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Remembering Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on August 5, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

MIAMI HERALD columnist Bob Swift wrote a final piece about Robert J. Hogan, G-8 and the pulps twenty seven years after Hogan’s death. From his column for the 28 July 1990 edition of The Miami Herald:

A chance meeting with a great wartime writer

by BOB SWIFT | The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida • 28 July 1990

“Someday, as is almost the case now, the art of the Beatles will seem quaint . . . And as the music of the Beatles will be tomorrow; the Pulps are today.”— Tony Goodstone, author of THE PULPS.

FOR millions of kids who hit the acne stage between the early 1930s and the late 1940s, their choice of reading material was clearer than their complexions. They read pulp magazines, often by flashlight under the covers if Mom was so unenlightened as to call them trash.

Kids devoured comic books, too, but they just weren’t on a literary level with the pulps, which came in all types: detective, science-fiction, westerns, etc. One of the most popular types was the air-adventure, of which there were scores. Of those, the one that really made a kid’s eyeballs pop was G-8 and His Battle Aces, which packed a bigger kick than a surreptitious puff on a Domino cigarette.

I ran across G-8 not long before the magazine (and all the pulps) died but liked it so well I haunted second-hand stores to buy up back issues. Having been a childhood fan, I was agog when I actually met G-8’s creator, Robert J. Hogan. That was 1962, he was living in Coral Gables and he called me about something I had written. I began to visit him and we talked for hours.

A World War I flier, nearly penniless in the Great Depression, he read a pulp magazine, snorted “Hell, I can write better than that,” and did so, selling his first story for $65. When novel-length pulps (Doc Savage and the Shadow) became popular, Hogan created G-8, air hero.

There followed at least 100 novels in which G-8 battled monsters with tentacles, men with beast brains, mad scientists, flying bombs and magnetic rays. Even the titles had a certain zing: The Death Monsters, Wings of Invisible Doom, Skies of Yellow Death, Flight From the Grave and (don’t you love it’) Vultures of the Purple Death.

German villains, such as Herr Doktor Krueger, plagued G-8. But Hogan, an equal opportunity employer, also invented the evil Dr. Chu Lung; the black King Jolito, who turned dead German pilots into zombies; and even an army of Vikings, frozen in a glacier but revived as horrid German shock troops.

The prose was colorful:

“There was a sword covered with blood. Gripping it tightly was a ponderous human arm. The flesh was seared like a half-broiled steak. It was severed at the shoulder as though it had been torn off.”

Whew. Heady stuff for a 12-year-old. If my mother had only I known.

In another novel, mad scientists boiled bodies in cauldrons and sent their zombie-like skeletons marching against the Allies.

“My editor became nauseated,” Hogan told me with some relish.

Air combat was frequent:

“G-8 was sure his bullets had spattered into the lead pilot’s body. Tac-tac-tac! Spandau bullets snapped past his head.”

Hogan wasted little time on research. He named characters “Monsieur Chapeau” and “Herr Schmaltz,” injected a few ach du liebers and went merrily on with the plots, which sometimes involved a female spy, R-1. She was the love interest, although a typical G-8 story was tailored to the tastes of a 12-year-old, with the result that any cuddling between G-8 and R-1 was roughly akin to that between Roy Rogers and Trigger.

In his prime, Hogan turned out 200,000 words a month, dictating to two secretaries at once. At one incredible time, he was doing G-8, a mystery series called The Secret Six, and a Fu Manchu clone called Wu Fang. Each called for a 60,000 word novel a month, plus enough short stories to fill the back pages. He ran G-8’s fan club, too (”Hello, gang, this is G-8 speaking.”). The Readers’ Digest called him one of the world’s most prolific writers.

G-8 finally died in 1944, victim of wartime costs and a more-sophisticated audience. At a time of B-29s, V2 rockets and radar, the demand for World War I adventure (Spads? The Kaiser? How quaint!) disappeared. Soon, a nation turned to TV. Hogan turned to westerns (one became a film) and juveniles, but always hoped that G-8 would be reborn in some form. The G-8 novels were finally reprinted in the mid-1960s, in paperback, but Hogan didn’t live to see them. I wrote his obituary in 1963. He was 66.

I have a few copies of those paperback G-8 reprints. The pages, not much better than the rough pulp of the original magazines, are brown and flaking. But they still bear the purple prose that awed a 12-year-old on a long-gone summer’s day:

“A fiend had turned his pals into a Squadron of Living Death. A low, vibrant chuckle left the lips of G-8. The master spy shot his fist up in a signal to the Battle Aces. Fokkers thundered from the sky. Tac-tac-tac! Machine guns clattered a hymn of hate. Tac-tac-tac! Tac-tac-tac!”

The Passing of a Pulp Legend

Link - Posted by David on August 3, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

ROBERT J. HOGAN passed away just over a year after the big Miami Herald Sunday Magazine feature in December 1963. The Miami Herald used an edited down version of the feature for Hogan’s obituary.

Creator of “G-8″ Dies Here at 66

The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida • 18 December 1963

Robert J. Hogan, of 829 Granada Grove Ct., Coral Gables, one of the most prolific pulp writers of his day, died Tuesday at the age of 66.

His was the pen that fostered the pulp magazine adventures of “G-8 and His Battle Aces” in the 1930s and ’40s. G-8, the master spy, makeup artist, crack shot and ace pilot, was the hero of the American boy of the depression years.

Mr. Hogan wrote the adventures of G-8 for 11 years, from 1933 to 1944, In about 100 novels. He turned out 200,000 pulp fiction words a month.

A preacher’s son, Mr. Hogan grew up in Buskirk, N.Y. During World War I, he learned to fly as a member of the Air Corps. After the war he demonstrated private planes until the depression.

He started writing for an aviation pulp, Wings Magazine, then did a series called “The Red Falcon” and the “Smoke Wade”—stories which appeared in Daredevil Aces Magazine.

But the demand was for novel-length stories featuring the same character. Thus, Master Spy G-8 was created in 1933. G-8 was killed at the end of the series in 1944.

Mr. Hogan was later a writer for slick magazines and televisions, writing westerns and stories for young people. One of his westerns became a movie, “The Stand at Apache River,” and a juvenile novel, “Howl at the Moon,” was considered a classic boy-dog story.

Many of his books were translated into foreign languages. He had always hoped to re-issue G-8, perhaps as a television show.

Readers Digest called him one of the world’s most prolific writers.

For the past ten years Mr. Hogan has been living in Coral Gables, where he had spent the whiters for several years previously.

He was a member of the Coral Gables American Legion, the Rotary and Presbyterian
Church.

Surviving are his wife, Elizabeth L. of Coral Gables; a daughter, Mrs. Betty Van Houten, and four grandchildren in Allendale, N.J.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Philbrick Coral Gables Funeral Home.

G-8: Spy King of the Pulps by Bob Swift

Link - Posted by David on August 1, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

BACK in 2015 we posted a bunch of correspondence between Henry Steeger, Robert J. Hogan, and Bob Swift that Pulp Historian Don Hutchison handed us at PulpFest. The letters with Bob Swift concerned a feature article he was writing for the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine. Although Don had given us the letters, the package did not include the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine feature story. But thanks to Newspapers.com, we have finally got a copy of it to share with our readers.

Without further ado, here is Bob Swift’s feature:

G-8: Spy King of the Pulps

by BOB SWIFT | The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida • 8 July 1962

Remember before TV, when the lurid pulp magazine was the boy’s best friend? Remember Bob Hogan’s fabulous heroes, G-8 and His Battle Aces?


Debonair G-8, as drawn by John Fleming Gould, for the pulp magazine series that bugged the eyes of young readers for 11 years. G-8, created by Robert J. Hogan, was a master spy, makeup artist, ace pilot, a hero in the tradition of the dime novels.

ENTER the Depression era small town boy, bicycle-borne, legs pumping, frayed and faded school books bouncing in the bike basket, dime burning the clenched fist like a nugget of lye.

Past the candy store with its dubble-bubble. Past the movie with Hoot Gibson. Past the drug store and the root beer float. Here. The news stand. Padded clatter of Keds on the wooden floor. There. Row upon lurid row, garish and glorious, the pulp magazines of the 1930’s.

Were you a fan, back In those beautiful days when the pulp was king? It was before TV (what you did, you listened to I Love a Mystery, the Green Hornet and Jack Armstrong on the radios). And what you did, you read the pulps.

There was Doc Savage, the man of bronze; the Shadow, whose flaming automatics piled crooks like cordwood; Nick Carter, the master detective; the Spider, soaring on a silken web; Wild West Weekly and Western Story Magazine.

But what really made that school literature book a volume of tepid pap was a brassy book called G-8 and His Battle Aces, a seven by 10 inch pulp magazine whose contents palsied the hand, dried the mouth, popped the young eyeball and packed a bigger kick than a surreptitious Domino cigaret.

America’s Master Spy. who could pilot a Spad pursuit plane in circles around any World War I ace. Master of makeup, crack shot, superb physical specimen, noble and true, ruthless to the enemy. That was G-8 as created by Robert J. Hogan, one of the most prolific pulp writers of his day.

Robert J Hogan wasn’t just the communal pen name for some stable of writers who took turns writing some of the pulps of that era.

