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“Frozen Controls” by Frank Richardson Pierce

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

THIS week we have another exciting air adventure with Rusty Wade from the pen of Frank Richardson Pierce. Pierce is probably best remembered for his prolific career in the Western Pulps. Writing under his own name as well as two pen names—Erle Stanly Pierce and Seth Ranger—Pierce’s career spanned fifty years and produced over 1,500 short stories, with over a thousand of these appearing in the pages of Argosy and the Saturday Evening Post.

This time around, on a stop over in Seattle, Rusty os approached by a a good friend to pilot his experimental plane in order to achieve a new altitude record and get some dynamic shots of the eclipse that will be happening. Rusty agrees, if he can have his old pal Steve Branleigh as his copilot. Problem is, Steve was the last pilot to try in this plane and had to bail out before the record was achieved. Can Rusty clear his friend’s name while pushing the experimental plane to its limit? From the pages of the June 1929 Air Trails, it’s Frank Richardson Pierce’s “Frozen Controls!”

“Rusty” Wade makes a momentous decision and leaps into space forty thousand feet above the earth.

“Flyers of Fortune” by Ben Conlon

Link - Posted by David on February 18, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a exciting air adventure from the pen of Ben Conlon. Conlon was quite the prolific author contributing stories in many genres and under a number of pseudonyms. He’s maybe best remembered for his many exciting Pete Rice western tales. He wrote all the full-length Pete Rice stories under the name Austin Gridley. Others used the pen name for the shorter Pete Rice stories in Wild West Weekly.

When Webb Foster sacrifices his new plane to save a man in trouble, a wealthy Mr. Charlton hires him on to pilot his new plane on his expedition to Biplane Island to find a fortune in gold! From the July 1929 Air Trails, it’s Ben Conlon’s “Flyers of Fortune!”

Whispering death wings spread above a tropic sea—as flyers face destruction for the lure of sunken gold!

“Mushing Down the Air Trail” by Frank Richardson Pierce

Link - Posted by David on January 7, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another exciting air adventure with Rusty Wade from the pen of Frank Richardson Pierce. Pierce is probably best remembered for his prolific career in the Western Pulps. Writing under his own name as well as two pen names—Erle Stanly Pierce and Seth Ranger—Pierce’s career spanned fifty years and produced over 1,500 short stories, with over a thousand of these appearing in the pages of Argosy and the Saturday Evening Post.

This time around, gold has been found at an old claim up north and Rusty’s in a race with an unscrupulous pilot to reach the site and stake the claim and get back first to register said claim. Can Rusty outwit and outfly Pratt and get Old Man Dorsey back to the registrar’s off first. From the pages of the February 1929 Air Trails, it’s Frank Richardson Pierce’s “Mushing Down the Air Trail!”

High-powered planes and battling pilots above the snow fields of Alaska!

 

And as a bonus, here’s “The Landing Field” column from the January 1930 number of Air Trails where we get to know more about Frank Richardson Pierce, Rusty Wade, Alaska and the Air Musher!

 

THE LANDING FIELD
AIR TRAILS • January 1930 v3n4

IN THESE crisp winter days with snow streaking through the sky, it seems right and proper to introduce Frank Richardson Pierce to you folks. Pierce lives up in the Northwest, up in Seattle, Washington—and he spends a good deal of his time hopping around Alaska. He is an outdoor man in every sense of the word. There are few writers in America who can catch the spirit of the frozen North as he can. His interests lie out under the open sky, with snow fields, fir forests, Canyons and great rivers. It was natural, therefore, that he took to flying.

For the past year you’ve been reading the “Rusty” Wade stories by Pierce. They’ve made a hit with Air Trails readers all over the country. The reason is that they ring as true as the roar of a Whirlwind motor on the nose of a new sport model ship. Pierce knows all about the Rusty Wade country.

He just recently came back from a trip over Alaska. Here’s what he says: “I get a great kick out of flying over some place I’ve walked. It gives me a chance to laugh at myself in comfort. But mostly I prefer flying in Alaska—the walking is tougher there.

“Alaskans lead the nation in air-mindedness. They have been flying for years—not for sport, but for business reasons. Why should a miner pole a boat for days up a river and fight mountains and glaciers when he can fly there with his outfit for a few dollars and still have the whole season ahead of him in which to prospect? Where in previous years it required weeks and months to bring out a load of fur, now it comes out in hours.

