Very little is known about this artist who worked in the Southwest Pacific region in 1943 where he mainly painted C-47 transports. He was possibly assigned to 455th Service Squadron or 375th or 433rd Troop Carrier Groups based at Nadzab, New Guinea. Balliet also painted at least one 43rd Bomb Group Liberator entitled “Gentleman Jim” as well as another B24 assigned to 90th Bomb Group.
The artist mostly signed his work as “B. Balliet 43” and unusually each artwork was numbered, some also dated.
It is thought that this was William H Balliet, born Allentown PA in 1921, who was enlisted into the USAAF and served in the SW Pacific as a topographer. He graduated from the Pittsburgh Art Institute and after the war continued to work for most of his life as a freelance artist and sculptor in Lehigh County. In 1977 he was commissioned to produce a fibre-glass replica of the Liberty Bell for the Old Courthouse Museum in Allentown.
If anyone can confirm that this was "B. Balliet" or throw further light on this talented but elusive artist I would love to hear from them.
© Ray Bowden 7 April 2020