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“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!

“The Night-Raid Patrol” by Eustace Adams

Link - Posted by David on January 12, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the prolific pen of Eustace L. Adams. Born in 1891, Adams was an editor and author who served in the American Ambulance Service and the US Naval Service during The Great War. His aviation themed stories started appearing in 1928 in the various war and aviation pulps—Air Trails, Flying Aces, War Stories, Wings, War Birds, Sky Birds, Under Fire, Air Stories and Argosy. He is probably best remembered for the dozen or so airplane boys adventure books he wrote for the Andy Lane series.

Lieutenant Bull Meehan, U.S.N., was in a mood. And when Bull was in a mood, let it be said that the United States Naval Air Station at Souilly-sur-mer was a place over which the sun hid behind lowering clouds; where red wine soured on the mess table; where flatfooted gob sentries paced their beats with the snap and the devotion to duty of Imperial Household Guardsmen and where the young naval aviators gathered in the lee of the hangars and cursed with great feeling and remarkable fluency. It was at this time, Ensign Wadsworth arrived wearing his Croix de Guerre under his gold naval aviator’s badge and had a record of two years’ flying service with the French Army…

From the August 1929 issue of Sky Birds, it’s Eustace Adams’ “The Night-Raid Patrol!”

A smashing hit! Follow this plucky Yankee flier through hell-popping adventure. See him zig-zag through the air, spewing havoc and destruction, locking wings with his venomous C.O. Here is a thrilling yam from the pen of a master of tale-spinner!

 

As a bonus, here’s an article about the author himself from the Akron Beacon Journal in 1940!

Argument With Wife Started Eustace Adams’ Career; Author of Adventure Tales Now Wants To Do ‘Better’ Things

by Naomi Bender • Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio • Sunday, March 24, 1934, p.9-D

MIAMI, Fla., March 23.— Ever hear of Eustace L. Adams? Probably not, yet he’s in “Who’s Who”—there’s three inches of small type about him—he writes serials and short stories for most of the better magazines.

He’s had dozens of boys’ books published, as well as a few adventure novels. His works have been published in England. They’re called “Sovereign Thrillers” there, or, in the vernacular, “Shilling Shockers.” He’s 49 and he makes enough money out of his writing to be in the upper income brackets. He calls himself just a good “potboiler.”

“And I have no message for suffering humanity,” the athletic-looking author said, with a grin, as he puffed on a cigaret. We were seated in his workroom, at the rear of his home on Palm island overlooking the bay.

He’s a likable fellow, this Adams, with a nice grin, kindly blue eyes and a nautical air about him. That’s probably because, when he’s not working, you’ll usually find him on his tiny sailboat, for sailing is his one and only pastime.

Argument Changes Career

He was an aviator during the war. After that, he became a salesman for an advertising concern. Then fate stepped in and shoved him into a completely different profession.

It all started over an argument with his wife. Well, not exactly an argument, but it was like this:

Mr. Adams traveled quite a bit so his wife decided to take a course in journalism to keep herself busy. That started her writing short stories but, like many an amateur writer, her intentions were better than the results. She rarely, if ever, finished her stories.

So naturally, one day, friend husband said, with a very superior air: “I bet I could write one of those confession stories you’re always playing around with. I’ll show you how to do it.”

And naturally, friend wife, knowing her husband had never written a line in his life, reacted just as any wife would—with a big raspberry.

But this time the husband won the decision. He not only wrote the story, but he received a handsome check as first prize winner of a confession story contest.

This was very nice indeed, but Adams still thought a good job with an advertising concern was better than the doubtful security of writing.

Then Lindbergh made his sensational hop across the Atlantic, which might seem to have no connection with the life of Eustace L. Adams but did.

Adams had been a professional aviator; he had also won a confessional story contest. Lindbergh’s flight put a premium on stories with a factual aviation background. And the pulp magazine editor thought of Adams.

”It just happened that at the time I was one of the few literate persons who knew anything about flying,” Adams modestly explained.

