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“Zuyder Zee Zooming” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on February 25, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

“Haw-w-w-w-w!” That sound can only mean one thing—it’s time to ring out the old year and ring in the new with that Bachelor of Artifice, Knight of Calamity and an alumnus of Doctor Merlin’s Camelot College for Conjurors—Phineas Pinkham. The Boonetown miracle is misdirected to the wrong train in Paris coming back from leave and finds himself knee-deep in tulips and treachery! It’s a Dutch treat special—it’s Phineas in Holland! from the July 1938 issue of Flying Aces, it’s “Zuyder Zee Zooming!”

Ludendorff was well satisfied. He already had his sand and gravel on the Holland canals, and now his eye was on the Hollanders’ ports. But when he began putting ants in their pants, Phineas raised the ante. All of which proved that there’s a limit—even to Dutchman’s breeches.

“Sky Writers, September 1936″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on February 23, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

FREQUENT visitors to this site know that we’ve been featuring Terry Gilkison’s Famous Sky Fighters feature from the pages of Sky Fighters. Gilkison had a number of these features in various pulp magazines—Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. Starting in the February 1936 issue of Lone Eagle, Gilkison started the war-air quiz feature Sky Writers. Each month there would be four questions based on the Aces and events of The Great War. If you’ve been following his Famous Sky Fighters, these questions should be a snap!

Here’s the quiz from the September 1936 issue of Lone Eagle.

If you get stumped or just want to check your answers, click here!

“Flyers of Fortune” by Ben Conlon

Link - Posted by David on February 18, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a exciting air adventure from the pen of Ben Conlon. Conlon was quite the prolific author contributing stories in many genres and under a number of pseudonyms. He’s maybe best remembered for his many exciting Pete Rice western tales. He wrote all the full-length Pete Rice stories under the name Austin Gridley. Others used the pen name for the shorter Pete Rice stories in Wild West Weekly.

When Webb Foster sacrifices his new plane to save a man in trouble, a wealthy Mr. Charlton hires him on to pilot his new plane on his expedition to Biplane Island to find a fortune in gold! From the July 1929 Air Trails, it’s Ben Conlon’s “Flyers of Fortune!”

Whispering death wings spread above a tropic sea—as flyers face destruction for the lure of sunken gold!

“The Invulnerable Dormé” by Paul Bissell

Link - Posted by David on February 14, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present another of Paul Bissell’s covers for Flying Aces! Bissell is mainly known for doing the covers of Flying Aces from 1931 through 1934 when C.B. Mayshark took over duties. For the January 1933 cover Bissell put us right in the action with

The Invulnerable Dormé

th_FA_3301“AND, Adjutant, get that request of transfer off to headquarters today, s’il vous plait?”

“Certainement, mon Capitaine, but why so vite? There is not an aviator in all France who does not desire to be one of Les Cigognes. So with all the aviators to choose from, why do you ask for Dormé? He has had but little experience in le Chasse.”

“Mon ami,” said the captain affectionately, “when a lad stationed at Paris flies an old Caudron up so close to the Front that he runs into a German squadron of six planes, he shows himself an ambitious and aggressive aviator. But when he then attacks them single-handed, brings one of them down and puts the rest to flight, he shows he has the stuff we want in Squadron 3. Don’t let’s lose him.” And the captain’s tone left no room for further argument.

So, early in July, 1916, René Dormé came to Squadron 3, better known as the Flying Storks, from the insignia painted on the side of their ships. This squadron had been formed by Captain Brocard and was already well known at the Front. It was destined later to enjoy a fame greater, perhaps, than that of any other French flying unit, and Dormé was to play no small part in helping to earn that fame.

In fact, he had been with the squadron but a few weeks when it was very evident that he was, as the French said, “un pilot extraordinaire.” He was quiet and gracious in manner, and was soon affectionately dubbed “Père” by his comrades, not because of his age—he was only 21—but because of the esteem and affection in which they held him.

Though he became one of the nation’s heroes, he remained always modest and unassuming. Twenty-three official victories were finally credited to him, but this was by no means his complete score. He often fought alone, far in the enemy’s territory, and his comrades knew that he had gained many a victory which went unrecorded. Once when a superior officer mentioned this fact in front of Dormé, Père quietly replied, “But the Germans know, mon Capitaine, and that is all that really matters.”

Guynemer considered Dormé the greatest flyer of the war. The ability with which he maneuvered his little Nieuport was nothing short of miraculous. He helped develop air fighting tactics and is credited with being the first to make use of the great defensive stunt, the wing slip.