Hogan was—and is—Hogan. Today. Bob Hogan lives in Coral Gables, 829 Granada Grove Ct.

He fondly remembers his pulp hero.

“I love G-8.” says Hogan, a spare, balding man of 64. “G-8 was good to me, supported me for 11 years, built our summer home in New Jersey.”

Bob, a preacher’s son from Buskirk, NY, learned to fly in World War I, demonstrated private planes after that, found himself almost penniless when his company closed in the Depression’s early day. He happened to buy a pulp aviation magazine, snorted, “Hell. I can write better than that.” and did so. He sold his first story to Wings Magazine for $65, was off on a writing career.

“Does anyone remember a series called The Red Falcon?” wonders Hogan. “Or the Smoke Wade stories in Dare-Devil Aces magazine?”

But other pulp fiction publishers began turning to novel length stories featuring the same character each month . . . the Shadow, Doc Savage. Hogan’s chore: Dream up an air hero. Driving home from his publisher’s office one day in 1933. Hogan’s racing brain came up with G-8 and His Battle Aces.

There was G-8 himself, the Master Spy. There were his sidekicks, little Nippy Weston (”Hey, you dumb ox!”) and burly Bull Martin (”Holy herring!”) and Battle, their English butler.

That first novel was called The Bat Staffel, the latter being a German word meaning squadron. Then came the whole great series that ran from 1933 to 1944, a series of novels whose titles had a certain zing, such as: “Death Rides the Ceiling,” “Skies of Yellow Death,” “Patrol of the Mad,” “Scourge of the Steel Mask,” “Wings of the Juggernaut,” “Vultures Of the Purple Death,” “The Death Monsters,” “Wings of Invisible Doom,” or “The Staffel of Beasts.”

Imagination unlimited was the rule of the pulp magazines and G-8 fought monsters with tentacles, men with beast brains, flying zombies, marching skeletons, mad scientists, mysterious gas, flying bombs, monster tanks with spiked treads and flame throwers, armored dirigibles, magnetic rays.

Particular villains plagued G-8 for years. One was the horrifying Steel Mask. Another was the yellow peril, Dr. Chu Lung. But the adversary who gave G-8 the creeps the longest was the wretched evil genius, Herr Doktor Krueger:

“Emaciated beyond description . . . shrunken, half-paralyzed body . . . head huge at the top . . . ‘Ha, ha.’ cackled the little fiend doctor . . . a cackling, high-pitched laugh left the ugly mouth of Herr Doktor Krueger …”

And talk about television blood and mayhem! G-8 beat today’s fare by a gory mile. The Master Spy never got through an issue without shooting, stabbing or otherwise disposing of a dozen or so enemy pilots, soldiers, guards, spies, madmen or monsters.

How about this scene from “The Sword Staffel” of June, 1935:

“There was a sword covered with blood. It measured at least six feet in length . . . the handle was large and gripping it tightly was a ponderous, human arm. The flesh was seared like a half-broiled steak . . . it was severed at the shoulder as though it had been torn off.”

Whew! Heady stuff. And we loved it.

In one novel the mad scientists boiled bodies in cauldrons, sent zombie-like skeletons marching against the Allies.

“My editor became nauseated.” says Bob Hogan with some relish. “Had to leave his desk.”

There was “Wings of the Glacier Men,” wherein the Germans found a whole army of Vikings frozen in a glacier, brought them to life, used them as hideous soldiers.

Aerial combat played a big part in G-8’s adventures, too:

“G-8 was sure his bullets had spattered into the lead pilot’s body, but he was still flying. Instantly, G-8’s brain flashed to the time when Germany had sent over the gorilla men who could not be killed. Were these men wearing bullet proof armor, too? Tac-tac-tac! Spandeau bullets snapped past his head . . .”


Author Bob Hogan, who turned out 200,000 pulp fiction words a month in the late 1930’s, is still writing on the typewriter that pounded out the first G-8 story. Hogan and his wife live in Coral Gables in the winter. New Jersey in the summer. The books are all by Hogan, some in German translations. Painting is an illustration for one of his Worid War II flying stories.

Hogan wasted no time inventing complicated names for his foreign characters. He glibly tossed off handles like Monsieur Chapeau, Herr Schmaltz and Herr Butscher, injected a few ach du liebers and violas and went merrily on with the plot.

There was even a female spy with the lovely name of R-1. She was what you might call the love interest if you stretched a point, although romance in a G-8 novel was tailored to the tastes of the 14-year-old, with the result that any cuddling between G-8 and R-1 was roughly akin to that between Roy Rogers and Trigger.

No matter. When that G-8 novel was finished, the short stories digested and the G-8 Club news read (sometimes all this occurred by flashlight under the covers), it was time to begin the impatient waiting until next month’s issue.

Even the ads were wonderful. Johnson Smith & Co. offered courses in Ju Jitsu, Whoopee Cushions for a quarter. French Photo Rings and Boys. Boys, Learn to Throw Your Voice. Charles Atlas stared from the page and sneered. “You can have a body like mine.” You were entreated to buy yeast for those pesky pimples. And for the more mature reader, it is hoped, there was the ad for Crab Orchard Whisky, guaranteed a mellow 18 months old.

When G-8 was in his prime. Bob Hogan turned out 200,000 words a month, pacing his Sparta, N.J. home with the radio full blast, bouncing a rubber ball on the floor, dictating to two secretaries at once.

At one incredible time, Hogan was writing the G-8 series, a cops and robbers series called The Secret Six and a Chinese menace series called Wu Fang, each calling for a 60,000 word novel a month plus enough short stories to fill the back of each magazine. In addition, he ran the fan club (”Hello, gang, this is G-8 speaking.”).

A Readers Digest article called him one of the world’s most prolific writers.

Hogan’s orders were to turn out the copy. Don’t edit it, said his publisher, don’t rewrite it, don’t even read it. Just turn it out and mail it. And that’s just what Hogan did.

“I have yet to read a G-8 story,” he says with wry curiosity. “Wonder if they were any good?”

“G-8 was aimed at boys about 14 years old, but I had fans ail ages and all over the world. One was president of a street car company in Scotland. Another was a Bengal Lancer in India.’

Hogan still gets letters from old fans who wish their own kids could read G-8. But alas, that’s almost impossible. A mint copy which once sold for 10 cents might bring $50 today, if you could find one.

Hogan himself has a complete set of G-8 at his lodge in New Jersey, “The House That G-8 Built.” There, too, are Hogan’s mementos: airplane struts serving as curtain rods, engine parts for andirons, bomb casings for lamps.

G-8 appeared in about 1OO novels, finally died in World War II.

“Production costs killed the pulps.” sighs Hogan. “And, of course, in the day of the B-29 and radar, the demand for stories about Spads and the Kaiser sort of wore itself out.”

G-8 buried and mourned, Hogan turned to slick magazines, westerns, juveniles, TV. One of westerns became a movie, The Stand at Apache River. A juvenile novel, Howl at the Moon was considered a classic boy-dog story. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages.

Hogan has slowed a bit lately. He and his wife Betty, winter in Coral Gables, summer in New Jersey. But the typewriter still clatters though the pace has relaxed. What Hogan would like to do now is re-issue G-8 in some form or other, for nostalgia fans maybe make G-8 a TV show.

We can hope so. In the meantime, go back in spirit to the hot summer day, the ceiling fan turning in the news stand, the rows of lurid covers, the swap of hand-heated coin for shiny book, the long walk home with open magazine, palpitating heart and great risk to life and limb.

Turn the pages slowly. Savor the deathless prose:

‘ . . . he knew a fiend had turned his pals into a Squadron of Living Death. He knew that the remedy lay in a will to fight and fight and fight . . . a low, vibrant chuckle left the lips of G-8 . . . the Master Spy shot his fist up in a signal to the Battle Aces . . . the Spad howled up in a steep climb . . . Fokkers thundered from the sky . . . tac-tac-tac! the machine guns clattered a hymn of hate . . . tac-tac-tac! tac-tac-tac!

“Heir-O-Bats” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on July 29, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

“HAW-W-W-W-W!” That sound can only mean one thing—that Bachelor of Artifice, Knight of Calamity and an alumnus of Doctor Merlin’s Camelot College for Conjurors is back to vex not only the Germans, but the Americans—the Ninth Pursuit Squadron in particular—as well. Yes it’s the marvel from Boonetown, Iowa himself—Lieutenant Phineas Pinkham!

Berlin’s big guy—Kaiser Bill, by name—had suddenly taken a decided interest in a postage-stamp Balkan state named Pandemonia. That was because a wizard named Mymugiz Grotescu kept shop there—an hombre said to be 10½ times smarter than an inventor named Edison. Only that high Heinie named Bill counted a little too heavily on a dope named Carol Fzog. What’s more, he completely forgot about a gazabo named Phineas Pinkham!

Premiering at PulpFest 2022!

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

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

First up is the third and final volume of Robert J. Hogan’s lanky cow-poke of the Western Front, Smoke Wade! Robert J. Hogan pulled from his varied experiences as a ranch hand, a pilot, and a flight instructor to breath life into Smoke Wade in 1931. This sizable third and final volume of Smoke Wade’s exploits, covering 1933-1938, collects his last 18 adventures from the pages of Battle Birds and Dare-Devil Aces, before his stories moved to the back pages of Hogan’s G-8 and his Battle Aces!

