scarlet” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by Bill on October 28, 2009 @ 9:22 am in

Here is another high flying adventure of “Cyclone” Bill Garrity and The Devildog Squadron. For months the grim spectre of that German staffel had stalked up and down the Front, dropping its sinister messages of death upon British and French squadrons. And now at last it struck at the flying Marines. For out of the cloud mists over that Devildog drome a white-winged German plane swooped low, and from it came the threat of doom—a black coffin holding the body of a Devildog pilot.

“The Varnishing Americans” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by Bill on October 22, 2009 @ 12:33 pm in

If you thought Elmer Hubbard and Pokey Cook were a couple of wild Indians before, just wait until you see them with their war paint and feathers on! Even C.O. Mulligan had to listen to their war whoops with a smile.

“The Squadron Without a Name” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by Bill on September 9, 2009 @ 9:54 pm in

Once again the Devildog Squadron is roaring into action!

Under guard in his hut—on a double charge of treason and murder! He had led two men out on a secret mission and they had not returned—but he had brought straight to his hidden drome a flock of Boche. And that night he was found beside the body of the man who had called him a spy—and the man was dead, shot through the heart! Yet for Larry Brent, one of those twenty loyal hellions the Boche had named Devildogs, there was always a way out—even though it led to the Squadron Without a Name.

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