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“Balloon Bait” by Captain John E. Doyle

Link - Posted by David on November 12, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

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

Doyle wrote a series of five stories for the British version of Air Stories featuring one Montgomery de Courcy Montmorency Hardcastle, M.C. In Scotland he was usually referred to as “His Lordship,” for he was the fourteenth Viscount Arbroath as well as the sixth Baron Cupar. Out in France he was just “Monty” behind his back, or “The Major,” or “Sir” to his face. “Balloon Bait” from the November 1935 issue introduces us to the character.

When the top flights under his command in 99 Squadron fail to take out an observation balloon, The Monocled Major developed a theory as to it’s protection and takes off in the night to prove his theory.

Grim Guardians of a Balloon of Death, three Fokkers Lay in Wait for the Prey that Came with the Dawn and Never Returned—Until “The Major” Sacrificed his Beauty Sleep to Spring a Trap for Camels and Got Away with the Bait.

“The Rodneys” by F.E. Rechnitzer

Link - Posted by David on November 5, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of a prolific pulp author—F.E. Rechnitzer.

Luke Rodney was the Crack flyer of the squadron. Everything was going his way until he returned form a patrol to find his father working as an Ack Emma! It was a secret he tried to keep. But when his brother who is stationed with another squadron stops by just as Luke has failed to return from a dangerous mission—it’s his brother and father who fly to his rescue! From the pages of the July 1934 issue of The Lone Eagle, it’s F.E. Rechnitzer’s “The Rodneys!”

Luke Was the Crack Flyer of His Squadron—And His Dad Was Just an Ack Emma, But Nobody Knew It Until—

“Kraut Fishing” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on October 29, 2021 @ 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!

Not long after Lieutenant Phineas “Carbuncle” Pinkham had knocked off Herr Hauptmann Adolph August von Heinz—the Owl of the Ozone, whose nocturnal marauding had been driving the Chaumont brain trust to drunkards’ graves—the Allies had a meeting. And the motion was moved and seconded that a medal be struck off for the hero from Boonetown, Iowa. But two hours after the order was okayed by the Democratic board of directors, Major Rufus Garrity, boss of the turbulent Ninth Pursuit Squadron, wished that Phineas had let the Heinie alone. For irked no end by the news that von Heinz had been shellacked for a row of ammo dumps by Lieutenant Pinkham, a certain Boche bombing outfit hopped into their egg crates close to dawn of the day following the descendu of their Kraut hero who doted on darkness. In the confusion of the subsequent bombing of the Ninth by the von Schmierwurst’s gory Grim Reapers, The Owl flew the coup hiding in the woods full of his nocturnal friends!

Neither of the international shooting parties encamped in that noxious neighborhood bordering Bar-le-Duc was in a sugary mood. To the Teuton tracer-tossers, the capture of their sinister Spandau-ist, Hauptmann von Heinz, had proved a decided pain-in-the-neck. Likewise, von Schmierwurst’s gory Grim Reapers had become a pain-in-the-neck to the Democrats. And Phineas? You guessed it! He was a pain-in-the-neck to everybody!

“Spy Drome” by H.P.S. Greene

Link - Posted by David on October 22, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by H.P.S. Greene. Henry Paul Stevens Greene wrote aviation tales from the late 20’s to the early 40’s for magazines like Wings, Air Stories, Sky Fighters and, the magazine this story appeared in—Aces.

What little we know about Greene is from papers he left behind in a cardboard suitcase discovered in a storeroom at the National Press Club.

Greene was known by his colleagues at the National Press Club as the man who lived out of a suitcase, so it only seemed apt that he left his papers behind in a cardboard suitcase that was subsequently discovered in a storeroom of the National Press Club. The papers within the suitcase appear to be the only remaining information about H.P.S. Greene.

Henry Paul Stevens Greene was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 28, 1892, the son of Amy Bodwell Stevens and Henry Brooks Greene. (According to his own genealogical research, both the Bodwell and Stevens families were active in the American colonial and revolutionary periods.)

He graduated from Methuen (MA) High School and wrote the “Prophecy” for the class of 1911.

Greene was a member of the 1916 class of Amherst College but left in January of that year to join an ambulance unit in the French army.

His stories and reminiscences suggest that he may have joined the elite French flying unit, the Lafayette Escadrille, and later transferred to the American Air Service.

In August 1919, he received the Diploma of Honor of the Aerial League of America for his services in the First World War.

Greene wrote aviation tales from the late 20’s to the early 40’s for magazines like Wings, Air Stories, Sky Fighters, Flying Aces, and Aces.

Later on, while in residence at veteran’s hospitals in Tucson, Arizona, and Los Angeles, California, he wrote adventure tales of Mexico and the old West. Sadly, by the 1940’s rejection slips had become common in his correspondence.