The Adventures of Smoke Wade: Volume III

FLYING through the Hell-Skies of the Western front in a Pinto-colored spad he named Jake, after his favorite ranch pony, Smoke Wade and the pilots of the 66th Pursuit fight their way out of one tight spot after another in their battle to put an end to the evil Baron von Stolz, Germany’s top Ace. But when the chips are down, don’t bet against Smoke Wade!

We’ve paired this with the first in a series of four books with Donald E. Keyhoe’s Mad Marines—Devildog Squadron—in eight Weird World War I Adventures from the pages of Sky Birds!

Devildog Squadron: The Crimson Fog

MEET “Cyclone Bill” Garrity. Square of jaw and stern of eye, he was the big, hard-boiled C.O. of the 28th Pursuit—a squadron of 27 of the maddest Marines on the Western Front: there was Hick Jones, the tall, lanky Texan who was second in command; Larry Brent, the youthful leader of B Flight; and Lucky Lane and his three lunatics—the solemn-looking Mack Tuttle, Benny Sparks, and the big Irish lug, Pug Flanagan—to name just a few. They may have been hard drinkers with no concept of regulations, but they were all two-fisted fighters in the air, able to out-maneuver, out-fly, and out-scrap any bizarre menace that came their way. They were—as the enraged Boche had labeled them, der Teufelhund Jagdstaffel—THE DEVILDOG SQUADRON!

AND, as if that wasn’t enough, we are also re-issuing our one long out of print title—Sheridan Doome! Originally presented in a retro “flip book” style back in 2008 as our 9th book, Sheridan Doome collected the two hardcover adventures of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Lieutenant Commander. Before Sheridan Doome became a staple in the pages of The Shadow magazine, two Doome hardcover mysteries were written in the mid-1930’s by acclaimed hard-boiled author Steve Fisher (I Wake Up Screaming) and edited by his wife Edythe Seims (Dime Detective, G-8 and His Battle Aces).

The Murder of the Admiral and The Murder of the Pigboat Skipper

AS CHIEF detective for U.S. Naval Intelligence, Lieutenant Commander Sheridan Doome’s job was a grim one. Whenever an extraordinary mystery or crime occurred in the fleet, on a naval base, or anywhere the navy worked to protect American interests, Doome was immediately dispatched to investigate it. Fear and dread would always precede Doome’s arrival in his special black airplane. For, in an explosion during WWI, he had been monstrously disfigured. Much of his skin had been burned away, leaving his head and face an expressionless bone-white lump of scar tissue. But behind the ugliness was a brilliant mind. Sheridan Doome always got his man.

Both Sheridan Doome books are priced to sell at $7.99 a piece!

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. 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!

“The Dragon’s Breath” by O.B. Myers

Link - Posted by David on July 22, 2022 @ 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. Sent down behind enemy lines, Pete Hennabury runs into an Allied spy and is entrusted with important information. Important information that ends up right back in the hands of the Germans. Desperate to get the information to the Allies, Pete plays a dangerous game, betting everything on his best mate’s dragon breath! From the March 1933 number of War Birds, it’s O.B. Myer’s “The Dragon’s Breath”

With one foot on the rail of death, Pete mixed a crash cocktail, chilled it with the ice of his own nerve and served it in a washed-out cylinder of a Fokker mercedes!

Cowboys of the Air

Link - Posted by David on July 19, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

HERE’S and interesting article from the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle in 1918 theorizing about a new “Lasso” bomb that would “rope” an enemy when exploded near their plane. Sounds like the kind of thing that should come from the pages of Robert J. Hogan’s six-gun ace, Smoke Wade, but is actually from the father of Science-Fiction himself, Hugo Gernsback, and The Electrical Experimenter!

“Cowboys” of the Air

The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, California • 22 September 1918

How The New Lasso Shell Makes Possible the Rare and Exciting Sport of Roping Hostile Airplanes

“ARCHIES,” as anti-aircraft guns are called, throughout the war have been blazing away at Hun airplanes and scoring some remarkable hits. However, military experts are of the opinion that it is impossible to stop an aerial raid by means of anti-aircraft guns alone. Notwithstanding the fact that the armed aeroplane Itself is probably the most effective means of downing enemy planes, there is a long felt want of some other method of clearing the skies of raiders.

With this idea in mind Mr. H. Gernsbeck, editor of the Electrical Experimenter, has perfected a plan which he says, to a certain degree, will accomplish such a result. The principle of this writer’s device, which is illustrated and described in the Electrical Experimenter, centres upon the “chain-shot,” which was nothing else but chaining several cannon balls together and shooting them at the enemy with devastating results. As the erratic flight of such a device made it extremely inefficient, it was soon given up and came into disuse.

“In my device,” says Mr. Gernsbeck, “I propose the use of a ‘mother-shell’ containing two explosive bombs, as well as two ’liquid-fire’ bombs. Each one of these bombs has a smaller companion—a heavy lead ball, the purpose of which is explained later.

“All of the bombs and bails are normally housed in the metal mother-shell which need not be very heavy, as it does not contain any explosive charge itself. All the bombs are kept in their respective places by means of a casing composed of eight pieces of reasonably thin steel. These pieces are released from the mother-shell, and fly off as soon as the time mechanism located at the apex of the mother-shell permits this. This time mechanism works on the principle of the one used on shrapnel, the purpose of the present device being to keep the mother-shell intact till it comes within a few hundred feet of the aeroplane under attack. This, of course, makes for great accuracy, as the mother-shell can be accurately timed, and being a self-contained shell like any other, its flight will naturally be true.

“The mother-shell In addition is ‘rifled,’ exactly like other big shells. A rifled shell while still in the cannon is made to turn on its axis by following a corkscrew path cut Into the inner walls of the cannon. This Imparts a spinning action to the shell which it maintains during its entire flight. So while the shell flies over its course with its nose pointed at its target, it also spins like a top. This spinning action, it has been found, keeps the shell better on its course than if it did not spin.

“In the case of the rifled mother-shell, another distinct advantage is had. Aside from keeping the shell on a true course as soon as the time mechanism acts, the pieces of the casing are thrown violently outward by centrifugal action. The same is the case of the four bombs which art hurled outwardly as shown in the illustration. Each set of bombs and balls are attached to a central steel ring by meant of a thin, but tremendously strong steel piano wire. Each wire may be from two hundred to three hundred feet long as desired. But as the mother-shell and the various bombs still have their rotary (spinning) motion, it follows that the entire device will continue to revolve not unlike a miniature planetary system. The four piano wires will be straight and taut, and as they cut the air at a great rate of speed, they will probably ’sing’ with a weird as well as a shrill note.

“We now have an aerial lasso covering a circular space of from four hundred to six hundred feet, all depending upon the length of the piano wires.

“Woe to the enemy aeroplane flying into it, or which is overtaken by it! There can be no escape. If either of the two contact-exploding bombs touch the aeroplane, it will be wrecked by the terrific ensuing explosion. If either of the contact-flame bombs touch, liquid fire kill be sprayed over wings or fuselage, setting the plane on fire.

“But let us suppose that neither type of bomb were effective, or touched only non-vltal parts of the enemy plane. Here it is where the lead balls take up their deadly work. Suppose all the four bombs bad been exploded. If it were not for the four lead balls, the four piano wires would simply go limp and the fight would be over. But having these lead balls spaced about ten feet from the explosive bombs, they will not be affected at all after the former have been set off.

“The planetary system, broadly speaking, still remains intact, although now we have only four ‘moons’ left. But suppose only one of them manages to get entangled in the trusswork of the enemy plane. Immediately the flight of the entire system is stopped abruptly and the three other balls come whining around, snarling up the entire plane and breaking the wings, fuselage or tail as they come crashing down at a terrific speed.

“You have read of the terrible Mexican lasso, the Bolas, which is a lasso with lead balls. It works on the same principle as the aerial lasso, only the latter having lead balls weighing several pounds apiece, will cause correspondingly greater havoc, especially on a comparatively fragile aeroplane.

“Perhaps you have read accounts of aerial fliers and their dread to intercept the course of even the smallest bird. It is a well known fact that an aeroplane propeller revolving at its great speed, will be instantly shattered if a bird as small as a sparrow flies into it. Therefore it may be imagined what a large load ball, or a powerful piano wire will do to a propeller should either come in contact with it.”

And look for Smoke Wade to return real soon in a new volume of rip-snortin’ air adventures!

“The Devil’s Forest” by Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by David on July 15, 2022 @ 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. Here we have a story of acting Captain “Nim” Halsey—sent by intelligence to find the leak at Squadron 36. His search for the leak leads Nim all the way to “The Devil’s Forest!”

From the July 1935 issue of Sky Fighters

Deep in the Craggy Badlands of the Ardennes, Grim Horror Stalked—and Halsey Had to Act Quickly!

