USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Becoming Back
B-24J-65-CF 44-10575

453rd Bomb Group, 735th Bomb Squadron

Becoming Back

Initially assigned to 735BS in December 1944, towards the end of hostilities this B24 was transferred into the 733BS and recoded from H6 to F8. Who painted the nose art is not yet known but it may have been the result of the O'Leary crew's decision to name it. They flew it 11 times into combat.

The beautifully painted image is based on the popular Gil Elvgren pin-up entitled "French Dressing" which appeared on several other aircraft. In this case, the choice of title was a subtle play on words - such innuendo was common in nose art, often used to mislead higher authority when used with a more outrageous choice of imagery.

In common with many other Liberators assigned to 735BS, "Becoming Back" also sported the yellow and black squadron insignia on both sides, below the cockpit. Later addition of armour plate saw it repainted on but by the time it reached Willow Run only the tiniest piece showed because it had been painted out, presumably by the 491BG. It was transferred out into 491BG on 22 April 1945 but flew no missions with them and eventually lived up to its title by returning to Willow Run in the USA en route for scrapping.

My thanks to Roy Myers and Tom Reis for the information they have been able to provide and especially to Tom Brittan for his extensive list of mission details.

  Additional image Of  

Known Mission List

Date Pilot


17 Jun 1944  Delivered to USAAF
23 Jul 1944  Assigned overseas
6 Dec 1944Lt Alex S Wallace /Minden-Mittelland aqueductDeputy lead high right 'B' Group
11 Dec 1944Lt William L Garrett /Hanau marshalling yards 
24 Dec 1944Lt Eugene O'Leary /Mainz / Mayen rail yardsBomb load : 24 x 250 GPs
28 Dec 1944Lt Ralph G Langley /Neunkirchen Rail YardsBomb load: 20 x 250 GPs plus 2 x 500 M17 clusters
29 Dec 1944Lt Raymond A McGilvaryRemagen rail/road bridge 
30 Dec 1944Lt Robert Q Rollins /Euskirchen rail/road junctionBomb load: 3 x 2000 GP
31 Dec 1944Lt Eugene O'Leary /Coblenz rai/road bridgeBomb load : 3x 2000 GPs
2 Jan 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Coblenz rail/road bridgeBomb load :3 x 2000 GPs
3 Jan 1945Lt John Walker /Homburg rail yards 
5 Jan 1945Lt Robert G Rush /Sobernheim - NeustadtBomb load: 20 x 500GPs
10 Jan 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Steinbrucke RR bridgeBomb load :6 x 1000 GPs
13 Jan 1945Lt John M Roth /Rudesheim RR bridgeLanded away at Shipdham (44BG base)
15 Jan 1945Lt Robert G Rush /Reutlingen rail yards 
16 Jan 1945Lt Richard F McCarthy /Magdeburg tank factoryLanded away at Peronne, France - stayed for several weeks
16 Feb 1945  467th Sub Depot repaired left rudder + maintenance
21 Feb 1945Lt Robert G Thach /Nurnburg rail yards 
22 Feb 1945Lt Robert G Thach /(Halberstadt) - Oker 
23 Feb 1945Lt Robert G Thach /Paderborn rail yards 
24 Feb 1945Lt John Ross /Lehte marshalling yards 
26 Feb 1945Lt Jack M McKenzie /Berlin marshalling yards 
27 Feb 1945Irving R Kraus /Halle marshalling yards 
28 Feb 1945Lt John Walker /Arnsberg marshalling yards 
1 Mar 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Ingolstadt rail yardsBomb load : 10 x 500# GPs
2 Mar 1945Lt John Walker /Magdeburg rail yardsFlak hit #1 tokio tank (replaced)
4 Mar 1945Lt John Walker /Giebelstadt airfieldMission Recalled
8 Mar 1945Lt David C Elmore Jr /Siegen marshalling yards 
9 Mar 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Munster rail yardsBomb load : 44 x 100 GPs, 2 x 500 M-17 clusters
10 Mar 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Paderborn rail yardsBomb load : 44 x 100 GPs, 2 x M-17 clusters
11 Mar 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Kiel U-boat yardsBomb load ; 10 x 500 GPs
17 Mar 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Munster rail yardsBomb load : 44 x 100 GPs, 2 x M-17 clusters
18 Mar 1945Lt ted Hultgren /Berlin Tegel tank factory 
19 Mar 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Neuberg jet a/c airfields 
21 Mar 1945Lt Jack M McKenzie /Achmer jet a/c airfield 
24 Mar 1945Lt Jack W Roth /WeselLow level supply drop to troops - Deputy lead
25 Mar 1945Lt Glenn V Campbell /Ehmen oil storage depotReplacement a/c - took off late
30 Mar 1945Lt Joe Rogers /Wilhelmshaven U-boat pens 
31 Mar 1945Lt Eugene O'Leary /Brunswick rail yardsTransferred following day to 733th Bomb Sqn
4 Apr 1945Lt Ralph G Langley /Wesendorf airfield 
5 Apr 1945Lt Pierre J Farley /Eger, CzechMission Recalled
6 Apr 1945Lt Ralph G Langley /Halle marshalling yards 
8 Apr 1945Lt Ralph G Langley /Furth / Blumenthal airfield 
10 Apr 1945Lt Frederick H Bubier /Rechlin / Wittenberg 
22 Apr 1945  Transferred to 491BG as a/c "D+" (no combat missions)
Returned USA -- Willow Run


© Ray Bowden 11 August 2022