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“High Boomerang” by Arthur J. Burks

Link - Posted by David on August 23, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by prolific pulpster—Arthur J. Burks! Burks was a Marine during WWI and went on to become a prolific writer for the pulps in the 20’s and 30’s. He was a frequent contributor to War Aces.

Meet Hank Flynn, second lieutenant in the air service, was six feet two in his stocking feet and could whip any German that flew. His friends had told him so, and he modestly admitted when pressed, or even when not pressed, that they probably underestimated his abilities. He wasn’t a braggart, a bluff or an ass; he was just too young for his job and too full of the spirits of life. To others the war might be an excuse to discuss deep questions of psychology; to Hank it was a grand chance to have a hell of a good time and be decorated for it.

He had flaming red hair and a hawk nose smothered in freckles, and a grin that reached from here to there. But when, out of a clear sky, he was ordered to join that peculiar outfit in the woods across the lines from Masmunster known as “The Boomerangs,” something whispered to him that maybe there mightn’t be so much to smile about after he reported. From the pages of the July 1932 War Aces, it’s Arthur J. Burks’ “High Boomerang!”

Hank Flynn thought that a bag of ten gave him the right to give the skipper a few points, but he didn’t know that the best boomerangs always fly in a curve!

Humpy & Tex in “Flight of the Goofus Bird” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on January 4, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Bosworth wrote a couple dozen stories with Humpy & Tex over the course of ten years from 1930 through 1939, mostly in the pages of War Aces and War Birds. The stories are centered around the naval air base at Ile Tudy, France. “Humpy” Campbell, a short thickset boatswain’s mate, first class who was prone to be spitting great sopping globs of tabacco juice, was a veteran seaplane pilot who would soon rate two hashmarks—his observer, Tex Malone, boatswain’s mate, second class, was a D.O.W. man fresh from the Texas Panhandle. Everybody marveled at the fact that the latter had made one of the navy’s most difficult ratings almost overnight—but the answer lay in his ability with the omnipresent rope he constantly carried.

Humpy & Tex find themselves down in the ocean with a dead motor, their only hopes of rescue depend upon their beloved Goofus Bird! From the pages of the une 1930 issue of War Aces it’s Allan R. Bosworth’s—”Flight of the Goofus Bird!”

Down with a dead motor on the cold waters of the Atlantic they were at the mercy of the U-boat that lay in wait. Humpy and Tex faced a terrible death, but then there was their beloved Goofus bird—

“100 Minutes of Gas” by O.B. Myers

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

THIS week we have a story from the pen of a prolific pulp author O.B. Myers! Myers was a pilot himself, flying with the 147th Aero Squadron and carrying two credited victories and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The Plan was a simple one: Strip down a Nieuport to it’s barest essentials in order to nip across the lines and get the low down on Germany’s latest plane—the Pfalz. The plane was stripped so down that it was filled with only 100 minutes of gas, which left only ten extra minutes for trouble. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned! From the July 1932 issue of War Aces, it’s O.B. Myers’ “100 Minutes of Gas!”

It took a crazy man to fly into that trap; but when be found that he was the bait, Speck had them singing, “—and we learned about flying from him”

“Death’s Lament” by William E. Barrett

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

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with four of his pulp stories—one each Friday.

Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

To close out the fiction portion of our Barrett celebrations we have “Death’s Lament”—the story of Billy North who left home to fight in the war to avenge his brother’s death, but is stuck flying in the observation squadron where they fight the war with pencils rather than bullets!

In the crucible of duty-tortured skies was welded the stuff of which fighters are made—for only in the thunder of red-eyed guns could Angus play his death music for a friend.

From the May 1932 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Death’s Lament!”

Some historical background was included with the story:

“Famous Firsts” November 1931 by William E. Barrett

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

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday. Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

Among those factual features was “Famous Firsts” which ran frequently in the pages of War Aces. “Famous Firsts” was an illustrated feature much along the lines of Barrett’s “Is That a Fact?” that was running in War Birds, only here the facts were all statements of firsts. And like “Is That a Fact?” in War Birds, this feature was also taken over by noted cartoonist Victor “Vic Vac” Vaccarezza in 1932.

