Captain Midnight

The alias of Captain Jim Albright (Richard Webb), a private citizen and leader of “The Secret Squadron” who battled mobsters and other enemies of freedom on the aviation adventure CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT/CBS/1954-56.

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Albright received his nickname during WWII while as a young American pilot he returned to base after completing a dangerous mission just as the church steeple clock struck twelve midnight. The Captain’s code sign is SQ1.

Based at a hidden mountain laboratory, The Secret Squadron was formed to combat evil, especially the Red Menace (Communism) so prevalent in the early 1950s. The SS tracked down missing nuclear scientists and freed hostages from enemy agents.

captain-midnight-jim-albright-secret-squadron-richard-webb-headquarters

“On a mountaintop high above a large city stands the headquarters of a man devoted to the cause of freedom and justice, a war hero who has never stopped fighting against his country’s enemies, a private citizen who is dedicating his life to the struggle against evil men everywhere…Captain Midnight!” — Opening Narration

Members of the Secret Squadron included:

  • Sid Melton as Ichabod “Icky” Mudd, the Captain’s trusty mechanic who maintained the sleek jet fighter known as the Silver Dart. Icky’s code sign is SQ2.
  • Olan Soulé as Aristotle “Tut” Jones, an eccentric scientist. His code sign is SQ3.

Text from a 1956 Ovaltine TV Commercial

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Captain Midnight: And now boys and girls, here is what you get when you join the Secret Squadron. This membership card with your very own Secret Squadron number. This official Secret Squadron manual, and this combination badge and decoder.

Look here’s how the decoder works . I’ll give you a two word clue. The second word is in our secret code. The first word is TEST. Now here is the secret code word. Write down these numbers: 18,17,20,3,4,18. Now set your secret decoder like this for code A3. Then decode this important clue to next weeks adventure.

If you don’t have your decoder badge, here’s how you can get one for your very own. First get a jar of the official Secret Squadron drink, delicious chocolate-flavored Ovaltine, the food drink for rocket power.

Then cut out the wax paper disk that covers the Ovaltine jar, and send that disk with your name, your address to me. Captain Midnight, Box P Chicago 77, ILL.

That’s all. Send no money. It’s free to every boy and girl who joins the Secret Squadron. And when you receive your secret decoder badge, membership card with your very own Secret Squadron number and 12-page manual, you’ll be a full fledge member.

Remember, get your Ovaltine, the food drink for rocket power. Hot or cold, it’s got what it takes to help you be a leader in your gang. So everyday, drink instant Ovaltine.”

Note: TV’s Captain Midnight (Richard Webb) died at the age of 77 from a self-inflicted wound on June 10, 1993 at his home in Van Nuys, California. He left a note saying he was despondent over a chronic respiratory problem (People Weekly 6/28/93).

The Captain Midnight character was created by Robert Murit and Wilfred Moore. It originated on radio on September 30, 1940 on station WGN in Chicago. Ed Prentiss, Bill Bouchey and Paul Barnes played Captain Jim “Red” Albright, (Captain Midnight) on radio.

The Captain Midnight TV program opened with a jet plane coming in for a landing followed by the appearance of an heroic figure dressed in aviators uniform who addressed the audience with this important message: “Hello, Secret Squadron members. We’ll get right to our thrilling story in a moment, but first let me tell you how Ovaltine (a breakfast cereal) builds strength and health…”

captain-mignight-jet-jackson

When the TV series went into syndication Captain Midnight’s name was changed to JET JACKSON.

See also “Captain Midnight/Secret Squadron” – Ovaltine Commercial (1955) @ You Tube

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Aviation, Espionage

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