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From the Scrapbooks: Cover Cut-Outs

Link - Posted by David on December 27, 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. Robert was also fond of including cut-outs from covers of all kinds of aviation themed magazines.

Here are a few along with the full covers Robert excised them from:

August 1931

September 1931


August 1931

MARCH 1932

APRIL 1932


July 1931

August 1931

August 1931

May 1931

August 1931


“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!”

Not Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by David on July 17, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

YOU never know what you’re going to find in Fawcett’s Battle Stories’ letters column, The Funkhole. Frequently there is information about their authors or even letters from them. In the May 1929 issue I was surprised to find a letter from Harold F. Cruickshank himself! It was in response to a reader thinking he may have come afoul of him during the late great hate! (The portrait of Mr. Cruickshank below was in an ad a few pages later!)


IT WAS coincidence of name that prompted Edgar Fawcett, 95 High Street, Yonkers, New York, to read Fawcett’s Battle Stories magazine. Likewise, it was coincidence of name that prompted him to write the following letter.

    After reading for the first time the December issue of Fawcett’s Battle Stories, I congratulated you on producing an A 1 book. It was the name Fawcett that drew my attention to the magazine, it being my own name.
    I am American born but when I was sixteen I went to Toronto and joined the Canucks, serving in France and Belgium with them. They made the best of buddies and too much praise cannot be given to them. The name of Harold Cruickshank brought back a memory to me of an officer by that name who once gave me a sentence of three days Royal Warrant. I wonder if he is the same person.
    So much for that, so I will close, wishing you continued success with your magazine.

Here is Mr. Cruickshank’s reply to Mr. Fawcett’s letter:

    How could Mr. Edgar Fawcett think I’d be such a brute to crime a poor, lowly buck private? Say, that’s quite funny, isn’t it? But I’m sorry I cannot recollect any Fawcett in my travels. In any case I have a record that takes a lot of beating. Although I had charge of oodles of men—tough eggs, bums, hard-hitters and crooks, tailors, sailors, cooks and what have you, I never remember criming a solitary man. One time there was a fellow who got nasty, went A.W.O.L. and raised hell in general. I was orderly sergeant at the time and of course had to cover up his absence. I got away with it but when the rotter came back he was worse than ever. I should have reported him and got him sent down for a hefty session but instead I paid him a visit and told him if he didn’t straighten out I’d knock his block off—and in those days I was in good training—did a lot of leather pushing. It had the desired effect for he shut up like a clam.
    I always got along well with the boys—did my share of the work and we never had any trouble at all.
    It so happens that I have my old field book here with the nominal roll of my last platoon. There is no Fawcett listed.
    I say I never crimed a man. I’m wrong. Once a gang of my platoon complained that a member was so dirty that he was lousing them up. I investigated and I never saw so many cooties gathered together in one place in my life. I felt like smashing hell out of that bozo and would have done it if it were not for the fact of a dislike for contact with such a loathsome, dirty swine. We all got together—in conjunction with my officer—and paraded the animal to the bathhouse where he got all that was coming in the way of water, soap and a touch of the hose.
    Give Edgar my regards. Tell him I’ll buy him a drink if he ever drops around to Edmonton. But I’m sorry I wasn’t the “gentleman” who threw him in the jug. At least I have no recollection of any such thing.


And look for a new volume of Mr. Cruickshank’s SKY DEVIL stories coming soon!

“The Sky Devil’s Son” by Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by Bill on May 26, 2010 @ 2:16 pm in

Lieutenant Dan Marsh was a flying hellion, but he had a problem to solve that demanded more than flaming victories over master pilots of the Hun. He was the son of the Sky Devil, the famous Hellcat from number 10 Squadron, and the old man had made it clear that the Sky Devil’s son was not welcome there. While this is a Sky Devil story by Harold F. Cruickshank, it has no connection to Cruickshank’s stories featured in our Age of Aces book “The Sky Devil: Hell’s Skipper”.