“An Eskimo may be popeyed when he arrives in Seattle and sees street cars, automobiles and skyscrapers, but he’ll not even blink at an airplane. He’s seen them before and probably has ridden in one.

“Rusty Wade is a typical Alaskan pilot. Landing fields are few and far between. If a pilot is forced down he has to walk out and it may take him days. And yet, right now, I can’t recall a single crash in which any one was killed. There may have been some, you understand, but I can’t recall them.

“At times, in Rusty Wade stories, I have tried to describe Alaska from the air. Thus far I have failed utterly. I doubt if there is in the whole world, anything more beautiful than flying over ice fields and glaciers studded with mighty peaks and set with lakes of the rarest blue. If any of the readers make a trip next summer, cable ahead to Juneau and make arrangements to see a bit of Alaska from the air while the steamer is lying over.

“At the present time a surveying party is working out of Juneau in planes. They are surveying a waterpower project discovered by the Alaskan air-mappers—a navy outfit. The lake is two thousand three hundred feet above the sea in a rough country. It would take many hours of the hardest work to reach the spot with equipment. The plane leaves Juneau and is on the lake within twenty minutes. It has even taken up a fourteen-foot skiff to the lake.”

A NUMBER of readers have written in, wanting to know what type of plane the Air Musher that Rusty Wade uses is. Well, that’s easy, and it gives us a chance to do a little “ground flying” here in front of the hangars. There’s nothing that a pilot likes so much as to talk about different types of ships.

The Air Musher is a Fokker Universal Monoplane equipped with ski landing gear. It is a type of plane that has stood the test of time. Ask any flyer what he thinks about the Fokker Universal. It has been used for prospecting, forest fire patrol, exploring, crop dusting, and for mail and passenger transportation on most of the air routes of this country and Canada.

With a pilot, four passengers and eighty pounds of mail or baggage, the Fokker Universal can carry enough gas to cruise for six hundred miles. It is generally powered with a Whirlwind motor, and, carrying a fair load, can reach a ceiling of sixteen thousand feet. Fully loaded, the landing speed is forty-five miles per hour and the high speed one hundred and eighteen m.p.h. One of the good things about this crate is the perfect vision provided for the pilot. He sits ahead of the leading edge of the wing and can look forward, right, left, overhead and downward. This is a big feature when you have to set down in rough Alaska country, where landing fields are not made to order.

The Fokker Universal will almost never spin or nose dive when stalled. It glides downward on an even keel while remaining under full control. With its wings of semi-cantilever construction and its strong cabin the Fokker Universal is just the type of ship for work in rough country where flights are made in all kinds of weather. There are bigger ships, more powerful ones, and faster ones; but there are few that can stand up under all conditions like the type of which Rusty’s Air Musher is representative.

If the Air Musher ever cracks up against the side of a glacier, Rusty Wade will probably be getting one of the Fokker Super-Universals to take its place. They are slightly larger ships, with a wing span of fifty feet seven inches, and powered with a Pratt & Whitney four hundred h.p. motor. They can carry as many as eight passengers, and, with a fair load, can reach a service ceiling of eighteen thousand feet. Their top speed is one hundred and thirty-eight miles per hour.

From the Scrapbooks: The Sky Riders Club

Link - Posted by David on December 20, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THIS Holiday Season we’re delving into a pair of scrapbooks that were created in the late 20’s and early 30’s by an industrious youth, Robert A. O’Neil, with a keen interest in all things aviation. The books contain clippings, photos and articles from various aviation pulps as well as other magazines. What has been assembled is a treasure trove of information on planes and aces of WWI.

Like many in the late 20’s and early 30’s, Robert O’Neil was fascinated with aviation and as such, a large part of both volumes of his scrapbooks is taken up with a cataloging of the many different types of planes. But amongst all the planes and air race flyers and info on Aces are some surprising items.

Turning the page, we find one of the Birdmen Club cards paired with the Sky Riders Club Card!

The Sky Riders magazine started in November 1928. A year later, in the November 1929 issue there was a brief mention in the magazine’s letters column, The Bung Bung, that they would be announcing details of a club in the subsequent issue. And sure enough, avid Sky Riders readers who had been pestering the editors for a club were granted their wish.