He passed away in 1947.

In the suitcase, Greene had kept his correspondence and personal records, such as a genealogical survey, his “Prophesy” for his 1911 high school class, a college newspaper which mentions his World War I service, a diploma from the Aerial League of America, and his reminiscences. He also stored typescripts of his articles and novellas, and clipped copies of stories which had been published in the magazines likes Wings and Aces.

The articles consist largely of adventure stories of World War I: ambulance drivers and aviation aces. They appear to be drawn, in part, from the personal experiences of the author. The lack of his military record suggests, however, that they are embellished composites.

One long novelette, “A Child, an Old Woman, and a Cow,” is partially an autobiographical statement, detailing the experiences of ambulance drivers and aviators in the First World War and a character who undergoes treatment at a veteran’s hospital. It is also a fantasy which describes a decorated war hero and a successful aviation writer.

The materials from Greene’s suitcase have been archived at the National Press Club into two boxes and arranged in three series: personal files, typescripts, and printed material. Within the typescripts and printed materials, the articles are arranged alphabetically by title.

Spy Drome

A jinxed pilot, Lieutenant Hugo Von Blon, is cornered into taking the fall for his commanding officer’s indiscretion and spend the rest of the war as a prisoner of war or be cashiered out in disgrace. From the pages of the November 1931 Aces, it’s H.P.S. Greene’s “Spy Drome!”

Cornered by a fat little spy, a conspiring squadron commander and an M.S.E. who rigged the Spad for a crash, what could Von Blon do? His last landing was on a German field, hands in the air.

 

As a bonus, H.P.S. Greene provided some “believe-it-or-not” stories that were printed up in the letters column.

Behind “Spy Drome”

These lines from H.P.S. Greene lend additional interest to the tribulations of Von Blon, and provide fresh proof that strange things happened while the war was raging in the air. Two heroes figure in the incidents described by the author of “Spy Drome” in this issue.

A Boston bird, Gardiner Fiske, attached to the First Bombardment Group, A.E.F., at Maulan, just south of Verdun, fell out of a ship a few thousand feet up. Well, he grabbed the stabilizer as it went past and climbed back up the fuselage and into the cockpit again.

Tell you another? All right. This one’s about an observer with a British squadron— Number Twenty of the Royal Flying Corps. The observer was Captain J.H. Hedley, who at the close of the war had a score of twelve enemy planes and a balloon.

Twenty had arrived in France with Fees on January 23, 1916. Two years later, when the squadron was flying Bristol Fighters, Hedley pulled this same stunt of leaving his ship and coming back again. It happened one day in January, 1918.

The Bristol was flying over the lines way up, with more than eighteen thousand altitude. A black-crossed ship appeared ahead. Hedley, in the rear pit, swung his gun in an attempt to get the E.A. into his line of fire.

Now in the British service observers had begun without safety belts. And of course they had no parachutes. The observer was in the habit of tapping the pilot on the back of his head, thus signifying that the plane should dive.

The German was behind and above, diving zigzag wide open and gaining. His machine guns were sputtering bullets. Hedley was standing up facing back with his machine gun belching fire right back at his opponent. The German suddenly zoomed right down on the Englishman and then pulled almost straight up, evidently preparing to loop and take another dive on them.

When the German took his last zoom and pulled up, Hedley tried to follow him with bis machine guns and in so doing leaned his head back so far that he accidentally bumped the pilot’s head. To the pilot this was a sign to dive straight down and then level off again, and so the pilot pushed the stick all the way forward and started a terrific dive.

Hedley was not expecting any such maneuver, and when the plane snapped down in its dive, it threw him completely out of the plane, into the air.

Well, he fell in direct line with the falling plane and when the plane leveled off after its dive, he hit astraddle the fuselage of the plane close to the tail!

The pilot did not know that his observer had even fallen out. When he felt the jolt on the tail of the plane he looked around, and to his amazement saw his observer facing backwards on the tail. The pilot had no idea how he ever got in that position.

Neither did Hedley. He told his squadron mates that when he was thrown out his helmet slipped over his eyes and he couldn’t see anything. Suddenly he realized that he was straddling something.

You can find proof of the story in the British records of the Twentieth: “Lt. Makepeace, M.C., reports Capt. J.H. Hedley accidentally thrown into air, afterwards alighted on tail same machine and rescued.”

 

The archival information on H.P.S. Green at the top of the post is from the National Press Club Archive Finding Aid prepared by Christina J. Zamon and Jocelyn Manby.

“Mile-High Explosives” by Frederick C. Davis

Link - Posted by David on October 15, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a short story by renowned pulp author Frederick C. Davis. Davis is probably best remembered for his work on Operator 5 where he penned the first 20 stories, as well as the Moon Man series for Ten Detective Aces and several other continuing series for various Popular Publications. He also wrote a number of aviation stories that appeared in Aces, Wings and Air Stories.

