USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Arkansas Traveler
B-24D-5-CO 41-23781

98th Bomb Group


Nose art painted by
98th Bomb Group
North Africa

Arkansas Traveler

This was the first nose art painting done by Amos Nicholson. The B24 is believed to have been previously assigned to the 345th Squadron as a radar equipped sea search plane and was assigned to Nicholson in early 1943. The special radar was removed and bomb racks re-installed to make it a regular bombing aircraft. Amos painted the charging, snorting razorback hog at the request of one of the combat pilots, believed to have been Lt Carl Clinton. "It wasn't a real good painting," recalled Amos. "I didn't clean the metal. If there was a clump of something on the airplane, I knocked it off with the side of my brush. I painted over dirt and everything else, thinking my artwork wasn't going to last too long!"

Nicholson's first attempt at nose art was well received. "The guys seemed to like it," he said. A full mission list has not yet been compiled for "Arkansas Traveler" but it is known to have suffered flak damaged on 7th April over Palermo and had an engine shot out by fighters over Naples on 11th April 1943. It completed its combat flying soon after and was re-assigned to the Service Group. At some point Amos Nicholson also painted with a Disney "Dopey" figure on to left side of the nose to conform to the 343BS Snow White theme.

On 18th June 1943, Italian paratroopers from ADRA Bt1 attacked the base at Benina, Libya, set the plane alight and destroyed it on the ground.


© Ray Bowden 12 August 2022