The November 1931 installment, from the pages of War Aces, features airplane firsts—The British Experimental, The First plane to take off from a ship as well as the first to fall during the war!

Look for more installments of “Famous Firsts” coming soon!

“The Night Eagle” by William E. Barrett

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

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with four of his pulp stories—one each Friday.

Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

Today is Barrett’s birthday, so we have a different kind of story from Mr. Barrett. It’s the story of Philip Law—a young man who’s blind who longs to fight in the Great War when he hears about it. By chance a German doctor arrives at the asylum for the blind looking for willing participants for an experimental procedure he’s developed that could restore sight to the blind!

What meant blind ruin to other men was salvation to Philip Law—for in the pitiless glare of war-torn skies he alone could wrest the secret from the eyes that could not see.

From the July 1932 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “The Night Eagle!”

“Famous Firsts” October 1931 by William E. Barrett

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

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday. Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

Among those factual features was “Famous Firsts” which ran frequently in the pages of War Aces. “Famous Firsts” was an illustrated feature much along the lines of Barrett’s “Is That a Fact?” that was running in War Birds, only here the facts were all statements of firsts. And like “Is That a Fact?” in War Birds, this feature was also taken over by noted cartoonist Victor “Vic Vac” Vaccarezza in 1932.

The October 1931 installment, from the pages of War Aces, features Major General F.P. Lahm, The Sopwith Camel, and Captain William G. Schauffer!

Next Wednesday Barrett features airplane firsts—The British Experimental, The First plane to take off from a ship as well as the first to fall during the war!

“Non-Commissioned” by William E. Barrett

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

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with four of his pulp stories—one each Friday.

Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

This week we have another tale of sausage men—those brave individuals who risked their lives dangling in a basket below a balloon to help the artillery get an accurate range for their guns. And that basket is mighty small when you’re a non-commissioned officer hanging under the bag with Cecil Granville Terence Dwight-DeLacey! Cecil Granville had been hatched on a parade ground. His buttons shone with a holy radiance and he saw no reason why the buttons of the world should not shine with equal luster. Nor did Cecil Granville take kindly to men who slouched or drank or forgot salutes or who assumed comfortable positions. In short, Cecil Granville was the type of officer best calculated to make any branch of the service unattractive to the poor devils he outranked. Jimmy Carr, the noncom in the basket with him, was his entire command and Jimmy got all the grief which would have been heavy if distributed over an entire company. But events transpire that lead Carr to prove that not all Cecil Granville’s beliefs are true!

Rank counted for little when officer and man glared at each other in the basket of that drifting Sausage. Then came fog and Fokker to prove that courage is owned by no man.

From the January 1931 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Non-Commissioned!”

“Famous Firsts” August 1931 by William E. Barrett

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

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday. Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

Among those factual features was “Famous Firsts” which ran frequently in the pages of War Aces. “Famous Firsts” was an illustrated feature much along the lines of Barrett’s “Is That a Fact?” that was running in War Birds, only here the facts were all statements of firsts. And like “Is That a Fact?” in War Birds, this feature was also taken over by noted cartoonist Victor “Vic Vac” Vaccarezza in 1932.

The August 1931 installment, from the pages of War Aces, features Lt. Roland Garros, The Henri Farman plane, and the Short Seaplane!

Next Wednesday Barrett features Major General F.P. Lahm, The Sopwith Camel, and Captain William G. Schauffer!