Battle after battle he would carry through to victory and emerge untouched. To the poilus he was known as “Dormé the Unpuncturable.” They said he could see the bullets and dodge between them. Certain it is that after his tenth victory his mechanics, going carefully over his plane, could not find one single bullet hole. Yet it was this ability to quickly maneuver which almost cost him his life, one morning in the summer of ’16.

JULY was almost over and Dormé was up early to bag himself a Boche to add to his record before the month’s end. He soon spotted a Fokker and swung around in a circle to prevent the black-crossed plane from turning back toward the German lines, at the same time tipping the nose of his little Nieuport up to gain altitude for the attack.

He reached his desired position, and with that quickness which marked all of his maneuvers in the air, swooped down in a power dive, his guns blazing. But here Fate took a hand to save the hapless German from Dormé’s deadly fire.

Completely absorbed in his maneuvers on the tail of the Fokker, Père had not noticed an Aviatic that had swung in from the left and been steadily creeping up under his tail. Evidently the pilot of this ship had just gotten himself in a position to fire on the unsuspecting Dormé when the Frenchman’s quick dive caught him so completely unawares that he was unable to twist his own ship out of the way and avoid a crash. The wheels of the little Nieuport struck the leading edge of the upper wing of the big Aviatic just where it joined the center section.

Luckily for Dormé, the Nieuport, ordinarily considered rather frail in its construction, this time proved the sturdier of the two planes. Though one wheel and part of the landing gear were crushed, a quick jerk of the stick on Dormé’s part yanked the little Nieuport out of danger while the Aviatic’s upper wing, broken at the midsection, swung away, carrying the lower wing with it, and the plane started in its mad dive earthward, the pilot finally jumping to avoid death by flames, the dread of all aviators.

Through the many months that followed, Dormé kept steadily gaining victories over the enemy. He ran neck and neck for many weeks in friendly rivalry with his fellow Cigogne, Captain Heurteaux, for the distinction of the premiere place of the squadron, until at last, when Heurteaux had gained a lead of a few victories, Dormé in a tremendous spurt shot down eight of the enemy in one short week and took a lead that he maintained until that day in May which was ever remembered as a black day for the Storks—the day when Dormé took off in the early morning light, never to be seen or heard from again.

For days the Cigognes kept secret the fact that he had failed to return, hoping against hope that Dormé would yet come back safely. It was more than a fortnight later when the Germans dropped a message on his field saying that Pilot Dormé had been killed in combat.

No data or particulars were given, and to this day there are thousands who refuse to believe that Dormé was brought down by the enemy. Père Dormé, the Beloved, the Unpuncturable, brought down by a German bullet? No! To the French this is unthinkable. But the fact remains that Dormé never came back.

The Ships on The Cover
“The Invulnerable Dormé”
Flying Aces, January 1933 by Paul J. Bissell

“The Greater Glory” by Ace Williams

Link - Posted by David on February 11, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by “Ace Williams.” I put his name in quotes because Galactic Central believes Ace to be a house pseudonym. Either way, what we have is a ripping good yarn—and one that is related to R.S. Bowen’s “How The War Crates Flew” feature this month.

Captain Saunders has never failed to return with photos from an observation flight—that is until he’s paired with Lieutenant Bert Wheeling, a replacement just up from the pilot’s school at Orley. Bert is suddenly stricken with a paralysis when Saunders asks his to go down so they can snap the crucial shots. To make matters worse, a few Fokker show up with their guns yammering. What’s a green pilot to do?

A Gripping Yarn of Singing Steel and Valorous Action in the Battle-Scarred Blue!

“Lost Aces” by Joel Townsley Rogers

Link - Posted by David on February 4, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by Joel Townsley Rogers. Born in 1896 and studied at Harvard, Rogers saw The Great War as an adventure and joined the Navy Air Corp and became one of it’s first few hundred pilots. Unfortunately, the war ended before he saw action and ended up as a flight instructor at Pensacola instead. After the war, he turned his experiences into stories for the pulps. In addition to air stories, Rogers also wrote numerous mystery and science-fiction stories as well.

Zep-strafer extraordinaire, Kenny Blair of the 19th Camels and Captain of the dreaded Gallows Birds, Anton Glick—Two Aces, mortal enemies in the air, find themselves both marooned on an ever-shrinking sandbar in the sea.

Two aces flew to the edge of the world, one toying with treason, one fighting for life in a circle of death. Two aces, two bullets—and only one plane to break a deadlock of doom!

For more info on Rogers, check out “Joel Townsley Rogers—Fiction House Ace” over at the PulpFest website!