Nose Art Themes
It was an RAF officer Flight Lt Roald Dahl who is considered to have been the person who broke the Gremlins out of the RAF into the wider world. Dahl, who later became a famous children's author, became an Assistant Air Attache in Washington DC in 1942 and wrote his first story book 'The Gremlins' based on the tiny little characters who inhabited aircraft. He also called their wives Fifinellas which later became the popular name for the American WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots). The manuscript was shown to Walt Disney and the first edition from Random House sold 50,000 copies. A projected animated movie did not come to fruition due to copyright issues and was cancelled at pre-production stage in August 1943.
However, Dahl's Gremlins inspired several other movies during and after WW2. One such cartoon involved Bugs Bunny in conflict with a Gremlin at an airfield while another showed Russian Gremlins sabotaging Adolf Hitler in his airplane. Several USAAF training films used the characters to explain how to cope with the many situations which could occur during servicing and flying aircraft. It was natural, therefore, that the name and characters would appear in nose art in a variety of forms and titles.
Walt Disney Studios created the character of Gremlin Gus for their unfinished animated film which was used on a 388BG Fortress. They also designed a Fifinella emblem for the WASPs and which was copied onto a 91BG Fort, and some B24 Liberators.