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“The Action Hunter” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on August 12, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have an early story from the prolific pen of Mr. Robert J. Hogan—the author of The Red Falcon and Smoke Wade as well as G-8 and his Battle Aces! Herre, Hogan gives us the story of young Dexter, pilot of a D.H. bomber who knows his own pride is getting in the way of accepting some much needed advice from his more experienced observer/bomber. He knew Death was reaching for him and he fought frantically to control himself. from the September 1931 issue of War Aces it’s Robert J. Hogan’s “The Action Hunter!”

To the deadliest of slaughter missions lumbered that rookie bomber, and only in the ashen face of The Reaper did that kiwi see the stuff of which men are made.

Remembering Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on August 5, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

MIAMI HERALD columnist Bob Swift wrote a final piece about Robert J. Hogan, G-8 and the pulps twenty seven years after Hogan’s death. From his column for the 28 July 1990 edition of The Miami Herald:

A chance meeting with a great wartime writer

by BOB SWIFT | The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida • 28 July 1990

“Someday, as is almost the case now, the art of the Beatles will seem quaint . . . And as the music of the Beatles will be tomorrow; the Pulps are today.”— Tony Goodstone, author of THE PULPS.

FOR millions of kids who hit the acne stage between the early 1930s and the late 1940s, their choice of reading material was clearer than their complexions. They read pulp magazines, often by flashlight under the covers if Mom was so unenlightened as to call them trash.

Kids devoured comic books, too, but they just weren’t on a literary level with the pulps, which came in all types: detective, science-fiction, westerns, etc. One of the most popular types was the air-adventure, of which there were scores. Of those, the one that really made a kid’s eyeballs pop was G-8 and His Battle Aces, which packed a bigger kick than a surreptitious puff on a Domino cigarette.

I ran across G-8 not long before the magazine (and all the pulps) died but liked it so well I haunted second-hand stores to buy up back issues. Having been a childhood fan, I was agog when I actually met G-8’s creator, Robert J. Hogan. That was 1962, he was living in Coral Gables and he called me about something I had written. I began to visit him and we talked for hours.

A World War I flier, nearly penniless in the Great Depression, he read a pulp magazine, snorted “Hell, I can write better than that,” and did so, selling his first story for $65. When novel-length pulps (Doc Savage and the Shadow) became popular, Hogan created G-8, air hero.

There followed at least 100 novels in which G-8 battled monsters with tentacles, men with beast brains, mad scientists, flying bombs and magnetic rays. Even the titles had a certain zing: The Death Monsters, Wings of Invisible Doom, Skies of Yellow Death, Flight From the Grave and (don’t you love it’) Vultures of the Purple Death.

German villains, such as Herr Doktor Krueger, plagued G-8. But Hogan, an equal opportunity employer, also invented the evil Dr. Chu Lung; the black King Jolito, who turned dead German pilots into zombies; and even an army of Vikings, frozen in a glacier but revived as horrid German shock troops.

The prose was colorful:

“There was a sword covered with blood. Gripping it tightly was a ponderous human arm. The flesh was seared like a half-broiled steak. It was severed at the shoulder as though it had been torn off.”

Whew. Heady stuff for a 12-year-old. If my mother had only I known.

In another novel, mad scientists boiled bodies in cauldrons and sent their zombie-like skeletons marching against the Allies.

“My editor became nauseated,” Hogan told me with some relish.

Air combat was frequent:

“G-8 was sure his bullets had spattered into the lead pilot’s body. Tac-tac-tac! Spandau bullets snapped past his head.”

Hogan wasted little time on research. He named characters “Monsieur Chapeau” and “Herr Schmaltz,” injected a few ach du liebers and went merrily on with the plots, which sometimes involved a female spy, R-1. She was the love interest, although a typical G-8 story was tailored to the tastes of a 12-year-old, with the result that any cuddling between G-8 and R-1 was roughly akin to that between Roy Rogers and Trigger.

In his prime, Hogan turned out 200,000 words a month, dictating to two secretaries at once. At one incredible time, he was doing G-8, a mystery series called The Secret Six, and a Fu Manchu clone called Wu Fang. Each called for a 60,000 word novel a month, plus enough short stories to fill the back pages. He ran G-8’s fan club, too (”Hello, gang, this is G-8 speaking.”). The Readers’ Digest called him one of the world’s most prolific writers.

G-8 finally died in 1944, victim of wartime costs and a more-sophisticated audience. At a time of B-29s, V2 rockets and radar, the demand for World War I adventure (Spads? The Kaiser? How quaint!) disappeared. Soon, a nation turned to TV. Hogan turned to westerns (one became a film) and juveniles, but always hoped that G-8 would be reborn in some form. The G-8 novels were finally reprinted in the mid-1960s, in paperback, but Hogan didn’t live to see them. I wrote his obituary in 1963. He was 66.