As the chief laid out the Sky Riders Club guidelines in the December 1929 issue:

First off, the name will be THE SKY RIDERS CLUB, and it will be open to all readers of the mag. But just being a reader of the mag is no free ticket for joining this new bunch of cloud-busters, not on your dizzy life.

The club will be divided into three squadrons. Squadron 1 includes those who have actually piloted a plane, and by piloting a plane, I don’t mean no dare-devil stunt like pushing the joystick around inside the hangar. To get into Squadron 1, the requirements are that you send in one coupon and a letter stating (a) why you are interested in aviation, and (b) one constructive idea that you have for the promotion of aviation.

Squadron 2 includes those who have been up in a plane, regardless of whether they have handled the joystick themselves or not. These members will be required to send in the coupon from two successive issues of the mag, together with the letter as explained above.

And Squadron 3 will include those modocs who have never been up in a plane, but are just feverish with the aerial itch. Membership in Squadron 3 will be given to these who send in the coupon from three successive issues of the mag and also the letter as outlined for members of Squadron 1.

If you are accepted into the club, you will receive a membership certificate, and the right to wear the silver wings of the outfit. The silver wings can be had by sending in fifty cents, but this is not a commercial organization and will make no money. As a matter of fact, there will be various contests in the future with prizes awarded to the winners. But I’m going to wait until the next issue before I get all steamed up and fiery about what this nose-diving club is going to do.

>

It was announced in the March 1930 issue that the silver wings were just being made and would be sent to people starting the next month.

Robert was listed with the new members in the June 1930 issue.
(That’s the coupon at the bottom of the page.)

By the September 1930 issue, The Sky Riders Club had been combined with those members of the short lived Flying Corp Cadets which had been formed by readers of the first and sadly only issue of Clayton Magazine’s Sky High Library published in February 1930. The increase in new memberships allowed them to drop the price of the silver wings pin from 50¢ to 25¢ (September, 1930)

Sadly, Sky Riders published their final issue in May 1931.


The Club page from the February 1931 issue with angular wings logos for both the SKY RIDERS CLUB and FLYING CORP CADETS.

   

Robert had also joined the Flying Aces Club. The FAC is so ubiquitous, I thought it best to cover the two clubs cards we had not seen before. Plus, the FAC itself could fill a whole month of posts to cover all they had to offer. Here is a comparison of the four cards Robert included in the scrapbooks.


The FLYING ACES CLUB card measures: 2.5″ x 4″; the SKY RIDERS CLUB card is:
2.75″ x 4.5625″; while the BIRDMEN CLUB card measures: 3″ x 5.125″.

 

From the Scrapbooks: The Birdmen Club

Link - Posted by David on December 17, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THIS Holiday Season we’re delving into a pair of scrapbooks that were created in the late 20’s and early 30’s by an industrious youth, Robert A. O’Neil, with a keen interest in all things aviation. The books contain clippings, photos and articles from various aviation pulps as well as other magazines. What has been assembled is a treasure trove of information on planes and aces of WWI.

Like many in the late 20’s and early 30’s, Robert O’Neil was fascinated with aviation and as such, a large part of both volumes of his scrapbooks is taken up with a cataloging of the many different types of planes. But amongst all the planes and air race flyers and info on Aces are some surprising items.

Turning the page from the George Bruce letter we find a membership card and folded note from the Birdmen club!

The Birdman Club was run by Air Trails and started right from their first issue in October 1928. It was a great brotherhood of those who roam the high spaces of the air, in either fact or fancy. It was for professional and amateur flyers, and air fans who have yet to make their first flight. All were banded together in the cause of American aviation.

It was not necessary to own a plane or to be actively engaged in some branch of aviation to join the club. The Birdmen band was divided into three classes. These were: Class A: those who have piloted planes; Class B: those who have been in the air but are not pilots; and Class C: those who have not yet been aloft, but who are interested in flying and expect to go up in an airplane at the first opportunity. Readers who were applying for membership were asked to state which class they would be in.

Membership in the Birdmen Club was absolutely free to all readers of Air Trails. Prospective members only had to fill out and send in the coupon from the Birdmen Club pages in any issue of Air Trails and their membership card would be sent to them.

For those who desired a Birdmen club emblem—a handsome blue-and-gold wings pin, could be obtained from the secretary for twenty-five cents in stamps or coin.

