The other model I built and flew in those days, rather than being a more-or-less flat balsa wood plane like the PEP offer, was a dimensional penny in the nose P-40 cut out of heavy card-stock paper adorned with a Flying Tiger motif and USAAF insignia. The model was a promotional offer through General Mills, their cereal Wheaties, and their hunkering down stud Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy.
(for larger image to read instructions, etc., click image)
The above two offers involved the P-40 and similar wartime aircraft. The fact that they flew was to be expected, because after all, they were airplanes. However, I had become taken by a comic book offer called a Flying Captain Marvel made similar in fashion to the above paper P-40. Captain Marvel was a man, yet he flew. The more I built and flew the flying Captain Marvel glider-type toy --- with a penny in its nose just like the Jack Armstrong P-40 --- the more intrigued I became. Here was a man, not a plane flying, but a man. In my young mind I could see no reason for such a thing not to be able to happen.
My Uncle often stated that he felt the reason for my fascination with flying and flying things went back to an incident that involved the fly over of a giant airborne object that I witnessed as a young boy. The object, of an unknown nature and an unknown origin and as large as a Zeppelin at over 800 feet in length, was seen by literally thousands of people along the coast of California barely three months into World War II. Known variously as the UFO Over L.A., The Battle of Los Angeles, etc., etc., or as I call it The Battle of Los Angeles: 1942 UFO. Even though the object was able to take over 1440 direct rounds of anti-aircraft fire and still escape unscathed, the incident is mostly forgotten now except by maybe myself and a few others. Actually, although the L.A. UFO no doubt had a major impact, I personally think what really capped my fascination regarding the ability to fly, flying machines, giant flying creatures, giant feathers, et al, that seemed to dominate in later life, was born from a germ initiated from building, flying, and watching the Captain Marvel flying toy.
FLYING CAPTAIN MARVEL
ZEN AND THE ART OF FLYING MEN
FLYING TIGERS AND MORE
THE BOY IN THE MAN REMEMBERS THE LEGEND
P-40 WARHAWK: PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.