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USO Canteen FReeper Style....Nose Art and Pin Ups go to War....May 8,2002
FRiends of the USO Canteen FReeper Style and Snow Bunny

Posted on 05/08/2002 3:01:00 AM PDT by Snow Bunny

The practice of personalizing military aircraft with custom artwork began a few years before WWI, and continues to this day. The peak of this practice occurred during WWII, when hundreds of thousands of aircraft were adorned with such artwork, generally painted near the nose of the aircraft... hence the term, "Nose Art."

Often, flight and ground crews wore a smaller version of the artwork painted on the backs of their jackets. Of course, the quality of the artwork varied, from crude to excellent, depending on the skill of the artist.

The sultry, wonderful world of Nose Art is as varied as the individuals who dressed up and decorated the aircraft and the feelings of the men who flew them into combat. Though this variety is staggering, common themes run through them all from World War II to the end of the Korean War when the genre all but left the scene.

Humor, pathos, slogans, girls, cartoons, nicknames, hometowns, girls, patriotism, dishing it to the enemy, warriors, girls, youthful bravado, girls...these transcended nationality as both Allies and Axis pilots went to war in their individually marked chariots. Men at war separated from home, family, loved ones and a familiar way of life sought ways to personalize and escape the very harsh business surrounding them. For the most part they thought about women, represented on the sides of aircraft in the most tender of ways to the most degrading. These men spent many hours longing for the tenderness a woman could bring to their lives...and for the sexual pleasure they could provide. Whether top level commanders ordered it off the aircraft or not, the men let their feelings flow onto their machines.

As their aircraft reflected, fighter pilots of both wars were busy strafing, bombing, hunting for aerial kills and protecting friendly aircraft, airfields, supply lines and troops. But the ground crews were just as busy trying to make sure the aircraft they had generously loaned to the pilot was on the line each day and ready to bring him home. There is never enough credit to be given to these men who worked ten hours for every hour the pilot flew.

The fame and glory attached to the pilot over shadowed his faithful ground ponders, but this usually did not prevent the enlisted men and officers from becoming devoted friends. Each needed the other to make the mission successful, and a pilot's crew would experience as much pride for a victory, knowing they were behind the guns as well. As a result, nose art was often the choice of the ground crew rather than the pilot. Some units made room for both by having the pilot's art on the left side and the ground crew's on the right.

Unique among fighters, the P-38 Lightning had three noses to adorn, allowing a separate canvas for the pilot, crew chief, armorer and radio man.

Pin Ups.......

The Professor is trying to give you a more scientific explanation of how this kind of cheesecake affected the average American soldier.

World War II pinups appeared in many forms, from fighter and bomber nose art and bomber jacket art to calendars, postcards, matchbooks, and playing cards. The term pinup was coined during World War II, when soldiers would "pin up" these idealized pictures on their barracks and foxhole walls, and sailors did the same to lockers and bulkheads. There were photos of Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth and Lana Turner, and hundreds of other calendar girls and Hollywood starlets whose only claim to fleeting fame was their image seared into a GI's brain from a ragged page of YANK or Esquire magazine.

"Servicemen soon began to create their own pinup art, decorating the noses of their planes and their bomber jackets with more primitive paintings of shapely babes."

Betty Grable as she appeared in a map-reading manual. This image was used to get pilots used to reading map grids.

An early centerfold featuring Dorothy Lamour, "... the No. 1 pinup girl of the U.S. Army."

Nose art was a popular morale builder, it ranged from tame cartoon characters to some really "RACEY" women.

It must be remembered that these men were young, at war, and homesick at times. The names of mothers, girlfriends and colorful limericks were often the inspiration for this unique art form. These pictures and captions are published here for historical value, exactly as they appeared on the planes.

TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: usocanteen
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To: Snow Bunny
Another excellent topic - thanks so much for your work! bttt
41 posted on 05/08/2002 5:09:17 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: Snow Bunny
Good morning to you, dear lady !

Your wonderful post brings to mind my visit to the USAF Museum at Wright Patterson in Dayton. I took my nieces & nephews who, of course, enjoyed the aircraft and all of the displays but explaining the nose art to the curious 8 and 9 year olds was the most challenging part of the trip.