All Birdmen were afforded the same privileges regardless of their class. All members were welcome to write in and use the Birdmen Club pages to share stories and comments on those published in the magazine; the could list themselves as someone looking to be a pen pal to a like minded reader, or list stuff for sale or trade.

Unfolding the note…


The card is a very pale blue color. For some reason he had trimmed his card down—and did a poor job of it considering his razor like precision at cutting out other items he had pasted down.

Robert reapplied for membership in the Birdmen Club in 1931. I couldn’t say why. His class had not changed, he was still Class B. Maybe he felt poorly about butchering his original card so, who knows. Either way, he did reapply and was presented with another card in 1931.

At this time he received two letters from the Secretary of the Birdmen on Air Trails stationary which he also included in his scrapbook.


The first was the letter that came with his new card…


the other in response to inquiring about the blue-and-gold wings of the club.
(Sadly, he did not paste the wings into the scrapbooks.)

The Birdmen Club officially ran until the end of the magazine with the October 1931 issue. The Bill Barnes magazine assumed it’s place on the newsstand in February 1932 and it had it’s own club—The Air Adventurers!

 

From the Scrapbooks: A Letter from Arch Whitehouse

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

THIS Holiday Season we’re delving into a pair of scrapbooks that were created in the late 20’s and early 30’s by an industrious youth, Robert A. O’Neil, with a keen interest in all things aviation. The books contain clippings, photos and articles from various aviation pulps as well as other magazines. What has been assembled is a treasure trove of information on planes and aces of WWI.

Like many in the late 20’s and early 30’s, Robert O’Neil was fascinated with aviation and as such, a large part of both volumes of his scrapbooks is taken up with a cataloging of the many different types of planes. But amongst all the planes and air race flyers and info on Aces are some surprising items.

Moving on from the George Bruce letter, a few pages later we find what looks like another letter, folded into thirds like it too had just been pulled out of an envelope and pasted to the page. . .

Unfolding the sheet of paper reveals a letter from Arch Whitehouse on Magazine Publishers Incorporated letterhead from March 7th, 1929.

Arch Whitehouse was one of the most prolific aviation writers out there. He created numerous series characters with names like Buzz Benson, Tug hardwick, Coffin Kirk, Crash Carringer, the Casket Crew, and many more. These series characters created for Flying Aces and Sky Birds were extremely popular with the readers back in the 30’s and 40’s. Month after month he brought these colorful aces to life. Whitehouse scope and breadth of information on aviation was so great that he also answered all questions written in to the magazines from the readers.

Robert had apparently written in about learning to fly and Arch Whitehouse felt the need to respond with words of encouragement personally to a then 19 year-old Robert.

Writing from New York City, Whitehouse advises:

Dear Robert:

    You have the right idea. Stick to it. Aviation has come to stay and a few accidents will not keep the real air-minded Americans out of the sky. I myself have flown several thousand hours, including two-thousand in France during the war, and I have yet to break a wire.

    A good training course will cost anything from $300 to $500 and the time required depends all upon yourself, if you are a natural born flier, you will learn quickly and save that much money, –but do not be in too much of a hurry.

                    Hoping to hear from you again soon, I am,
              Sincerely yours,                        

                              Arch Whitehouse
                              Technical editor
                              Sky Birds and Flying Aces Magazines.

   

From the Scrapbooks: The Air Races

Link - Posted by David on November 29, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THIS Holiday Season we’re delving into a pair of scrapbooks that were created in the late 20’s and early 30’s by an industrious youth, Robert A. O’Neil, with a keen interest in all things aviation. The books contain clippings, photos and articles from various aviation pulps as well as other magazines. What has been assembled is a treasure trove of information on planes and aces of WWI.

THIS week we have One of the areas that Robert was interested in were the new and exciting Air Races! The races included a variety of events, like landing contests, glider demonstrations, airship fights, parachute-jumping contests, and of course, the races themselves—both closed-course and cross-country. The cross-country races were usually from Portland or Los Angeles to Cleveland. Robert included information on five different air shows from 1928-1933, and his ticket stub for two of them.

1928 National Air Races & Aeronautical Exposition
Los Angeles

Robert would have been 17 when the 1928 National Air Races and Aeronautical Exposition took place at Mines Field in Los Angeles over nine days in September that year. Mines Field would eventually become LAX. Robert includes his ticket for the show. He went on “Boy Scouts Day” for 25¢. I couldn’t find out which day that would have been, but from the program, I see the L.A. Boy Scouts Band opened the night time programming the first two days.

