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Premiering at PulpFest 2o24!

Link - Posted by David on July 12, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

AGE OF ACES will be back at PulpFest again this year where we will be debuting our two new titles!

We’re taking a break from Donald Keyhoe whose stories we’ve been reprinting religiously practically every year since 2011—for just this year to start up two new series character collections. Have no fear, Keyhoe’s Devildog Squadron will return next year.

If you were here at Christmas, then you’re familiar with Arch Whitehouse’s Casket Crew. We uploaded the six stories Whitehouse ran in the British version of Air Stories featuring the crew over the holidays. Here we bring you the first volume of their run in Aces magazine.

The Casket Crew

One-Oh-Nine Squadron of the Independent Air Force was the craziest bomber squadron on the Western Front and Handley Page No.11 was the reason why. It was flown by The Casket Crew: Lieutenant Graham Townsend, the mad Englishman, pilot of No.11; Lieutenant Phil Armitage, equally crazy American, the reserve pilot and bombing officer; Corporal Andy McGregor, wearing his Black Watch kilts, aerial gunner; with Sergeant Michael Ryan, silent fighting Irishman on the toggle board and Corporal Harry Marks, dizzy Australian, manning the rear gun-turret. There was enough insanity scrawled across the log book of No.11 to make the wildest fiction seem tame in comparison!

The extraordinarily prolific Arch Whitehouse drew upon his own experiences as a tail-gunner in the Royal Air Force to bring to life the colorful aces that flew through his stories. His characters for Flying Aces and Sky Birds were extremely popular with readers of the 1930’s and ’40s. The Casket Crew was his only series outside those magazines, running in the pages of Aces and Wings. This exciting collection features five crazy exploits from Aces Magazine: Lost Wings (8/31), Terror Turret (2/32), Handley Hate (5/32), The Flying Fortress (6/32), and Thunder Patrol (9/32).

Paired with this is the first volume of Alexis Rossoff’s Hell-Cat Squadron! We’ve posted a couple Hell-Cat stories from War Birds, but the series was rebooted when it moved to Flying Aces so that seemed like a good place to start.

The Hell-Cat Squadron: Cyclops of the Skies
by Alexis Rossoff

The order came direct from G.H.Q.: “Send one undesirable pilot of your organization to Alons. Arrange pilot’s departure from your drome so that he will reach destination not earlier than second hour nor later than third hour after noon, twenty-eighth day this month.” Never was an order complied with more promptly as thirty cursing, rebelious undesirables found themselves thrown together in the doomed, scorched region known by all as Hell’s Half Acre. There, under the command of “Iron” Mike Hilton, himself ostrasized for questioning his superiors, they became the Hell-Cats!

Siberian-born, Russian war veteran Alexis Rossoff started writing air and war fiction stories in the late 1920’s as his eyesight slowly faded away. The adventures in this volume are from 1931 to 1932. After a successful operation to restore his vision in the mid thirties, Rossoff, a self-professed boxing nut, switched from primarily writing air war fiction to writing sports stories. This action-packed tome compiles six thrilling adventures from the pages of Flying Aces Magazine: Hell-Cat Harvest (1/31), The Old Man’s Whiskers (2/31), The Hell-Cat’s Kittens (3/31), The Cyclops of the Skies (6/31), Rusty Rides the Thunderbolt (12/31), and The Black Moth (1/32).

In addition to these new books, we’ll have all of our other titles on hand as well as our previous convention exclusive—Arch Whitehouse’s Coffin Kirk, and 2022’s two book set of Steve Fisher’s Sheridan Doome! So if you’re planning on coming to Pittsburgh for PulpFest this year, stop by our table and say hi and pick up our latest releases!

We hope we see you there!

Heroes of the Air: Major Lionel Rees

Link - Posted by David on July 8, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

WHEN Flying, the new weekly paper of all things aviation, started up in England in 1938, amongst the articles and stories and photo features was an illustrative feature called “Heroes of the Air.” It was a full page illustration by S. Drigin of the events surrounding how the pictured Ace got their Victoria Cross along with a brief explanatory note.

Russian born Serge Drigin became a successful illustrator in the UK in the 1920s with his work regularly appearing in such British magazines as The Detective Magazine, Modern Boy and Chums. He is probably best known for his startling covers for Scoops, Air Stories, War Stories, Fantasy and others in the 30s.

From the 6 August 1938 issue of Flying:


MAJOR, as he was then, Lionel Rees won the V.C. on July 1, 1916. He was 32 years of age, older than most officers in the Royal Flying Corps at that time. It was through a mistake that he came to win the V.C., for what he took to be British machines were in reality German. He had been on a reconnaissance flight when he saw what he thought was a squadron of British bombing machines returning home. Being in a single-seat fighter, the D.H.2, he decided to escort them home, but when he approached them he saw that they were about ten enemy aircraft; all of them scouts. One left the formation to engage him, but within a short time was behind its own lines in difficulties. Major Rees was wounded in the thigh, but he continued to fight until his ammunition was exhausted, when he returned home. It seems probable that the award of the V.C. was made not for this one act alone, but that his gallant career was taken into consideration. Happily, he survived the war and retired from the R.A.F. in 1931 with the rank of Group Captain.