I have a few copies of those paperback G-8 reprints. The pages, not much better than the rough pulp of the original magazines, are brown and flaking. But they still bear the purple prose that awed a 12-year-old on a long-gone summer’s day:

“A fiend had turned his pals into a Squadron of Living Death. A low, vibrant chuckle left the lips of G-8. The master spy shot his fist up in a signal to the Battle Aces. Fokkers thundered from the sky. Tac-tac-tac! Machine guns clattered a hymn of hate. Tac-tac-tac! Tac-tac-tac!”

The Passing of a Pulp Legend

Link - Posted by David on August 3, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

ROBERT J. HOGAN passed away just over a year after the big Miami Herald Sunday Magazine feature in December 1963. The Miami Herald used an edited down version of the feature for Hogan’s obituary.

Creator of “G-8″ Dies Here at 66

The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida • 18 December 1963

Robert J. Hogan, of 829 Granada Grove Ct., Coral Gables, one of the most prolific pulp writers of his day, died Tuesday at the age of 66.

His was the pen that fostered the pulp magazine adventures of “G-8 and His Battle Aces” in the 1930s and ’40s. G-8, the master spy, makeup artist, crack shot and ace pilot, was the hero of the American boy of the depression years.

Mr. Hogan wrote the adventures of G-8 for 11 years, from 1933 to 1944, In about 100 novels. He turned out 200,000 pulp fiction words a month.

A preacher’s son, Mr. Hogan grew up in Buskirk, N.Y. During World War I, he learned to fly as a member of the Air Corps. After the war he demonstrated private planes until the depression.

He started writing for an aviation pulp, Wings Magazine, then did a series called “The Red Falcon” and the “Smoke Wade”—stories which appeared in Daredevil Aces Magazine.

But the demand was for novel-length stories featuring the same character. Thus, Master Spy G-8 was created in 1933. G-8 was killed at the end of the series in 1944.

Mr. Hogan was later a writer for slick magazines and televisions, writing westerns and stories for young people. One of his westerns became a movie, “The Stand at Apache River,” and a juvenile novel, “Howl at the Moon,” was considered a classic boy-dog story.

Many of his books were translated into foreign languages. He had always hoped to re-issue G-8, perhaps as a television show.

Readers Digest called him one of the world’s most prolific writers.

For the past ten years Mr. Hogan has been living in Coral Gables, where he had spent the whiters for several years previously.

He was a member of the Coral Gables American Legion, the Rotary and Presbyterian

Surviving are his wife, Elizabeth L. of Coral Gables; a daughter, Mrs. Betty Van Houten, and four grandchildren in Allendale, N.J.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Philbrick Coral Gables Funeral Home.

G-8: Spy King of the Pulps by Bob Swift

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

BACK in 2015 we posted a bunch of correspondence between Henry Steeger, Robert J. Hogan, and Bob Swift that Pulp Historian Don Hutchison handed us at PulpFest. The letters with Bob Swift concerned a feature article he was writing for the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine. Although Don had given us the letters, the package did not include the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine feature story. But thanks to Newspapers.com, we have finally got a copy of it to share with our readers.

Without further ado, here is Bob Swift’s feature:

G-8: Spy King of the Pulps

by BOB SWIFT | The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida • 8 July 1962

Remember before TV, when the lurid pulp magazine was the boy’s best friend? Remember Bob Hogan’s fabulous heroes, G-8 and His Battle Aces?

Debonair G-8, as drawn by John Fleming Gould, for the pulp magazine series that bugged the eyes of young readers for 11 years. G-8, created by Robert J. Hogan, was a master spy, makeup artist, ace pilot, a hero in the tradition of the dime novels.

ENTER the Depression era small town boy, bicycle-borne, legs pumping, frayed and faded school books bouncing in the bike basket, dime burning the clenched fist like a nugget of lye.

Past the candy store with its dubble-bubble. Past the movie with Hoot Gibson. Past the drug store and the root beer float. Here. The news stand. Padded clatter of Keds on the wooden floor. There. Row upon lurid row, garish and glorious, the pulp magazines of the 1930’s.

Were you a fan, back In those beautiful days when the pulp was king? It was before TV (what you did, you listened to I Love a Mystery, the Green Hornet and Jack Armstrong on the radios). And what you did, you read the pulps.

There was Doc Savage, the man of bronze; the Shadow, whose flaming automatics piled crooks like cordwood; Nick Carter, the master detective; the Spider, soaring on a silken web; Wild West Weekly and Western Story Magazine.

But what really made that school literature book a volume of tepid pap was a brassy book called G-8 and His Battle Aces, a seven by 10 inch pulp magazine whose contents palsied the hand, dried the mouth, popped the young eyeball and packed a bigger kick than a surreptitious Domino cigaret.