Just the first two days alone had more planes than anyone would want. Saturday’s show started off with 300 airplanes in mass formation, to Dare-devil pilot Al Wilson to 7 US Marine Curtiss Falcons in formation to the Army’s version followed by the Navy’s and so on. There were parachuting demonstrations both during the day and with flares at night! There were all manner of air extravaganzas culminating in a spectacular fireworks display.

The Homestead Blog and Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register have excellent articles about the races that year. There is even a home movie of some of the show on YouTube.

1929 Western Aircraft Show
Los Angeles

Robert also included his ticket and logo decal for the Western Aircraft Show of 1929. The Western Aircraft Show was held on a large undeveloped property at the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. Today this is the home of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the La Brea Tar Pits on the northeastern corner and the Petersen Automotive Museum on the southeast corner.

The Homestead Blog comes through with an informative article on the Western Aircraft Show.

1931 National Air Races
Cleveland

There is no evidence that Robert traveled to Cleveland to see the National Air Races there in 1931. He does include a couple decals of the show’s Pilot’s head with trailing scarf logo as well as a promotional mini-poster.

1933 International Air Races and Gordon Bennett Race
Chicago

Like the Cleveland races, there is no evidence that Robert traveled to the International Air Races and Gordon Bennett Race held in Chicago the first four days of September 1933. He did write for information, and has put the letter he received along with a brochure into his scrapbooks.

1933 National Air Races
Los Angeles

Robert did not include a ticket for the 1933 Races, but he could easily have attended the show. In his scrap books he includes numerous decals from the show—both the large three headed one as well as the smaller medallion sized version, including one on the spine of the one scrapbook.

The Races returned to Mines Field for four days in July 1933. The programs shortened to four days and restricted to high speed free-for-all competition in the several commercial competitive motor groups with $50,000.00 cash prize money in addition to many coveted trophies. This international free-for-all competition included the trans-continental Vincent Bendix Trophy Race; the Aerol Trophy Race—a closed course free-for-all for women pilots; the Speed Dashes; Official World Record Attempts to establish three-kilometer strightaway speed in excess of 300 M.P.H.; and the Charles E. Thompson Trophy Race, closed course land plane classic, which has been increased to a distance of 200 miles. The Bendix Trophy Race attracted such big names as Roscoe Turner, Jimmy Wedell, Ruth Nichols, and Amelia Earhart, with Roscoe Turner taking first.

As always, there were demonstrations by the armed Military and Naval Air Forces of the United States of the latest Military and Naval Air maneuvers; as well as acrobatic demonstrations and spectacular night aerial demonstrations and pyrotechnic displays.

The Los Angeles Times covered the event publishing several spreads of pictures from the events.

“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.

“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.”

“The Tunnel of Death” by Harold F. Cruickshank

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

WE’RE celebrating the works of Canada’s very own Harold F. Cruickshank this month. Mr. Cruickshank launched his career when he was asked to write about his war comrades in Belgium. He received a prize for the story and continued writing in his spare time.

In 1923 he sold his first major piece to Western Home Monthly, Chatelaine’s forerunner, and a demand quickly grew for his stories. When he first started off, the demand was for war stories so Cruickshank wrote stories inspired by his time in the 63rd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and soon had stories running in all the big war themed pulps of the day—War Stories, Under Fire Magazine, Canadian War Stories, War Novels, Soldier Stories, and the magazine our featured story ran in—Battle Stories!

The company commander, Captain Coyne, had been found lying in a pool of his own blood—foully murdered. Coyne had been more than a good pal to Maguire. There was a bond between them which had been cemented during years of service on the Montreal Police Force and almost three years of action together in France. Now Coyne was gone. The skipper had been shot from behind and not by a German! It was an inside job. But who? Coyne was the most popular officer in the battalion, with a heart which was always with his men. But if Maguire wanted answers, he’d have to venture into the tunnels snaking under No-Man’s-Land!

Murder and mystery stalk hand in hand in this amazing story of a dread sector at the front!

From the July 1929 issue of Battle Stories, it’s Harold F. Cruickshank’s “The Tunnel of Death!”

