USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Spirit Of Cleveland


Spirit Of Cleveland Photo courtesy of Carl Parise
Photo courtesy of Carl Parise

Christened on 5th July 1942 at Cleveland airport, this B17F was provided as a result of a "Back MacArthur Club" collection to purchase War Bonds. The identity has yet to be established as the USAAC authorities stipulated that no one present at the christening ceremony was allowed within 100ft of the aircraft and no cameras were permitted for the general public. The official photos of the ceremony, when made available for publication, had the tail fin serial number deliberately obscured.

The Fortress was accepted into the USAAC by 1st Lt William Bowers, a veteran of the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. The crew assigned to the plane was headed by John D Onerem and William J Chum. Both men enlisted as aviation cadets but were later commissioned. I have been unable to find any reference to their combat service and further information is sought which may lead to identifying this War Bond Fortress.

Sincere thanks to Cal Ryan for providing details of the naming ceremony via news clips from "The Plain Dealer".

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© Ray Bowden 30 November 2023