America’s Master Spy. who could pilot a Spad pursuit plane in circles around any World War I ace. Master of makeup, crack shot, superb physical specimen, noble and true, ruthless to the enemy. That was G-8 as created by Robert J. Hogan, one of the most prolific pulp writers of his day.

Robert J Hogan wasn’t just the communal pen name for some stable of writers who took turns writing some of the pulps of that era.

Hogan was—and is—Hogan. Today. Bob Hogan lives in Coral Gables, 829 Granada Grove Ct.

He fondly remembers his pulp hero.

“I love G-8.” says Hogan, a spare, balding man of 64. “G-8 was good to me, supported me for 11 years, built our summer home in New Jersey.”

Bob, a preacher’s son from Buskirk, NY, learned to fly in World War I, demonstrated private planes after that, found himself almost penniless when his company closed in the Depression’s early day. He happened to buy a pulp aviation magazine, snorted, “Hell. I can write better than that.” and did so. He sold his first story to Wings Magazine for $65, was off on a writing career.

“Does anyone remember a series called The Red Falcon?” wonders Hogan. “Or the Smoke Wade stories in Dare-Devil Aces magazine?”

But other pulp fiction publishers began turning to novel length stories featuring the same character each month . . . the Shadow, Doc Savage. Hogan’s chore: Dream up an air hero. Driving home from his publisher’s office one day in 1933. Hogan’s racing brain came up with G-8 and His Battle Aces.

There was G-8 himself, the Master Spy. There were his sidekicks, little Nippy Weston (”Hey, you dumb ox!”) and burly Bull Martin (”Holy herring!”) and Battle, their English butler.

That first novel was called The Bat Staffel, the latter being a German word meaning squadron. Then came the whole great series that ran from 1933 to 1944, a series of novels whose titles had a certain zing, such as: “Death Rides the Ceiling,” “Skies of Yellow Death,” “Patrol of the Mad,” “Scourge of the Steel Mask,” “Wings of the Juggernaut,” “Vultures Of the Purple Death,” “The Death Monsters,” “Wings of Invisible Doom,” or “The Staffel of Beasts.”

Imagination unlimited was the rule of the pulp magazines and G-8 fought monsters with tentacles, men with beast brains, flying zombies, marching skeletons, mad scientists, mysterious gas, flying bombs, monster tanks with spiked treads and flame throwers, armored dirigibles, magnetic rays.

Particular villains plagued G-8 for years. One was the horrifying Steel Mask. Another was the yellow peril, Dr. Chu Lung. But the adversary who gave G-8 the creeps the longest was the wretched evil genius, Herr Doktor Krueger:

“Emaciated beyond description . . . shrunken, half-paralyzed body . . . head huge at the top . . . ‘Ha, ha.’ cackled the little fiend doctor . . . a cackling, high-pitched laugh left the ugly mouth of Herr Doktor Krueger …”

And talk about television blood and mayhem! G-8 beat today’s fare by a gory mile. The Master Spy never got through an issue without shooting, stabbing or otherwise disposing of a dozen or so enemy pilots, soldiers, guards, spies, madmen or monsters.

How about this scene from “The Sword Staffel” of June, 1935:

“There was a sword covered with blood. It measured at least six feet in length . . . the handle was large and gripping it tightly was a ponderous, human arm. The flesh was seared like a half-broiled steak . . . it was severed at the shoulder as though it had been torn off.”

Whew! Heady stuff. And we loved it.

In one novel the mad scientists boiled bodies in cauldrons, sent zombie-like skeletons marching against the Allies.

“My editor became nauseated.” says Bob Hogan with some relish. “Had to leave his desk.”

There was “Wings of the Glacier Men,” wherein the Germans found a whole army of Vikings frozen in a glacier, brought them to life, used them as hideous soldiers.

Aerial combat played a big part in G-8’s adventures, too:

“G-8 was sure his bullets had spattered into the lead pilot’s body, but he was still flying. Instantly, G-8’s brain flashed to the time when Germany had sent over the gorilla men who could not be killed. Were these men wearing bullet proof armor, too? Tac-tac-tac! Spandeau bullets snapped past his head . . .”

Author Bob Hogan, who turned out 200,000 pulp fiction words a month in the late 1930’s, is still writing on the typewriter that pounded out the first G-8 story. Hogan and his wife live in Coral Gables in the winter. New Jersey in the summer. The books are all by Hogan, some in German translations. Painting is an illustration for one of his Worid War II flying stories.

Hogan wasted no time inventing complicated names for his foreign characters. He glibly tossed off handles like Monsieur Chapeau, Herr Schmaltz and Herr Butscher, injected a few ach du liebers and violas and went merrily on with the plot.

There was even a female spy with the lovely name of R-1. She was what you might call the love interest if you stretched a point, although romance in a G-8 novel was tailored to the tastes of the 14-year-old, with the result that any cuddling between G-8 and R-1 was roughly akin to that between Roy Rogers and Trigger.