“Five Gobs” by C.M. Miller

Link - Posted by David on July 24, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of C.M. Miller! Miller is known to Age of Aces readers as the author behind Chinese Brady, an old war horse who’s fought in most every scrap there’s been. This time it’s a little something different than our usual aviation tale. Miller gives the story of five sailors in a launch separated from their boat trying desperately to get back. Only trouble is, a German Uboat is using them to get their at the U.S.S. Leichester too! From the pages of the July 1929 issue of War Novels, it’s “Five Gobs!”

Five gobs stranded in a motor boat didn’t amount to a tinker’s damn when that periscope sneaked up. The U.S.S. Leichester turned seaward and ran like the devil—leaving those five to play with a Heinie sub.

“Flying Mad” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on July 17, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of Donald E. Keyhoe—in fact, I believe it is his first aviation story he had in the pulps! More soap opera than dashing wartime aviation thriller, Keyhoe tells the story of Harvey Masters, Dizzy Jim Boyd, and the girl unwittingly caught between them! The strangest part is that nobody ever suspected the truth about Dizzy Jim Boyd, though there was a lot of guessing when he first showed up at Western Airways Field, until the day when Harvey Masters came through and stopped for gas. . .

From the pages of the December 1929 issue of Wings, it’s Donald E. Keyhoe’s “Flying Mad!”

They called him “The Sheik” until he took the air and danced his crazy crate. And then they dubbed him Dizzy Jim. Nobody knew where he came from or why, but he came a-roaring . . .

“The Sunrise Pilot” by Frank Richardson Pierce

Link - Posted by David on May 22, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another exciting air adventure with Rusty Wade from the pen of Frank Richardson Pierce. Pierce is probably best remembered for his prolific career in the Western Pulps. Writing under his own name as well as two pen names—Erle Stanly Pierce and Seth Ranger—Pierce’s career spanned fifty years and produced over 1,500 short stories, with over a thousand of these appearing in the pages of Argosy and the Saturday Evening Post.

This time around, it looks like Rusty’s half-brother, Bert Procter, has gotten himself into a bit of trouble—he’s being charged with fish piracy and air deputy Marshall Rusty who has to serve the arrest warrant! Bust Rusty knows Bert, and although he’s gotten in over his head on some bad deals, Rusty believes he’s turned his life around and is being framed—but can he prove it? From the pages of the July 1929 Air Trails, it’s Frank Richardson Pierce’s “The Sunrise Pilot!”

Gangster guns spit flame as “Rusty” Wade rides the air trails.

“Golden Wings” by Jackson Scholz

Link - Posted by David on April 3, 2020 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the prolific pen of Jackson Scholz. Scholz originally shot to prominence in the world of sports as a record holding sprinter, taking a gold medal in the 4×100m Relay at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920 and Gold in the 200m and Silver in the 100m at the Paris Olympics in 1924—the Olympics depicted in the movie Chariots of Fire (1981) in which Brad Davis portrayed Scholz. Scholz even appeared in an American Express commercial with Ben Cross at the time.

Knowing you can’t run forever, Scholz started writing stories and submitting them to the magazines. He drew upon his own experiences, which is probably why most of his pulp stories are sports stories, but he did find time to pen some detective stories, a few westerns, and a couple dozen aviation tales—including four for Air Trails with Jiggs Neely. Neely is a young Pensacola graduate just as Scholz himself had been. In “Golden Wings,” Jiggs Neely tries to play it cool and keep in line after being told his actions could jeopardize his chances of earning his wings in the coming week. From the pages of the July 1929 Air Trails, it’s Jackson Scholz’ “Golden Wings!”

A high-speed story of naval aviation by a pilot-writer who won his wings at Pensacola.

 

And as a bonus, here’s an article from The Lincoln Sunday Star about how Jackson Scholz keeps busy between running and writing!

 

Writing and Running Keep Jackson Scholz Busy

The Lincoln Sunday Star, Lincoln, NB • 3 July 1927


Jackson V. Scholz, Olympic sprint champion of ’24, who is running for the New York A.C. in Lincoln this week end, is a writer of sports stories. Mr. Scholz published a book of track stories early in the spring and is a frequent contributor to sports magazines.

He likes to dance—two or three dances with good dancers—and stop.

He’s devoted to golf, and would play ail the time If he had a portable course.

He doesn’t care for night clubs.

He enjoys reading—a lot. He won a cup in tennis one bright day.