He wrote a serial and five short stories in 60 days and sold them all.

From that time on, he has been a professional writer.

Starts Early, Quits Early

He says he keeps “regular office hours” but there are few offices where the employees arrive at 5 o’clock every morning. Adams works until noon each day on an electric typewriter and then he’s through for the day.

“I take only two holidays a year,” he said, “the 4th of July and Christmas.”

He reads a lot, chiefly better fiction and magazines, plenty of magazines.

“I’m just like an architect looking at other architects’ houses,” he stated. “Times change in popular fiction; each year there’s a tiny shift in fashions and I have to keep up with them if I want to sell my stuff.”

There are days when he’s wished he were a plumber or a dentist. “Anything,” he said, with a wry grin, “but what I am, which forces me to sit here at the typewriter whether I want to or not.”

And he does sit there, without doodling, for a stipulated time each day even when he can’t write a line he thinks is worth a hoot.

For, as with all authors, there are dry periods when things just won’t come through

“Then I try to remember what Edith Wharton once said. It’s helped me over many a tough spot when my mind’s as empty as a bass drum. ’Just put one word after another laboriously,’ she said, ’juat carry your hero along and keep on plodding, then all of a sudden things begin to go.’”

He works on one story at a time even though he does turn out millions of words each year. He doesn’t use a plot machine, either He’s tried it, he confesses, but it didn’t work. He sells the majority of the stories he writes. He has a little card file on which he keeps a record of each story he has written and its fate. If the story sells, the amount is marked down neatly, with the date and the publication to which it was sold. If it flopped, this is noted on cards that go into the rear of the file, marked “Rejected.” The number of these cards is very small.

Like all authors who depend on their writing for a living. Adams fears the day when he may run out of ideas or may not be able to sell his stories.

But when that day comes he hopes to have enough money so that he can sit back and relax and enjoy life.

Influence Isn’t Necessary

Here’s how he would advise those who aspire to be professional “entertainment writers.”

Study the magazines to which you want to sell your stories. “You can’t just write a story, send it around to every magazine from the pulps to the slicks and get it sold. It has to be directed to a particular publication.”

You don’t need any influence with magazine editors. If your stories are good, they’ll grab them.

“About the only break I get,” the author said, “is that if I send a story in that Isn’t quite right, I’ll get It back with something like this written on it. ‘On page 33, you stink. Or your heroine is out of line, fix her up.’ Then I revise the story, send it back and it has a good chance of being accepted.

“The chief handicap any young writer has to overcome,” Adams continued, “Is getting gun shy in front of the typewriter. Most amateurs have to cure themselves of buck fever before they can do their best. Once that’s licked, half battle is won.”

Tucked somewhere back in his mind is the thought that some day he may do a “real job of writing ”

He knows most popular authors feel that way and he’s not kidding himself.

“Naturally I would like to do better things,” he confessed frankly. “It would be swell to have real genius, like Hemingway in ‘The Killer’ or ’The Sun Also Rises,’ or Steinbeck In ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ I would like to say to myself that, if I had five years I could do something good, too. I know it may be just an illusion, but I also know that many of our best writers got their training first in the pulp magazine field.”

“Flaming Bullets” by Franklin M. Ritchie

Link - Posted by David on January 5, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another story by Franklin M. Ritchie. Ritchie only wrote aviation yarns and his entire output—roughly three dozen stories—was between 1927 and 1930. Today we have another one from the lawyer who wrote pulp stories on the side to satisfy his yen for flying. From an early issue of Sky Birds, Ritchie gives us a tale of the chivalry of the air—but from the German point of view. Enter young Oberleutnant Fritz von Hullesheim who gets himself into a real mess over his flight leaders use of incendiary bullets in his air battles.

From the April 1929 issue of Sky Birds, it’s Franklin M. Ritchie’s “Flaming Bullets!”

