Adventures of the Flying Cadets

Adventures of the Flying Cadets is a 13-episode 1943 Universal film serial directed by Ray Taylor and Lewis D. Collins.[1]

Adventures of the Flying Cadets
Directed byLewis D. Collins
Ray Taylor
Produced byHenry MacRae
Written byHenry MacRae
StarringJohnny Downs
Robert Armstrong
Bobby Jordan
Ward Wood
William Benedict
Eduardo Ciannelli
Regis Toomey
Jennifer Holt
CinematographyWilliam A. Sickner (credited as William Sickner)
Edited byIrving Birnbaum
Carl Himm
Alvin Todd
Edgar Zane
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 7, 1943 (1943-09-07)
Running time
13 chapters (265 min)
CountryUnited States


Flying students Danny Collins (Johnny Downs), "Jinx" Roberts (Bobby Jordan), "Scrapper" McKay (Ward Wood) and "Zombie" Parker (William Benedict) are suspected of a series of murders perpetrated by engineer, Arthur Galt (Robert Armstrong) operating as a Nazi agent known as the Black Hangman. He has disposed of several people who accompanied him on an expedition which located lost helium deposits in Africa.

Galt has also imprisoned the remaining members of the expedition, Professor Mason (Selmer Jackson) and his daughter Andre (Jennifer Holt). Galt plans to sell the helium to Germany through a Gestapo ring headed by Kurt von Heiger (Eduardo Ciannelli). The four students, believing Galt to be an ally, fly with him to Africa as they hope to track down Von Heiger, thinking he is the Black Hangman, and clear their own names on the charges of murder. The four are pursued to Africa by U.S. Army Intelligence officer Captain Ralph Carson (Regis Toomey).

The boys survive a tailspin and upon landing, take Galt into custody but momentarily he convinces authorities that he is innocent. When he tries to contact other Nazi agents, he is revealed to be their ring leader. The cadets are vindicated and receive Air Force Wings as they prepare to join Allied pilots going off to war.

Chapter titles

  1. The Black Hangman Strikes
  2. Menaced by Murderers
  3. Into the Flames
  4. The Door to Death
  5. Crashed in a Crater
  6. Rendezvous with Doom
  7. Gestapo Execution
  8. Masters of Treachery
  9. Wings of Destruction
  10. Caught in the Caves of An-Kar-Ban
  11. Hostages for Treason
  12. The Black Hangman Strikes Again
  13. The Toll of Treason




Adventures of the Flying Cadets was Universal's last aviation serial. The first had been The Airmail Mystery in 1932.[3]



  1. Weiss and Goodgold 1973, p. 210.
  2. Cline 1984, p. 236.
  3. Cline 1984, pp. 30–31.


  • Cline, William C. "3. The Six Faces of Adventure". In the Nick of Time. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  • Cline, William C. "Filmography", In the Nick of Time. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  • Farmer, James H. Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation. Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: Tab Books Inc., 1984. ISBN 978-0-83062-374-7.
  • Weiss, Ken and Ed Goodgold. To be Continued ...: A Complete Guide to Motion Picture Serials. New York: Bonanza Books, 1973. ISBN 0-517-166259.
Preceded by
Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (1943)
Universal Serial
Adventures of the Flying Cadets(1943)
Succeeded by
The Great Alaskan Mystery (1944)
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