The project's purpose is to gather and record
information and photographs on named or embellished planes of
all types which served with the USAAF in all theatres of operation
and to detail the work done by those men (and women) who painted
nose art - including civilian personnel.
500th Bomb Group, 881st Bomb Squadron
More than simply recording the basic information of aircraft serial numbers
and codes, details are gathered from veterans' recollections, diary notes, official
archive records, photographs, press releases, photo albums, scrap books, news
clippings and documents to build up as comprehensive a record as possible of
the history and fate of each aircraft, its mission list, crews and casualties,
ground crew, modifications, etc. Veterans who flew or maintained the aircraft
are sought and their information on missions, modifications, battle damage,
ultimate fate and any other stories about their planes are gathered.
Information relating to the naming of the plane, its origin, when, where, why
and by whom is also sought as is any information on the men and women who painted
the art works on the aircraft and crew jackets. Over the past years correspondence
has been maintained with many hundreds of veterans and their familes. If you
have any information or photographs relating to any named plane I would like
to hear from you and to be able to record and incorporate your material into
the project's files.
So far, the project has resulted in the publication of four
printed books based upon some of the material gathered.
The first, "Plane Names & Fancy Noses - The 91st Bomb Group (Heavy)"
is a detailed study of 300+ named B17 Flying Fortresses which
served with 91st Bomb Group (Heavy) flying from Bassingbourn
The second, Tales to Noses over Berlin is devoted of the twenty daylight raids made by the 8th Air
Force on Berlin during 1944 and 1945, supplementing official
US and German archives records with the stories of some of the
named planes which flew to or were lost over that target.
The third title is a detailed study of the named planes of the
"Plane Names & Bloody Noses"
The fourth publication is a book devoted
to the daylight missions flown against the huge and important
Leuna synthetic oil plant: "Merseburg : Blood, Flak & Oil. "
Released in December 2012 was the first
ebook produced for Kindle, and is now available as a paperback
"The Flight Of Eagles - USAAF Evasion in Occupied Europe, December
A study of the 121 airmen who successfully
evaded capture and returned to England based on their details
and secret interrogations made only days after their return.
The latest publication "Through The Flak, Fog & Flame - USAAF Emergency Landings at RAF Woodbridge" focuses on the stories behind the emergency landings made by USAAF aircraft at RAF Woodbridge, one of three designated Emergency Landing Grounds between November 1943 and May 1945
On-going research involves the gathering of information, photos
and crew/mission/damage data to provide individual airplane
profiles as well as information
relating to artists or any person
(military or civilian) responsible for naming or painting aircraft.
Information on the origin of specific nose arts or themes
is also being gathered.
A signed Limited Edition full colour
print of the cover painting by Ray Bowden for "Plane Names &
Fancy Noses - 91BG" is also available for purchase.
If you have information regarding WWII Nose Art which you can share, please get in touch using the Contact Us link above. Many thanks.
|On This Day - 20 October 1943|
© Ray Bowden 20 October 2021