USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Bobby Sox
B-17G-50-VE 44-8158

490th Bomb Group, 850th Bomb Squadron


Nose art painted by
490th Bomb Group, 850th Bomb Squadron
Eye, England

Bobby Sox

Assigned to the USAAF on 24th June 1944, this B17G flew to England and was assigned to the 34th Bomb Group on 18th August but just two days later on 20th August it was transferred to 490th's 850th Bomb Squadron and given the name "Bobby Sox".

It was originally purchased by War Bond donations from employees of the Springfield Armory and photographed with a temporary title of "Springfield Armory No1".

Equipped as a PFF radar ship, Bobby Sox flew many lead roles in the group during the autumn of '44. Having survived the air war in Europe it was transferred briefly to the 94th Bomb Group in May 1945 to be flown back by Lt M C Hampton, one of that unit's returning crews. Shortly before the year was out, the veteran Fort was in the hands of the salvage men at Walnut Ridge to be chopped up for scrap.

Cowan's beautifully painted nude makes clever use of the human anatomy as part of the title Bobby Sox. The artist's superb graphic style created a memorable image which contains his signature in the shadow just below the sock held in the girl's right hand. The large stencilled numbers on the left refer to the aircraft's factory number which appears of many Vega built Fortresses.


© Ray Bowden 18 July 2024