Thanks for your interesting posts, Snow Bunny !

42 posted on 05/08/2002 5:12:02 AM PDT by Dukie
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To: teacup; g'nad; igotmine
BUMPin in the moring :)

Semper Fi!

43 posted on 05/08/2002 5:13:46 AM PDT by MudPuppy
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To: Snow Bunny

Go Devil Dogs!!!

Delta 21

44 posted on 05/08/2002 5:24:53 AM PDT by Delta 21
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To: larryjohnson
Hey LJ - were you able to snag the pic of Lt.Bush?
45 posted on 05/08/2002 5:28:46 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: Snow Bunny
A big ole bumpety bump for the Bunny.
46 posted on 05/08/2002 5:29:38 AM PDT by wattsmag2
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To: Snow Bunny
Just after the B-52s started daily ops over Afghanistan there was a pic of one with a NYPD logo on it and a pilot with a determined look on his face.

I hope it shows up here!

Excellent Thread!

47 posted on 05/08/2002 5:32:43 AM PDT by Delta 21
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To: USO Canteen

Inspired by this Vargas

For educational/historical purposes only.
48 posted on 05/08/2002 5:42:02 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: MudPuppy;Teacup;Snow Bunny
G'mornin' ladies. It's a beautiful Marine Corps day in Quantico...sun is shining, mild temps...the only downside was the gobblers weren't talkin' this mornin...what's up with that?

SB, thanks for the eye candy...reminds us red-blooded Americans what we're fightin' for...

You lovely ladies have a great day now....

49 posted on 05/08/2002 5:44:00 AM PDT by g'nad
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To: Snow Bunny
It should be a fun day and one the troops will love seeing. heh heh

You bet!
And you sure look especially dazzling this morning too! :O)

50 posted on 05/08/2002 5:58:33 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Snow Bunny
I'm so glad to see the nose art pictures!

If I'm not mistaken, I thought that nose art had been banned for quite some time. I'm not sure whan that policy was created, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were at the time that we had a gutless wonder draft dodging SOB staining the carpets in the Oval Office.

Thanks for keeping up your great spirit, Snow Bunny!


51 posted on 05/08/2002 6:15:03 AM PDT by Howie66
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To: Snow Bunny
Hi, Miss Bunny. My dad was with the Flying Tigers in WWII. My brother and I used to enjoy looking at his photos taken with the airplanes when we were little. We thought the planes were cool and the naked ladies painted on the noses were "interesting" to us.
52 posted on 05/08/2002 6:20:49 AM PDT by sultan88
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To: USO Canteen

TripleAce Bud Anderson's Website
53 posted on 05/08/2002 6:26:52 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: Snow Bunny;all
"Let's roll"

Aircraft nose art with the words "Let's roll!" -- America's two-word marching order in the fight against terrorism will be displayed on various aircraft throughout the Air Force as a way of recognizing the heroes and victims of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

The words were made famous by Todd Beamer, a passenger on Flight 93. Beamer, a 32-year-old businessman, Sunday school teacher, husband, father and hero, led other passengers in fighting terrorists for control of Flight 93 before it crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania. He was overheard on a cellular phone reciting the Lord's Prayer and saying "Let's roll!" as passengers charged the terrorists.

'Let's roll!' has served as a rallying cry for this nation as we go forward in our war on terrorism," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen.John P. Jumper. "We are proud to display this new nose art on our aircraft."

The passengers of Flight 93 won one of the first victories in the fight against terrorism. There has been much speculation about the terrorists' intentions for Flight 93, but it is widely believed that either the White House or the U.S. Capitol building was the intended target.

The nose art design depicts an eagle soaring in front of the U.S. flag, with the words "Spirit of 9-11" on the top and "Let's roll!" on the bottom. The design was created by Senior Airman Duane White, a journeyman from Air Combat Command's multimedia center at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

The Thunderbirds and other Air Force demonstration teams will apply this nose art on all aircraft, while major commands and wings will be authorized to apply the nose art to one aircraft of their choice.

