A selection of combat cuties that graced American warplanes during the Second World War

A selection of combat cuties that graced American warplanes during the Second World War

Thompson, Jim

A SELECTION OF COMBAT CUTIES THAT GRACED AMERICAN WARPLANES DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

The massive cowling of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt served as an ideal aluminum canvas. Beautiful Babe is a particularly striking example and was photographed landing field Y-29, Mannheim, Germany,

by Elton H. Stamm.

The art work of Miss Behave for Lt. Berkshire’s aircraft was originally painted by artist Arthur DeCosta, an enlisted man in the 355th FG, for Capt. N.B. Kucheman, Jr., of the 358th FS in early fall 1943. It was DeCosta’s first of many nose art applications he would apply to the cowlings of the 358th FS Thunderbolts. The application of the design to Lt. Berkshire’s P-47 came in early winter 1943. It was, however, short-lived. When 487th Squadron Commander Major John C. Meyer eventually took note of the rendering, he ordered Berkshire to “have that damned thing removed” as it was, in his opinion, “too risque.” Lt. Berkshire reluctantly had it removed and in its place had the imagery of a “very muscular female wielding a chain mace over her broad shoulders” applied in its place. He renamed his Thunderbolt Brutal Lulu. (Sam Sox, Jr., via Marc Hamel)

One of the more interesting pieces of Mustang nose art! Cyril “Cy” Doleac of the 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, poses before the excellent nose art on his P-51 D USAAF s/n 44-14397/HO*E. EX-LAX…Shht’n’ Git! was photographed at Bodney Airfield in Britain during the winter of 1944-45. This photo was forwarded to the EX-LAX company during the war and it hung for years in their corporate headquarters. (Sheldon Berlow via Marc Hamel) AC

Copyright Challenge Publications Inc. Jun 2000

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