No matter. When that G-8 novel was finished, the short stories digested and the G-8 Club news read (sometimes all this occurred by flashlight under the covers), it was time to begin the impatient waiting until next month’s issue.

Even the ads were wonderful. Johnson Smith & Co. offered courses in Ju Jitsu, Whoopee Cushions for a quarter. French Photo Rings and Boys. Boys, Learn to Throw Your Voice. Charles Atlas stared from the page and sneered. “You can have a body like mine.” You were entreated to buy yeast for those pesky pimples. And for the more mature reader, it is hoped, there was the ad for Crab Orchard Whisky, guaranteed a mellow 18 months old.

When G-8 was in his prime. Bob Hogan turned out 200,000 words a month, pacing his Sparta, N.J. home with the radio full blast, bouncing a rubber ball on the floor, dictating to two secretaries at once.

At one incredible time, Hogan was writing the G-8 series, a cops and robbers series called The Secret Six and a Chinese menace series called Wu Fang, each calling for a 60,000 word novel a month plus enough short stories to fill the back of each magazine. In addition, he ran the fan club (”Hello, gang, this is G-8 speaking.”).

A Readers Digest article called him one of the world’s most prolific writers.

Hogan’s orders were to turn out the copy. Don’t edit it, said his publisher, don’t rewrite it, don’t even read it. Just turn it out and mail it. And that’s just what Hogan did.

“I have yet to read a G-8 story,” he says with wry curiosity. “Wonder if they were any good?”

“G-8 was aimed at boys about 14 years old, but I had fans ail ages and all over the world. One was president of a street car company in Scotland. Another was a Bengal Lancer in India.’

Hogan still gets letters from old fans who wish their own kids could read G-8. But alas, that’s almost impossible. A mint copy which once sold for 10 cents might bring $50 today, if you could find one.

Hogan himself has a complete set of G-8 at his lodge in New Jersey, “The House That G-8 Built.” There, too, are Hogan’s mementos: airplane struts serving as curtain rods, engine parts for andirons, bomb casings for lamps.

G-8 appeared in about 1OO novels, finally died in World War II.

“Production costs killed the pulps.” sighs Hogan. “And, of course, in the day of the B-29 and radar, the demand for stories about Spads and the Kaiser sort of wore itself out.”

G-8 buried and mourned, Hogan turned to slick magazines, westerns, juveniles, TV. One of westerns became a movie, The Stand at Apache River. A juvenile novel, Howl at the Moon was considered a classic boy-dog story. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages.

Hogan has slowed a bit lately. He and his wife Betty, winter in Coral Gables, summer in New Jersey. But the typewriter still clatters though the pace has relaxed. What Hogan would like to do now is re-issue G-8 in some form or other, for nostalgia fans maybe make G-8 a TV show.

We can hope so. In the meantime, go back in spirit to the hot summer day, the ceiling fan turning in the news stand, the rows of lurid covers, the swap of hand-heated coin for shiny book, the long walk home with open magazine, palpitating heart and great risk to life and limb.

Turn the pages slowly. Savor the deathless prose:

‘ . . . he knew a fiend had turned his pals into a Squadron of Living Death. He knew that the remedy lay in a will to fight and fight and fight . . . a low, vibrant chuckle left the lips of G-8 . . . the Master Spy shot his fist up in a signal to the Battle Aces . . . the Spad howled up in a steep climb . . . Fokkers thundered from the sky . . . tac-tac-tac! the machine guns clattered a hymn of hate . . . tac-tac-tac! tac-tac-tac!

Premiering at PulpFest 2022!

Link - Posted by David on July 25, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

AGE OF ACES will be back at PulpFest again this year where we will be debuting our new titles!

First up is the third and final volume of Robert J. Hogan’s lanky cow-poke of the Western Front, Smoke Wade! Robert J. Hogan pulled from his varied experiences as a ranch hand, a pilot, and a flight instructor to breath life into Smoke Wade in 1931. This sizable third and final volume of Smoke Wade’s exploits, covering 1933-1938, collects his last 18 adventures from the pages of Battle Birds and Dare-Devil Aces, before his stories moved to the back pages of Hogan’s G-8 and his Battle Aces!

The Adventures of Smoke Wade: Volume III

FLYING through the Hell-Skies of the Western front in a Pinto-colored spad he named Jake, after his favorite ranch pony, Smoke Wade and the pilots of the 66th Pursuit fight their way out of one tight spot after another in their battle to put an end to the evil Baron von Stolz, Germany’s top Ace. But when the chips are down, don’t bet against Smoke Wade!

We’ve paired this with the first in a series of four books with Donald E. Keyhoe’s Mad Marines—Devildog Squadron—in eight Weird World War I Adventures from the pages of Sky Birds!

