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Squadron of the Dead

By Frederick C. Painton

Strange SpectresThe Squadron of the Dead contained all the hellions of ten armies! Men without hope; men courting death; men who loved to kill; men who laughed and fought, drank and cursed, lived hard, and died harder. Americans, British, Russians—even Germans—made up their ranks, and only one bond held them together: Death lay ahead of them. They were assigned the grim missions no other squadron dared to take—for they had all been condemned to die!

Each of the eight stories in Painton’s Squadron of the Dead is the story of a different pilot who has been condemned to death and sent to the squadron to serve out his sentence. And die they did, dropping spies, bombing impossible places, strafing infantry for harassed Allied battalions. These men flew recklessly, savagely, knowing they could live again only when death really claimed them. Then their names would shine once again in the casualty announcements and they would be posthumously awarded the Legion d’Honneur.

Frederick C. Painton, a prolific pulp author and venerated newspaper man, wrote the eight Squadron of the Dead stories contained in this anthology in 1935 for Sky Birds magazine. Painton is best remembered for his coverage of World War II for Reader’s Digest magazine.

Stories include:

  • “Today We Die,” – Sky Birds, February 1935
  • “Ghosts of the Living,” – Sky Birds, March 1935
  • “The Glory Gambler,” – Sky Birds, April 1935
  • “Tarmac of Treason,” – Sky Birds, June 1935
  • “Death’s Dreadnaughts,” – Sky Birds, July 1935
  • “Legion of the Unlucky,” – Sky Birds, August 1935
  • “Duel of Dishonor,” – Sky Birds, September 1935
  • “Slaughter of the Dead,” – Sky Birds, December 1935


  • ”About the Author” by Frederick C. Painton
$16.99 | 6″x9″ trade paperback | 362pp | ISBN:978-1-937590-09-3