- Just because I tried to do something besides loaf, and flopped, they make a national issue of it! But by golly, I'LL SHOW THEM!!
- — Del Van Dyne src
Del Van Dyne was the leader of the Death Patrol.
Del Van Dyne not only owned his own Boeing 307 Stratoliner but also worked as a pilot for Universal Airlines, based at Laguardia Field. In 1941 he got fired from his airline job, and on the same day got hijacked by five escaping convicts, all of whom claimed to be ace pilots, and who ordered him to fly to Boston. He instead flew to England, and along the way persuaded these desperadoes to fight for the R.A.F., as "a foreign legion of the air."
The big unarmed transport arrived over England during a Nazi bombing raid, and the escapees managed to destroy one Nazi bomber by using an improbable tactic: dropping two oil drums onto it, in mid-air. Some R.A.F. officers saw this, and were very anxious to recruit all six of these Americans. Under RAF sponsorship, and Van Dyne's leadership, the ragtag team organized itself as the Death Patrol, and adopted striped, gray-and-black uniforms, as a symbolic gesture. After their first few adventures, the team obtained individual, unique, custom-built warplanes.
Those first few adventures took a heavy toll, losing one member in each of them. Del Van Dyne himself was apparently killed, by a French assassin, in a case of mistaken identity; he was impersonating Adolf Hitler at the time. He later was found to be alive, and was rescued from a Naziland hospital by his Death Patrol team.
- Boeing 307 Stratoliner, donated to RAF
- Uniquely-designed individualistic fighter-type plane
- Del Van Dyne appeared in the Death Patrol series in Military Comics. The series ran from Military Comics #1 to Modern Comics #52, but Del Van Dyne dropped out of it after issue #48.
- Early in this series, Germany was called "Naziland". In other Quality Comics of this pre-WWII period, it was called "Dunland", "Hunland", "Kampfland", "Jarmania", and quite a few other obvious names.
- Del Van Dyne smoked a pipe.
- Del Van Dyne's birthday is April 29th, the same as Emperor Hirohito's.
- 35 Appearances of Del van Dyne (Quality Universe)
- 2 Images featuring Del van Dyne (Quality Universe)
- 5 Quotations by or about Del van Dyne (Quality Universe)
- Character Gallery: Del van Dyne (Quality Universe)