Pulp Heroes

and His Battle Aces

From Battle’s Battles, or the Memoirs of a Gentleman’s Gentleman in the Great War
by Battle


F course, my most noteworthy term of service was as manservant to the great Master Spy of World War I. Although time has somewhat lessened the restrictions imposed on me by the Official Secrets Act, I am still not at liberty to reveal the true name of my illustrious employer. However, since my master’s deucedly exciting wartime exploits have been extensively chronicled in a series of 110 pulp “novels” by that well-known American author, Robert J. Hogan, I trust that the designation of “G-8” will adequately identify him to my reading public.

At the time of my employment, G-8 was a handsome young chap of medium build with strikingly intense steel-gray eyes. A fearless fighter with the ability to coax incredible maneuvers out of his flying machine, G-8 was a superb tactician and expert spy. Many is the time that I watched the master pouring over battlefield maps, chain-smoking while an American jazz tune, “Ragging the Scales,” played on the portable phonograph, developing some masterful plan to thwart yet another heinous Heinie stratagem.

Although only in his early twenties at the time, my master was highly regarded by the upper echelon. In fact, G-8 had virtual carte blanche to involve himself in any case where he felt his talents might be required—his only real superiors being the head of intelligence and a certain five-star general with the initials of J.J.P. I shall respect my master’s wishes, and not reveal the name of this great general, but the astute reader may recall that the supreme commander of the American Expeditionary Force during the Great War was General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing.

As I’ve alluded to in an earlier chapter, my previous position as make-up artist to that great thespian of the English stage, Harden—who was fond of saying that my make-ups were so clever that for twenty years he hadn’t really known just what he did look like himself in the naked flesh—served me in good stead while in G-8’s employ. Besides the preparation of the crew’s meals, and the flying of patrols when the occasion warranted, my primary duty in the service of G-8 was in the application of his various disguises. I blush to acknowledge it, but G-8’s ability to successfully infiltrate the German military machine and move in and out of German-held territory with the ease and frequency of commuter traffic crossing London Bridge was often due, in no small part, to the contents of my make-up kit.

G-8 was acknowledged at the highest level as the most valuable man in the Secret Service, and had been given free hand in choosing his assistants—his “Battle Aces.” In evaluating their strategic value to the allied cause, it would scarcely be an exaggeration to say that G-8 and his Battle Aces had the impact of at least a full division, if not an entire army—which makes it all the more surprising to consider that G-8’s “Battle Aces” consisted of but two young American hellions: Nippy Weston and Bull Martin.

Nippy Weston, a small, wiry young chap, was a more than capable pilot with a special talent for knocking Germans out of the air. In his spare time, master Nippy was given to the performance of amateur magical illusions, a talent that was to prove useful more than once during the course of his wartime career. He had been assigned to the airdrome at Colombey Les Belles prior to the assumption of his duties with master G-8, and had a devil-may-care outlook on life that is perhaps best exemplified by his choice of the number 13 to adorn his Spad. He was of invaluable assistance to the Master Spy, and the utterance of his pet-phrase, “Jumping Jupiter” (occasionally misquoted as “Jumping Juniper” by Mr. Hogan), was a sure indication that there was excitement afoot. Other than shooting down Fokkers and battling the Jerries, a great source of pleasure to master Nippy was his frequent bedevilment of his friend and fellow Battle Ace, Bull Martin.

In contrast to his diminutive friend, Bull Martin was a large, square-jawed young gentleman who had been an all American half-back, a rather important position in American-style football, or so I am told. Young master Bull was generally good-natured, but could be a ferocious fighter and was quite adept at bringing his Vickers to bear on enemy planes. Oddly enough, master Bull could be a trifle susceptible at times, and was more than a little superstitious, which explains his insistence on marking his Spad with “lucky” number 7. Master Bull greeted surprise with the habitual exclamation of “Holy Herring”, and often proceeded to wade into conflict with both fists flying. Although sometimes the butt of good-natured teasing by master Nippy, master Bull was an invaluable member of G-8’s Battle Aces, and was highly regarded by his fellow flyers.

The Yanks did not become active participants in the Great War until June of 1917, and the war ended in November of the following year, but G-8 and his Battle Aces managed to wedge a significant amount of activity into those scant seventeen months. Although the horrible conditions in the trenches are known to all students of the war, only the readers of Mr. Hogan’s illuminating accounts of G-8’s incredible exploits will be fully cognizant of the truly macabre measures taken by the Boche in their desperate attempts to overrun the allied forces.

From someone of my humble station, the war appeared to be the perpetration of one heinously improbable scheme after another by the Kaiser’s depraved evil geniuses. One can but shudder in contemplation of how different the course of western civilization might have run had G-8 and his Battle Aces not been on hand to stop the nefarious schemes of such master villains as Herr Doktor Krueger, Amen Sikh, Chu Lung, Herr Stahlmaske, and the diabolical Baron von Todschmecker. I dare say that the mere recitation of a few of the titles of Mr. Hogan’s chronicles—the Bat Staffel, the Skeleton Patrol, the Mad Dog Squadron, the Gorilla Staffel, the Curse of the Sky Wolves, the Flying Coffins of the Damned, Raiders of the Red Death, and Wings of the Death Monster—may give the reader an idea of the horrendous dangers faced by G-8 and his trusty crew, among whom I humbly number myself.

— Battle   

Get Your Wings Now!

end for this handsome membership insignia today! This official pin, with the enameled G-8 seal set in white metal wings will be sent to flying fans making proper application to the club. To get yours, fill in the coupon below, enclose 25c in coin, and send to--Battle Aces Club, Popular Publications, 205 East 42nd Street, New York City. Only a limited supply of these badges is available, so send for yours right away.
205 East 42nd Street
New York City
    Please enroll me in the BATTLE ACES CLUB and forward the wings for which I am enclosing twenty-five cents. In so doing, I affirm my love of Aviation and the Aces of the Past and Present who have served it best.

Signature (print clearly)
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For more on G-8 and his Battle Aces, visit Chris Kalb's Hero Pulp Web Site. For information on other pulp heroes, visit my main Pulp Heroes page.

The Holloway Pages Pulp Heroes

© 2000 by Clark J. Holloway.

Picture Credits (from the top):
From the cover of the October 1943 issue of G-8 and His Battle Aces Magazine.
Portrait of G-8 from an interior illustration in the October 1943 issue of G-8 and His Battle Aces Magazine.
An American Spad from a G-8 advertisement in the August 1943 issue of The Spider Magazine.
G-8 and Battle from the Gold Key G-8 comic published in 1966.
Portraits of Nippy and Bull from interior illustrations in the July 1936 issue of G-8 and His Battle Aces Magazine.
The downing of a German plane from an interior illustration in the October 1943 issue of G-8 and His Battle Aces Magazine.
The cover of the October 1943 issue of G-8 and His Battle Aces Magazine.