Looking to buy? See our books on amazon.com Get Reading Now! Age of Aces Presents - free pulp PDFs

“The Vanishing Ace” by Andrew A. Caffrey

Link - Posted by David on June 7, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another story from one of the new flight of authors on the site this year—Andrew A. Caffrey. Caffrey, who was in the American Air Service in France during The Great War and worked for the air mail service upon his return, was a prolific author of aviation and adventure stories for both the pulps and slicks from the 1920’s through 1950. Here Caffrey tells the tale of Loop Murry, stunt flier for the movies who learns there’s sometime more to a man than meets the eye. From the May 1929 number of Sky Birds, it’s Andrew A. Caffrey’s “The Vanishing Ace!”

They all thought Tilton Mills was a dumb-Dora when it came to flying even though he wrote the script he was playing in. Loop Murry was doing the stunting, and damning the leading man below—but when Loop’s machine crashed in a burst of flame Tilton Mills turned out to be more than just actor-playwright!

“The Poisoned Pup Squadron” by Andrew A. Caffrey

Link - Posted by David on April 19, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another story from one of the new flight of authors on the site this year—Andrew A. Caffrey. Caffrey, who was in the American Air Service in France during The Great War and worked for the air mail service upon his return, was a prolific author of aviation and adventure stories for both the pulps and slicks from the 1920’s through 1950. Here Caffrey tells the tale of Lieutenant Harry Pond.

To hear the Fight commander tell it, “Look at the luck Pond’s having. Seven Hun planes in less than two weeks. Two in one day. And before each take-off, Harry’s down on his prayer bones in the cockpit; the while, if a mechanic comes alongside, Harry makes him think that he’s adjusting the toe straps on the rudder bar. Crafty boy, Harry; he’s just making a gang of two with God and licking the world. So I’d advise you fellows to go into partnership too.”

Thing was, Pond was messing with his rudder-bar strap. Lieutenant Pond didn’t really like killing. The killing thing, to him, was merely a part of war. He was at war, so he killed. But he killed strictly according to the book, with the true standards of sportsmanship always in mind. Even if it meant allowing an enemy pilot to return home. From the December 1928 number of Flying Aces, it’s Andrew A. Caffrey’s “The Poisoned Pup Squadron!”

When the enemy shot down Pond’s buddy in an orange-black plume of flame, doing this hellish thing against certain unwritten rules of air warfare, trouble started for fair—and then some!

“The Balloon-Gun Kid” by Andrew A. Caffrey

Link - Posted by David on February 23, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another story from one of the new flight of authors on the site this year—Andrew A. Caffrey. Caffrey, who was in the American Air Service in France during The Great War and worked for the air mail service upon his return, was a prolific author of aviation and adventure stories for both the pulps and slicks from the 1920’s through 1950. Here Caffrey tells the tale of Lieutenant Paul Storm.

Lieutenant Paul Storm was a few years shy of being twenty. Yes, that was young. But Storm was an exceptional hand with a ship. He had been exceptional from the first time he’d ever taken his place in a rear cockpit for instruction. He learned how to fly in three hours. As a rule, ten hours was considered mighty fast. Storm was so good, he was placed on a free-lance status allowing him to fight where and when and with whom he liked. From the July 1929 number of Sky Birds, it’s Andrew A. Caffrey’s “The Balloon-Gun Kid!”

Storm was an airman—every inch of him. When he started out free-lancing, even the sullen sides helped him to batter and spin his way to victory!

“Knights of the Nieuport” by Andrew A. Caffrey

Link - Posted by David on August 18, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another story from one of the new flight of authors on the site this year—Andrew A. Caffrey. Caffrey, who was in the American Air Service in France during The Great War and worked for the air mail service upon his return, was a prolific author of aviation and adventure stories for both the pulps and slicks from the 1920’s through 1950. For the second issue of Sky Birds, Caffrey tells the story of Lieutenant Mike Harris—a.k.a. “Coupe Mike” due to his proclivity to overuse the coupe button during his training—fresh up from Issoudon after extensive training.

Caffrey himself gives a vague bit of the background for the tale while praising Hersey on his great line of aviation titles in a letter in the Ailerons column from the same issue:

From the February 1929 issue of Sky Birds:

“Coupe Mike,” they called him. He was named a Lieutenant by the War Department, and Michael by an adoring mother. However, Fate dubbed him a Black Cat for luck until Fate changed his mind and so furnished the material for a bang-up air novelette.

 

As a bonus, here’s a brief autobiography of sorts by Andrew that ran in the April 1928 New McClures Magazine:

MY LONG-LOAFING experience was started back in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on the coldest March the eleventh that 1891 knew. That makes me twenty-one by actual count.

Early in May, 1917, I talked the War over with a recruiting sergeant in San Francisco and he promised that it would last long enough. Well, before I was in that uniform for one full lay I knew that the War had lasted too long. And it was more than three years before I gazed at a bird in a mirror of a New York automat and wondered why he looked back at me, and like me. It was so long since I had seen me in civvies that I was startled, as someone has said, to stillness. Yet, for the first time in a long while i liked me.

After the War I was with air mail in San Francisco. Later I went as a civilian employee to McCook Field, Dayton. There I worked with the cross-country section and flew much over the East. When Clover Field, Santa Monica, came into existence I came here as Chief Mechanic. Out of Clover Field I flew on much long-distance work; coast to coast and north and south. We were trying to prove that aviation had arrived. It hadn’t and it hasn’t: and I, for one, know that there’ll be lots of good flying ten years from now. And wanting to be in on some of the good flying, I gave the thing up till such time as some great skill unfolds the future of air. Over periods of years at a time we followers of air lose track of old pals. But sooner or later we always find them, and in the same place—in the crashed and killed news. As long as that is true flying has not arrived. The game today is just as dangerous as it was when the Wrights hopped off at kitty Hawk. That’s why the one living Wright, Curtiss, Martin and the old men of the air stay on the ground. They know, and better than anybody else realize, that the patron saint of aviation is the Fool Killer.

Fact is, I am one of an ex-army of broken men. And I tell you what: it’s been a hard quiet war for a lot of us boys ever since a certain long lank kid clapped a cool blue eye to a periscope and found Paris. . . Find Paris! Say, isn’t it just possible that a lot of us should get off the controls and let somebody fly who can fly? . . . But it’s tough to be running around with clipped wings and have no willing ears to tell it to. Lindy has done a lot for aviation, but look what he’s done to the rest of us!

Well, I’m sure sorry for the rest of the boys, but just so long as McClure’s will let me fly now and then I’ll try to keep a stiff upper lip and the rest of the fixings.

 

* The above picture of Andrew A. Caffrey is cropped from a picture that accompanied Caffrey’s article “West is East (Or Delivering the General’s Nickel-Plated Dog Kennel)” that appeared in the pages of the December 1923 issue of U.S. Air Service.

“Flying Odds” by Andrew A. Caffrey

Link - Posted by David on April 21, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from a author new to Age of Aces—Andrew A. Caffrey. Caffrey, who was in the American Air Service in France during The Great War, was a prolific author of aviation and adventure stories for both the pulps and slicks from the late 1920’s through 1950. In “Flying Odds,” Caffrey gives us a taut tale of Lieutenant Wood trying to get as far back to allied territory as possible when the engine of his Spad conks out.

From the January 1930 issue of Sky Birds

Lieutenant Wood’s engine was hot, but the Huns who tried to force that crate-busting fool out of the sky found that Lieutenant Wood was “hot stuff” too.