WW2 Aircraft Nose Art (Pre PC, when boys were men)

While researching the ‘river nose’ issue, I came across ‘nose art’. I had no idea what that was, but came across all manner of aircraft nose art. The art ran from WWII to Korea, Vietnam upto the Iraq conflicts. The art dynamics in recent conflicts have swung toward the non-sexual/suggestive form. I prefer the ‘girls’ of WWII. 
B-24 Liberator

B-24 Liberator



“History shows that the artwork spans almost a century, from World War I — to Operation Iraqi Freedom, but its most notable period was clearly in World War II and Korea. This was a time when the military commanders were more flexible in boosting the morale of the pilots and crew — and weren’t as concerned about ‘political correctness’ during the crew’s most dangerous and deadly war efforts.”

“To personalize their war chariots, these renegade pilots chose a variety of designs from pin-up girls, slogans, cartoons, and nicknames — to hometowns, humor, and more girls.”

 “The subject matter of the art–particularly the sexual portrayal of women–has been a challenge to nose artists. The unclothed female figure was popular with the crews, but inevitably went against commanders’ wishes. There are several obvious explanations for the sexual aspect of nose art. Combat troops are comprised of a select portion of the population–they are primarily young, unmarried males. For the first time in their lives they are separated from home and the constraints of civilian society. Additionally, under conditions of war, in which death and wounding are the prominent concerns, moral controls relax. The farther from home and command headquarters, the more daring was the art. That this art not only made its appearance, but was allowed during World War II, suggests that war alters attitudes. In World War II especially, society applied different rules to the combat troops they considered to be risking their lives for the country. Normal societal rules fell into place when an aircraft was brought home for a war bond promotion and nose art nudes were ordered clothed. Some crews, refusing to bow to public pressure, placed the stamp “Censored” across their art instead…”


14 Responses to “WW2 Aircraft Nose Art (Pre PC, when boys were men)”

  1. 1 Patrick
    August 10, 2015 at 17:22

    thanks for posting the pics. My Great Uncle did 1 mission on “Hard to Get” on Sept 17 1944 the target was Deelen, Netherlands. The B17’s serial # is 42-39977 if you’re interested.


  2. 3 Jay Morane
    March 15, 2013 at 06:59

    My father was also stationed in the Aleutians on Shemya. Like you, I used to think I knew what it felt like to be cold until I heard about the weathre up there. Sustained winds of 60 -75 mph in the winter. I stopped complaining and started feeling grateful.
    This is a phot of the nose art from my dad’slane, he was the nose gunner. Its not a pinup but ti thought you might like it anyway since it s from the Aleutians.


  3. December 14, 2010 at 15:36

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I’m looking for a B-29 bomber called the City of Spanish Fork, UT aka “Heavenly Body” K-35 SN: 44-69997 AC Lt. Foster B. Huff of the 330th BG 458th BS 1944-1945.
    Between the Air Force and several other people we have found five different pictures of Heavenly Bodies from five different aircraft, but to this day we still don’t know what the
    K-35 or “Heavenly Body” nose arts looks like. Everyone has looked for months trying to help me out but we still have not found this nose art. Any ideals? Need your help.

    Thank you,

    John R. Pounds son of Major Robert D. Pounds USFA RET. 330th BG 458th BS


  4. July 9, 2010 at 15:44

    Dear Sir,

    Since 1995 I have been tracking down a nose art called the “Heavenly Body” it belonged on a b 29 bomber called the City of Spanish Fork, UT aka “Heavenly Boby” K 35 SN: 4469997 A/C Lt. Foster B. Huff of the 330th BG 458th BS Crew of the 811. I have tracked down four or five different pictures of the Heavenly Body for several different aircrafts including the b 29 bombers. I don’t know who drew the Heavenly Body on my father’s aircraft or even a picture of it. Alot of people have tried to help me including the Air Force but all have failed. I don’t know where else to look or talk to. Would you have any ideas?
    Thank you for your time,

    John R. Pounds son of Major Robert D. Pounds USAF RET


  5. 8 William Gent
    January 17, 2010 at 13:35

    Looking for Nose Art WW2 bomber Ain’t Missbehaven I belieave it may be a B- 24 that was shot down in Italy. Family story is, it was a picture of our Mother Marjorie.
    We had a picture but it was lost .


  6. 9 abbie amos
    February 5, 2009 at 16:09

    This is for Jenny. Jenny – my dad is in the picture of Four of a Kind. Is your dad also in the picture? I have a copy is you would like for me to scan and send to you. Please email me. Abbie


  7. 10 Eric Griffith
    December 4, 2008 at 18:38

    Trying to find my father’s nose art of my mother on his airplane from ww2.it depicted “My Marge” or “My Margie”.My father’s name is Lt.Col. Richard Stanley Griffith,USAF,RET.(Deceased,09/04/1993).He flew just about every plane flying during ww2.P-38 for sure and lot’s of bombers.If you find any information ,please fwd to me ,Eric.(note:,I’m still trying to find my father’s films and photo’s to share.)


  8. 11 Jenny
    August 30, 2008 at 13:00

    Great, Great website pits and commentary!! While researching my father’s WWII pics I discovered a plane called Four Of A Kind where Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, and Princess Margaret were present. My father’s pics are a goldmine, not to mention his V-Mail. Thanks for this website!


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