A first collection of stories by a veteran of the air war in the Pacific in World War II, now in his late 70s, was bought by Neil Nyren at Putnam. It's The Pilots by James Spencer, who was a bombardier in the Pacific war and whose linked stories, about three pilots, make a kind of novel about that conflict. Agent Nat Sobel of Sobel Weber Associates, who made the U.S. rights sale, said the price, which was undisclosed, set a record at the agency for a first story collection which is also by its oldest author to publish a first book. Several of Spencer's stories have appeared in literary magazines, and one was published recently in Best American Short Stories. He is currently adding one more story to the collection, and Nyren plans to publish next winter.