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Monday, October 16, 2017

When I was writing CHASING DRAGONS, I needed to research the slang and jargon appropriate to the times. World War II produced a bunch of clever, and often colorful terms. Here are just a few for your enjoyment. In acronyms where the “F” appears, I have substituted “Fouled” for the more vulgar term. If you have some others, feel free to comment. Two rules: Keep it clean and make it appropriate to the WW II time frame.
Applesauce – Expletive
Anchor clanker -Sailor
Are you rationed? – Are you going steady?
Armored cow – Canned milk
Army banjo - shovel
Bags of mystery - Sausage
Bathtub – Sidecar for a motorcycle
Bupkis – Zero, Nothing
Canned morale – A movie
Cat’s beer - Milk
Cheaters - Sunglasses
Chrome-dome – Baldhead
Cook with gas – To do something right
Cookie – Cute Girl
Cupid’s itch - VD
Dead hoofer – Poor dancer
Devil’s piano -Machine gun
FUBAR – Fouled up beyond recognition
Gams – Legs
G.I. Jesus - Chaplain
Going fishing = looking for a date
Hen fruit – Eggs
Horsefeathers – Expletive
Khaki wacky – Boy crazy
Licorice stick - Clarinet
Moo and goo - Pancakes and syrup
Motorized freckles – Insects
Peepers - Eyes
Share cropper – Promiscuous woman
SOS – “Stuff” on a shingle
SNAFU – Situation normal all fouled up
Snap your cap – Get angry
Stompers – Shoes

Thursday, October 5, 2017

In CHASING DRAGONS ( and THE LAST RAJAH (, co-pilot Edwina "Eddie" Watt is a former WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Their mission was to free male pilots for combat roles by employing qualified female pilots to ferry aircraft from factories to military bases and to tow drones and aerial targets. Each WASP candidate already had a pilot's license. They were trained to fly "the Army way" by the U.S. Army Air Forces at Avenger Fie...ld in Sweetwater, Texas. More than 25,000 women applied for the WASP, and fewer than 1,900 were accepted. After completing four months of military flight training, 1,074 of them earned their wings and became the first women to fly American military aircraft. WASP were stationed at 122 air bases across the U.S., assuming numerous flight-related missions, and relieving male pilots for combat duty. They flew sixty million miles of operational flights from aircraft factories to ports of embarkation and military training bases. They also towed targets for live anti-aircraft artillery practice, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo. Women in these roles flew almost every type of aircraft flown by the USAAF during World War II. Pictured here is Elizabeth Gardner in a B-26 Marauder. Change her hair to blonde and she could be Eddie!

Friday, September 22, 2017

In CHASING DRAGONS, Duke Kellogg explains to his co-pilot Edwina “Eddie” Watt the legend of Mag Check Charlie. This legend was born on Wake Island (where I initially heard the story in 1971.) During WWII, pilots transiting Wake were told of a 15-foot tiger shark named Mag Check Charlie. Before I tell you how the story goes, I need to give you a little background.

An aircraft piston engine differs from an automobile engine primarily in its ignition system. An automobile has one spark plug per piston, an aircraft engine has two…a left and a right. This is done for redundancy.  As long as either is working, the engine runs fine. All the left spark plugs are run off the left magneto and all the right spark plugs off the right. Magnetos are electric generating devices that are mounted on the engine. As long as the engine is turning they work. This is unlike a generator on a car. If the belt breaks or the generator fails, the engine stops. That won’t do in an airplane.

Prior to takeoff, the pilot checks each magneto system by switching one off at a time. If the opposite magneto is working, the engine runs fine, but at a slightly lower RPM. He repeats for the second magneto.

Wake Island is about two miles long…about the same length as the runway. Legend has it that Mag Check Charlie would cruise around the engine run-up area and listen to the magneto check. If the engine sounded rough, he would swim around to the departure end and wait for dinner to drop in! Charlie was out of luck with the advent of the jet engine…they don’t have magnetos.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Here are Betty and Veronica from the Archie Comic book series. The engines on the "Deuce", a Lockheed Lodestar featured in the popular action novels CHASING DRAGONS and THE LAST RAJAH , were named after these two ladies. Betty was on the right wing. Veronica, the troublemaker, was on the left. If you'd like a fun read check out either on Amazon. If nothing else, stop by and check out the reviews. All those folks can't be wrong!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

One of the greats of aviation history and the role model for Edwina "Eddie " Watt in CHASING DRAGONS and THE LAST RAJAH. She disappeared July 2, 1937 in the South Pacific. Recent claims of her survival have been debunked. She was the ultimate feminist by example.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Great Books at a Great Price! 

Don't miss this opportunity!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

It's here, May 27, 2017!!!

In the post-war South Pacific, pilot Duke Kellogg, co-pilot, Edwina “Eddie” Watt, and flight mechanic Nick Minetti, once again, find themselves up to their necks in mystery and intrigue. A harrowing emergency landing on a search and rescue mission leaves the crew of “The Deuce” stranded in a remote rain forest in central Borneo. There they must contend with treachery, headhunters, and a rogue Japanese patrol. Will they find the missing heir to the Rajah’s throne? Will they solve the mystery of the blue diamond? Will they escape with their lives? With time running out and the odds stacked against them, the crew must use all their skills to survive their search for The Last Rajah