AIRPLANES GALLERY
After World War I, Edward Shenton began writing and drawing scenes of current aircraft begining with the first plane to fly the US mail across the country. As World War II came on he also wrote and illustrated several books that captaured the excitement of these young pilots.

Click on thumbnail to see a larger image.

The 1917 Curtis "Jenny" - JN-4D - portrays a typical woman who trained army air cadets for World War I and later carried mail. "The Jenny is remembered with affection by wartime pilots. In reality it was nothing more than a good training plane. It was slow, heavy and under powered."

Couriers of the Clouds by Edward Shenton, 1930

"The history of the dirgible has been a tragic one. After the loss of the Akron and Shenandoah the most spectacular was the horrible explosion of the Hindenburg in 1937 at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

The New Alphabet of Aviation by Edward Shenton, 1941

"The Jap carrier was close now, a vast bul k, spitting up smoke and shells. Ensign 'Tex' Gay felt the plane leap as the torpedo drop away. He flung his ship into a desparate turn just missing the carrier...as he heard the torpedo strike."

On Wings for Freedom by Edward Shenton, 1942

"Battleships all carry one or more planes, mostly for observation. This seaplane is launched by a catapult and may also carry a torpedo. On return the pilot lands on the sea and is recovered by a derrick."

New Alphabet of Aviation by Edward Shenton, 1941

"There was a sudden break in the storm above Secret Pass and the lost plane that had crashed about five hundred feet below the mountaintops was seen. He saw the momentary figure of a man, upright and waving. How could he get to him?"

Couriers of the Clouds by Edward Shenton, 1930

"The first plane to carry mail from Philadelphia to Washington DC was in the summer of 1918. Flying it was Lt. J. C. Edgerton... 'I caught a glipmse of the Potomac River, when suddenly a burst of cold wind, edged with hail and rain struck the plane. I gave the old Jenny everything she had and climbed to 10,000 feet and was in it for an hour... but I got through.'"

Couriers of the Clouds by Edward Shenton, 1930

"'Flaming coffins' became the nickname for the planes recently put into service. Wesley L. Smith who had flown the mail since 1918 found himself high in the air with his plane afire. By superb skill he cooly side-slipped his ship so the flames were blown away from him and, although he crashed, he escaped alive."

Couriers of the Clouds by Edward Shenton, 1930

"The P-40 had one advantage, it oculd take a lot of punishment and survive; the Jap Zeros were fragile. 'Buzz' Wagner, America's number one pursuit pilot lined up his target.  His attack was deadly and swift and, if possible, out of the sun."

On Wings for Freedom by Edward Shenton, 1942

click to return to Illustrations Gallery