How the War Crates Flew: Konking Engines

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

FROM the pages of the November 1932 number of Sky Fighters:

Editor’s Note: We feel that this magazine has been exceedingly fortunate in securing R. Sidney Bowen to conduct a technical department each month. It is Mr. Bowen’s idea to tell us the underlying principles and facts concerning expressions and ideas of air-war terminology. Each month he will enlarge upon some particular statement in the stories of this magazine. Mr. Bowen is qualified for this work, not only because he was a war pilot of the Royal Air Force, but also because he has been the editor of one of the foremost technical journals of aviation.

Konking Engines

by Robert Sidney Bowen (Sky Fighters, December 1932)

ALRIGHT, YOU FLEDGLINGS, sit up and pay attention! – Huh? What am I sore about? Well, I’m not exactly sore, just a little bit nettled, if you get what I mean. Its this way. A flatspinning fledgling out Arkansas way (I won’t mention his name) has sent me a letter that calls for a light in any country. Yup, its little short of an insult to all us wonderful war pilots.

He says in part:

    I have been reading air magazines for a long time, and although I enjoy the stories, particularly Air Fighters yarns, there is one thing that gives me a pain in the neck. Why, does the Hero always have his engine go blooey just when he’s all set to knock some Fokker out of the sky?
    Did you war pilots ever inspect your engines, or were you just too darn lazy? In other words, there were too many forced landings in the World War to suit me. I’ll bet I’d have kept the old crate going, if I had been over there!

Now I ask you, is that conceit, or is that conceit? However, in view of the fact that some of you other babes-in-wings have hinted at the same thing, I’m going to devote this meeting to konked engines, and how they got that way. If I get too technical, its just too bad for you. So button back your ears!

Before I start, though, I’ll stick in a word about forced landings in general. No pilot ever asked or prayed for one! And we’ve all had them. Right from me, the greatest, down to you, the poorest. A few years ago the papers were full of news about H.M. Prince of Wales falling off his horse. People began to get the idea that the Prince did not know how to ride, which was certainly the wrong idea. Mr. Will Rogers cleared that point up when he asked, “What’s the Prince going to do when his horse stumbles and falls, stay up there?” Well, that also goes for pilots with konked engines. What are they going to do? Walk around on the clouds while the ship glides down?

But to get real serious. Many forced landings during the late war were due to carelessness on the part of the pilot. But an equal number were just tough luck. We’ll pass over the carelessness part and just deal with the tough luck. In short, what were the things that made the old power plant give up?

All the answers to that would fill up this whole magazine a couple of times. So we’ll just deal with the major causes. Like in an automobile engine there are three important things in an airplane engine. The oiling system, the carburation system and the ignition system. All three are absolutely indispensable to the proper functioning of the engine, and the failure of any one of them will cause the other two to fold up.

Take the carburation system. The gas used during the war was usually the best that could be turned out. It was high test, AA, No.1, etc. But, the facilities for storing it at the squadron, often were not of the best. Careful as the pilot and mechanics might be, a few drops of water sometimes got into the gas tank. Eventually those drops of water got into the carburetor. Water being heavier than gas, they collected around the base of the needle valve and prevented gas from being sucked through into the cylinder head. Naturally, the engine stopped because it was gas starved.

Sometimes those drops of water didn’t get as far as the carburetor. They got stuck in a bend in the feed line—a bend that went upwards. The result was that the carburetor was blocked off from gas.

IN EITHER case, the line and the carburetor had to be blown free of water before the engine would hit on all six, or twelve. Now I’ll admit that sometimes the suction of your engine was great enough to suck the water clear, but lots of times it wasn’t. So you’d have to land and clear out the line on the ground.

And another thing. Air engines during the war, were comparatively speaking, mighty delicate pieces of machinery. Just let a few specks of dirt get in with the gas (all gas was strained into the tank as a precaution against that) and sure as the Lord made little apples, those specks of dirt would find their way into the carburetor and gum up the works. Most times they’d get under the needle valve seat, and keep it open, with the result that the carburetor would flood, and your engine would be gassed to death.

And one more thing about gas and carburetors. Vibration from violent maneuvering, to get the heck away from that Hun, would shake loose some of the feed line joints. The next thing you knew the raw gas would be spilling out into God’s open spaces, instead of into the carburetor. And I’m not even saying a word about a Spandaus bullet nicking a feed line, or puncturing your gas tank.

Now, take the oiling system. Most air engines during the war were oiled by what was known as the splash system. Your engine of today is oiled by force feed, or a combination of splash and force feed. In the war engines the big end bearing of the piston slapped down into a sump full of oil and splashed oil all over the place. Oil reached the parts missed by the splash by working its way by centrifugal force through hollowed out channels. Of course, with force feed, you have an oil pump working off the cam shaft, that pumps oil to all necessary parts of the engine. However, with the war engines the oiling system was often put on the blink just the way the gas system was. In other words, some dirt would lodge itself in one of those hollowed out channels, block off an important bearing, and cause said bearing to burn out, due to lack of lubrication. And it did not have to be actual dirt either. A little gob of crusted grease would do the trick. True, engine failure, due to the failing of the oiling system was not particularly common. At least not in my experience. However, it did happen. And nine times out of ten, all the care in the world would not have prevented it.

There’s one thing you fledglings sometimes forget. That is, that the war crates were built and flown eighteen to twenty years ago. In other words, the ships you toot around today, have incorporated in them almost twenty years of aeronautical progress.

Now don’t get me wrong. As I said at another meeting, I’m not trying to give you the impression that we war pilots were supermen, etc. I’m just trying to bring to light a few of the things we bucked up against when you fledglings were doing flat spins in your cribs.

AND now for some words about the ignition system. Believe it or not, eighty per cent of the troubles that happen to your automobile are due to the ignition. If you doubt that, ask the first automotive ignition specialist you meet. The same thing held true with air engines. In your car you have battery ignition. In the war crates you had magneto ignition. Of course you have to interrupt me, and ask why? Well, a battery is additional weight for one thing. And for another, there was no ignition battery during the war that could stand being tipped upside down without the electrolite (liquid content of a wet battery) spilling out.

Yes, I know, I know! There were dry batteries to be sure, and planes that had wireless sending sets used them. But, you cannot recharge a dry cell. And that would call for new batteries darn near every patrol. And that would be too expensive for any government, even though said government had decided not to pay their war debts!

NOW I could get so technical that you’d go ground looping, but I’ll spare you, and just deal with ignition troubles in general. The first, and a very common one—spark plugs quitting. In most cases it was due to the plugs getting carboned up. The gas used in war crates was, as I have told you, very high test. In other words, it ignited, and how! Now, if the rings in the piston are not so good, and the oil ring fails to wipe the cylinder walls clear of all excess oil on the downward stroke, that oil is going to be burned when the vaporized gas is ignited. The result, of course, is carbon that collects on the spark plug points. Presently the gap between the points is closed up with carbon and the plug stops firing. Of course one plug going out does not necessarily mean a forced landing. But it means a loss of maximum power and a ragged engine. I once had the actual experience of getting back home with three plugs quitting on me. But that was in a rotary engine, and the inertia of the revolving cylinders aided by the six other firing plugs (a 9-cylinder Bentely engine) enabled me to make the grade, thank goodness! However, in a stationary engine, more than one plug quitting means that you’ll have a forced landing, nine times out of ten.

Of course the major part of an ignition system is made up of wires. Each wire, naturally has a definite purpose, else it wouldn’t be used. Therefore, if any one of them gets loose, it stands to reason that something is going to happen And something does. Any spark plug wires that shake loose and hit against the engine block instantly short circuit the cylinder for which they were intended. And let the engine ground wire work loose and the whole system goes on the blink. Now, when I say ground wire, I don’t mean a wire leading to the ground, terra-firma in other words. All ignition systems have a definite course of travel for that invisible thing called electricity. In your car it starts from the battery and goes right through your engine and back to the battery again. The path of return is called the “Ground.” In other words it has got to get back where it started. The part of it that is spent is made up for by the generator. To be more definite, the current starts from the battery, is maintained by the generator which also shoots it back to recharge the battery again. In the airplane engine of the war days, the magneto functioned as the battery, and generator combined. It still does in a lot of today’s ships. If wet batteries are used they are used mostly for lighting in the cabin, etc. After all, a battery is added weight, and a magneto gives a hotter spark, so naturally, everything is in favor of magneto ignition in airplane engines, instead of battery ignition.

Now, of course, one could say that constant inspection of your engine and its various parts would go a long ways toward preventing any of the faults of which I have been talking, coming to pass. And to a certain extent, that is true. And it is also true that we inspected our ships before each patrol until we were blue in the face. But in those days all the little kinks had not been ironed out of engines, and their construction was not of the best, so things did happen. I don’t mean to say that we had forced landings every time we took off. Far from it. But we did have plenty. Some of us, more than our share, perhaps. But we never prayed for them, and we did everything possible to prevent them. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a perfect aero engine. Our experiences during the war were ground work for engineers to work upon. So the next time your hero gets a konked engine just as he’s going to blast that Fokker apart, just bear in mind that he hasn’t got a 1932 aero engine up there in the nose. Either that, or else the author forces the poor bird down so that he can be taken prisoner and later escapes with valuable information swiped right off the Kaiser’s desktop.