Devildog Squadron: The Crimson Fog

MEET “Cyclone Bill” Garrity. Square of jaw and stern of eye, he was the big, hard-boiled C.O. of the 28th Pursuit—a squadron of 27 of the maddest Marines on the Western Front: there was Hick Jones, the tall, lanky Texan who was second in command; Larry Brent, the youthful leader of B Flight; and Lucky Lane and his three lunatics—the solemn-looking Mack Tuttle, Benny Sparks, and the big Irish lug, Pug Flanagan—to name just a few. They may have been hard drinkers with no concept of regulations, but they were all two-fisted fighters in the air, able to out-maneuver, out-fly, and out-scrap any bizarre menace that came their way. They were—as the enraged Boche had labeled them, der Teufelhund Jagdstaffel—THE DEVILDOG SQUADRON!

AND, as if that wasn’t enough, we are also re-issuing our one long out of print title—Sheridan Doome! Originally presented in a retro “flip book” style back in 2008 as our 9th book, Sheridan Doome collected the two hardcover adventures of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Lieutenant Commander. Before Sheridan Doome became a staple in the pages of The Shadow magazine, two Doome hardcover mysteries were written in the mid-1930’s by acclaimed hard-boiled author Steve Fisher (I Wake Up Screaming) and edited by his wife Edythe Seims (Dime Detective, G-8 and His Battle Aces).

The Murder of the Admiral and The Murder of the Pigboat Skipper

AS CHIEF detective for U.S. Naval Intelligence, Lieutenant Commander Sheridan Doome’s job was a grim one. Whenever an extraordinary mystery or crime occurred in the fleet, on a naval base, or anywhere the navy worked to protect American interests, Doome was immediately dispatched to investigate it. Fear and dread would always precede Doome’s arrival in his special black airplane. For, in an explosion during WWI, he had been monstrously disfigured. Much of his skin had been burned away, leaving his head and face an expressionless bone-white lump of scar tissue. But behind the ugliness was a brilliant mind. Sheridan Doome always got his man.

Both Sheridan Doome books are priced to sell at $7.99 a piece!

In addition to these new books, we’ll have all of our other titles on hand as well as our previous convention exclusive—Arch Whitehouse’s Coffin Kirk. So if you’re planning on coming to Pittsburgh for PulpFest this year, stop by our table and say hi and pick up our latest releases! We hope we see you there!

Cowboys of the Air

Link - Posted by David on July 19, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

HERE’S and interesting article from the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle in 1918 theorizing about a new “Lasso” bomb that would “rope” an enemy when exploded near their plane. Sounds like the kind of thing that should come from the pages of Robert J. Hogan’s six-gun ace, Smoke Wade, but is actually from the father of Science-Fiction himself, Hugo Gernsback, and The Electrical Experimenter!

“Cowboys” of the Air

The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, California • 22 September 1918

How The New Lasso Shell Makes Possible the Rare and Exciting Sport of Roping Hostile Airplanes

“ARCHIES,” as anti-aircraft guns are called, throughout the war have been blazing away at Hun airplanes and scoring some remarkable hits. However, military experts are of the opinion that it is impossible to stop an aerial raid by means of anti-aircraft guns alone. Notwithstanding the fact that the armed aeroplane Itself is probably the most effective means of downing enemy planes, there is a long felt want of some other method of clearing the skies of raiders.

With this idea in mind Mr. H. Gernsbeck, editor of the Electrical Experimenter, has perfected a plan which he says, to a certain degree, will accomplish such a result. The principle of this writer’s device, which is illustrated and described in the Electrical Experimenter, centres upon the “chain-shot,” which was nothing else but chaining several cannon balls together and shooting them at the enemy with devastating results. As the erratic flight of such a device made it extremely inefficient, it was soon given up and came into disuse.

“In my device,” says Mr. Gernsbeck, “I propose the use of a ‘mother-shell’ containing two explosive bombs, as well as two ’liquid-fire’ bombs. Each one of these bombs has a smaller companion—a heavy lead ball, the purpose of which is explained later.

“All of the bombs and bails are normally housed in the metal mother-shell which need not be very heavy, as it does not contain any explosive charge itself. All the bombs are kept in their respective places by means of a casing composed of eight pieces of reasonably thin steel. These pieces are released from the mother-shell, and fly off as soon as the time mechanism located at the apex of the mother-shell permits this. This time mechanism works on the principle of the one used on shrapnel, the purpose of the present device being to keep the mother-shell intact till it comes within a few hundred feet of the aeroplane under attack. This, of course, makes for great accuracy, as the mother-shell can be accurately timed, and being a self-contained shell like any other, its flight will naturally be true.

“The mother-shell In addition is ‘rifled,’ exactly like other big shells. A rifled shell while still in the cannon is made to turn on its axis by following a corkscrew path cut Into the inner walls of the cannon. This Imparts a spinning action to the shell which it maintains during its entire flight. So while the shell flies over its course with its nose pointed at its target, it also spins like a top. This spinning action, it has been found, keeps the shell better on its course than if it did not spin.