For thousands of years, warriors, such as the Vikings, Zulus, Native Americans, samurai and many others, have followed a tradition of decorating their instruments of war. These instruments could include the warriors or their weapons. The Air Force has used nose art throughout much of its history, and for a variety of reasons.

The "Let's roll!" nose art is being used to continue the remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, spur on the nation's current patriotic spirit and pay tribute to the heroes and victims in the war against terrorism.

The art started to appear on Air Force aircraft around Jan. 15.

54 posted on 05/08/2002 6:28:06 AM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: Snow Bunny; Billie; kneezles; SpookBrat; whoever; 4TheFlag; SAMWolf; COB1...
Good Morning! Well, today is housecleaning day. So, I can't play until my chores are all done. :( I'm gonna go get busy so that I have more time to play.

Have a GREAT day!!!!!

55 posted on 05/08/2002 6:28:17 AM PDT by SassyMom
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To: Tennessee_Bob
I see we have the same tastes, I love Veronica Lake also.
56 posted on 05/08/2002 6:33:23 AM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: Snow Bunny
Sergeant Eugene Townsend's B-17 Nose Art
for the 32nd Bomb Squadron During WWII

GENE TOWNSEND joined the 32nd Bomb Squadron at Geiger Field in Spokane, Washington, shortly after the 301st Bomb Group was formed in February 1942. He had just completed training in engineering at the Boeing B-17 plant in Seattle prior to his assignment.

GENE HAD DONE art work before entering the service; so once we were all at our base in Chelveston, England, in September of '42, it fell to him to decorate the 32nd's planes. The first plane painted was "The Bad Penny." When asked why such a name, the whole crew replied "A bad penny always returns." (Sadly, this was not to be, however.) This was the beginning of nose art for the 32nd, and by the war's end, Sgt. Townsend had painted over 40 planes, with such names as "Hun Pecker," "Sleepy Time Gal," "Lead Foot," and "The Goon." The squadron moved to North Africa with the 12th Air Corps, and eventually to Italy with the 15th. During these campaigns there were many times that he did his work under adverse conditions and with very limited materials.

AIRCRAFT NOSE ART provided a way for both the air crews and ground personnel to personalize their "baby"; to make it different from other planes in the squadron, or anywhere else. It was all up to the talent and imagination of the men who flew and maintained the planes. Few 32nd Bomb Squadron crew members or ground personnel would know a plane as "42-1398" or "44-6180," but they all knew and talked about "Amazin' Mazie" and "Slick Chick." And nose-art inspiration came from almost everywhere: wives, girl friends, cartoons, movie stars, and even some from crew chiefs. It was a time when almost anything was allowed to be painted on a plane, and this kind of expression was seen as a way to boost morale and the squadron's efficiency.

FROM ANDY ROONEY, of today's "60 Minutes," there's a wonderful quote in an August 1943 issue of Stars and Stripes about this very special art form: "Grim-faced Luftwaffe pilots, proud of the guts that take them within the suicide circle of a fortress formation, determined to do or die for the Fatherland, must wonder what the hell kind of air force they are up against. They come diving in, teeth clenched, hell bent for Hitler and along with a hail of lead are greeted by the stupid grin of some absurd comic-book character, or the nude form of a pretty girl painted on the nose of the bomber they are attacking...." The art was "something else," and Andy Rooney was Andy Rooney even then.

TODAY GENE TOWNSEND and his wife, Pat, make their home on the St. Croix River, across from Canada, in Calais, Maine, and spend their winters in Saint Augustine, Florida. Although retired, Gene still enjoys painting and also looking back these fifty years and more and reminiscing with his buddies about their experiences and travels in WWII.

Courtesy of

57 posted on 05/08/2002 6:45:46 AM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: Snow Bunny;All

58 posted on 05/08/2002 6:47:58 AM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: USO Canteen
Lassie Come Home


59 posted on 05/08/2002 6:48:59 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: Snow Bunny
Good morning, Snow! Phew! Do I have to be over 21 for today's thread? LOL Have a great day!
60 posted on 05/08/2002 6:50:47 AM PDT by Pippin
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