The amazing chivalry of the men of the air astounded the whole world during the war. They were true sportsmen, those sky-fighters. Here is a breath-taking yarn from behind the enemy lines showing how the picture looked through the eyes of German War Flyers!

“The Phantom Fokker” by Fred Denton Moon

Link - Posted by David on October 20, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another one of the few stories from Fred Denton Moon. Moon was born in Athens, Georgia in 1905 and was a freelance writer. A former staff member of The Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazinesince 1930, he was the first editor of the Journal’s wire photo service as well as former city editor of the Journal. He was member of the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi and retired from the Georgia Department of Labor in 1971. Moon died in 1982 at the age of 76.

Jeff Potts was the best-natured man in the Red Dot. Also, the most fearless. He’d won a string of medals before most of the other boys started realizing that a little scrap was going on in France. But he never bragged. In fact, Jeff Potts was so reckless in his fearlessness, a few of the men had an idea that he was just a little bit off. But even those who thought he was queer liked him a heap. The Red Dot actually seemed to centre around Jeff Potts. He was the life of the field. So when Jeff came back from a night time bombing mission with a story of a Phantom Fokker, the rest of the squadron didn’t quite know how to take it—or him. It wasn’t until long after the war that Jeff learned the truth behind “The Phantom Fokker!” From the pages of the March 1929 issue of Sky Birds.

A weird, strange story of a baffling encounter with a ghost of the air.

“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.

Premiering at PulpFest 2023!

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

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

First up is another collection of tales of that Inseparable trio—The Three Mosquitoes!

The Adventures of the Three Mosquitoes: The Night Monster
by RALPH OPPENHEIM

THE Three Mosquitoes—Kirby, the D’Artagnan of the group, led the formation even though he was the youngest, but his amazing skills had won him the position of leader of the trio. On his right flew “Shorty” Carn, bald, stocky, and mild of eye, but nevertheless a dead shot with a gun. On his left flew Travis, the oldest and wisest of the trio, whose lanky legs made it difficult for him to adjust himself in the little cockpit. With their customary battle cry—“Let’s go!”—they’re off on another dangerous mission in perilous skies!

Ralph Oppenheim’s Three Mosquitoes was one of the longest running aviation series to never have its own magazine. They flew for twelve years, through nine different magazines in over five dozen stories! This thrilling volume collects four action-packed adventures from the pages of Popular Publications’ Dare-Devil Aces: The Night Monster (2/32), The Crimson Ace (7/32), The Rocket Ace (11/32), and The Secret Ace Patrol (6/33).

Paired with this is the second volume of Donald E. Keyhoe’s Fighting Marines—The Devildog Squadron!

Devildog Squadron: The Flying Juggernaut
by DONALD E. KEYHOE

“CYCLONE BILL” Garrity and his Mad Marines are back in the thick of things in six more Weird World War I Adventures from the imaginative pen of Donald E. Keyhoe. Those crazy Germans have come up with even more ways to turn the tide and win the war. Operating from airfields hidden in the sides of cliffs under a waterfall, beneath an impenetrable dome, or simply under camouflage nets, the Germans unleash everything from deadly rays that can wipe an entire drome off the face of the earth; the dead pilots flying again; a tank as large as a city block and just as tall that can flatten everything in it’s path; and the cloak of death itself lurking in the night sky ready to suck the life out of anything it should happen to touch––both pilot and plane!

The Devildog adventures featured in this volume are all from the pages of Sky Birds: Devildog Doom (6/32), Lucky’s Day (8/32), The Devildogs’ Decoy (1/33), The Flying Juggernaut (2/33), The Squadron Nobody Knew (7/33), and Devildog Breed (7/34).

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, and last year’s two book set of Steve Fisher’s Sheridan Doome! 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!

“Crumpled Buzzard” by Franklin M. Ritchie

Link - Posted by David on June 16, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by Franklin M. Ritchie. Ritchie only wrote aviation yarns and his entire output—roughly three dozen stories—was between 1927 and 1930, but Ritchie was not your typical pulp author.