“In the case of the rifled mother-shell, another distinct advantage is had. Aside from keeping the shell on a true course as soon as the time mechanism acts, the pieces of the casing are thrown violently outward by centrifugal action. The same is the case of the four bombs which art hurled outwardly as shown in the illustration. Each set of bombs and balls are attached to a central steel ring by meant of a thin, but tremendously strong steel piano wire. Each wire may be from two hundred to three hundred feet long as desired. But as the mother-shell and the various bombs still have their rotary (spinning) motion, it follows that the entire device will continue to revolve not unlike a miniature planetary system. The four piano wires will be straight and taut, and as they cut the air at a great rate of speed, they will probably ’sing’ with a weird as well as a shrill note.

“We now have an aerial lasso covering a circular space of from four hundred to six hundred feet, all depending upon the length of the piano wires.

“Woe to the enemy aeroplane flying into it, or which is overtaken by it! There can be no escape. If either of the two contact-exploding bombs touch the aeroplane, it will be wrecked by the terrific ensuing explosion. If either of the contact-flame bombs touch, liquid fire kill be sprayed over wings or fuselage, setting the plane on fire.

“But let us suppose that neither type of bomb were effective, or touched only non-vltal parts of the enemy plane. Here it is where the lead balls take up their deadly work. Suppose all the four bombs bad been exploded. If it were not for the four lead balls, the four piano wires would simply go limp and the fight would be over. But having these lead balls spaced about ten feet from the explosive bombs, they will not be affected at all after the former have been set off.

“The planetary system, broadly speaking, still remains intact, although now we have only four ‘moons’ left. But suppose only one of them manages to get entangled in the trusswork of the enemy plane. Immediately the flight of the entire system is stopped abruptly and the three other balls come whining around, snarling up the entire plane and breaking the wings, fuselage or tail as they come crashing down at a terrific speed.

“You have read of the terrible Mexican lasso, the Bolas, which is a lasso with lead balls. It works on the same principle as the aerial lasso, only the latter having lead balls weighing several pounds apiece, will cause correspondingly greater havoc, especially on a comparatively fragile aeroplane.

“Perhaps you have read accounts of aerial fliers and their dread to intercept the course of even the smallest bird. It is a well known fact that an aeroplane propeller revolving at its great speed, will be instantly shattered if a bird as small as a sparrow flies into it. Therefore it may be imagined what a large load ball, or a powerful piano wire will do to a propeller should either come in contact with it.”

And look for Smoke Wade to return real soon in a new volume of rip-snortin’ air adventures!

At Home with Robert J. Hogan, 1948

Link - Posted by David on August 9, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

Five years ago we posted a great article about Robert J. Hogan at home from 1962. We’ve come upon another great article about Hogan as he sets out on his book writing career in 1948. He wrote a number of hard cover westerns for Dodd, Mead & Company, three of them historical westerns featuring a cowboy named Smoke Wade who rides a pinto horse name Jake!

Here’s the article from The Bergen Evening Record, July 14, 1948:

Pulp and Slick Author of More Than 13,000,000 Words Commences Task of Writing First 2 Book-Form Novels

The Bergen Evening Record, Bergen, New Jersey • 14 July 1948, P.20

Describes Office Boy Literature As An Escape And Good Clean Fun

One of Americas most prolific fiction writers, Robert J. Hogan, a man who has written more than 13 million words yet never has had a novel published in book form, is spend-ing the summer in Tea neck while he works on two novels, his first to be published between stiff covers.


Hogan started writing for pulp and slick magazines in Florida 18 years ago. 8ince that time this word artist has written enough material to fill 35 “Gone With the Winds”. His efforts during this time were directed toward creating mystery stories of the China Seas or thrilling young and old with stories of racing drivers and airplane pilots.

The present work Hogan is doing is along the lines of the stories he has been working on throughout his career but he is gaining the added recognition of having them put in book form rather than the usual style of the pulp magazines.

He says that people today have a false opinion of the type of literature found in the news stand mystery magazines and that because of an early black eye the magazines have been forced to toe the mark of decency closer than many of the leading magazines of the day. He has received letters from children telling him that their parents would not allow them to read his stories. His advice to the young ones was to allow their parents to read a few of the stories and then abide by their decision.

According to Hogan, after father read the story the children had difficulty in getting the books away from their parents. He believes, that many persons in the country look at his work and similar work of other authors as a complete escape from the realties of the problems at hand.

The writer says that many of his Wall Street friends discovered that the literature of the office boys was a wonderful escape and a way to be completely consumed in good clean fun. According to Hogan, the Wall Street trycoons first became aware of his stories in the early thirties, those days when business was slower than ever before on the exchange. Since that time he has had many devoted followers from the region of finance.

