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USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Heavenly Body
B-24J-15-CO 42-73116

380th Bomb Group, 528th Bomb Squadron

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


This combat veteran of the 528th Bomb Squadron completed a total of 950 flying hours and 61 combat sorties before it was lost on 14th March 1945. Her crews also claimed at least four enemy fighters which were added to the mission tally on the ship's nose. For its final mission, Carl Ortman's crew took "Heavenly Body" on a pre-strike weather recon flight flown out of Murtha airfield in the Philippines. Unfortunately, they suffered multiple engine failure which caused the B24 to crash into the sea between Formosa and Luzon. The aircraft exploded on impact and although the crew were able to bail out, six men were killed either by drowning or from shark attack. Others survived after a life raft was dropped to them and two days later the destroyer USS Frazer arrived to rescue them from the sea. The crew had only been assigned to the 380BG in the previous month. Dick Ebbeson, seen standing beside his artwork, painted another single nude superimposed upon a circle of solid colour. The shading and moulding on the figure is a little more complex than that seen on his "Beautiful Beast" but the design incorporates the distinctive lettering style which runs behind the lowered leg and gives the figure an increased three-dimensional form.

No mission listing is currently available for this aircraft

© Ray Bowden 22 January 2020