‘Aircraft Nose Art’ Depicting Classic Pin-up Girls for the Boys

Man decorating their instruments and vehicles of war is historically ritualistic and an observable occurrence throughout all parts of the world. It is intrinsically human to attach beliefs to certain belongings, and the practice of decorating itself may be a psychological impulse to express some level of our identity through artistic means.

Boeing B-17G "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby"

Lord knows, aircrews in World War II facing probable doom certainly didn’t think it would hurt to decorate their planes. Pictures of pinups and pretty girls, typically modeled after the “cheesecake” art of Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas and George Petty was a way in which helped the boys get through the war, as attaching a talisman or a good-luck charm to the aircraft was a way of warding off evil, death, and bullets. War-paint for the spirit. Here’s a compile of aircraft nose art depicting classic pin-up girls, for your remembrance, admiration and aesthetic visual pleasure:

42-95151, Monotonous Maggie - Barfield

Boeing B-29 Superfortress - 38

b-24 hollywood-hangover

Northrop P-61 Black Widow

Martin B-26 Marauder -

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

North American B-25 Mitchell

Boeing B-29 Superfortress - 56

Consolidated B-24 Liberator - 090


Here are a few more, in colour. I separated these photos from the ones above because not only are they in colour and lacking that vintage aesthetic, but because I’m not entirely sure which ones in particular were painted on for the Korean War (1950 –1953):

~ by Fionnlagh on August 19, 2014.

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