Wednesday, October 30, 2013

30 October 2013 On the nose

Cassi Creek:  Nose art on military aircraft is a rather unique form of graffiti that reached its pinnacle during WWII, lingered through the Korean War, and was nearly extinct by the end of the Vietnam War.  It was particularly apparent on heavy bomber, medium bomber, and fighter airframes.  It was a means of personalizing the aircraft for the men who flew and those who crewed and maintained them. 
          Much of the WWII work took the form of pin up images paired with suggestive or double entendre names.  Other names came from popular music, girlfriends and wives, and hometowns.   
By the time we were engaged in VietNam, such graffiti was rapidly becoming politically incorrect.  I can recall only 4 or 5 helicopters that carried nose art
The links below lead to several on-line collections of nose art.  While it may seem juvenile and/or offensive, it was an important morale booster for the aircrews.  Have fun looking through it while you can.  The remnants of nose art on thousands of planes are disappearing almost as rapidly as our WWII vets.

Note the number of bombing missions flown by Sugar's Blues

These pin up logos evolved into many forms of advertising for American products after WWII ended.  See also Vargas Girls.

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