USAAF Nose Art Research Project


New Information

"Plane Names & Fancy Noses - 91BG"

February 2001

It is almost inevitable that new information and clarifications come to light after publication. The author welcomes notification of any new information in order to constantly update the recorded knowledge. Information, diary notes or photographs are always very welcome to further enhance the available records on each plane and crew.

Page 16. The solid black triangle on the tail fin was used to denote a PFF radar-equipped pathfinder ship of the 1st Air Division. As such it was assigned at various times to lead each of the groups in that division.

Page 22. The B.T.O. has now been identified as being serialled 43-37988 and assigned to 324BS as aircraft 'C-Charlie'.

Page 33. The alternate stripes behind the tail fin on Blood n' Guts were yellow and red not white and red and were purely for decoration.

Page 52. Chief Sly III is believed to have been serialled 42-29711, an ex-94BG B17F which transferred into 91BG on arrival in the UK.

Pages 59/60. Dear Becky was named after pilot Freeman Beasley's wife. Freeman Beasley's crew flew the plane 13 times and he was wounded in the head, not William Beasley who was a pilot with 322BS. Pilot Adolph Miller survived the loss of Dear Becky on 26th November 1944 and was captured.

Page 70. Easy Does It was named by Don Almon's crew.

Page 71. The right hand side of the nose of Evenin' Folks carried the title Smilin' Harry Babbit.

Page 75. Fertile Myrtle was serialled 42-29999 and was an original 96th bomb Group plane and later transferred to 381BG via 8AF HQ.

Page 76. 2Lt Joe Vukovich and four other crew members from Fifinella successfully evaded capture and returned to England.

Page 77. Although most of the Weieneth crew were killed, co-pilot Eugene Cook did survive.

Page 80. General Ike was the 401st Squadron's first all silver finish B-17G.

Page 85. Hairless Joe was a 452BG B17G serialled 42-97371, persumably visiting Bassingbourn when photographed.

Page 102.M/Sgt Otto Meikus, assistant to Marvin Nichols, later became the crew chief on Jack the Ripper when the plane returned from the repair depot in July 1943. His maintenance work saw the ship through a further 25 missions in rapid succession without an abort. This magnificient effort won him the Bronze Star and Jack the Ripper went on to complete at least 44 missions before being lost.

Page 104. Jezebel is now confirmed as 42-38144

Page 108. None of the crew from Just Plain lonesome survived.

Page 112. Lady Helen of Wimpole was named after Lt Helen Pierson, ANC, who was assigned to the 163rd Gen. Hospital at Wimpole Park and later married 401BS CO John Davis. The naming ceremony is thought to have taken place in April/May of 1944.

Page 113. 43-38220, Lady Lois, was later renamed as Little Jean, retaining the same bikini girl nose art with the new title to left and right.

Page 114. There was a second, later, B17G which carried the title Lady Luck, serialled 44-6964, which also carried a Starcer painting.

Page 118. Liberty Run. The McKew crew received credit for the mission on 23rd May but the plane did not. Its next sortie was two days later on 25th May to Nancy-Essey.

Page 132. Margie was named after the wife of its regular pilot Cecil McConnell.

Page 136. The two casualties on Mary Ruth were Sgt Allen and radio man T/Sgt Maculley. Sgt Litzo survived as a POW.

Page 140.Miss America is now confirmed as 42-37738, assigned to 322BS and listed as missing on 22nd December 1943 with Edward Steele's crew.

Page 146.My Babby II is now confirmed as 44-8208, assigned to 322BS as aircraft "LD-Q".

Page 149. Naughty Caroline is now confirmed as the correct title for 43-39225 of 323rd Squadron. It carried a Starcer nose art on the left side.

Page 154. David Hettema did fly six combat sorties in the plane he painted as "Old battle Axe" before it was taken away to be modified into a PFF radar ship.

Page 155. Old Faithful carried a fin serial number of 287958 which appeared to be as a result of some incorrect paint retouching which can be seen on the '2' and the '3' resulting in the latter numeral being changed to '8', at least on the right side.

Page 159. It is now confirmed that the Mullen's crew were flying in Betty Lou's Buggy on 16th August 1944 when they were attacked by the Me163 jet. Paragraphs two and three should therefore refer to Betty Lou's Buggy, 42-31579, and not Outhouse Mouse.

