Nose Art

Luc's Photo Hangar

 Respectfully dedicated to those men & women who have served in our nations armed forces!
With a special dedication to my late father T-5 James R. Lucas U.A.A.F.


This site has been established to promote a portion of W.W.II aviation history in the form of aircraft nose art. In addition other pages will be added to display W.W.II aircraft, racing aircraft, and the unique. Please visit often to keep abreast of the changes. I would also like to add a special note of thanks to Lt. Col. Craig Rainey who's help was invaluable in getting this web site up and running! "THANKS CRAIG"

The sultry, wonderful world of warrant 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.

("War Paint", by John M. Campbell & Donna Campbell, pages 9-10)







If you have any original Nose Art photos you'd like to see on this site please contact Luc