After reading “Crumpled Buzzards” I tried to find out a little about Ritchie to include in this post. I thought he had been covered in a biographical piece in Air Trails or Sky Birds, but couldn’t find anything. So I turned to the internet.

In putting in the name some great stuff comes up—letters from when he was a cadet to teachers back at Rutgers; a long letter to the folks back at Central New Jersey Home News where he was reporter before the war; he married fellow Erasmus High grad Elizabeth Farrish before enlisting; and this brief biographical piece from the Perth Amboy Evening News (September 23, 1922)—

All this good stuff was tied to this Lawyer fellow from New Brunswick. He seems to have an incredibly full life, when would he have time write pulp stories? But then I found a letter from Ritchie buried in the April 1929 issue of Sky Birds that explains it all:

Ritchie retired from all that in ‘58, moved out west and become a pastor at a Presbyterian church in Lakewood, California. He passed away at 84 in 1978.

With all that in mind, from the July 1929 number of Sky Birds, it’s Franklin M. Ritchie’s “Crumpled Buzzards!”

Lanky Jeff Dayton, a war bird, saw nothin’ to get het up about in this man’s war, but when he did, he saw red—red streaks of flame jetting from angry guns.

“The Ace Ship” by O.B. Myers

Link - Posted by David on May 5, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by the prolific O.B. Myer’s! Myers was a pilot himself, flying with the 147th Aero Squadron and carrying two credited victories and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

The 77th had seven Aces in their squadron. There had never been an outfit with more than nine Aces in it. If the 77th were to have ten Aces—the whole gang would get a three-day leave in Paris, to celebrate. Billy Preston only had one victory under his belt when he was determined to be that tenth Ace by any means possible. From the August 1930 Sky Birds, it’s O.B. Myer’s “The Ace Ship!”

Billy Preston needed only one more plane to make him an ace, and the 77th needed just one more ace. But Spandau bullets carried his number—in that grim battle with the green-diamond Fokker.

For all his many published stories, O.B. Myer’s didn’t really have any series characters. The few recurring characters he did have in the pages of Dare-Devil Aces, we’ve collected into a book we like to call “The Black Sheep of Belogue: The Best of O.B. Myers” which collects the two Dynamite Pike and his band of outlaw Aces stories and the handful of Clipper Stark vs the Mongol Ace tales. If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love these stories!

“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.

“The Flying Fool” by Donald E. Keyhoe

Link - Posted by David on February 3, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have an early story from the pen of Donald E. Keyhoe—his first in the pages of Sky Birds magazine. Keyhoe started appearing regularly in the aviation pulps—Wings, Air Stories, Sky Birds, Flying Aces—starting in December 1929. His series characters started in August 1931.

“The Flying Fool” from March 1930 tells the tale of a pilot who has to hide his love of stunting about to keep his job—that is until a motion picture company comes to town and their head trick flyer is injured…

Even the five surviving Devils of the Double Eagle were doomed to die. and death-defying stunts showed them how a master pilot answers a taunting accusation!

“Outlawed Aces” by Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by David on October 7, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story by another of our favorite authors—Harold F. Cruickshank! Cruickshank is popular in these parts for the thrilling exploits of The Sky Devil from the pages of Dare-Devil Aces, as well as those of The Sky Wolf in Battle Aces and The Red Eagle in Battle Birds. He wrote innumerable stories of war both on the ground and in the air. Here we have his take on the squadron of “Outlawed Aces”—those aces purposely listed as dead so they can be recruited for special missions much like Keyhoe’s Vanished Legion!

From the September 1934 issue of Sky Birds—

The thunder of guns rumbled constantly, ominously, past that secret drome in the badlands back of the Meuse River. And in the tiny hiding place were three men whose garb was strangely unmarked, whose wrists bore no identification tags. For they were a flight of vanished men—and their orders were known only to a few.

