Mick Mannock

Airplane photos from 1936-38

The Hall of Fame of the Air

An illustrated newspaper feature from 1935 - 1940

By , Mar. 2007. Updated April 11, 2012.

Up in my father's garage attic, along with unopened lawn mowers and fireplace andirons, we came across these cartoons he had saved for six decades --- the "Hall of Fame of the Air" (HFA). Every Sunday in the late 1930's, newspapers ran this cartoon feature, depicting the feats of legendary aces and early aviators. Next to each pilot, an airplane associated with him was shown.

Well-known American aviation artist Clayon Knight (1891 - 1969) created HFA. He was also the father of Hilary Knight, author of  "Eloise," the little girl who lived in New York's Plaza Hotel. Clayton Knight had served with a British fighter squadron in WWI. His artwork from the Depression era and World War Two typified the iconic, heroic art of the period, used in propaganda posters. In WWII, along with Billy Bishop, he helped to organize the Eagle Squadrons, volunteer American fighter pilots who flew with the RAF before Pearl Harbor.

The scans below show the development of the HFA itself. Beginning in 1935, the first weeks featured world-renowned aviators like Lindbergh, Earhart, and Doolittle. These early strips were also rather small, about nine by five inches. On June 23, in a feature on Raoul Lufbery, the strip introduced a new, larger format, now fourteen by seven, doubling its previous size. Aviation was big news in 1935! In the next month, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker's by-line appeared. Whether "America's Ace of Aces" wrote the pieces or not; his name added authenticity to the strip.  The Hall of Fame of the Air ran at least from 1935 to 1940. As the weeks wore on, into 1936, ever more obscure aviators graced its panels. My son read Lawrence Sperry's piece, which noted that he used to land his small airplane on the street. "Gee, it doesn't seem like someone had to do much to get into this Hall of Fame of the Air." My father's collection starts in February, 1935 and includes thirty-nine items, the last one dated September, 1936. From other web sources, I found a reference as late as March, 1940.  The comic strip was collected into this book, which occasionally can still be found.

In the scans, one can see taped corners, pin holes, and occasionally missing pilot sections; evidence of my Dad having cut up and tacked pictures to his wall or notebook. From the condition of the clippings, he was very fond of Jimmy Doolittle, and also the Northrop "all-metal high-speed" plane.

Date Pilot
(click for full-size image)
(click for full size image)
Feb. 17, 1935
Charles Lindbergh and Spirit of St. Louis, Ryan monplane
Charles Lindbergh
Spirit of St. Louis, Ryan monplane
Mar. 3, 1935
Jimmy Doolittle and Laird Racer, Harmon Trophy winner
Jimmy Doolittle
Laird racer
Mar. 24, 1935
Amelia Earhart and Lockheed Vega 5B
Amelia Earhart
Lockheed Vega
June 16, 1935
Clyde Pangborn and Boeing 247-D transport plane
Clyde Pangborn
Boeing 247-D
The large-format, 14 x 7, panels begin.
June 23, 1935
Raoul Lufbery, WW1 ace
French Voisin bomber of WWI
Raoul Lufbery
French Voisin bomber
June 30, 1935
Italian Ansaldo S.V.A. pursuit biplane n.a.
Ansaldo S.V.A. pursuit plane
July 7, 1935
Bernt Balchen
Fokker Trimotor, America Bernt Balchen
Fokker Trimotor
July 14, 1935
George Vaughn, American WWI ace
USAAC Curtiss O-1 Falcon observation plane
George Vaughn

George Vaughn 1989 newspaper obituary
Curtiss O-1 Falcon

US Army Air Corps observation plane
July 21, 1935
Capt. Dieudonne Costes
French Breguet 19, Question Mark
Capt. Dieudonne Costes
French Breguet 19 Super Bidon

"Point d'Interrogation" or "Question Mark"
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker's byline added.
July 28, 1935
Jack Frye
Northrop all-metal high-speed plane
Jack Frye
Northrop all metal high speed plane
Aug. 4, 1935
Lt. Col. Ralph Royce, 1st Pursuit Group
Boeing P-26 monoplane
Lt. Col. Ralph Royce
Boeing P-26
Aug. 11, 1935

Albert Ball, British ace of WWI
Sopwith Triplane, WWI  airplane
Capt. Albert Ball
Sopwith Triplane
Aug. 18, 1935
Col. Charles W. Kerwood, flier with Lafayette Escadrille
French Latecoere 26
Col. Charles Kerwood

