Skip to main content

Three Hundred Solo Flying Hours Has Earned Gene Autry a Pilot’s License in America’s Air Forces. Now He’s Rarin’ to Go Overseas

<TWO DAYS’ leave from active duty at Luke Field, Arizona, and Mr. and Mrs. Autry head for their Melody Ranch home. Above: In ranch-house yard>

<REUNION: “Don’t be snooty, I love him, too,” says Robin Hood, the great golden Palomino, to Champion, Gene’s famous movie horse, left, as they pose above>

<EVEN on leave, Gene spends time boning up for service in Ferry or Transport Command. Den chair in ranch house is decorated with Texas longhorns>

Three Hundred Solo Flying Hours Has Earned Gene Autry a Pilot’s License in America’s Air Forces. Now He’s Rarin’ to Go Overseas

JOYOUS nickers echoed briefly over Melody Ranch recently when Gene Autry’s famous horse Champion and his great golden Palomino, Robin Hood, welcomed their master home on a flying two-day leave, crowded in at the end of Gene’s eleven-week tour of Army camps.

In those short forty-eight hours, Sergeant Gene Autry, brown as a nut and looking right as rain, revisited all his old haunts at the ranch, dropped in on old friends, tried to recapture the magic of trailway days with Champ and Robin Hood. The horses did their best to help by showing their master that they hadn’t forgotten a single trick that he had taught them. For animals are smart, and perhaps they sensed, even though they couldn’t put it in the words of humans, that this was Sergeant Gene’s last chance to say good-by to Melody Ranch and carefree days with them before he entered training as a flight officer in either the Air Transport or Ferry Command. A commercial pilot’s license, earned through over three hundred hours of solo flying, had won him that promotion.

Gene’s greatest thrill, since he has been in the Air Forces, was piloting the famous bomber Mary Ann, starred in Warner Brothers’ “Air Force,” from Louisville via New York and Florida to Chicago. Right now, Gene’s itching to get overseas. By the time this issue of MOVIE-RADIO GUIDE reaches the news-stands, he may be there.

There has been little publicity bally-hoo about Autry’s entrance into the air service, and comparatively few know that ever since he joined up, over a year ago, he has been working against time and the age limit permitting him to get into active service. In fact, all the chips for deferment were in Gene’s basket had he wanted to use them. Instead, he volunteered at the height of a phenomenally successful career. For the reason, as he stated simply, “I should hate to think, when it’s all over, that I didn’t have a part in it somewhere.”

Gene twirled the “ten-gallon” hat, which was his only headgear before he entered the service, as he made that statement, and his look said that he had no regrets, and no intention of trading his military cap for civilian clothes until the war was over. But the next moment he was laughing and telling us about his first experience with an Army barber. When he got his first G. I. haircut, the barber asked him if he wanted to keep his side-burns. “Sure, I want them,” Gene replied. “Okay,” said the clipper-wielder, “you can have ‘em.” With that he deftly clipped them off, put them into an envelope and handed them to Gene.

Talking with some of the men who have been stationed at Luke Field with Gene reveals the fact that he always has been considered “one of the boys,” and has worked harder than the average soldier in order to be sure that no one would think he was getting special privileges or any undue attention.
The eagerness with which Sergeant Gene greeted his horses on his brief leave at Melody Ranch naturally prompted the question as to whether he did any riding at Luke Field. “Not much time for that,” he replied.

As for his plans after the war, Gene sums them up like this: “IF I’m lucky enough to come out alive, I want to produce my own picture with my own company.”  Radio work? Well, it was under the guidance of the Wrigley Company that Gene achieved fame on the airlanes. When the fighting’s over, he’d like to renew that association.

But whatever Sergeant Autry does when peace comes again, we feel safe in saying, will be all right with his loyal followers. They haven’t forgotten him. In fact, his mail has increased twofold since he went into service. From England alone, the mail he receives has necessitated adding another member to his staff of three secretaries who do nothing but answer mail. Even across the big pond they haven’t forgotten the American cowboy who created a sensation in the British Isles and did more to cement American-British good-will than a whole corps of diplomats.

Yet, after almost ten years in the spotlight of unprecedented fame, Gene still keeps an active membership in the telegraphers’ union, still harbors the thought that he may wake up to find that his success was all a dream. “If that happens,” he says, “I can always go back to my old trade.”
Yes, this son of poor American dirt farmers and self-schooled telegrapher, whom the late Will Rogers told to go to New York and become singer, has more than proved the merits of the American way of life. American youth always has respected and loved him as an entertainer and a man. And Gene Autry—warrior – is still their idol.


Popular posts from this blog

"Was Jack Benny Gay?": The Amount of Weight In Jack Benny's Loafers

While doing research for an article I came across an unexpected search result: "Was Jack Benny Gay?" There was no more than the question as previously stated from the original poster, but the replies made for interesting reading, ranging from: Jack Benny Celebrating his 39th Birthday "Of course not, he was a well known skirt-chaser in his youth, and he was married to Mary Livingston for many years" "Sure he was, everyone in Hollywood with the possible exception of John Wayne was and is homosexual!" "Part of Benny's "schtick" was his limp-wristed hand-to-face gestures. He was not gay, but emphasized what his fans observed as "acting like a girl" for humor. While heterosexual Benny tried to gay it up, many really gay actors or comedians in those days tried to act as "straight" as they could muster." "... the idea behind his character was to have him a little on the ambiguous side. His charact


Old Time Radio Actor's Name, Character Played, Program Aaker, Lee Rusty Rin-Tin-Tin Aames, Marlene McWilliams, Lauralee Story of Holly Sloan, The Abbott, Judith Lawson, Agnes Aldrich Family, The Abbott, Minabelle Sothern, Mary Life of Mary Sothern, The Ace, Goodman Ace, Goodman Easy Aces Ace, Goodman Ace, Goodman Mister Ace and Jane Ace, Jane Ace, Jane Easy Aces Ace, Jane Ace, Jane Mister Ace and Jane Adams, Bill Cotter, Jim Rosemary Adams, Bill Hagen, Mike Valiant Lady Adams, Bill Roosevelt, Franklin Delano March of Time, The Adams, Bill Salesman Travelin' Man Adams, Bill Stark, Daniel Roses and Drums Adams, Bill Whelan, Father Abie's Irish Rose Adams, Bill Wilbur, Matthew Your Family and Mine Adams, Bill Young, Sam Pepper Young's Family Adams, Edith Gilman, Ethel Those Happy Gilmans Adams, Franklin Mayor of a model city Secret City Adams, Franklin Jr. Skinner, Skippy Skippy Adams, Franklin Pierce Emcee Word Game, The Adams, Guila Mattie Step M

Old Time Radio Shows "Transcribed" Explained

What does it mean on old time radio shows when you hear the show is "Transcribed"? During the Golden Age of Radio , "transcribed" programs were recorded and sent to stations or networks on a disc running at 16 rps. The discs are larger than 33 1/3s. "Transcribed" means it was recorded on a disc. "Recorded" was a term that was known, of course, but not used very much in Radio's Golden Age. During the era, it was also considered very important to distinguish which shows went out live and which were recorded (transcribed), so if a show was transcribed it was announced as such.  "Transcribed" was a colloquialism of the era. One reason they came up with it was because there was still enough skittishness about recording that "pre-recorded" sounded a little obscene inside the industry. CBS and NBC were live through the '30s and '40s. Yet line transcriptions were made for either the sponsor or its ad agency.