He’s a modest soul, and given to beating himself lightly. He’s unspoiled by many newspaper columns of laudatory acclaim.

He’s “keen” about bus riding-on top of a Fifth avenue bus, from Washington arch out to the drive. He likes to be with people, to watch them, to study them psychologically, but he does not claim to be a student of or to comprehend human nature.

He’s stimulated by an intelligent conversationalist—one whose mind, as he says, is sharper than his, and can turn his “inside out.”

He’s traveled everywhere—the Orient, Asia, the continent, and any number of “see America first” tours, but he’s not a collector. If he brings anything back to his apartment near Riverside drive, it’s different from anything else that has been in that apartment.

Scholz Not Blatant.

You can see him. A normal sort of young man. Jackson Scholz, with a college degree and nice blue eyes and dark gray spring suit with just the right cut. Not especially tall, very quiet, walking softly, not at all the blatant athletic type of young man who adorns the posters.

Yet Jackson Scholz has the fastest legs In the world, legs as famous as “we,” and that have made his name known round the world for their performances on half its continents.

He’s Olympic champion in the 200 metres, having run this event in the Paris Olympics in 21 6-10 seconds in 1924. the only American to come through with a sprint championship In those Olympics. He has been national A.A.U. champion in the sprint, and formerly was holder of the sprint championship—for the century and the 220 yard dash—in the Missouri valley conference for three years.

The winged-foot sprinter, here for the A.A.U. meet, was developed by Coach H.F. Schulte in his University of Missouri days, of which university Jackson Scholz is a graduate. He thinks a lot of his former coach, and gives much of the credit for his success to his training. Jackson Scholz knew in his high school days that many were destined to gaze at his fleeting heela, but it was Coach Schulte who developed him and taught him the fine points of the running game.

Writing Sport Stories

Jackson Scholz is one of sparkling names in Lincoln this weekend, but he hasn’t earned all the sparkles with his feet. Some are due to his mind, and his fingers.

When he isn’t running, he’s writing. Writing with a purpose.

The first story he wrote, he sold, which was happy news for him and sad for those ambitious souls who send their manuscripts on a world tour in hope of a sale. Since that day, he’s been a regular contributor to sport story magazines.

When the legs refuse to speed longer, writing is to be his profession. Possibly a little coaching on the side, for he thinks he would like to pass on to the newcomers the knowledge he has gained in his years of sprinting, but most of the hours to be devoted to writing. Some sport stories, but largely fiction.

It’s not an ambition without foundation, because Jackson Scholz is the writing runner.

He has just published a book of short stories, “Split Seconds,” tales of the cinder track. The stories are told by an old coach, and it is Coach Schulte upon whom Mr. Scholz has modeled his coach, who solves the manv problems of his young athletes. Grantland Rice, sport feature writer for the New York Herald-Tribune. wrote the introduction

Keeps Detailed Diary.

On his trips hither and yon. Mr. Scholz keeps a detailed diary. It has some 50.000 words, sans notes, at the moment, and some day it is probable it will appear for public perusal. He has just sold a 30,000 word autobiography.

Jackson V. Scholz isn’t a writer because he hasn’t a knowledge of other jobs.

The high boots and the broad hat of the landed squire appealed to him, and for three years he perused agricultural lore in college. A couple of years of milking cows and cultivating corn convinced him of the error of his thoughts.

During the late unpleasantness, he was a pilot in the navy flying corps, that occupied him in 1918 and 1919. He returned to graduate in journalism at Missouri.

Followed the 1920 Olympics, when he was a member of the winning relay team at Antwerp, and on an exhibition tour of the Scandinavian countries.

Real estate in Detroit intrigued him for a time, but for a brief time. With dreams of becoming a merchant prince he attached himself to a hosiery concern in New York City. Fifteen or twenty dollars every Saturday night does not make affluent living in the metropolis.

Became Newspaperman.

His journalism certificate came to hand and he was with the United Press, a newspaper wire service, for a year and one-half, most of the time in New York. Editing wires—making 2,500 words into twenty-five lines—lost its thrill after a time and Mr. Scholz returned to more creative lines of endeavor.

During his U.P. days, he wrote and sold his story, the first one. That aided and abetted his later decision.

In the fall of ‘23. he decided he wanted to make the Olympics at Paris, and he trained for eight months. In the final tryouts. be made a new world’s record for the 200 metres, a record that still stands. He went to Paris, winning honors of which the world knows.