But anyway, keep on writing in your questions fledglings, because, after all, I don’t get really and truly nettled when you take cracks at us broken-down eagles who used to make three-point landings . . . upside down! Cheese it! . . . The C.O. of this magazine!

“Yank Rookie Gets German Ace” by Paul Bissell

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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 October 1933 cover Bissell put us right in the action as a …

Yank Rookie Gets German Ace

th_FA_3310IN THE early summer of ’18 the 95th Yank Squadron was having a busy time of it on the Front near Verdun. The long-promised Spads had not yet arrived, and they were still flying their old Nieuports to combat the new Albatrosses and Fokkers with which the Germans were filling the skies.

The squadron losses had not been unusual, but quite heavy enough so that replacements were constantly coming up. Often these were lads who had previously been with the French or English, and so had some actual combat experience. But sometimes there would be one who came fresh from the training centers, with only what experience he had received in “aerial combat” at those fields, and not enough of that.

As a general thing, these lads could be broken in gradually, the usual procedure being for the experienced pilots to take them over in formation, avoiding, if possible, a serious scrap, but allowing them to get accustomed to archie and the feel of being out—assisted to be sure, but on their own, where the stakes were life and death.

If a scrap was unavoidable, the new lads were told to stick close in their formation, or if the formation was broken, to pull out of the scrap entirely if the opportunity presented itself. However, things didn’t always work out 15,000 feet up as they were planned on the ground.

So it was with Lieutenant Walter Avery, who came up entirely without experience to join the 95th. He, like all other rookie aviators, without underestimating his job or the danger in it, was impatient to get at the enemy, and restlessly waited for his time to be taken over.

While waiting, he heard tales of the activities of the Boche squadrons in this sector, especially of an ace named Menckeff, who flew a red Albatross with the tips of its lower wings painted black.

This ace had thirty-eight official victories to his credit, and he and his men had been in many a spectacular dogfight with the Allied birdmen of this sector. Possibly at night Avery dreamed of that red ship with the black lower wing tips. Anyway, those markings must have stuck in his memory for—but that’s part of the story of Avery’s big day.

WITH the sun shining down blindingly from the vast blue dome above, seven German ships sped along over the big white clouds below them. High up there, everything was so quiet, so beautiful and peaceful, that it was almost incredible that the veil of smoke seen drifting across the landscape far below was really the shroud of hundreds who at that instant were dying—a sacrifice to the gods of war.

So, indeed, it was impossible to believe that these ships flying swiftly and easily, beautiful in the sunlight, their red wings flashing, were in reality a squadron of death, mercilessly searching for their victims.

Far below, coming from behind a cloud, five tiny specks had appeared, almost invisible against the shell-torn earth still miles beneath them. The quick eyes of the Boche leader had observed them, however, and already his wings were wagging their signal to his comrades. The red, blue and white circles on the lower planes showed them to be Americans. It was the 95th, and Lieutenant Avery was being taken over for the first time.

He had already come through his first tryout with archie, and had marveled at the apparent unconcern of the older pilots when puffs of smoke had appeared all around them as if by magic, and their ships had been bumped around as if by the hand of the magician himself. The flight had shifted course suddenly, and at certain definite intervals, but that was all, and soon the smoke puffs had ceased.

But now it was different. The flight leader had banked up sharply, at the same time giving a quick signal. Avery, looking over his shoulder, saw seemingly countless red ships, their guns blazing, diving straight down on him, and he knew that this was one scrap not as per ground instructions.

Just what happened during the next few moments will always remain a confused mass of memories to the young airman. He tried to remember his warning to stay in formation, but there seemed to be no formation left. He had escaped the first driving onslaught and was now just one of twelve twisting and dodging planes. So far he had not even used his machine gun. There had seemed nothing to shoot at—just flashes of color that passed him before he had opportunity even to determine what they were.

Then some bullets, spattering close to his cockpit, brought him abruptly out of his confusion. His senses cleared. All his training came back suddenly. He threw his ship into a screaming vrille and came out with a red ship square in front of him. Automatically his fingers squeezed the trips, and for the first time he felt the thrill of actual combat. His aim was high. He saw his tracers pass over the top wing of the other ship.

The German was busy on the tail of one of the other Americans and had not noticed Avery. A yank of Avery’s stick brought the whole enemy ship more into line. Then for the first time his eyes caught something that sent his heart into his mouth. The red Albatross had black lower wing tips.

Carefully he sighted, aiming at the nose of the Albatross so that the German would have to pass through the line of fire. Once again his guns throbbed, and this time his aim was true. The German plane shot up in a tight loop like an animal stung unawares, but at the top, his motor sputtered and he dropped off to one side. Right behind him went Avery, his guns blazing, the bullets ripping the sides of the diving Albatross.

It was soon over. They had drifted too far over the Allied lines for the Boche to make the German side; so, with motor gone, unable to fight, and himself wounded, he threw up his hands in surrender. The scrap was over, and Avery headed back for the airdrome.

His squadron mates had seen the newcomer get his German, but it was not until the prisoner had been brought in that Avery was sure his eyes had not deceived him. And not until then did his comrades realize that the young American lieutenant had on his first flight over the lines brought down the famous German ace, Menckoff—a record we believe unique in the annals of the war.

The Ships on The Cover
“Yank Rookie Gets German Ace”
Flying Aces, October 1933 by Paul J. Bissell

How the War Crates Flew: Tricky Ships

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FROM the pages of the November 1932 number of Sky Fighters:

Editor’s Note: We feel that this magazine has been exceedingly fortunate in securing R. Sidney Bowen to conduct a technical department each month. It is Mr. Bowen’s idea to tell us the underlying principles and facts concerning expressions and ideas of air-war terminology. Each month he will enlarge upon some particular statement in the stories of this magazine. Mr. Bowen is qualified for this work, not only because he was a war pilot of the Royal Air Force, but also because he has been the editor of one of the foremost technical journals of aviation.

Tricky Ships

by Robert Sidney Bowen (Sky Fighters, November 1932)

POWERLESS to do a single thing about it, the members of the 23rd pursuits watched the lone Camel flatspinning down to total destruction. Its pilot was plainly visible, battling the controls. But his frantic efforts were to no avail. Seconds later the nose struck, flames leaped skyward, and another pilot was added to the long list of tricky ship victims. . . .

And that, fledglings, was the way more than one Hun-getter checked in his chips during the late war . . . a victim of a tricky ship, not Spandaus lead. Now, don’t go getting the idea that those lads were dumb pilots, else they wouldn’t have allowed their crates to throw them. That’s not the idea at all. More than a few crack pilots got into trouble with a tricky ship and lost the decision. What we are going to try and point out this meeting is that during the late war a peelot had to be a heads-up peelot for reasons other than those manufactured in Germany.

Present day ships are so well designed and constructed that you can almost go to sleep and let them fly on by themselves. They are steady as a rock even in pretty punk weather, and when anything does happen there is always the good old ’chute-pack on your back. All you have to do is step overboard, count six and pull the ring. But the war crates? Ah, there you have something different . . . mighty different, and don’t you forget it! In the first place, they were all designs of 1914-1918 vintage, naturally. Designers didn’t know as much then as they do now. And, there were no parachutes for pilots. The Germans started using ’chutes during the last year of the war, but the Yanks, English and French never had them except for balloon work.

That statement may surprise you, after some of the war-air yarns that you’ve been reading. But it happens to be a fact, and any war peelot will check on that statement.

But to get back to the business of these tricky ships. That questionasking fledgling over there in the corner looks like he’s ready to burst with curiosity, so I’ll talk fast and maybe choke him off.

JUST for the heck of it, we’ll take some of the war crates, one by one, and elaborate on their tricky features and peculiarities.

Of course, the Sopwith Camel is the first on the list. Of all the tricky ships that crossed over No-Man’s-Land the Camel was the trickiest of them all. A wonderful stunting crate, and great stuff in a dog scrap, but my, my, how you had to watch that baby and check its tendency to throw you for a flock of wooden kimonos!

The Camel was powered with a Clerget, Le Rhone, and later for high altitude work, with a 210 Bentely. All three were rotary engines. And all three gave the ship its nasty desire to flip over and down on right wing and into a tight spin. It was propeller torque that did that. As I explained at another meeting, propeller torque is a tendency for a ship to go in the opposite direction to the rotation of the propeller blades. In a Camel the prop rotated from right to left (standing in front of the prop). Therefore the ship would try to swing to the right (the pilot’s right when in the cockpit). Naturally, the way to counteract that was to keep on a bit of left rudder all the time. In other words, when you wanted to make a right bank you really eased up a bit on left rudder and let the torque carry you around, instead of actually putting on right rudder. The Camel was also rigged to whip around on a dime, and that helped the engine torque idea all the more. There was no dihedral on the top wings, but there was about two degrees on the bottom ones.

What’s that? What’s dihedral?

Well, Fledgling, dihedral of airplane wings is the angle of a wing upwards and outwards to the horizontal. In other words, if a wing is pefectly flat it has no dihedral, but if it tilts upwards it has. No dihedral reduces the horizontal stability of a plane, and in this way. The area under a tilted flat wing is the same on either side of the fuselage. But when there is dihedral the area (called horizontal equivalent) becomes increased on the down-tilted side and increased on the up-tilted side. Therefore the natural reaction is for the plane to right itself to an even keel.

