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“Stragglers Beware!” by Captain John E. Doyle

Link - Posted by David on May 17, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of British Ace, Captain John E. Doyle, D.F.C. Born in 1893, Captain Doyle was a successful fighter pilot in WWI with 9 confirmed victories with 56 & 60 Squadrons. Near the end of the war, he was shot down and taken prisoner where they amputated his leg. After the war, he wrote three books, one of which was an autobiography, and 31 short stories for magazines like War Stories, The Scout, Popular Flying, The Aeroplane, Flying, Boys’ Ace Library, Mine, Modern Wonder and Air Stories.

Doyle wrote a half dozen stories for the British version of Air Stories featuring one Montgomery de Courcy Montmorency Hardcastle, M.C. In Scotland he was usually referred to as “His Lordship,” for he was the fourteenth Viscount Arbroath as well as the sixth Baron Cupar. Out in France he was just “Monty” behind his back, or “The Major,” or “Sir” to his face. Unfortunately, the powers that were did not approve of squadron commanders crossing the lines without their express permission. A major’s job should keep him on the ground, they ruled, looking after his unit. So Monty would have to come up with excuses to leave the base to take care of the Huns and relieve the boredom of command.

Our Monocled Major follows his own squadron’s flight as a straggler when they take on Von Vorbei and his Circus in “Stragglers Beware!” from the February 1936 issue.

The Commander of Jagdstaffel “43” had Evolved a Safe and Simple Method of Eliminating the R.F.C. in General and the Squadron of Major Montgomery Montmorency Hardcastle in Particular. But “Monty” was also a Man of Ideas and the Succulent Bait in his Trap for Fokkers was not Exactly what it Seemed!

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