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“First Official Yank Victory” by Paul Bissell

Link - Posted by David on January 31, 2021 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present another of Paul Bissell’s covers for Flying Aces! Bissell is mainly known for doing the covers of Flying Aces from 1931 through 1934 when C.B. Mayshark took over duties. For the March 1932 cover Bissell put us right in the action of the

First Official Yank Victory

th_FA_3203LIEUTENANTS Alan Winslow and Douglas Campbell of the 95th Squadron, U.S. Air Service, were on alerte duty, Toul Airdrome, April 14, 1918. American squadrons at the Front were new, and no German had yet been marked up to the credit of the Yanks. These two aces-to-be thought it pretty tough to be kicking their heels on the home airdrome while “Rick” and others were patrolling the lines with a chance of a scrap at any moment, and a chance to bring credit to the 95th for the first Boche.

Suddenly the phone rang. “Yes, Squadron 95 . . . . What? . . . . Deux Boches?
. . . . Oui! Quel direction?
. . . . Pont-a-Mousson! . . . . Bien. Merci.”

In an instant motors already warmed up were roaring, chucks pulled out, and Winslow and Campbell had taken off in a steep climbing spiral, heading back in the direction of two tiny specks now appearing just under the low-hanging clouds. Hugging the ceiling, the two Americans swung to the east, hoping to gain unobserved a position on the tail of their enemy. A cloud, hanging low out of the otherwise fairly level ceiling, helped them in this for a moment. Coming out of this, however, they found themselves flying in the opposite direction, parallel to and about a quarter of a mile to the east of the two Germans, who immediately turned to attack. One was an Albatros D-5, and the other a Pfalz D-3.

The desperate tail chasing game began. Twisting and turning, the battle drifted slowly back until it was actually over the Americans’ own airdrome. Here the clouds drove them down scarcely five hundred feet from the ground. Burst after burst from both sides had as yet done no serious harm to any of the combatants.

Campbell, scrapping it out with the Pfalz, had drifted slightly to the west. Winslow, diving at the Albatros from the side, banked up steeply, kicked his plane over, slipped off on a wing, nosing down until he was under the German plane, then quick back, hard on his stick, and he saw the belly of the red machine come slowly into line with his sights. His chance at last!

Tight he squeezed his trigger, and a wild joy swept over him as he felt the answering throb of his gun. At the last instant he banked over to avoid collision—and just in time, for the red ship, spurting smoke, slipped unevenly off, wing down and tail up. The German pilot strove to gain control, partially righting the wounded ship just before it piled up almost at the door of Winslow’s own hangar.

Just a moment later Campbell brought his man down in a nearby field to the west. It was America’s first air victory. Two to the credit of the Hat-in-the-Ring Squadron, and the Germans knew that the Eagles were in the air!

The Ships on The Cover
“First Official Yank Victory”
Flying Aces, March 1932 by Paul J. Bissell

My Most Thrilling Sky Fight: Lieutenant Alan Winslow

Link - Posted by David on February 10, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Amidst all the great pulp thrills and features in Sky Fighters, they ran a true story feature collected by Ace Williams wherein famous War Aces would tell actual true accounts of thrilling moments in their fighting lives! This time it’s American Lieutenant Alan Winslow’s Most Thrilling Sky Fight!

Alan Winslow first went oyer to France as a member of tho American Ambulance Section serving with the French Army. After America entered the war he was transferred to the American Army. When the American Air Service under command of Colonel Mitchell began definite duties on the Western Front, Alan Winslow had won his commission as a First Lieutenant and was assigned as a pilot in the 94th Aero Squadron, the famous “Hat in the Ring” outfit later made famous by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker.

Lieutenant Winslow and Douglas Campbell were both inexperienced battle flyers, but it fell to their lot to be the first American flyers in an American Squadron under American command, to engage the enemy in actual combat. Winslow and Campbell downed their respective enemies within two minutes of one another in the same dogfight. Wlnslow’s opponent fell first, hence he is credited with the first American air victory.

The account below was taken down by one of Winslow’s squadron mates.



by Lieutenant Alan Winslow • Sky Fighters, February 1934

I DON’T know yet just how it happened. Our Spads were lined up on the deadline ready for a practice flight over the lines when the field sirens began to scream raucously. All of us rushed out to see what was the matter, looking naturally towards the front lines. Then the anti-aircraft guns began to pop and I saw white mushroom puffs just over the northern border of the field.

Right in the midst of the archie bursts were two black winged planes flying towards our field. They weren’t more than 2,500 feet high. Campbell and I both rushed for our planes.

When I got in the air I kited off towards the front in a climbing turn to get the Boche between me and their home lines.

The Boche didn’t appear to be at all disturbed about us taking off after them. They flew serenely on towards Toul, snapping their pictures, I suppose, while Campbell and I clawed for the ceiling behind them. The archies kept up a continual fire, and only ceased when Campbell and I swung about and pointed our Spads for the two Rumplers. I picked one, Campbell
took the other. I fired a short burst from my guns to make sure they were clear, then dived in to the attack.

The Boche gunner in the rear seat calmly swung his guns on me and opened up with a stream of tracer.

I don’t know just what I did, but I ducked that burst somehow by agile maneuvering. When I redressed he was out of my sights, so I nosed up, renverscd and went back again with my fingers trembling over the Bow-dens, ready to fire the instant I lined him.

Again the Boche tracer stream came and I ducked, but not without sending out a few of my own. I nosed down and slid under Mm; zooming up on the other side. Banking quickly to line the Rumpler again, I was surprised to see it go tumbling down the sky. My first nervous burst had been effective,

But fearing a trick, I followed down after it until it crashed. Only then did I think about Campbell and the other Boche. I banked and climbed back to go to his assistance, and saw his Boche going down just like mine.