Naturally the dihedral on the lower wings of a Camel was put there so that the ship wouldn’t fly completely wild, but still be a fast maneuvering ship. Never having experienced such a thing, I can’t go on record definitely, but I would say that flying a Camel with no dihedral on any of the wings would be just like going down a mountain road at midnight, with both headlights on the blink. You’d just hang on and pray that you didn’t hit anything.

WHENEVER a pilot slipped up in alertness and engine torque whipped a Camel over on its right wing, it always fell into a tight spin. Now a spin is nothing to get grayhaired about, even in a Camel, if you have altitude. BUT, the camel was so darn sensitive to the controls that when you took it out of a spin you had to be mighty careful lest it didn’t flip right over into a spin in the opposite direction. In case you don’t know, you stop a plane from spinning by moving the controls as though you wanted the ship to spin in the other direction. But as soon as the ship stopped spinning the original way, you checked its tendency to flop over on the opposite side, and began to get the nose up. In a Camel split-second checking was in order. You couldn’t take your time about it. The instant the ship stopped spinning you had to check and get the nose up, else you went spinning down in the opposite direction, and had the whole darn job to do all over again.

THERE was also another tricky feature of the Camel, and one which cost many lives. That was the tendency of the ship to go past the vertical when diving.

You would start a steep dive in a Camel and unless you watched the ship the nose would start to swing back to the rear, and before you knew it you were diving backwards as though you were going to pull an outside loop. The way to get out of that was to pull the stick back so that the nose would start moving forward, and then when you got vertical again to slowly ease the nose up. But it was right at that moment when a lot of chaps checked out of the world, and for this reason. When a Camel’s nose starts back toward the vertical, after being past it, it comes slowly at first but as it reaches the vertical it develops a vicious tendency to whip upward in a zoom. If you don’t check that and hold the ship steady in a vertical dive, and ease up slowly, why, the result is that you lose your wings. The savage up-thrust of the plane, with the top surfaces of the ship broadside to the line of motion, just wipes the wings off as though they were so much paper.

Now, if you’ve been listening to me, instead of falling asleep like that fledgling over there, why, you’ll realize that both of the principal tricky features of a Camel can be hooked up together. But, in case you don’t, it’s like this. You’re buzzing along, and start to make a right bank, a split-arc turn. You take off too much left rudder, and zowie, engine torque whips you over to the right and into a spin. You start to take it out, don’t check it in time and zowie, it flops over into an opposite spin. You start to take it out, check it this time, but before you realize it you’re diving past the vertical before you’ve had time to start getting the nose up. Well, you try to get the nose forward to the vertical, and then when it gets to the vertical you don’t hold it steady. Zowie the plane zooms up, the wings come off, and zowie . . . no more peeloting for you in this world! Now, do you get the idea?

ANOTHER tricky ship that Sopwith also made was the Sopwith Pup. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t what you’d call a dangerous ship. It was simply a crate that made you stay awake if you cared anything about seeing the girl friend again. It was a very small job, and naturally very light. And being light, it floated like a feather. And as it floated like a feather, the job of landing was just that much more difficult. Time and time again (until you got the hang of things) a greenhorn pilot would overshoot the field. Of course that’s okay provided the engine is still functioning. You simply feed it the hop, go around and try again. But in the event of a forced landing, why, the story was different. You only had one chance then, and if you didn’t make good you were just out of luck. The Pup came out before the Camel but was used mostly for training purposes. It was so small and light that it couldn’t stand the gaff in a dog-scrap.

In the early part of 1918 the Sopwith outfit came out with a ship called the Snipe. It was an improvement on the Camel, and was intended for high altitude work. Only two Snipe squadrons got out to France before the Armistice, and those only for a few weeks. But they certainly knocked the pants off the Fokkers, which proves what swell ships they were. The first model was known as the Unmodified Snipe. It was the tricky job. The fuselage was barrel shaped and the rudder and tail surfaces a bit too small. The result was that when you got into a spin it was the task of your life-time to get it out. The reason for that was this. The fuselage being so big and the tail surfaces so small, the slip-stream didn’t strike all of the surfaces. When the ship went into a spin an air-lock would be formed between the rudder and the elevators. That would practically render the controls useless. In other words the tail surfaces were so blanketed by the size of the fuselage that they wouldn’t get the proper grip on the air. (Fig. 2.) Once the ship got into a spin it was difficult to present a flat spin developing when you tried to take it out. It was practically impossible to come out of a flat spin. What you had to do was go back into a tight spin again and make another try to get past the flat spinning point. Just so’s you won’t be too confused about my jabbering, a tight spin is when the wings revolve about the fuselage as the axis. And a flat spin is when the plane pivots around the nose in a gyroscopic motion. In other words, the plane is at a slight angle to the vertical and the whole plane goes swinging around in a circle, sidewise.

Yeah, no fooling, a spin in an Unmodified Snipe was not so hot. We speak from experience about that item. One day during a joyhop we slipped into a spin at ten thousand feet, and it took us just eight thousand feet to get out of it. Another two thousand feet and yours truly wouldn’t be here chinning with you fledglings.

Later that fault was corrected in what was called the Modified Snipe. The elevators were made a bit bigger and the ship had a balanced rudder and balanced ailerons. And if you don’t know what those things are, why, just take a look at Fig. 3.

THE well known Spad might be called a tricky ship because it was more or less a flying brick, and didn’t have much of a gliding angle. Naturally, all that means that the Spad was heavy, and it was, darned heavy in proportion to the wing surface. Under full power it was a sweet ship, but when you cut the gun you had to look out. The nose just plopped right down and you started diving hellbent. In the event of a forced landing you had to decide on your field mighty quick, because you didn’t have much time to think it over. You just naturally lost ground too fast. We once had a Spad forced landing. The engine konked at two thousand feet and we were just able to make two and one-half gliding turns to get into a field. But, of course, maybe a GOOD pilot could have made five. Now, you know what we think of us!

Speaking of landing reminds me of the Sopwith Dolphin, a high altitude scout that came out in 1918. The cockpit was right under the top wing. In fact we got into it through an opening in the wing. It was a smooth job until it came time to land . . . then, hold her Newt! If you ground looped it was just too bad. Why? Well, you usually went over on your back, and there you were, head down in the cockpit and no way to get out because the opening in the top wing was right smack against the ground. And if the ship caught fire . . . well, you can figure that out for yourself! After several chaps got burned alive or had their necks broken, braces were put on the top wing so as to give the peelot exit room when he needed it.

A LOT of your heros in this mag fly the good old S.E.5 and S.E.5a, but we can’t list either as a tricky ship, because it was only tricky when the peelot was just plane dumb. We mean this. The S.E. had what was known as an adjustable tail plane. In other words, from the cockpit you could adjust the tail plane (section to which the elevators are attached), so that it would tilt up or down. In other words, you could make the ship nose heavy or tail heavy, just as you wished. When taking off you would tilt the tail plane upward and that would help you get into the air sooner. And in landing you’d do the same thing because the reaction would be for the nose to go up, and thus you would have less trouble getting the tail down for a nice three point landing. But when you forgot about that tail-plane the ship got real tricky. For instance, you might pile into an S.E., slam home the juice and go tearing across the field. If the tail-plane happened to be tilted down you’d probably dig your prop into the ground. Another case is when you’re landing and over-shoot the field. Well, you feed the hop to go around again, and pull back the stick to get more altitude. Well, if the tail plane has been tilted up, as it should be for a landing, why, you’ll just go zooming up quicker than you expected, and if you don’t re-adjust the tail plane you’ll find yourself on your back at a rather low altitude for that sort of thing. So, of course, S.E. peelots remembered that they had a tail-plane just like they remembered they had an engine in the nose!

WELL, here comes that hard-boiled C.O. of this mag, and the look in his eye says, scram. But before I do, just let me lip another word or two. Don’t get the idea that we bohunks who flew the war crates were supermen. Far from it, believe you, me! But some of the ships were tricky, as I’ve been explaining, and the war peelot who went to sleep on the job, or didn’t keep his mind on the race, was asking for a lot of trouble that wasn’t German-made, either. But even a dumb peelot could handle them okay, if he paid attention to his knitting. And the very fact that we used to fly them, and are still alive, proves the above statement beyond all possible argument.

And the same to you! S’long!

“Flying Aces, April 1935″ by C.B. Mayshark

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THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes. April 1935’s thrilling story behind its cover features an Attack on San Fancisco!

Attack on San Francisco

th_FA_3504 FROM across the Pacific a harmless-looking tramp steamer is churning its way to a point within five hundred miles of San Francisco. There is nothing about her appearance to arouse the slightest suspicions on the part of anyone. She is just like a thousand other tramp steamers—black and smoky and clumsy-looking.

As the ship nears the California coast line, it heads into the wind and drops anchor. Activity on deck is apparent as huge hatches are removed and the swinging arm of a derrick is brought into play. Terse orders are barked out, and obeyed with smart promptness. Military procedure appears to be the keynote of all operations—a thing unusual in a tramp steamer’s crew.

