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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen

Subject Source: Local sources
Scope Note: The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen was a radio serial program created by writers Bob Burtt and Bill Moore (who both served as pilots in World War I) for WDAF-FM in Kansas City, Missouri. The program aired in 15-minute episodes, and was broadcast from 1933 to 1937. Jimmie Allen was voiced by WDAF producer John Frank (who was 40 years old).

The initial script revolved around Jimmie Allen, a 16 year old telegraph messenger at the Airways Station near Kansas City, Missouri. Allen is asked by a suspicious man to send a coded telegram, and shortly after Allen finds out that a plane carrying a million dollars is on its way to a bank in Kansas City. Allen figures out that the telegram is part of a plan to hijack the plane, so he teams up with his pilot friend "Speed" Robertson to save the money. In the aftermath of this first adventure, Jimmie Allen decides to attend flying school and numerous radio adventures followed.

A Jimmie Allen Flying Club was also created, and children could apply to join at various gas stations around the country (Skelly Oil was the original sponsor of the show, but Richfield Oil Company served as the primary West Coast sponsor). Members received a variety of items, including a set of wings, a membership emblem, a "personal" letter from Jimmie Allen, a "secret service whistle," and a Jimmie Allen album. The club newspaper was sent to an estimated 600,000 listeners a week at its peak and Jimmie Allen Air Races were held in major Midwest cities. Sixteen year old Murray McLean played Jimmie Allen in the public appearances.

A revival of the show was attempted in the wake of World War II, but it only lasted from 1946-1947.

Sources and Further Reading:

"The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen."

Dunning, John. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Donald H. Irwin Jimmie Allen Flying Club Collection

Identifier: 1986-06-05
Abstract Roy Buckley was a member of the Jimmie Allen Flying Club during the 1930s. The collection contains Jimmie Allen Flying Club materials owned by Buckley, including a membership card, photomechanical prints, correspondence, newsletters, and assorted ephemera.

Jimmie Allen Flying Cadets Christmas Card

 Collection — Folder 1
Identifier: 2021-00-00-2
Content Description The Jimmie Allen Flying Cadets Christmas Card is a small collection consisting of a single item, a circa 1934 holiday greeting related to the Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen.

Philip McEleney Jimmie Allen Flying Club Collection

 Collection — Folder 1
Identifier: 2019-08-30
Content Description The Philip McEleney Jimmie Allen Flying Club Collection is a small collection consisting of materials from the Jimmie Allen Flying Club collected by McEleney as a child in the 1930s. The collection includes instructions for the Jimmie Allen Flying Club Non-Flying Scale Model Airplane Building Contest; a membership card signed by McEleney; correspondence from the Jimmie Allen Club and a blank sheet of Richfield Eagle letterhead; flight chart blueprints; and 28 issues of 'The Jimmie Allen Club...

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