"Pat Nelson - Aces of Test Pilots" Front (above) and Back (below) Covers
*dimensions: 3.6" wide, 4.5" tall, 1.4" thick
Do you remember the scene in A Christmas Story where the kids Ralphie's the classroom all wear fake teeth and the teacher, Mrs. Shields, collects them and tosses them into her desk drawer? That drawer is filled with many formerly confiscated items, including a copy of "Pat Nelson: Ace of Test Pilots." Its copyright is 1937, by the Whitman Publishing Company, in Racine, Wisconsin (part of "The Big Little Book" series*). Written and illustrated by Dougal Lee, the story is about a daring young pilot who is regarded by his peers as one of the best test pilots and racing pilots in the country. Pat's life is one of tragedy and victory. His father was killed during a robbery that also left his youngest brother, 'The Kid,' paralyzed from a bullet wound, and his other brother missing after being absconded by the gang of thugs. Pat's life is equally dedicated to help The Kid get the medical procedure need to help him walk again (a la Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, by Dickens) and to being the best pilot ever to take to the skies.
Pat Nelson: Ace of Test Pilots appeals to me from many aspects. As my AirplanesAndRockets.com website attests to, I have been a lifelong lover of aircraft of all types. As my RFCafe.com website attests to, I have been a lifelong lover of electronics of all types. Furthermore, A Christmas Story has been my 2nd favorite (behind It's a Wonderful Life) Christmas movie because the trials and tribulations of Ralphie are a lot like my own during childhood, and the story takes place in the 1930s (one of my favorite decades in history). Pat's crippled brother, The Kid, happens to be an "expert radio Ham" (license number W-103) who is constantly in contact with Pat when he's in the air (call sign Flight-5), helping to solve crimes and passing important messages to ground crews. He (The Kid) was "a true member of that great clan of radio amateurs who never leave their post when danger threatens."
If you are a fan of A Christmas Story, you might also enjoy of page on the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun
: "An official Red Ryder carbon action 200 shot Range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time."
Pat Nelson is employed by the Stratosphere Airplane Company to help test and then competitively fly the 'Silver Shadow' pylon racer in contests like the Reno Air Races. The Mob tries repeatedly to thwart his efforts by sabotaging the airplane, kidnapping, having him falsely jailed, and making direct attempts on lives. A top-notch, mysterious G-Man known only as 'U-9' is summoned to assist as part of the FBI's organized crime stopping program. The 425 pages are packed with excitement and intrigue, and as with all good stories, there's a surprise ending! If you're lucky, you might be able to find a copy of Pat Nelson: Ace of Test Pilots on eBay.
"Pat Nelson - Aces of Test Pilots" Title Page and Table of Contents
"Pat Nelson - Aces of Test Pilots" with 'The Kid' Operating His Ham Radio
"Pat Nelson - Aces of Test Pilots" with 'The Kid' Operating His Ham Radio (more)
"Pat Nelson - Aces of Test Pilots" The Stratosphere Airplane Company
Posted December 23, 2012