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“Synthetic Ace” by William E. Barrett

Link - Posted by David on November 13, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS November we’re celebrating William E. Barrett’s Birthday with one of his pulp stories 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!

“Memphis” Mason is a synthetic ace, probably the only one of his kind in existence. Accidental aces there were aplenty in that big he war, but there was nothing accidental about Memphis Mason’s accomplishment. It was planned with an attention to detail that would do credit to a brigadier and it was attested by five of the finest fighters in the R.A.F. Those signatures are at the root of Mason’s secret sorrow to-day. At the foot of a square sheet of note-paper they bear flourishing witness to the fact that the signers witnessed the bringing down of five German planes by one Memphis Mason. Not one of those signers would have lied for anyone. They were officers and gentlemen and they saw what they said they saw. Yet, strangely enough, Memphis Mason never reached France. Therein lies a tale; one of the oddest tales to come out of the war and one that has never been told until this telling.

There was a new breed of angel in the sky one that used Vickers instead of a flaming sword; and the tracer stream of his vengeance spelled death to Prussians!

From the February 1931 War Aces, it’s William E. Barrett’s “Synthetic Ace!”

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