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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.