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<nettime> Military aircraft Nose Art
Steve Cisler on Sat, 1 Mar 2003 19:04:13 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Military aircraft Nose Art


Bruce Sterling's posting led me back to the library. In this case, 
University of Arizona, which published a history of military aircraft 
nose art.

http://www.library.arizona.edu/noseart/welcome.html

The author claims this is a particular American practice, not found on 
military aircraft in other countries.  The golden age was World War II 
when aircraft were assigned to individual pilots and their crews, and 
there were no regulations against the practice.

During each war the themes changed, and some ignored directives against 
"unclothed female figures" and in the Vietnam war, theme were more 
pessimistic:

"The personal commitment to the country's cause was often absent, both 
at home and on the front.  This was reflected in the art, whose message 
centered not on the foe, but rather on the people at home.  Some 
examples of the new themes are "Peace Envoy," and "The Silent Majority" 
(Ethell, pp. 149-150).  Compare these names with "Spirit of '44," a 
B-17G of the 91st Bomb Group, named for crew's high hopes upon entering 
World War II (Davis, v. 1, p. 10).  The art from the Vietnam era, for 
example "Protestor's Protector," recorded the public's negative 
attitude towards the war, even more than in Korea."

"Damage, Inc."  http://www.library.arizona.edu/noseart/damg.htm

The site has an index of images, links to other nose art web sites. 
What I find interesting is the military commanders trying to suppress 
it ("only 8 subdued colors may be used")  and the crews refusal to 
comply.


Steve

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