The Adventures of Smilin' Jack was an aviation comic strip that first appeared October 1, 1933 in the Chicago Tribune and ended April 1, 1973. After a run of 40 years, it was the longest running aviation comic strip. The strip was created by 27-year-old cartoonist and aviation enthusiast Zack Mosley, who had previously worked on the Buck Rogers and Skyroads strips.
In 1943 Universal created a Smilin' Jack movie serial. Although the serial was based on the strip very little of the original comic strip was used and a new character, Tommy Thompson, was created by Universal. The similarity to Tommy Tomkins, of the Tailspin Tommy stories, may imply a crossover of sorts. The plot of the the 13 part series is as follows:
In 1941, an American aviator, 'Smilin' Jack' Martin wishes to resign as an advisor to the Nationalist Chinese Army in order to return to the United States to enlist as an aviator in America's military buildup prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. He is delayed when the Chinese discover that the neutral Tibetan like Mandon "Province" contains a secret road from India to China crucial for the Allied war effort. Determined to obtain the secret for themselves, or equally determined to have the secret destroyed is the Japanese espionage organisation "The Black Samurai" and the German intelligence agent Fräulein von Teufel who masquerades as an American newspaper reporter. (Source: wikipedia.org)