B-24 Nose Art

 

Robert Merchant Collection: A Nebraska Aerial Photographer's Experience in the Pacific during WWII

Nose art was used during WWII to boost morale by illustrating loved ones and characters that served as a reminder of home. Nose art varied depending upon the crew’s personal tastes. Some favored cartoon characters, or drawings similar to the style of political cartoons, while others preferred pin-up girls. Like other airmen, the Jolly Rogers decorated the noses of their planes, mostly B-24 Liberators.

 

The Butcher Boy (serial number: 41-24108) [RG5841-3-9]

The Butcher Boy (serial number: 41-24108)

 

Hellzapoppin [RG5841-3-10]

Hellzapoppin

Heavenly Body [RG5841-3-22]

Heavenly Body

Honeymoon Express [RG5841-3-26]

Honeymoon Express

Two men presumably assigned to this particular B-24 pose next to the artwork from the cockpit.

Pretty Baby [RG5841-3-28]

Pretty Baby

Naughty Blue Eyes [RG5841-3-29]

Naughty Blue Eyes

Gone With the Wind [RG5841-3-34]

Gone With The Wind (serial number: 41-24286)

The Nipper [RG5841-3-37]

The Nipper

This B-24 crashed somewhere en route from Australia to Hamilton Air Force Base, California. It was deemed officially lost on December 19, 1943.

Patched Up Piece [RG5841-3-38]

Patched Up Piece

Artwork by Al Merkling

Ready Willing and Able [RG5841-3-39]

Ready Willing and Able (serial number 42-41078)

This B-24 is marked with having participated in 59 bombing missions, and having shot down three enemy fighters and one ship.

How’m-I-Doin’ [RG5841-3-42]

How’m-I-Doin’ (Serial number 42-41223)

This B-24 was part of the Jolly Rogers’ 320th Bomb Squadron.

Margie [RG5841-3-43]

Margie

The artwork of this B-24 is based on Margie Stewart, the only official U.S. Army pin-up girl.

Star Duster [RG5841-3-48]

Star Duster

The Strip Polka (Serial number: 42-40970) [RG5841-3-51]

The Strip Polka (Serial number: 42-40970).

American Beauty [RG5841-3-61]

American Beauty

Jolly Roger Express (serial number: 42-109996) [RG5841-3-62]

Jolly Roger Express (serial number: 42-109996)

Pluto [RG5841-3-63]

Pluto

Come And Get It [RG5841-3-6]

Come And Get It

Donald Duck of Disney fame is painted on this B-24. Disney cartoons were commonly used for nose art during WWII.

Mission Belle [RG5841-3-66]

Mission Belle (serial number: 42-40389)

The crew of the B-24 Mission Belle pose by their plane, which features Hedy Lamar’s character Tondelayo from the 1942 film White Cargo.

The Redhot Ridinhood [RG5841-3-24]

The Redhot Ridinhood

This nose art is a risqué reimaging of the 1943 cartoon character of the same name. The cartoon character was a nightclub singer and the big bad wolf clad in gentlemen’s attire.

Big Emma [RG5841-3-5]

Big Emma (serial number: 41-23715)

The large number of bomb and plane decals indicate that this plane has already flown several missions and destroyed several enemy aircrafts.

Temptation [RG5841-3-27]

Temptation

Temptation was shot down during a mission in the Pacific. Two of its crew were never found.

The Hangover Haven II [RG5841-3-4]

The Hangover Haven II

This nose art was drawn and signed by artist Al Merkling.

Joltin’ Janie II [R5841-3-17]

Joltin’ Janie II (serial number: 42-40233)

This B-24 was a part of the 321st bomb squadron.

Yearly memberships start at $32

Learn More