|Title:||The Scarlet Squadron|
|Publisher:||The Ace Publishing Co.|
|Tags:||adventure, aviation, fiction, flying, World War I|
“This is said to be George Rochester’s best story. I can well believe the statement as I found it as good as any Biggles tale. The story concerns Major Beverley, an agent sent in search of fellow British Secret Service agent Harry Davies, ‘The Flying Beetle’ who has disappeared in the region of the Gobi Desert. Rochester wastes no time in moving his hero across the world; it’s done in a few sentences. Davies had been despatched to China to investigate reports of a foreign power stirring up the locals to act against the Empire. This may read a touch too dramatic for the story itself is told in a matter of fact style for the greater part. There is little dated slang and events move along nicely with plenty of often underplayed action. One memorable event is an interrogation which Rochester points out was based on his own experience during the Great War. There isn’t as much aerial action as one would expect which is a pity.—editor, www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com/rochester.html. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Rochester, George E. (Ernest)
George Ernest Rochester (17 December, 1898—23 March, 1966) was a British author, writing under his own and several other names, including John Beresford, Frank Chaltam, Barton Furse, Jeffrey Gaunt, Eric Roche, and Hamilton Smith.
Rochester was extremely popular in the 1930s writing serial stories for British magazines such as The Boys’ Friend Library, Knockout, and Boy’s Own Paper with science fiction themes of mad scientists; or, stories based on Rochester's pilot experience as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. These pilot stories come close to science fiction, but typically restrict themselves to adventures in airplanes, often featuring air pirates.
His later career was inconspicuous and he fell silent after about 1954. Of interest in his post-War output is the Black Wing series comprising Black Wing (1951) and Secret Pilot (1954), featuring a young heroic cadet who has been fitted with a flying suit powered by an atomic engine.
Sources: http://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com; http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com
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