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USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Beautiful Beast
B-24J-20-CO 42-73167

380th Bomb Group, 528th Bomb Squadron

Nose art painted by
380th Bomb Group, 528th Bomb Squadron
Fenton, Australia


This B24 flew its first combat mission on 10th December 1943 to Balikpapan. It completed a total of 41 missions before being damaged in a taxi accident and scrapped at Darwin, Australia, in August 1944. The nose art painted by Dick Ebbeson is typical of several nudes he completed on the group's B24s. The beautifully drawn fine outline of the figure is given its form by the use of simple shadow and the whole image is given even greater visual impact by placing a geometric block of solid colour behind. In this case, a rectangle but often a circle was used, as in "Heavenly Body" or "Becomin' Back". The use of such a device was frequently used by many other artists, especially on natural metal aircraft, to ensure an enhanced differentiation between the pale flesh colours and the natural metal silvery surface upon which it was painted. Note how much stronger the torso of the figure is compared to the extended leg. Ebbeson is also believed to have been an accomplished calligrapher and developed a distinctive style for his lettering on many of the B24s he painted. On this particular nose art he added a signature as "-E-" but so far this sign off has not been spotted on any other paintings by him, perhaps due to the lack of clarity of many of the photos of his work viewed to date.

No mission listing is currently available for this aircraft

© Ray Bowden 21 January 2020