Tag Archives: World War One

PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES ONE TO THREE

Bat Staffel bigBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This marks the beginning of a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various supernatural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. Our hero – whose real name was never revealed – served as an aerial commando and spy as well as a sort of Indiana Jones/ Brisco County Junior figure against his archenemy Doktor Krueger and a host of other mad scientists, aliens and monsters that the Central Powers had up their sleeve.

The regular cast was rounded out by Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American nurse/ spy whose real name, like G-8’s was never revealed. 

Bat Staffel1. THE BAT STAFFEL (Oct 1933) – This debut adventure of G-8 and his Battle Aces (Bull Martin and Nippy Weston) featured their very first clash with Germany’s brilliant mad scientist Doktor Krueger (Freddy’s ancestor no doubt). During one of their aerial commando raids on a Top Secret German installation our heroes discover that Doktor Krueger has harnessed the power of an entire flock of gigantic plane-sized bats who breathe a deadly gas that kills human beings upon exposure, shriveling them up until they are nothing but powder.

G-8 and the Battle Aces escape to warn the Allies what they will soon be up against and are sent back on a daring, desperate mission to nip this bizarre menace in the bud before the giant bats and their “halitosis of death” can turn the tide of the war. Ultimately G-8 and his wingmen wind up inside an enormous cavern which houses the flock of gigantic bats. In a showdown with Doktor Krueger they learn that the bats are really just gigantic android creations of the good doctor, who also developed the deadly gas that the constructs “breathe”. Continue reading

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ELEVEN MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS FROM WORLD WAR ONE

Medal of HonorHappy Veterans Day from Balladeer’s Blog! In keeping with the whole “Eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” tradition here are eleven World War One figures who were awarded the Medal of Honor.

J HUNTER WICKERSHAM

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant, US Army

Site: Limey, France on September 12th, 1918

Citation: Advancing with his platoon during the St. Mihiel offensive, he was severely wounded in 4 places by the bursting of a high-explosive shell. Before receiving any aid for himself he dressed the wounds of his orderly, who was wounded at the same time.

He then ordered and accompanied the further advance of his platoon, although weakened by the loss of blood. His right hand and arm being disabled by wounds, he continued to fire his revolver with his left hand until, exhausted by loss of blood, he fell and died from his wounds before aid could be administered.

Jake AllexJAKE ALLEX

Rank: Corporal, US Army

Site: Chipilly Ridge, France on August 9th, 1918

Citation: At a critical point in the action, when all the officers with his platoon had become casualties, Cpl. Allex took command of the platoon and led it forward until the advance was stopped by fire from a machinegun nest.

He then advanced alone for about 30 yards in the face of intense fire and attacked the nest. With his bayonet he killed 5 of the enemy, and when it was broken, used the butt of his rifle, capturing 15 prisoners.

FRANK MONROE UPTON

Rank: Quartermaster – US Navy

Site: The USS Florence H on April 17th, 1918 Continue reading

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2 MORE AMERICAN ACES FROM WORLD WAR ONE

With Veterans Day approaching here’s another look at some neglected World War One history.

arthur-r-brooks-betterARTHUR R.”RAY” BROOKS – Captain Ray Brooks graduated from MIT in 1917 and immediately volunteered to serve in the World War that the U.S. had just entered. Brooks got his first 3 kills with the 139th Squadron and 6 more after transferring to the 22nd Aero Squadron. FOUR of Captain Brooks’ kills came in one dogfight as he tackled a squadron of 8 Fokker planes single-handedly. Seriously.

In addition to those kills Ray Brooks had 4 more probables and went on to win the Distinguished Service Cross. He was nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor but was not confirmed for it, unfortunately. Brooks flew a Smith IV Spad XIII.    Continue reading

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WORLD WAR ONE: SOME INTRIGUING BOOKS

With today’s marking of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War here are some books on that often neglected topic. (I will omit Barbara Tuchman’s Guns of August because of how well-known it is.) 

Hat in the Ring GangTHE HAT IN THE RING GANG: THE COMBAT HISTORY OF THE 94th AERO SQUADRON IN WORLD WAR ONE – Written by Charles Woolley, this excellent book covers America’s 94th Aero Squadron aka The Hat in the Ring Gang.

When it comes to Flying Aces of World War One the Americans in the Lafayette Escadrille get the lion’s share of the attention. That’s ironic since Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s greatest ace of the war, served in the Hat in the Ring Gang along with many other famous paladins of the skies. To buy it click HERE 

Doughboy WarDOUGHBOY WAR: THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE IN WORLD WAR I – Written/ edited by James H Hallas. I feel this book is perfect for people who are just diving into World War One and don’t want inundated with all of the overwhelming details of more involved works. Doughboy War covers every aspect of American soldiers’ experiences in the Great War, often in their own words.

Follow them from enlistment, training and crossing the Atlantic to facing action in Europe, including accounts of the ordeals faced by wounded Doughboys. To buy it click HERE    Continue reading

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HAPPY VETERANS DAY 2018

Veterans DayWell, it’s been ONE HUNDRED YEARS since November 11th, 1918 saw the end of World War One, or the Great War as it was called before anyone knew a second global conflict would occur. As we all know the date eventually became designated as the day for honoring the people who make it possible for the rest of us to lead our lives in relative safety. 

