Squadron/Signal Publications, 1993. — 65 p. — ISBN 0897472918.Nose art — there is no definition for it in any Webster's Dictionary, but just ask any air or ground crewmen from any war since the Second World War and they'll tell you not only what it is, but what it meant to them. It was a way of personalizing a piece of machinery that you had to depend on and it appeared on almost everything that was used in combat, from aircraft to tanks. Most of the really beautiful and/or outrageous art appeared on aircraft. In the Second World War. nose art was divided into four basic categories: home, patriotism or the war. music and sex. Aircraft were named after pieces of that far away, lost item — home. "Bainbridge Belle" and "Jersey Jerk" were examples of this. Patriotism and the war caused many a flourish with the paint brush. Hitler and Tojo were often seen being battered about on the sides of B-17s and B-24s. The music of World War 2 also led to a great many names like "Pistol Packin' Mama" which was used on almost every fighting aircraft type in the war. But undoubtedly, it was the magical three letter word SEX that led to most of the art work. Naked and almost naked women were painted on every type of aircraft, in almost every air force. Some of it was beautifully done like "Cherokee Strip" and "Sugar Puss." Some of it quite vulgar, such as the 8th Air Force B-17s "Mount 'N Ride" or "Rosie's Sweat Box." Quite a bit of the nose art was copied from Vargas paintings that appeared in Esquire magazine, the World War 2 equivalent to Playboy. The Vargas girls were never named in the magazine but carried every conceivable name when repeated on the aircraft. Nose art became so popular that many times the aircraft name and art was also painted on the crews flight jackets, especially in the 8th Air Force. But when war broke out in Korea, the American public, the GIs and the professional soldiers were all a little confused. Very few people knew why we were in Korea in the first place. Consequently, the nose art reflected this confusion. Oh sure, there still was the ever present subject of SEX and this was quite apparent on the B-29s that took the war deep into North Korea. The 19th BOMB GROUP based at Kadena was even subjected to censorship on their aircraft. It seems that the base commander at Kadena had his wife living with him on base, and she got upset at seeing all that nudity on the nose of the aircraft. Never mind that the crews were laying their lives on the line each and every day. against a very formidable foe. She put the pressure on her husband and he ordered that all nose art be "clothed."
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