An observer, if he had the good fortune to watch the activity unseen, would by this time begin to doubt the steamer’s appearance. As a matter of fact, he could not help suspecting a warlike objective. Tramp steamers do not stop five hundred miles off San Francisco for the fun of it.

In San Francisco Bay, a batch of United States destroyers and cruisers are weighing anchor, preparatory to steaming out of the harbor and joining the rest of the fleet for operations off Catalina Island. The smooth lines of the fighting craft are set off in sharp relief against the blue hills of the Tamalpais range. Unlike other mechanical devices, they add immeasurably to the natural beauty of the surroundings, and as they slowly get under way, they remind one of a giant cat carefully threading its way through leaves and branches, only to bound into action with a roar as its prey is hopelessly pinned beneath it.

One by one, Uncle Sam’s ships steam up the bay, through the Golden Gate and out into the broad Pacific. As they pass the hundreds of workers busily employed on the construction of the new Golden Gate Bridge, a spontaneous cheer floats across the still air from riveters and engineers alike. With a sense of proud security, the bridge workers drop their tools to gaze intently on each vessel as it passes beneath them. There is something awe-inspiring about the United States Navy, and it makes the men on the steel towers reflect upon the possibility of foreign invasion. Each Navy ship seems like such a mountain of strength and durability that an offensive move against our coastline by anyone would most assuredly lose. However, torpedoes that find their mark are seldom ineffective.

By this time, the tramp steamer has completed its work. Two Kawasaki two-seater torpedo planes are well on their way to San Francisco, and as they flash up over the horizon, their pilots see that they must hurry. Almost half of the destroyers and cruisers are already clear of the Golden Gate channel. The rest must remain inside.

As the two airplanes draw near, a cry of fear rings out. The bridge workers realize that this is not a friendly air visit. The torpedoes hung between the wheels of each plane give cause for grave doubt, and all operations on the Golden Gate span stop as the men scramble to places of safety.

But what is this roaring out from the mainland? Two Navy planes to the rescue! The approach of the two foreign torpedo ships has been observed from a land station and, taking no chances, the C.O. has sent a couple of Vought landplanes into the air.

The pilots of the Navy planes, of course, figure the move a useless one. Nobody would torpedo United States cruisers or destroyers out of a clear blue sky, when there is no apparent motive, they think. Doubtless, the Navy pilots are unaware of a recent diplomatic breach between the United States and a certain Eastern power. They are unaware of the fact that a certain power considers itself Uncle Sam’s equal and is out to prove it. Most of all, they don’t know that a whole fleet is at that very moment charging across the Pacific, intent upon taking swift advantage of the preliminary work to be done by the torpedo planes.

The object being pursued by the invading power is simply this. As the fleet, or part of it, is departing from San Francisco Bay, one or more ships are to be torpedoed and sunk directly in the Golden Gate Channel, thereby making it impossible for the remainder of the craft to accomplish their scheduled departure. In this way, the attacking warships would be left more or less free to proceed with the bombardment of San Francisco and the near-by coast-line cities, thereby paving the way for the actual landing of troops. Of course, failure to bottle up the fleet in the bay would mean failure at the very start of the enterprise.

In the particular instance, some of the Navy fighting craft have already made their safe departure through the Golden Gate, but there are still numbers of ships which theoretically could be locked inside. Besides the ships that are in the clear, the rest of the fleet is still somewhere off the coast of southern California. These combined forces might possibly fight off the attacking navy, but that is doubtful.

The only course left open, then, is defense by air. Naturally, the attacking forces are well equipped with aircraft carriers and launching apparatus on all battleships. Quite possibly the combined strength of the Pacific Coast Army and Navy Air Forces might turn the tables completely and force the invaders into confused retreat. The whole affair would be a huge air battle, with both sides sending hundreds of planes into the air. If the invaders should win, California would be doomed. If Uncle Sam’s ships came out victorious, the outcome even then would be problematical.

But to get back to the two torpedo planes bearing down on the Golden Gate. Will they accomplish their purpose and block off San Francisco Bay? Or will the Corsairs send them charging into the water?

No one can say what would be the outcome of such a venture, but this much we do know. Judging from the recent better understanding which has been accomplished between most of the nations of the world, and from the bitter lessons which we all learned in the last great war, we have good reason to assume the belief that no nation would care to or have reason to attempt a wholesale invasion such as the one fictitiously described here. We earnestly hope this to be the case, and we pin our hopes on the strength of the United States Army and Navy Air Forces.

The Story of The Cover
Flying Aces, April 1935 by C.B. Mayshark
Attack on San Francisco: Thrilling Story Behind This Month’s Cover

“Cocarde Sharpers” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on May 27, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

“HAW-W-W-W-W!” You heard right! That sound can only mean one thing—that Bachelor of Artifice, Knight of Calamity and an alumnus of Doctor Merlin’s Camelot College for Conjurors is back. Yes it’s the marvel from Boonetown, Iowa himself—Lieutenant Phineas Pinkham!

Looks like the Boomtown Miracle Man is public enemy No.1. Everyone wants Phineas Pinkham dead! The Germans are looking for him and bombing the 9th unmercifully in hopes of hitting their mark. As a result, everyone at the 9th Pursuits would like Pinkham to expire. Even his girl, Babbette wants that fiery-headed Yankee Peeg dead. What’s a Pinkham to do? Find out in Joe Archibald’s latest, larrupin’ laff fest—from the September 1938 Flying Aces, Phineas Pinkham puts the “poke” in poker in “Cocarde Sharpers!”

“Get das Pingham!” war-cried the flocks of squarehead flyers facing Bar-le-Duc. And when they proceeded to pour seven months’ output of Krupp poison onto the drome of the fighting Ninth in seven days, the battered and bomb-sprayed Major Rufus Garrity had to admit he was licked. “Pinkham,” he said, “for the safety of the rest of the service, go out—and get yourself killed!” And wasn’t Phineas always a man to obey orders?

And lest you think the legend that is Phineas Pinkham resides only in crumbling old magazines from 80 years ago, the modern day Flying Aces Club keeps his spirit alive! The field where they hold their competitions is named “Pinkham Field” after the great, grinning, jug-headed buffoon. In fact, he’s even been known to put in an appearance!


The FAC’s Information Technology Guru, Rick Pendzick was awarded the FAC Blue Max at the September Outdoor Contest at Pinkham Field in Connecticut. That’s Rick on the right with Phineas Pinkham.

“Flying Aces, March 1935″ by C.B. Mayshark

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

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes. March 1935’s thrilling story behind its cover features Martin Bombers vs. Armed Transports!

Martin Bombers vs. Armed Transports

th_FA_3503NEW YORK, the metropolis of the nation, threatened with complete ruin! An unknown foe striking from the mist-shrouded deeps of the North Atlantic on wings of treachery, with all the speed of light and the blasting power of lightning! High-speed bombers converted in a few hours from peaceful commercial craft, loaded with high explosive and bristling with machine guns!

A wild fantasy? Impossible? But not so! Already it has been proved that several well-known commercial types used by many countries are so constructed that within a few hours they may be turned into grim war craft.

Any day, the great city of New York might be shining in the sunlight of a Spring morning to realize suddenly that within an hour the sunshine was to be blotted out by clouds of poison gas, billowing waves of screen smoke and the acrid fumes of high-explosive flame. Great buildings might be blasted from their bases, to topple with the thunder of Thor down into the cavernous streets of the city, wiping out hundreds of lives and spreading destruction in their crunching wake. Death and disease would stalk through the ruins and blot out thousands. Famine, waste and thirst would follow the concussion as these aerial monsters screened behind peaceful commercial insignia swooped down and struck the first blow of an unexpected war.

But their mission might be detected by the roving Coast Guardsmen, and great Martin bombers would sweep into the sky to intercept them. The Junkers Ju. 60 depicted on this month’s cover is a typical ship on which this conversion job could be attempted. And remember, Germany is not the only foreign power that uses this type of commercial craft. The Junkers ships are manufactured under license all over the world, so the Ju. 60 could be the vanguard of attack from any one of several foreign countries.

The Ju. 60 is classified as an express monoplane. It will accommodate eight persons, a more than adequate number for a bombing crew. The only visible changes in the ship are the gunner’s door in the roof, the bomb equipment, including racks and bombs under the wings, and the machine guns protruding from the side windows. Of course, other minor changes would be necessary within the fuselage.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this ship is its power plant. The engine is a B.M.W. Hornet, and it is built in Germany under license from the Pratt & Whitney Co. of Hartford, Conn. Its design is absolutely identical with the Hornet series A of the licensor. The Hornet is a nine-cylinder, air-cooled radial engine on detachable engine mounting, and it is capable of 600 horsepower. A three-bladed metal air screw is used.

The ship can attain a speed of 175 miles per hour and has a range of 683 miles. Undoubtedly, however, this range would be greatly increased when the bomber conversion job was completed.

The Martin bomber has received a great deal of publicity, which it has rightfully deserved. The performance of the Martins that made the Alaska trip last summer was indeed enviable. It is the general consensus of opinion that the Martin bombers of the YB series are the fastest and the most efficient ships of their type in the world. These ships do better than 200 miles per hour, and they are so maneuverable that they can be used as pursuit or attack planes in case of emergency.

