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DUSTY AYRES AND HIS BATTLE BIRDS #1 Black Lightning

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DUSTY AYRES AND HIS BATTLE BIRDS #1 Black Lightning

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Closeout Price! From July, 1934. Recommended. By Robert Sidney Bowen. “America, you are next!” As those words rang through the War Department room, officers gasped in horror. Fire-Eyes, emperor of the world, had invaded their secret council to hurl his challenge. And America knew only one answer—“War Declared!” One of the premiere air pulps, today as collectible as they come. And written by a genuine flyer: Bowen served in the RAF in World War I and brought his personal experience of air combat into these near-future, slightly sci-fi pulp stories.

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“America, you are next!” As those words rang through the War Department room, officers gasped in horror. Fire-Eyes, emperor of the world, had invaded their secret council to hurl his challenge. And America knew only one answer—“War Declared!” One of the premiere air pulps, today as collectible as they come. And written by a genuine flyer: Bowen served in the RAF in World War I and brought his personal experience of air combat into these near-future, slightly sci-fi pulp stories.

Complete with the original painted cover and b&w interior illustrations.First published in Volume 5 #4, July, 1934.

From pulp expert Michelle Nolan: "Robert Sidney Bowen was among the most prolific authors of the pulp era, penning hundreds of stories and novels about aviation and sports in an unusual career. Dusty Ayers was never in the comic books, and thus less known than the likes of Bill Barnes and Tailspin Tommy, but his fantastic adventures doubtless would have made for some great graphics. He was the type of fearless character who no doubt turned on many future aviators in the 1930s and 1940s."

After the World War I broke out in Europe, future Dusty Ayres author Robert Sidney Bowen left school to drive an ambulance for the American Field Service (AFS) in France. In May 1917, the United States Army Ambulance Service took over the AFS, and Bowen, being underage to serve, returned to the United States. When he turned seventeen, he signed up with Great Britain's Royal Flying Corps as a Flight Cadet. He went through several phases of training, including basic military training, ground instruction, and flight instruction. Bowen was granted a temporary commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force on June 20, 1918.

In July 1918, he went overseas to England, and was assigned to the 84th Squadron, R.A.F. fighting in France on SE5 fighter aircraft. He saw limited air combat over France but achieved no victories that could be documented by the authorities despite claims of shooting down two enemy airplanes on the eve of the Armistice. He wrote to his family, "I reported my flight, but it was hard lines for me because I have no idea where the German planes went down and therefore they can't be credited as official... My bus has 33 bullet holes in it and three in my flying suit, which shows I was in some close action." After the end of hostilities at the Western Front, Bowen transferred to the United States Army Air Service.

Bowen turned to writing in 1930, using his prestige as editor-in-chief of Aviation Magazine to write Flying From The Ground Up, a non-fiction work on how to fly an airplane. He began freelancing for pulp magazines. In 1934, he started his own pulp magazine, Dusty Ayres And His Battle Birds, for Popular Publications. Twelve issues were released. Bowen continued writing for mystery, adventure, sports, and aviation pulp magazines through the 1950s.

After the invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939 sparked World War II, Crown Publishers called Bowen, asking for an adventure story based on the war. The Dave Dawson series, also known as the War Adventure series, was the result. Bowen got to work immediately, and the first book, Dave Dawson At Dunkirk, was published in 1941. 15 volumes were released between 1941 and 1946.

By 1945 the series had sold over 2,000,000 copies. Inspired by the success of the Dave Dawson books, Crown's competing publisher Grosset & Dunlap hired Bowen to write a similar series for them. The Red Randall series debuted in 1944, selling 200,000 copies its first year.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Item Code DUS01
Publisher Altus
Publish Date 2017
ISBN 9781618272867
Binding Soft Cover
Dimensions 5x8
# Pages 182pg
Color Text/b&w
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