War Gum: "Japanese Machine-gun Enemy Air Pilot"
War Gum: "Japanese Machine-gun Enemy Air Pilot" (No. 107)
Text on reverse of card: "On March 15, 1938, Japanese claimed the capture of the first Russian aviator since the conflict started in China. The capture was announced almost at the same time the Tokio War Lords issued an order to Jap pilots to machine gun 'enemy aviators' who attempt to escape with parachutes, indicating that the Japanese were worried by the Chinese air forces being newly strengthened by foreign planes. The successful Japanese air encounter took place in an air raid over Wuhu on the Yangtze when a Chinese plane manned by Russians was shot down in a dog fight. One of the Soviet aviators landed safely after bailing out. The other two were burned to death or were machine-gunned in air as they attempted to save themselves; reports differ. From Hankow the Chinese issued a statement to the effect that 27 Jap airmen had been killed, 422 wounded and 20 captured since the outbreak of hostilities.
To know the HORRORS OF WAR is to want PEACE. This is one of 240 True Stories of Modern Warfare. Save to get them all and compete for 1000 Cash Prizes. Ask your dealer. Copyright 1938, GUM, INC., Phila. Pa. Printed in USA"
"Bubble-gum cards emerged from their wrappers, smelling of powdered sugar, in comic-book colors with armies and soldiers, tanks and planes, blood and gore...There was a message on each to justify their acquisition to the parents who provided the pennies: "To know the HORRORS OF WAR is to want PEACE." We kids hardly noticed....
A curious, comic-book war survives on the cards, the dream visions of gum-company copywriters. Whether the scenes were gruesome or glorious, the colors were always as bright as the outlook for victory. The enemy was always vicious and often cowardly, while our side was always brave and fought like heroes."
Stanley Weintraub, "The Bubble Gum Wars," in MHQ
Courtesy of Carl Sheeley