Page 160. George Odenwaller and his crew were listed MIA on 28th March 1945 not 22nd.

Page 165. The crew shown with Peace or Bust was actually Jay Cochran's and not William Partridge's men. Cochran was Partridge's original co-pilot who took over part of the crew when Partridge was promoted.

Page 171. Lt Guldner's crew flew 24 missions in Qualified Quail up to 12th August 1944.

Page 175. 91BG's Catholic chaplain was Father Michael S. Ragan, known to have flown at least one mission (D-Day). Ragan's Raiders was almost certainly named after him and many crewmen will recall him standing beside the runway blessing each plane as it took off. On 17th April 1945, Ragan's Raiders was hit took a direct flak hit in the ball turret which blew the unfortunate gunner Sgt Pubentz out. He was left dangling for a few moments held by one leg before falling to his death. He was reportedly the last 91BG man to die in action in WWII.

Page 187. The Ruptured Duck was repaired after landing on the continent on 8th September and continued to fly missions into 1945. On 17th April 1945, with Lt Moyer's crew on board, it was attacked by an Me262 and forced downed just behind the front lines with two crew wounded. Repaired again it was returned to Bassingbourn but was then declared salvage with more than 40 missions credited.

Page 190. Several crew members from Seattle Sleeper successfully evaded capture.

Page 201. Skunkface II was later transferred to 305BG and then on to 384BG post war. Photographs now confirm Skunkface III did carry nose art that was almost identical to its two predecessers.

Page 213. All the crew of Sugar Blues were picked up by ASR from the sea, from two dingies.

Page 240. Lt Robert Fuller survived on 8th April, all the rest of his crew perished.

Page 248. Yankee Belle was designated as DF-K not 'H'.

App 5. Delete "42-29659 (McClellan)" from 22-3-44. A/c was lost on 22nd March 1943.

App 11. 232085 was a/c 'K' not 'H'; 238144 was named Jezebel.

App 12. 337988 was named The B.T.O.; 338742 was actually assigned to 322BS but flew with 324BS.

App 13. 338936 was a/c 'Z'; 46931 should read Ragged But Right; 48573 was a/c 'N'.

Shiftless Skonk is believed to be 41-24506. This a/c was the first to take off on the group's first combat mission with Col Wray in command.

App 14. Bomb-Boogie - (BT) Evd; Bomb Boogie's Revenge - (WG) Kia.

App 15. Chowhound - (N) Kia; Dame Satan - (CP)(TT)(WG)(TG) all Evd; Danellen - Sgt Dalterio (WG) Pow; Dear Becky - (P) Lt Adolph Miller - Pow; Desperate Journey - (N) 1Lt Joseph N Frey (Pow).

App 16. Fifinella - (CP) 2Lt Joe Vukovich, (N) 2Lt Calder, (BT) S/Sgt Britton, (WG) S/Sgt Sieler and (TG) S/Sgt Rogers all Evaded; Frank's Nightmare - (CP) 2Lt Eugene D Cook (Kia).

App 17. Hitler's Gremlin - all rescued (RTD); (CP)(BT) on Just Plain Lonesome are listed as Mia; Kickapoo (TT) Mia.

App 18. Liberty Bell (P) Mia; Local Girl (TG) Sgt Noel E Gordon (Pow).

App 19. Miss Minookie - (TT) S/Sgt Jerge (Kia), (WG) S/Sgt King (Kia); My Prayer (TT) T/Sgt Earl Cherry (Wia, Rtd); Panhandle Dogie (N) Pow.

App 20. Roxy's Special - (BT) Sgt Frank Trim (Kia); Seattle Sleeper - (P)(CP)(Tog)(TT)(WG)(TG) all Evaded.

App 21. Sky Wolf II - (RO)(TG) both from 91BG (Kia); Sleepy Time Gal - (N) 2Lt Kovner (Kia).

App 22. Superstitious Aloysius - (N)(BT) both Kia; Take It Easy - (CP)(BT) Evd; Texas Chubby - (BT) S/Sgt Enrique T Perez (Kia).

App 23. Wee Willie - (P) Pow; Wicked Witch - MIA 20th February 1945; Winnie Frank Joe - (N) Kia.

© Ray Bowden 11 August 2022
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