Francis Joseph Terence Maloney was born in Mortlake, Surrey, on 20th April, 1917, the son of a Fleet Street printer. He attended the Richmond School of Art, and as a student joined the Communist Party. At the age of 20, he volunteered for the International Brigades, fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. In August, 1938, he survived a shrapnel wound to the chest at the battle of Ebro, returning to England later that year. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Corps of Signals, after D-Day seeing action in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He had married Dorothy Toms in 1943. After the war, in 1946, Maloney worked as a commercial artist, helping to design posters for London Underground and becoming art editor of Spain Today, which was produced to publicise Franco's repression of the Spanish people.
Maloney had a growing interest in astronomy and the possibilities of space travel. After setting up a 10-foot long telescope, with a ten inch mirror, in his garden in Kew, Surrey, he spent many hours observing the night sky. He joined the British Astronomical Association, and subsequently was made a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. In early 1950, Maloney was recruited by Marcus Morris to work on the (yet to be launched) Eagle magazine, and for a short time he joined Frank Hampson's 'Dan Dare' studio in Southport. Later, he drew a number of colour and black and white illustrations for an article on rocketry and space travel for Dan Dare's Space Book (Hulton Press, 1953). He produced a number of book covers for paperback science fiction novels before, from the mid-1950s, concentrating on becoming a writer/illustrator and book editor.
Maloney's first self-written-and-illustrated title was Other Worlds in Space, a children's guide to the planets. Coincidentally it was launched the same month as Sputnik 1, in October, 1957. His other titles included The Sky is Our Window, and A Dictionary of Astronomy. He edited for various publishers before retiring in 1981, when he moved with his wife to West Knighton, near Dorchester, where he died on 16th March, 2008, aged 90.
The illustration above is from the article 'The Life Story of a Rocket' and shows a captured V2 being lifted into position for a test firing at the U.S. Experimental Rocket Station at White Sands, New Mexico. (From Dan Dare's Space Book, Hulton Press, 1953)