USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Haybag Annie
B-17G-45-BO 42-97280

385th Bomb Group


Nose art painted by
American Red Cross Aero Club, 385th Bomb Group
Great Ashfield

Haybag Annie

According to crew chief Ed Hallisey, this aircraft was given the title of "Haybag" while still in the States prior to deployment to England. At Great Ashfield, an unknown crew man added the "Annie" below the title and Miss Haywood was persuaded to give the Fort a new nose art. She painted a cartoon of herself complete with sketchbook, brushes, a mug of steaming coffee (or tea) and the words "Good Ole Gal!".

A combat veteran, this B17G completed more than 100 missions including no less than seven flown to the dreaded Merseburg synthetic oil plant (Merseburg: Blood, Flak & Oil) "Haybag Annie" survived the war only to overshoot the runway at Valley in Wales on the return trip to the USA. Pilot Dick Ettling landed safely and applied the brakes only to find there were no brakes. It veered off, went through a ditch and then hit an earth revetment, put there to hold back the Irish Sea. The veteran Fort was damaged beyond repair and the ten crew and ten passengers were forced to start their homeward journey all over again in another aircraft.

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© Ray Bowden 25 February 2024