“Sausage Men Are Crazy” by William E. Barrett

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

NOVEMBER 16th is William E. Barrett’s Birthday, so all this month we’ll be celebrating some of Barrett’s contributions to the pulps! Before he became renown for such classics as The Left Hand of God and Lilies of The Field, Barrett honed his craft across the pages of the pulp magazines—and nowhere more so than in War Birds and it’s companion magazine War Aces where he contributed smashing novels and novelettes, True tales of the Aces of the Great War, encyclopedic articles on the great war planes as well as other factual features. Here at Age of Aces Books he’s best known for his nine Iron Ace stories which ran in Sky Birds in the mid ’30s!

We’ll be featuring four of Barrett’s aviation themed tales—one each Friday—and a few of his factual features—Famous Firsts and Is That a Fact?—peppered throughout the month. First up we have a tale of Tommy Curtis and Sergeant Clymer, observers with the 4th Balloon Company. Clymer was old and grizzled—as hard as they make them, and born to army life. He had hooted at first, when they teamed him with Tommy “That weak sister!” Curtis—nothing in his experience had prepared him to understand a man who blushed and stammered and carried another man’s picture in his watch! Curtis was a slender hundred-and-forty pounder, to whom no talk was fighting talk and Clymer had been prepared to dislike Tommy Curtis and to make his life miserable. That was before he took to the air with him!

Four crashing jumps from a flaming sausage in one day were enough for one man. When Eddie met the pilot who knocked them down and boasted—Sausage Men Are Crazy!

From the June 1930 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Sausage Men are Crazy!”

“The Ceiling Ace” by Raoul Whitfield

Link - Posted by David on October 19, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by Raoul Whitfield! Whitfield is primarily known for his hardboiled crime fiction published in the pages of Black Mask, but he was equally adept at lighter fair that might run in the pages of Breezy Stories. We’ve posted a few of his Buck Kent stories from Air Trails. While the Buck Kent stories were contemporary (1930’s), “The Ceiling Ace” from the August 1930 issue of War Aces is set in The Great War.

Every time the ships of the black cross ripped their lead at him he ran to the ceiling. They called him yellow, but that day when the heavens shrieked at man-made fury he held the fate of the squadron on his wings.

“Night Bird” by Syl MacDowell

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

THIS week we have a story by Syl MacDowell! MacDowell is probably best known for his westerns. Here, MacDowell gives us a aviation yarn with a western twist—the title character is an albino Navajo who is able to see clearly in the dark! From the December 1930 issue of War Aces, it’s “Night Bird.”

He was an Indian and proud of the red blood than ran in his veins. When other wings failed to smash the force of that attacking horde, he tried in his own way and showed them that the redman knew the meaning of courage.

Humpy & Tex in “Hell and Highwater” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on August 31, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Bosworth wrote a couple dozen stories with Humpy & Tex over the course of ten years from 1930 through 1939, mostly in the pages of War Aces and War Birds. The stories are centered around the naval air base at Ile Tudy, France. “Humpy” Campbell, a short thickset boatswain’s mate, first class who was prone to be spitting great sopping globs of tabacco juice, was a veteran seaplane pilot who would soon rate two hashmarks—his observer, Tex Malone, boatswain’s mate, second class, was a D.O.W. man fresh from the Texas Panhandle. Everybody marveled at the fact that the latter had made one of the navy’s most difficult ratings almost overnight—but the answer lay in his ability with the omnipresent rope he constantly carried.

Humpy & Tex find themselves in “Hell and Highwater” when they find themselves heading toward the front in a seaplane looking for some water to land in! From the pages of the May 1930 issue of War Aces

Action was slow over the English Channel and the demon sea plane pilots had a yen for the Front and hot combat. When their gas ran out there was only one river to land on, and that was lined with machine guns. They couldn’t land, and they couldn’t fly, so—

“Guns of Mystery” by Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by David on August 17, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by another of our favorite authors—Harold F. Cruickshank! Cruickshank is popular in these parts for the thrilling exploits of The Sky Devil from the pages of Dare-Devil Aces, as well as those of The Sky Wolf in Battle Aces and The Red Eagle in Battle Birds. He wrote innumerable stories of war both on the ground and in the air. From the premier issue of War Aces, Mr. Cruickshank gives us a story of the first installation of machine guns on planes—while not strictly factual, it’s a ripping good read! From the April 1930 issue of War Aces, it’s Harold F. Cruickshank’s “Guns of Mystery!”