Presuming that the United States is attacked by an unknown foreign power with an air arm that incorporates a number of these converted commercial ships, let us see what would be the result of an air battle between a Junkers and a modern Martin. We must, of course, take the fictional attitude that a fleet of these Junkers has been catapulted from a giant launching gear, or from the hurriedly converted flight deck of a long tanker, for a secret raid on some important military point on the mainland.

In the matter of a ship-to-ship conflict—that is to say, an equal number of Martins against a formation of Junkers—we must consider the duties of each ship. The Martins are on the defensive, purely and simply, while the raiding Junkers have the problem of making their bombing attack and defending themselves at the same time. After all that is over, they must get back to their surface base.

So far, so good. The Junkers have almost reached the mainland when their move has been spotted and the defending squadrons are sent aloft. If, for instance, as is the case, they have decided on a raid on New York City, they would first have to brave the anti-aircraft fire from any of the several forts in the mouth of the Hudson. This, in itself, is no easy task, and several would probably, on the law of war averages, go down or fail to gain their objective.

The rest would have to make their way through a winged wall of 200-mile-an-hour Martins armed with high speed and high-calibre guns. The Junkers, gorged with heavy bombs, would not get up to their best speed, and all battle tactics would have to be thrown aside in their dash for their targets. The Martins, on the other hand, unhampered by pre-arranged plans, would have the benefit of freedom of action under a general leadership of a squadron leader in a flag-plane. While the Junkers ships plunged on, dead for their objective, depending mainly on their gunners, the Martins would be able to form angle attacks to harass the visitors.

Now, it is not exactly true that the fastest ship always wins a fight, especially where defensive ships try to intercept bombing machines. The last year of the World War proved that, and we shall have to accept the fact that in this great defense, many Martins would be destroyed. However, with the gunnery of the modern bomber-fighter, the air battle would become something of a mid-air battle-cruiser engagement in which speed, careful maneuvering and gunnery would win.

In this case, then, the slower Junkers bombers, confined to a direct line of flight—at least, until they have reached and bombed their objective—would be on the short end of the battle, for the speedy Martins would be able to use all their, fighting tactics. The gunnery must be considered on modern figures. No country in the world today is believed to have the aerial weapons that the United States boasts.

Therefore, the Junkers would come under another bitter blow. While the enemy got in the first thrust by surprise in the use of a converted transport ship, the side with equipment especially designed for defensive work would win in the end. The attacking party always loses more than the defending—an old war axiom—but in doing so, it actually accomplishes its end or goal.

Thus, on facts and figures, the Martin bomber should always be able to outdo the converted commercial ship.

The Story of The Cover
Flying Aces, March 1935 by C.B. Mayshark
Martin Bombers vs. Armed Transports: Thrilling Story Behind This Month’s Cover

“Flying Aces, February 1935″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 16, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes—Case in point, for three issues, starting with the December 1934 issue, Mayshark depicted Air Battles of the future! For the third and final future cover on the February 1935 issue Mayshark gives us the Troop Ship of the Skies!

Air Battles of the Future: Troop Ship of the Skies

th_FA_3502WAR in the air! What would it mean in the future?

Armadas of fighting ships in grim formations, thundering into attack at terrific speed? Darting scouts bristling with guns directed from a ground base? Giant dreadnaughts of the sky in battle formation, answering the commands of the Air Admiral as he paces the bridge of his battle-plane?

All this—and more! There is another side to the air war of the future. What the raiding cruisers and monitors of World War days were to the elements of attack, the new troop carrier would be to the future war in the air. A great flying boat, capable of transporting several hundred men, weapons, demolition devices and transport destruction equipment, could swoop down out of the skies from bases several thousand miles distant, and before ground troops could be brought up to lay down temporary lines of defense, these flying boats could be gone, after paralyzing whole sectors, battering important base points to bits and—what is more terrible—destroying the morale of the civilian population.

Let us picture a possible raid of this type—say five, perhaps ten years from now.

At the present rate of improvement in service equipment, we can easily picture a United States Navy patrol station leader faced with the astounding report that an unknown troop transport has been seen heading toward the eastern coast of the United States. The formality of the declaration of war leaves everyone concerned with the problem of learning who and why. But the orders state in crisp, terse sentences that the mysterious troop transport must be blocked off and prevented from making a landing on the mainland.

A Captain Sully and a Lieutenant Stevens, crack contact men of the Twentieth Squadron, are shown the message and ordered off to do the intercepter job. Unfortunately, their equipment is nothing more up-to-date than the Curtiss Goshawk, a fine ship in 1934, but hardly an intercepter in 193—. Still, there’s a job to do, and Sully and Stevens take it on. The former, a soldier to his stubby fingertips, realizes the seriousness of the situation. The latter, still in the prime of youth, regards it a great joke and, probably, the nightmare of some sleepy-eyed transatlantic liner radio operator.

The trim but service-weary Goshawks are warmed up.

Once in the air, Captain Sully turned his thoughts to the mysterious orders he has in his pocket. Troop transports are ordinary things. Every country’s air force has them—has had them for years, but machines under this classification have never been regarded as particularly effective because of restrictions in accommodation of personnel and equipment.

The Navy pilots have been speeding close to the water for only a few minutes when what they thought was somebody’s bad dream turns into stark realism. Thundering along close to the water at a good rate of speed, a giant flying boat comes into view from out of a cloudless horizon.

With a gasp, Sully jams his foot down on the rudder control, and the fighter lurches to the left. With Stevens close behind him, the Navy pilot darts out of firing range of the huge transport. After banking around and flying along parallel with the mysterious air monster. Captain Sully has time to make a more comprehensive inspection of the ship.

Between two wings which have a slight degree of dihedral, there are seven motor nacelles, all set in the same plane. Each nacelle carries two motors—one driving a tractor and the other a pusher air-screw. There are a total of fourteen engines, the aggregate energy of which is fourteen thousand horsepower.

Each motor nacelle is supported by a main strut and also by two smaller struts which connect with the trailing edge spars. These smaller struts take up the forward thrust, which is generated to a very marked degree when two thousand horsepower is unleashed. The engines are cooled by means of a special liquid cooling agency, air cooling being impractical when engines are set in tandem. Cantilever construction is employed in the wings, the ribs and spars being built entirely of a light-weight composition metal.

The hull of the ship is connected with the lower wing, through which an extension of the hull passes. The center motor nacelle is built upon this extension. The control cabin is located forward of the leading edge of the lower plane, where the best possible line of vision is obtained, and from where most of the ship can be viewed. This facilitates immediate action in case anything goes wrong with the controls, motors, or anything else important to the flight of the ship.

The hull of the ship is divided into three sections, the central section being large and the other two small. In the central section there are accommodations for 275 men. All their equipment, including rifles, pistols, ammunition, blankets, gas masks, and extra clothing, is carried in the forward compartment, each man’s supplies being stowed in a separate closet. The galley and various other stowage compartments are located in the aft section of the hull. Gasoline and oil tanks, as well as extra motor parts, are also carried in this section. Minor motor difficulties can be repaired in flight by means of a catwalk which connects the motor nacelles. Space is provided in the two outboard pontoons for auxiliary gasoline tanks.

It is safe to assume that any invading nation would not send a transport full of buck privates into the United States, because even 275 armed soldiers are not likely to be particularly effective unless placed where they can make a certain type of raid on a weakly defended point. Instead, this transport is probably loaded with experts in bridge and railroad demolition. It would carry highly trained machine-gun and light field-gun crews who would scatter for a certain distance and throw up a defending ring of steel and fire to cover the workings of the experts. These, in turn, would no doubt destroy first the transatlantic cable stations, high-power radio towers, important bridge and railroad junctions. There is a possibility that they would head for one of the great ammunition plants on the New Jersey coast or the noted weapon works near Bridgeport.

But what of Sully and Stevens?

By this time, they have hurled their fighters into action. Their wires scream, and they pound down with an angled fire from their 30-caliber guns. The gunners aboard the transport ship reply with heavy-caliber fire, and the Goshawks tremble under the pounding spray. Guns appear in the port and starboard turrets aft of the wings.

Sully gives a signal and they both switch in their 50-caliber guns, hoping that the high-pressure stuff will batter into a vulnerable spot and at least head the raider off. The fire continues, but the troop-carrier goes on, while her gunners harass the defending Goshawks.

The Goshawks stagger and falter. At last, there is an ominous rattle in the ammo cans—and their fight is over. They have no more cartridges, no more fight. They surge down once more in a screeching dive, full into the flaming guns of the raiders. It is an ineffectual gesture, but they have nothing left to do.

The grim troop-carrier hurtles on, and the two gallant American airmen are left helpless. They have given their best with what they had to use. Is the enemy to score because of better equipment, or will our services be up to par if the time ever comes? We have the men and the guns. Can we get them into action and ward off any threats that may darken our shores?

The troop-carrier roars away into the mist that shields the mainland. Where? What is its objective?

The two battered Goshawks return to their base, frustrated but not beaten. They know the troop-carrier will have to return, and they hope to have something in hand to send it on its way. If this situation ever arises, will we have the air defense to cope with it?

The Story of The Cover
Flying Aces, February 1935 by C.B. Mayshark
Air Battles of the Future: Troop Ship of the Skies

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