An American who served with the French and Greek armies, as well as the Foreign Legion and the Lafayette Escadrille
French Latecoere 26

used by the Greek air force and as an ambulance plane
Sept. 1, 1935
Oswald Boelcke, German ace
Pfalz Scout D-3 airplane
Oswald Boelcke
Pfalz Scout D-III
Sept. 8, 1935
Frank Hawks, early aviator
Travelair Mystery Ship racing airplane
Frank Hawks
Travelair Mystery Ship
Sept. 15, 1935
Bert Hall, flier with Lafayette Escadrille
Maurice Farman pusher biplane of WWI
Bert Hall
Maurice Farman pusher biplane
Sept. 29, 1935
C.S. "Casey" Jones
Curtiss Hawk P-6
Casey Jones
Curtiss Hawk P-6
Oct. 13, 1935 Major Ernst Udet, German ace of WWI
Fokker D-VII, German biplane introduced in 1918
Major Ernst Udet
Fokker D-7
Oct. 20, 1935
Capt. Boris Sergievsky, Russian pilot
Sikorsky S-43 amphibian flying boat
Capt. Boris Sergievsky
Sikorsky S-43

Nov. 3, 1935
Major "Micky" Mannock, British ace of WWI
British Airco D.H.5 rotary engine scout plane
Edward 'Mick' Mannock
Airco D.H. 5

rotary engine scout plane
Nov. 17, 1935
Frederick Libby, American WWI ace
F.E. 2b pusher biplane
Capt. Frederick Libby
Bristol F.E. 2b

two-seater pusher biplane
Nov. 24, 1935
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Australian aviator
Lockheed Altair
Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith
Lockheed Altair
Dec. 1, 1935
James H. "Jack" Knight
Douglas biplane
James H. "Jack" Knight
Douglas M-2 biplane
Dec. 8, 1935
Col. Harold Hartney
English AVRO 504, early training airplane
Col. Harold Hartney
English AVRO 504

widely used biplane trainer
Jan. 5, 1936
Ernst Heil
Junkers Ju-52, widely used German transport plane
Ernst Heil
Junkers Ju-52
Jan. 12, 1936
Joseph Wehner
French SPAD XIII biplane, WWI fighter
Lt. Joseph Wehner
Jan. 19, 1936
Grover Loening Loening OL-5 amphibian
Grover Loening
Loening OL-5/OA-1

Feb. 2, 1936
Lawrence B. Sperry
Sperry "Messenger"
Lawrence B. Sperry

Sperry Messenger
Feb. 9, 1936
James Norman Hall
Bleriot-SPAD 91
James Norman Hall
Bleriot-SPAD 91
Feb. 16, 1936
Robert Loraine
D.H. 4
Robert Loraine

An English actor who learned to fly in the early days of aviation. He fought in the Boer War and World War One.
D.H. 4

An English two seater observation and bombing plane
Feb. 23, 1936
John Sutton
Burgess-Dunne, early tailless airplane
John Sutton
Burgess-Dunne tailless plane
Mar. 1, 1936
Alexander de Seversky, founder of Republic Aviation
Seversky BT-8, basic training plane
Alexander de Seversky
Seversky BT-8

basic training plane
Mar. 8, 1936
Billy Barker, Canadian ace of WWWI
Sopwith Camel, British biplane of WW1
Billy Barker
Sopwith Camel
Mar. 15, 1936
Jimmy James
early type Boeing Model 40 mailplane Jimmy James
Boeing Model 40

Aug. 23, 1936
Charles Scott
De Haviland 88 Comet
Charles W.A. Scott
De Haviland 88 Comet
Sept. 14, 1936
"Swanee" Taylor
Curtiss "Tanager"
Swanee Taylor
Curtiss Tanager
Jan. 30, 1938 Lt. Charles Bauch the Shenandoah airship
Lt. Charles Bauch
the Shenandoah airship
Oct. 15, 1939 Blanche Stuart Scott n.a.
Blanche Stuart site n.a.
Mar. 31, 1940 Homer Berry n.a.
Homer Berry n.a.
a few, undated airplane images
Capt. Elliot Springs
British S.E.5 Capt. Elliot Springs S.E. 5
Bleriot XI
Bleriot XI monoplane
Waco n.a.
Taper-wing Waco