It was the unpardonable sin to mount a gun on a plane, but when a blazing path of steel traced itself across his wings Kelly felt icy fingers on his heart and knew that a new horror was winging through the air.

Humpy & Tex in “Hell Bent for Heinie” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on August 3, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Bosworth is a third generation Texan, born October 29, 1901 in a tent on a west Texas cattle ranch. He attended school in Ozona TX—known as Millionaires Town, but he was not one of the millionaires—but dropped out junior year in high school. He held down a number of jobs starting from when he was very young. He turned an ice cream freezer for a drug store, skinned cattle killed in a stampede, owned and operated a peanut and popcorn machine, janitored for a pool hall, cowboyed, built fences, and fired a boiler on the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad—and all this before the Navy finally accepted his enlistment in 1922.

After serving four years in the Navy as an enlisted man and entered the Naval Reserve. He sought out work in journalism and quickly found it working as a police reporter for the San Diego Sun in 1926. This led to working on the editorial staffs of the San Diego Union, the Los Angeles Examiner, the Paso Robles Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, and the San Francisco Call-Bulletin. By the mid 1930’s he was the news editor and assistant managing editor of the Chronicle.

While working for the newspapers, Bosworth had been submitting stories to the magazines and finding some success by 1930. As his writing career started to grow more time consuming, Bosworth left newspaper work behind to focus on writing stories full time—selling more than 500 short stories to the magazines. Most of these stories appeared in western and adventure “Pulps,” but about 100 were in the “slicks,” including the Saturday Eve Post, Colliers, Liberty, American, Ladies Home Journal, Esquire, Women’s Day, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker!

Bosworth was commissioned Ensign in the Naval reserve working special intelligence duties. He was called back to active duty in 1940. He served in the North Atlantic, and in South Pacific, at Noumea, Guadalcanal and Bougainville, on the staffs of both Halsey and Nimitz.

After WW2, Bosworth saw Naval duty with the Atlantic Destroyer Force, and the military Sea Transportation Service. He had two tours of duty with the Commander Naval Forces Far East, in Japan, covering more than five years. He was selected for captain in 1951, and was on the staff of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (The NATO command) when he retired in 1960—after 38 years in the Navy.

He lived outside Roanoke, VA after the War and continued to write novels. Wikipedia lists twenty novels written from 1941 to 1969.

Allan Bosworth passed away July 18, 1986.

Bosworth wrote a couple dozen stories with Humpy & Tex over the course of ten years from 1930 through 1939, mostly in the pages of War Aces and War Birds. The stories are centered around the naval air base at Ile Tudy, France. It had been built after the goose and goat spoor had been cleared away. And even then they used a sardine factory for headquarters, and if there was anything rotten in Finisterre, it was the odor that assailed the noses of pilots who had been out flying over clean salt water and then came back to this seaplane station. “Humpy” Campbell, a short thickset boatswain’s mate, first class who was prone to be spitting great sopping globs of tabacco juice, was a veteran seaplane pilot who would soon rate two hashmarks—his observer, Tex Malone, boatswain’s mate, second class, was a D.O.W. man fresh from the Texas Panhandle. Everybody marveled at the fact that the latter had made one of the navy’s most difficult ratings almost overnight—but the answer lay in his ability with the omnipresent rope he constantly carried.

In “Hell Bent for Heinie”, the two-some are hunting U-boats off the coast of France—only problem is, by the time they find them they’ve already spent their bombs leaving them with just Tex’s rope and their own ingenuity to stop the German U-boats. From the pages of the premiere issue of War Aces

There was nothing but black water under them until destruction sang through the air. Skulking U-boats still held control of the Channel until a Yank cloud-cracker gripped their heart with the fear of death.

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