This week’s story features that crack pilot for Tip-Top World News Reel, the greatest gelatine newspaper that ever flashed on a silver screen—Nick Royce! Davis wrote twenty stories with Nick for Wings magazine from 1928-1931. Here, Nick and his crew are to shoot footage of the new American Flyer plane and get them on the screens before the other news services. But a disgruntled former designer has other plans that include dynamite! from the December 1929 Wings, it’s Frederick C. Davis’ “Mile-High Explosives!”

Dynamite on the sky track! It’s tough and fast, the newsreel game, and Nick Royce is the toughest and fastest pilot that ever flew cloud-high camera shots from the danger spot marked X.

As a bonus, here’s a “thumbnail sketch” of Frederick C. Davis from The M-P News Flash in the the August 1935 issue of Sky Birds.

Meet Frederick C. Davis

IN THE first of a series of thumbnail sketches of well-known authors, we present Frederick C. Davis who writes the “Moon Man” stories in TEN DETECTIVE ACES, the “Duke Buckland” yarns in WESTERN TRAILS, and the new “Mark Hazzard” series in SECRET AGENT “X”.

Many of our readers will be surprised to learn that Fred is only 33 years old. He is married to a charming girl, and has a sweetheart of a daughter. Fred’s home town is St. Joseph, Mo., made famous by Jesse James. He works in New York City, and has a summer home in Connecticut.

Fred started at rock bottom in tho writing game, and knows what it is to have to budget one’s self on 50¢ a day for three meals and $2.00 a week for a room. However, this is but a memory of the past now; for today he has an up-to-the-minute office, a secretary, and two electric typewriters.

“Sky Writers, December 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on August 11, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

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

Here’s the quiz from the December 1937 issue of Lone Eagle.

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

“Sky Writers, October 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on July 14, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

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

Here’s the quiz from the October 1937 issue of Lone Eagle.

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

“Sky Writers, August 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on June 16, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

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

Here’s the quiz from the August 1937 issue of Lone Eagle.

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

“Sky Writers, June 1937″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on May 19, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

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

Here’s the quiz from the June 1937 issue of Lone Eagle.

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

“Plane Jane” by Frederick C. Davis

Link - Posted by David on April 9, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a short story by renowned pulp author Frederick C. Davis. Davis is probably best remembered for his work on Operator 5 where he penned the first 20 stories, as well as the Moon Man series for Ten Detective Aces and several other continuing series for various Popular Publications. He also wrote a number of aviation stories that appeared in Aces, Wings and Air Stories.

It all rested on winning the Air Derby for Ned Knight and Alton Airlines whose plane he was piloting. Alton hoped to dispel the bad rumors swirling around their planes and secure lucrative business deals at various airports; and Ned, he hoped to win the $5,000 purse so he could get a nice place and some furniture and ask his girl to marry him. Only problem is, their biggest competition, Stormbird, will do whatever it takes to win—whatever it takes. From the August 1928 issue of Air Stories it’s Frederick C. Davis’ “Plane Jane!”

“When you fly tomorrow—you fly to win!”—Ned Knight, pilot of the racing plane, climbed into the cockpit with those words ringing in his ears—but when the finish line neared, his hand faltered, and his ears shut out everything save the roar of another motor, beckoning him to destruction.

“Hoots and Headlights” by Joe Archibald

Link - Posted by David on April 1, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THERE’S no fool like an April fool, and there’s no bigger April fool than that Bachelor of Artifice, the Knight of Calamity, an alumnus of Doctor Merlin’s Camelot College for Conjurors himself—Lieutenant Phineas Pinkham, the marvel from Boonetown, Iowa!

In the pit of a sinister Kraut Albatros slumped a grim, squat-bodied Kaiser hocher whose greenish eyes boded ill for a certain Yankee flyer who had knocked him for a row of Nisson huts six weeks before. “The Owl” was on the prowl again, and his feathers were ruffled from his high dudgeon. It was said across the Rhine that Herr Hauptmann von Heinz was so closely related to the owl species that the nocturnal birds were in complete harmony with him. Unfortunately for The Owl, Lieutenant Pinkham had a his own peculiar way of shining light on these matters!

More than one person on the Western Front was bent! Having prepared a succulent dish of stuffed owl, Chef Pinkham was bent on giving the bird to one Hauptmann von Heinz. Meanwhile, one Oscar Frump, of Waterloo, Iowa, was bent on giving the bird to Phineas. And before things went much further, one Francois LeBouche was busy sharpening his shiv. He was bent, too—bent on cutting himself a piece of throat.

