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Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Flew With Braddock

"I Flew With Braddock" was a long-running series of stories that originally appeared in Rover, the famous D. C. Thomson story paper, starting in 1952, although the action began in 1940 when bomber navigator George Bourne first met pilot Matt Braddock, a rough diamond who was born to fly. Braddock became one of the most popular characters in Rover, appearing in dozens of stories over a period of 14 years; his adventures (although reprinting earlier tales) continued to appear in Rover until 1972.

Braddock also had a long career in comics, appearing in Victor (1960-84) and Warlord (1974-75), often drawn (superbly) by Keith Shone.

I recently treated myself to a copy of the 1959 hardback volume I Flew With Braddock, having already picked up a copy of the 1962 paperback, Braddock and the Flying Tigers. Both books reprinted stories from Rover, the former from 1953-54 and the latter from 1956. Both books were credited to George Bourne, the fictional narrator of the stories, but I believe they were written by Gilbert Dalton, a prolific writer for the Thomson boys' papers who also penned many other popular series until his death in 1963. Other authors took up the series, amongst them the late Alan Hemus.

My cheap 'n' cheerful copy of I Flew With Braddock is in reasonable condition given its age (you can still find some bargains if you hunt around) but was missing the dust jacket. I mentioned this to a friend who, as luck would have it, had a copy with the d/j intact. One quick scan later, and my copy is now a little more complete... and as I had both covers scanned, I thought I'd share them.

(* artwork © D. C. Thomson Ltd.)


Dave Gibbons said...

I remember getting "I Flew With Braddock" on Christmas Day and immediately reading it from cover to cover.

On Boxing Day, I read it again!

Derek said...

The last 4 or 5 issues of Classics from the Comics from DC Thomson have had 2 page Braddock strips in them, great stuff indeed.

PeterP said...

I remember reading the Braddock stories when I was at school, I am now 75 and worked on military aircraft all my working life, thorougly enjoyed the stories and G.B. must be congatulated on the technical accuracy if not a sergeant telling a senior officer what to do.

Topcat said...

During the 50's, I lived in Darwin in he northern territory Australia. I could harldy wait for the Rover and the others such as Hotspur and Lion to come out each week and read the stories from cover to cover. I am now 70 and still remember with affection these stories as they took me away from my youth and flew the skies.

Tony Angel said...

I still have both books from when I was a lad. The I Flew with Braddock was a one off, but the Braddock and the Flying Tigers was one of four books released. Of the other three, one was a football story, another a cowboy story and the fourth was The Truth About Wilson, whih I allows regretted not buying. :(