Jet Jackson, Flying Commando
aka Captain Midnight, starring the late Richard Webb as Captain Jim Albright.
Page updated 28th June, 2012.
Richard Webb's books
Links and Radio Club

Jim Albright was the youngest lad to serve in the US services in the 1930s. He joined at the age of 14, passing himself off as 18. This only came to light decades after WW2 had finished. Korea saw him serving in the air force, promoted to 'Captain', and he would stay thus for the remainder of his service time. This was despite offers of promotion. Jim had no desire to 'fly' a desk, when he could be in the air.

During Korea he organised tours of the war theater by movie stars and other celebrities. Often he appeared under assumed names, as was the case during the filming of 'Starlift' in 1951.

At about the same time he was instrumental in setting up the 'Secret Squadron', but that's another story.

Artwork (C) copyright
Phil Cornell
Y S Hintz
Steve Scholz

Click on 'Starlift' photos
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'Jet Jackson' on DVD

Fan are welcome
to contact John
 

Richard Webb was born in Bloomington, Illinois, on 9th September, 1921. He went on to Brown University and Bible School, with the intention of becoming a clergyman. He came to the realisation that he lacked the calling, left and joined the US Army, serving two years in Panama.

In the late 30s he enrolled in a dramatic school with the intention of entering the movies. A Paramount scout had him cast in 'I Wanted Wings' in 1941, opposite Veronica Lake, who made the bigger impression.

Both Richard, and William Holden, who appeared together in 'The Remarkable Andrew', were posted on special duty with the First Motion Picture Unit for the duration of WW2. Richard rose to the rank of Major.

"An omnibus crime-fighting agency" is how Alec McNeil described the Secret Squadron in his own TV omnibus, 'Total Television' (Penguin Books).

Open to anyone who promised to uphold the motto 'Justice through Strength and Courage', the Secret Squadron may have been one of the first non-discriminatory organisations in the world. Members were supplied with a 2-way radio and given consecutive call numbers, prefixed by the 'SQ' symbol.

More to follow as it comes to hand. Are there any original members still around? We can but wonder and would like to hear from any.

FAQ

What happend to
the Silver Dart?

When did the
Secret Squadron
cease to exist?

Was Ikky really
as dumb as he seemed?

We hope to answer these
and other questions.

Captain Jim Albright's famous aircraft, the Silver Dart, was based on the equally famous Douglas Skyrocket, the very first Revell plastic kit I was given, back in the 1950s. There were 3 versions of this aircraft, the first of which was powered by a turbojet engine. The later, better-known versions, were rocket-powered and launched from a B29 mother ship and used for experimental flights into the upper atmosphere. The Silver Dart was based on the first version, but powered by a top-secret Rolls Royce jet engine, the grateful gift of the British Government for a special mission that Jim flew during the late 1940s. It is believed that the aircraft was assembled in Australia and flown back to the West Coast of the US in a record-breaking but then secret flight.

FAQ

Q. Why the different titles on different prints, namely Captain Midnight and Jet Jackson, Flying Commando?

A. The original or network version Captain Midnight was sponsored by Ovaltine who owned the title rights and had since the original radio show went to air. Because Ovaltine didn't take up sponsorship of the reruns, the title was changed to Jet Jackson, Flying Commando and all dialogue references to Captain Midnight overdubbed Jet Jackson. In Australia Jet Jackson, Flying Commando was the only version seen until David Lyle screen an original print of Captain Midnight on his documentary series, The Golden Years of Television in the late 1980s - early 1990s. There are web sites which cover Captain Midnight - its development into the radio series and beyond, This Australian page will usually look at the series under the Jet Jackson banner as that's how this Aussie remembers it. With affection; besides which, Jet Jackson, (pause - ) FLYING COMMANDO always had (and has) a superior ring to it!

Q. When did the series originally screen in the US?

A. 4th September, 1954 to 12th May, 1956.

Q. What was the call sign of THE SILVER DART?

A. 7700 (#2 Electronic Killer)

Q. Who was JET JAXON?

A. Jet Jaxon - Whirlwind on Wheels was a Jaguar XK-120 racing driver invented by author Edward Home-Gall. His adventures appeared weekly in the English storypaper THE CHAMPION during the 1950s.

Q. Harlan Ellison fiction connection?

A. Harlan Ellison's short story collection SHATTERDAY (Houghton Mifflin, 1980) includes the brilliant JEFFTY IS FIVE, about a little boy who is always 5 years of age, listens to CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT radio adventures, and receives a decoder in the mail. Find the book and read the story!

A final salute from Richard, during his interview with David Lyle.
Richard remained close friends with Sid throughout his life.


Steve Scholz design

Y S Hintz design

Gleaned from eBay; a genuine membership card for 1957 and below, the centrespread from the accompanying code book.

Also spotted on eBay, far left and above. A mint decoder from 1957 which went for a lot of money!

Links to mysterious Australian SQ publication
To return to this main page, use BACK button on your browser.

Sq2222.jpg | Sq2223.jpg | Sq4dasha.jpg | Sq4dashb.jpg

3 MISCELLANEOUS
PHOTOS FROM
COLLECTION

1

2

3

References

Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide, Signet, ISBN 0 451 19288 5
Total Television, by Alex McNeil, Penguin Books, ISBN 0 14 01.5736 0
Whatever Became of ...? (9) by Richard Lamparski, Crown, ISBN 0 517 55541 7

Two of Richard's books; on Hollywood, and reincarnation.

   

Links

IMDb page with links to series cast and crew
'Captain Midnight' the radio program and beyond
Build yourself a Decoder - the Mystery of Cyphers
DVD Set - Episode titles available plus other 50s Series


Page established 22nd December, 2006.

All illustrations from the page author's collection.
No infringement of copyrights is intended and will be cheerfully acknowledged if advised otherwise.