“Killer Tarmac” by T.W. Ford

Link - Posted by David on September 23, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have a story from the prolific T.W. Ford. Ford wrote hundreds of stories for the pages of the pulps—westerns, detective, sports and aviation—but best known for his westerns featuring the Silver Kid.

For the September 1934 number of Sky Birds Ford gives us the story of young Art Crain, just up at the front and already with a score to settle—his best mate had gone out against one of Germany’s greatest Aces, von Kunnel, to prove he wasn’t yellow as his flight leader Major “Bloody” Doll had continually chided him, and lost. Once there, Crain learns a lesson about justice, honor and war!

“Kill before somebody kills you!” That was the advice they handed to young Kid Crain when he arrived at the Front. Then the Kid ran into von Kunnel, great German ace, whose insignia was a jagged streak of lightning and who fought like that—swift, deadly, sure. And the Kid learned a lot about killers that no one had ever told him—that no one else knew.

“The Sinister Sentinel” by Arch Whitehouse

Link - Posted by David on September 2, 2022 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have another gripping tale from the prolific pen of Arch Whitehouse! Whitehouse had numerous series characters in the various air pulps—none ran longer than Buzz Benson! Billy “Buzz” Benson’s exploits started in the February 1930 issue of Sky Birds and appeared in every subsequent issue until it folded. Not to be twarted, Whitehouse moved Buzz over to Flying Aces where his exploits rotated with his many other characters in that title. For the uninitiated, Buzz Benson was a flying reporter for the Los Angeles Mercury newspaper, but his real job was far more dangerous. He is a secret agent and pilot extraordinaire for the U.S. military.

A young model builder stumbled on an idea the U.S. Government had been seeking for years. An Air Service official was murdered. A giant Curtiss Condor crashed to its doom on the desolate sand dunes of Chesapeake Bay. Those three things happened far apart—yet they led Buzz Benson into the mystery of the sinister sentinel known as Devils Trap Light!

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:


AIR TRAILS
August 1931


POPULAR AVIATION
September 1931


MODEL AIRPLANE NEWS
OCTOBER 1931


SKY BIRDS
August 1931


SKY BIRDS
MARCH 1932


SKY BIRDS
APRIL 1932


NATIONAL GLIDER
and AIRPLANE NEWS

July 1931


BATTLE STORIES
August 1931


FLYING ACES
August 1931


BATTLE STORIES
May 1931


ACES
August 1931

 

From the Scrapbooks: A Letter from Arch Whitehouse

Link - Posted by David on December 15, 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.

Moving on from the George Bruce letter, a few pages later we find what looks like another letter, folded into thirds like it too had just been pulled out of an envelope and pasted to the page. . .

Unfolding the sheet of paper reveals a letter from Arch Whitehouse on Magazine Publishers Incorporated letterhead from March 7th, 1929.

Arch Whitehouse was one of the most prolific aviation writers out there. He created numerous series characters with names like Buzz Benson, Tug hardwick, Coffin Kirk, Crash Carringer, the Casket Crew, and many more. These series characters created for Flying Aces and Sky Birds were extremely popular with the readers back in the 30’s and 40’s. Month after month he brought these colorful aces to life. Whitehouse scope and breadth of information on aviation was so great that he also answered all questions written in to the magazines from the readers.

Robert had apparently written in about learning to fly and Arch Whitehouse felt the need to respond with words of encouragement personally to a then 19 year-old Robert.

Writing from New York City, Whitehouse advises:

Dear Robert:

    You have the right idea. Stick to it. Aviation has come to stay and a few accidents will not keep the real air-minded Americans out of the sky. I myself have flown several thousand hours, including two-thousand in France during the war, and I have yet to break a wire.

    A good training course will cost anything from $300 to $500 and the time required depends all upon yourself, if you are a natural born flier, you will learn quickly and save that much money, –but do not be in too much of a hurry.

                    Hoping to hear from you again soon, I am,
              Sincerely yours,                        

                              Arch Whitehouse
                              Technical editor
                              Sky Birds and Flying Aces Magazines.

   

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