USAAF Nose Art Research Project


B-17G-35-BO 42-31987

100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron


Nose art painted by
Ernesto LOVATO
100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron
Thorpe Abbotts, England


Named and painted by Ernest Lovato as a tribute to his wife's Irish heritage. This extraordinary image depicted the traditional Irish cudgel with some dainty wings attached together with a decorative title. As if this was not noticeable enough, the main tyres were given a white-wall finish to ensure the plane stood out across the airfield and could easily be seen in the air on arrival back from a mission. It is thought to be the only B17 in the ETO to have been given the white-wall tyres.

In the original version the name was spelt the Irish way (Shillelagh) but no-one could pronounce it so Lovato amended it to an Americanised version.

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© Ray Bowden 20 August 2022