USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Chief Tonganoxie

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In May 1944, Tonganoxie High School in Lawrence, Kansas collected a total of $180,164 in their third “Schools-at-War” campaign – enough to fund the purchase of another medium bomber (B25 or B26).

The school had already sold enough War Bonds to purchase a similar bomber in a previous campaign at the end of 1943 and enough for a further 65 jeeps in another bond drive in March through to April when they collected $64,000.

The first bomber was named as “Chief Tonganoxie” (or "Chief Tonga" according to some newspaper reports) after the campaign running from September to December 1943 had raised $175,000. “Chief Tonganoxie II” was the aim of the campaign from December 43 to May 44. This was a remarkable achievement for the tiny school which numbered just 130 pupils and as a result it was awarded a Minuteman flag and banner – the flag only given to schools where 90% of the student body bought stamps and bonds; the banner awarded to those where 100% buy bonds.

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© Ray Bowden 18 July 2024