Me auld buddy Dave must have been an influence - he wrote accompaniments to his daily dish of newspaper funnies that led me to, among others things, the music of Al Bowlly (go to Pandora and search for his channel), and a virtual cabinet of curiosities so varied and entertaining that I'd spend hour upon hour chasing the tendrils of information attached to them.
His latest prod toward web surfing was a reference to an American fighter pilot (fighter and pilot) named Frank Glasgow Tinker, who flew in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side. A friend of Hemingway, among others, his was an action-packed life that ended in an apparent suicide at the age of 29, a result of too much boozing and PTSD. Google him and read the several biographical sketches.
The Polikarpov I-16 "Mosca" flown by Tinker and used by him to shoot down the first ME-109b ever lost in combat
The web snags time and wrings the life out of it. Beware.