Robert J. Hogan, one of the most prolific fiction writers In the country, poses at his Teaneck home where he will work on two novels, with his attractive wife, a fiction editor, and pretty daughter, Betty. (Bergen Evening Record Photo)

Hogan was born in a parsonage in upper New York State, but left the small town of Buskirk to attend Blair Academy in Blairstown, and then 8t. Lawrence College, where he majored in agriculture.

During the years that he has been turning out his 115 or more novel-length mystery stories he has been living in Florida and Lake Mohawk. Once quizzed on why he preferred to live at Lake Mohawk and Teaneck in the off seasons he stated “I find the local yokels much more interesting than the summer colony people or the Winter vacationers of Florida”. The statement appeared in an article in the Saturday Evening Post about his home at Lake Mohawk, a home built and designed by the writer.

After a time Mrs. Hogan caught the writing bug and has since been fiction editor for the magazine Institute of New York City. Along with caring for her family, writing and editing, Mrs. Hogan also finds time to do some painting.

Hogan has become quite interested in the historical background of the Bergen County area since he has resided in Teaneck. Bent on doing a historical novel of the area Hogan is presently compiling facts about the early homes and historical sights.

When his pretty 19-year-old daughter, Betty, who attends Ogelthorpe University in Georgia, was asked if she too wished to follow a writing career the answer was an emphatic no. She hopes to be a Kindergarten teacher when she completes her studies.

“F.O.B. Berlin” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on January 18, 2019 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the prolific pen of Mr. Robert J. Hogan—the author of The Red Falcon, Smoke Wade and G-8 and his Battle Aces!

Colonel Brant leaves orders to not touch the new D.H.s while he’s gone—problem is he left that order with Captain MacRay who neglects to tell Major Nelson Wellington Van Parker Jones, who’s desire is to be the first to fly a D.H. over the lines. Unfortunately it’s right into the path of von Strohm’s Fokkers! From the pages of the April 1932 Flying Aces, it’s Robert J. Hogan’s “F.O.B. Berlin!”

One D.H., complete with brand-new Liberty motor, and one American major in good condition—delivered by hand at Germany’s door! Who says there isn’t such a thing as being too generous?

“The Other Cockpit” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on February 23, 2018 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the prolific pen of Mr. Robert J. Hogan—the author of The Red Falcon and Smoke Wade as well as G-8 and his Battle Aces! In fact, all three of those characters had a published story the same month this tale was published in The Lone Eagle—March 1934. In “The Other Cockpit”, Hogan gives us the story of Bat Benson, a blow-hard observer pilot that blames all his short comings on his observer. That is until he comes up against his latest observer who sets him straight!

Bat Benson, Flight Leader, Always Panned His Observers—But Lieutenant Nash Just Wouldn’t Take It!

“Ginsberg’s War: Ginsberg Flys Alone” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on December 29, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

    “Geeve a look,” he chirped. “I’m here, already. Abe Ginsberg’s de name.”

A HUNDRED years ago this month, the United States declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. To mark the occasion, we’re posting Robert J. Hogan’s series of Abe Ginsberg stories that ran in the pages or War Birds magazine from 1932-1933.

It’s a Ginsberg double-header to end the year. First up, Ginsberg finds himself running low on fuel behind enemy lines trying to get back to safety while being pursued by a deadly trio of Fokkers! forced down in No-Man’s-Land, he seeks safety in a shell hole until he has the protection of darkness to guide him safely back to the Allied lines with information on the location of the trio of Fokker Aces’ base.

When Ginsberg bet, he bet to win, but he didn’t know that winning would take him to the hidden drome, nor how he would get back.

As a bonus this week, we have an additional tale of Abe Ginsberg from the pen of Robert J. Hogan. We had posted this back in 2010, but for those who missed it or would like to read it again or just have all five tales in a similar format, here is Abe Ginsberg’s final adventure from November 1933—”The Spy in the Ointment!”

When They Asked for Volunteers to Fly That Spy Mission, Abe Answered Because He Couldn’t Sit Down. It Took Another Spy to Convince Him That Medals Were Not Always Granted for Bravery.

“Ginsberg’s War: Pfalz Alarm” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on December 22, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

    “Geeve a look,” he chirped. “I’m here, already. Abe Ginsberg’s de name.”

A HUNDRED years ago this month, the United States declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. To mark the occasion, we’re posting Robert J. Hogan’s series of Abe Ginsberg stories that ran in the pages or War Birds magazine from 1932-1933. Although Ginsberg’s always first to stand up and volunteer, he’s often overlooked due to his short stature. This time he’s excluded from the mission as the French want to pin a medal on his chest. A muddy ride, a drunken celebration, and a dark hanger all lead to Ginsberg finding himself behind enemy lines attacking the Boche defenses from the inside!