Irrational political partisans often forget that the only reason any of them have the luxury of sitting back and making pompous, self-righteous pronouncements is because of the men and women who go out and actually DO something.  Continue reading

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WORLD WAR ONE POSTS ON BALLADEER’S BLOG: THE LINKS

Black Jack PershingWith Veterans Day coming up AND with it being the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One (when it was called Armistice Day) here are links to Balladeer’s Blog’s many World War One posts over the years.

ELEVEN MEDAL OF HONOR WINNERS FROM WORLD WAR ONE – CLICK HERE

AMERICAN FLYING ACE J.M. SWAAB – CLICK HERE

NEGLECTED U.S. NAVAL BATTLES OF WORLD WAR ONE – CLICK HERE

VINTAGE SCI-FI  ABOUT WORLD WAR ONE – CLICK HERE 

SEVEN AMERICAN FLYING ACES OF WORLD WAR ONE – CLICK HERE

FLYBOYS (2006) – CLICK HERE 

SGT YORK OF WORLD WAR ONE – HERE Continue reading

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ELEVEN MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS OF WORLD WAR ONE

Medal of HonorBalladeer’s Blog wrings down the curtain on Veterans Day of 2017 with this item. In keeping with the whole “Eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” tradition here are eleven World War One figures who were awarded the Medal of Honor.

J HUNTER WICKERSHAM

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant, US Army

Site: Limey, France on September 12th, 1918

Citation: Advancing with his platoon during the St. Mihiel offensive, he was severely wounded in 4 places by the bursting of a high-explosive shell. Before receiving any aid for himself he dressed the wounds of his orderly, who was wounded at the same time.

He then ordered and accompanied the further advance of his platoon, although weakened by the loss of blood. His right hand and arm being disabled by wounds, he continued to fire his revolver with his left hand until, exhausted by loss of blood, he fell and died from his wounds before aid could be administered.

Jake AllexJAKE ALLEX

Rank: Corporal, US Army

Site: Chipilly Ridge, France on August 9th, 1918

Citation: At a critical point in the action, when all the officers with his platoon had become casualties, Cpl. Allex took command of the platoon and led it forward until the advance was stopped by fire from a machinegun nest.

He then advanced alone for about 30 yards in the face of intense fire and attacked the nest. With his bayonet he killed 5 of the enemy, and when it was broken, used the butt of his rifle, capturing 15 prisoners.

FRANK MONROE UPTON

Rank: Quartermaster – US Navy

Site: The USS Florence H on April 17th, 1918 Continue reading

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HAPPY VETERANS DAY 2017!

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day!

Well, it’s been nearly 100 years since November 11th, 1918 saw the end of World War One, or the Great War as it was called before anyone knew a second global conflict would occur. As we all know the date eventually became designated as the day for honoring the people who make it possible for the rest of us to lead our lives in relative safety. 

Irrational political partisans often forget that the only reason any of them have the luxury of sitting back and making pompous, self-righteous pronouncements is because of the men and women who go out and actually DO something. 

And those men and women do it even though they know that Continue reading

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AMERICAN ACE J.M. SWAAB

Until Veteran’s Day – which is tomorrow – Balladeer’s Blog continues to salute neglected heroes from World War One.

Jacques Michael SwaabJ.M. SWAAB – Jacques Michael Swaab didn’t even take to the air with the 22nd Aero Squadron until August 27th of 1918 but before the war ended on November 11th he managed 10 confirmed kills and SEVEN more possible. At that rate Swaab could have challenged Eddie Rickenbacker’s total of 26 kills if he had started earlier in the war.  

On September 8th J.M. flew his Spad XIII in deadly combat, shooting down THREE German planes – including 2 Fokker D-VII’s. Before long he was an Ace and as an added bonus he shot down and killed Germany’s famed Ace Max Nather on October 23rd. Continue reading

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TOP NEGLECTED U.S. NAVAL BATTLES OF WORLD WAR ONE

Navy in World War OneYes, Veterans Day is coming so Balladeer’s Blog has been featuring some seasonal posts. In keeping with my blog’s theme I will take a look at more military actions that don’t get the attention that others do. Here is a look at U.S. Navy battles of the First World War.

OCTOBER 15th, 1917 – America entered the war just six months earlier and the Navy had been transporting the American Expeditionary Force under General “Black Jack” Pershing to Europe, with additional Navy craft escorting those transport ships and fighting German U-Boats. On this date the USS Cassin encountered U-Boat 61 and, after an hour’s pursuit the German submarine turned to fight the Cassin. After a lengthy exchange of torpedoes and depth charges the Cassin was battered but still afloat, while the U-61 suffered substantial damage also, including the destruction of its conning tower, forcing the sub to break off the action and flee.

NOVEMBER 17th, 1917 – The USS Fanning and USS Nicholson clashed with the German U-Boat designated U-58 when eagle-eyed sailors spotted the German sub’s periscope above the water line. Depth charges from the two U.S. ships damaged the U-58 and forced it to surface and engage in standard ship-to-ship combat. The Fanning and Nicholson sank the U-Boat, becoming the FIRST United States ships to Continue reading

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