“Streaking Vickers” by Ralph Oppenheim

Link - Posted by David on March 26, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

TO ROUND off Mosquito Month we have a non-Mosquitoes story from the pen of Ralph Oppenheim. In the mid thirties, Oppenheim wrote a half dozen stories for Sky Fighters featuring Lt. “Streak” Davis. Davis was a fighter, and the speed with which he hurled his plane to the attack, straight and true as an arrow, had won him his soubriquet. Operating out of the 34th Pursuit Squadron, his C.O. sends him out to range the big guns to take out the enemy’s supply dump before the Hindenburg Push. From the May 1934 issue of Sky Fighters it’s “Streaking Vickers!”

Follow Lieutenant “Streak” Davis As He Sails the Sky Lanes on the Perilous Trail of Hun Horror!

“Sky Writers, December 1938″ by Terry Gilkison

Link - Posted by David on March 24, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

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

Here’s the quiz from the December 1938 issue of Lone Eagle.

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

“The Flying Spider” by Ralph Oppenheim

Link - Posted by David on March 19, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THROUGH the dark night sky, streaking swiftly with their Hisso engines thundering, is the greatest trio of aces on the Western Front—the famous and inseparable “Three Mosquitoes,” the mightiest flying combination that had ever blazed its way through overwhelming odds and laughed to tell of it! Flying in a V formation—at point was Captain Kirby, impetuous young leader of the great trio; on his right was little Lieutenant “Shorty” Carn, the mild-eyed, corpulent little Mosquito and lanky Lieutenant Travis, eldest and wisest of the Mosquitoes on his left!

We’re back with the third and final of three Ralph Oppenheim’s Three Mosquitoes stories we’re featuring this March for Mosquito Month! And this one’s a doozy! Who had not heard of that grim nickname—”The Spider”? It was the nickname of Germany’s most notorious spy—the plague and dread of the Allied powers. The whole Allied intelligence system was after this man, but they had never been able to catch him; he seemed to bear a charmed life. Kirby and his comrades had heard many rumors of his wild, hairbreadth escapades, but they had not known how truly deadly he was! And now the Three Mosquitoes found themselves caught in The Spider’s web! From the pages of the June 15th, 1929 issue of War Novels it’s Ralph Oppenheim’s “The Flying Spider!”

Here it is, gang—the greatest flying yarn of the year! Kirby, Travis and Carn, that famous trio of war birds, thought they were going to have a rest. They flew that important visiting Limey, Colonel Haley-Shaw, to England—and then all hell busted loose, for they had landed in the web of the infamous and powerful “Spider.”

“Flaming Cockpits” by Ralph Oppenheim

Link - Posted by David on March 12, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

“LET’S GO!” Once more, The Three Mosquitoes familiar battle cry rings out over the western front and the three khaki Spads take to the air, each sporting the famous Mosquito insignia. In the cockpits sat three warriors who were known wherever men flew as the greatest and most hell raising trio of aces ever to blaze their way through overwhelming odds—always in front was Kirby, their impetuous young leader. Flanking him on either side were the mild-eyed and corpulent Shorty Carn, and lanky Travis, the eldest and wisest Mosquito.

We’re back with the second of three exciting tales of Ralph Oppenheim’s Three Mosquitoes we’re featuring this March for Mosquito Month! This week, The Three Mosquitoes past comes back to haunt them when the brother of the Black Devil, whom they dispatched in last week’s story, sends a challenge to Kirby in hopes of avenging his death!

Dear Captain Kirby:
    One month ago you shot to death a German flyer known as the “Black Devil.” You killed him in fair, clean combat, and he died a worthy death. But I am his brother, and in accordance with a family code dating back to feudal times, it is my duty and desire to avenge his death.
    I am going to shoot you down in flames just as you shot down my brother.
    I have transferred from two-seaters to fighting single- seaters since my brother’s death, and am considered an ace—so we will be fairly matched. I cannot disclose my identity for fear this letter will fall into the wrong hands, and a trap will be set for me. I know, however, that if it falls in your hands you will act like a true sportsman. Therefore, if you will fly over Rois Forest, within your own lines, at five o’clock this afternoon—alone—I shall be waiting in the clouds. If I see that it is you, I will come out. Otherwise, I shall bide my time until we meet elsewhere—which, pray God, will be soon, before either of us gets killed.
    You will know my plane, a Fokker, by the skull painted on its fuselage—similar to my brother’s insignia.
                                            Respectfully,
                                        The Black Devil’s Brother.

From the November 11th, 1927 issue of War Stories—It’s The Three Mosquitoes in “Flaming Cockpits!”

The Black Devil’s brother was seeking revenge. He was after Kirby, the famous leader of the “Three Mosquitoes,” and for the first time in his great career, though he fought on frantically, Kirby was losing his nerve. Oppenheim at his best in a splendid, breath-taking flying story.

And check back next Friday when the inseparable trio will be back with another exciting adventure!

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