USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Dancing Girl
B-24L-5-CO 44-41545

307th Bomb Group


Nose art painted by
Pfc Joseph ORIGLIO
307th Bomb Group
New Guinea & Luzon & Morotai

Dancing Girl Photo courtesy of Rob Martyr
Photo courtesy of Rob Martyr

Although the B-24 #545 carried no name it was known as Dancing Dolly. The original art work was inspiration from the Esquire Magazine calendar for October 1945 painted by Alberto Vargas. It is another example where Joe added a South Pacific theme to the original art work which had a blank background. Here he added a beach, surf and a coconut tree that could be found not far for the tropical air field on Morotai Island.

In July 1944 this plane left California for the Pacific and assigned to the 307th Bomb Group. On 3rd October, Lt Owings' crew took the B24 to strike Balikpapan and was hit by flak and attacked by fighters, one of which was claimed as destroyed. However, the crew sustained six wounded during the battle, including co-pilot Lt King. By April 1945 the plane was commanded by Capt. Lester B. Briggs. During one mission the plane received combat damage from a Japanese fighter. It sustained some 40 holes during the attack. "Dolly" then suffered a collapse of its main gear upon landing. Fortunately no one was killed during the attack or the crash landing. The only ones injured were the flight engineer on board and the tower operator who jumped from the control tower and broke his leg as the plane skidded towards the tower.

Known Mission List

Date Pilot


15 Jul 1944DooleyYapHit by 20mm. Destroyed "Zeke"
2 Aug 1944GreenYap Island ADR/E (S)? - gas leak
3 Oct 1944Owings / R F King (wia)Balikpapan6 WIA. Destroyed "Zeke". Hit by flak
10 Oct 1944? / R F KingBalikpapanDestroyed "Zeke"

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© Ray Bowden 18 July 2024