While competing in the Irish Olympics at Dublin, he received an invitation from Japan for a series of meets. Three Americana and one Finn toured Japan for two and one-half months. Competing races, which, upon insistence, Mr. Scholz admits he won all of the dozen, and speeches, many speeches, filled the days.

Traveled With Hahn.

In 1925, Jackson Scholz and Lloyd Hahn, Nebraska’s fleet footed boy, were in New Zealand. “Fifteen meets and twice that many speeches,” Mr. Scholz characterizes the seventy-five days.

Nor are all his records sprint records.

He was the oldest runner in the last Olympics. He is the oldest runner actively participating in sprint circles today. Yet, he only won his first gold medal in the eighty-five pound championship of southern California in 1911, so yet thirty or forty years before he loses his speed and spryness.

If this man, whose record shows that he has outsprinted Charley Paddock in seven out of ten races in which they have been matched makes the Olympic team in 1927, he will be the first sprinter to make the trip three times. Charles Paddock and Loren Murchison are also entering the tryouts for the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, and if all three enter it will be the first trio to make the three contests.

In August, Mr. Schole sails for Germany to enter a meet there. The first one will be held September 4.

But the end will come, of course Mr. Scholz knows it.

“Of course, some day some youngster is going to get to the tape first. I know it. It’s inevitable.

“If I had it all to do over again, I’d do just as I’ve done. I wouldn’t have missed the fun and the competition for a couple of life times.”

Children’s Applause Pleasing.

“The sincere adulation of the children means as much as anything. The cries of the crowd, the back slapping, and hand wringing of people is pleasant, we iiKe it, but there’s something fine in this worship of the children.

“I like to’ think that possibly we mean something real to them, that we are passing on some worthwhile spirit to these youngsters.”

The holder of the 200 metres record has his sense of humor. He has seen funny moments in his dashing about the world.

It was at Histon, near Cambridge, and Jackson Scholz and Cyril Coatee, a Canadian sprinter, shared honors that day with an English country fair. The whistles and the bells and the shrill music of the carnival rent the air, and the two sprinters did their best as athletes of honor on a grassy track that tipped perilously down hill.

Throngs Left for Tea.

In the midst of the meet, the throngs disappeared. The noise stopped. The two looked dismayed as they trotted back up the track to peer about.

It was tea time. That was all, but suffient.

The two sprinters were taken into the midst of the crowds who had gathered in the gardens of this estate of some of England’s nobility, where the joint entertainment was being held.

“Can you see us.” exclaimed Mr. Scholz.

“The two of us-in our sweat suits, hair on end, faces partially lost under England’s dust-in the center of these chiffoned ladies and men dressed for tea-and Englishmen are most meticulous in their dress-balancing our tea cups on our knee. I shall never forget it.

“When the hour was over, we went back to the track, and the meet continued.”

Mr. Scholz is also the holder of the mid-Atlantic championship.

“As tar as I know no one else has ever aspired to it.”

Raced on Berengaria.

It was on the Berengaria returning to America that some persons arranged an entertainment. Mr Scholz gained the championship of the 70-yard dash, and still holds it.

Of all those with whom he has competed. Mr. Scholz enjoys the English most.

“The English are the finest sports,” he declares. “They are better winners, and better losers, and they play the game for itself.”

Mr. Scholz knows of no reason, why athletes should not enter professional circles. He does not believe that sprinting will ever be a professional sport, but he does believe in the policy of those who give up their amateur standing.

“I know of no reason why a person should not capitalize his natural talent, in this case his athletic ability, as same as would a person with a voice or the ability to play the violin. I believe they should a11 be considered from the same viewpoint.”

“McClarnin Shoots a Natural” by Allan R. Bosworth

Link - Posted by David on December 27, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the pen of the Navy’s own Allan R. Bosworth. Being a Navy man, Bosworth’s stories primarily dealt with the Navy. In this week’s story from the pages of War Novels, Bosworth gives us the story of some sailors who try to get a game of Craps in and get caught below deck when the ship is torpedoed by a German sub!

Stealthily the four men entered that water-tight storeroom and dogged down the door. Yet they soon found a fifth one among them, grimly smiling at their little game.

From the pages of the June 15th, 1929 issue of War Novels, it “McClarnin Shoots a Natural!”

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