Abe Ginsberg knew a bargain when he saw one. When it turned out to be a Pfalz alarm, he had to ask them “Catch On?”

“Ginsberg’s War: Excess Braggage” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on December 15, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

    “Geeve a look,” he chirped. “I’m here, already. Abe Ginsberg’s de name.”

A HUNDRED years ago, the United States declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. To mark the occasion, we’re posting Robert J. Hogan’s series of Abe Ginsberg stories that ran in the pages or War Birds magazine from 1932-1933.

Lieutenant Abe Ginsberg was very proud. He wasn’t very tall, but he made the most of his stature as he squared his narrow shoulders. His small feet and spindling legs were encased in the best pair of cut-rate boots careful money could buy. The new whipcord officer’s uniform hung loosely about him, not a perfect fit, but what of it? Hadn’t Abe saved almost a hundred francs on that suit after an hour’s haggling?

They told Abe to brag of the might of his wings and it would win him the C.O.’s job. Abe bragged. But what it won him was something else again.

“Ginsberg’s War: Crash on Delivery” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on December 7, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

A HUNDRED years ago today, the United States declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. To mark the occasion, we will be posting Robert J. Hogan’s Abe Ginsberg stories that ran in the pages or War Birds magazine from 1932-1933.

    “Geeve a look,” he chirped. “I’m here, already. Abe Ginsberg’s de name.”

Lieutenant Abraham Ginsberg was small and slim-shouldered. His eyes twinkled over a Roman nose and from under heavy, black brows. His head was crowned with curly hair of the same hue. His face was like leather, tanned by wind and sun and blasting prop wash of many flights. His uniform, ill-fitting and sagging at the knees, was in striking contrast to the finely tailored outfits of the favored sons of the Seventy-sixth. A long, leathery coat, smeared with grease and oil and stained about a hole at the shoulder, where a Spandau slug had necessitated a vacation for a time, hung perilously from his slim shoulders; it was held together at the front with a huge safety pin, that once had graced the blanket of a horse in a wind storm.

Abe had medals on his chest and a yen in his heart to fly with a high-hat outfit. When he found they didn’t want him he invented the slogan “Crash on Delivery.”

It’s Our 10th Anniversary!

Link - Posted by David on March 23, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

IT’S HARD to believe it’s already been ten years since we introduced you to Jed Garrett, aka Captian Babyface, and his faithful dog Click, the hell-hound, but it has. It was ten years ago today Age of Aces Books published it’s first—Captain Babyface: The Complete Adventures, gathering together all 10 of Steve Fisher’s tales of Captain Babyface and his battles against the skull-visaged Mr. Death that ran in the pages of Dare-Devil Aces in 1936.

Over the past ten years we’ve published the best names in weird World War I fiction from the tattered pages of the old pulp magazines. In addition to Steve Fisher, we’ve published work from the illustrious likes of Robert J. Hogan (The Red Falcon and Smoke Wade), Donald E. Keyhoe (Captain Philip Strange, The Vanished Legion and The Jailbird Flight); C.M. Miller (Chinese Brady), Ralph Oppenheim (The Three Mosquitoes), William E. Barrett (The Iron Ace), Robert M. Burtt (Battling Grogan), O.B. Myers (The Blacksheep of Belogue), Arch Whitehouse (Coffin Kirk), Harold F. Cruickshank (Sky Devil), William Hartley (Molloy & McNamara), and Frederick C. Painton (The Squadron of the Dead). That’s quite a list and we’ve got more to come!

We’ve tried to make our website a place to help you Journey back to an Age of Aces by not only featuring content about our books—the authors we’ve published and artist we’ve printed, but also other aspects of the old air pulps that don’t make it into our books as well—The pulp covers and the stories behind them, the lives of the aces in pictures, and their most thrilling sky fights!

And there’s free fiction Fridays when we frequently post stories that can be downloaded and read! Since it’s our tenth year we’re trying to have more frequent content up on the site and more stories—trying to increase from one or two a month to practically every Friday—and from the authors we’ve published as well as recurring website favorites—Joe Archibald’s Phineas Pinkham and Lt. Frank Johnson’s Silent Orth.

So stop back often to journey back and here’s hoping for 10 more great years bringing you the best of old air pulps in a new package!

“Slow-Speed Demon” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on January 15, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

This time around we have a tale from the man that brought us The Red Falcon, Smoke Wade and G-8 and his Battle Aces—Robert J. Hogan! From the pages of the June 1933 number of Flying Aces, we have a tale of modern aviation—Chuck Page pits his plane he’s cobbled together against the big boys in a cross-country race!

Set an old orange crate of a ship up against a couple of low-winged speed demons in a cross-country air race—and they’d call you crazy. But some people say that a race is more a test of the pilot than of the ship, and maybe they’re right. Here’s a story of modern aviation to prove it.

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