USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Ole Tomato
B-24J-90-CO 42-100291

22nd Bomb Group, 33rd Bomb Squadron


Nose art painted by
Sgt Charles CHESTNUT
22nd Bomb Group, 33rd Bomb Squadron

Ole Tomato

This B24J was assigned to the 33rd Bomb Squadron in February 1944 after arriving from the USA via Townsville, Australia, with Robert Carpenter?s crew and then on to Charters Towers where the squadron completed its transition training converting to the Liberator. On only its second combat mission (11 March 44), the aircraft was shot up during numerous fighter attacks while attacking flak sites at Wewak. During the battle, one crew man was wounded but the gunners claimed a Japanese ?Zeke? destroyed as compensation. Both events were duly recorded on the right side of the nose along with Chestnut?s superb nude art work. The purple heart was a rare addition to nose arts but the Japanese flag was a common sight to denote victory claims.

It would appear that the plane may have been previously named, perhaps by Carpenter?s crew who had expected to take it into combat. As usually happened, the plane was taken arrival from the initial crew for theatre modifications and not flown into combat by them. Charles Chestnut painted out the old name, probably around May 44, with a large slab of fresh olive drab and then added his own painting. He may have actually flown into combat on this B24 as part of Louis Perraud?s crew who took it at least six times, including the battle on 11 March.

It was lost on 1st September while attacking airfields near Davao in the Philippines with the crew of 1Lt Donald White when a phosphorus shell slammed into it exploding the aircraft and killing all on board.

Known Mission List

Date Pilot


10 Mar 1944Ralph E Mehlhorn / B A EvansLugas Plantation
11 Mar 1944L A PerraudCape Moem, WewakDestroyed "Zeke" (NB: SSgt Chestnut's crew)
21 Mar 1944DialKairiru Island
23 Mar 1944EvansAwar AD
30 Mar 1944PerraudCyclops AD
2 Apr 1944SheltonHansa Bay
3 Apr 1944HoefgenCyclops Ad
4 Apr 1944GemmelBoramn AD
5 Apr 1944BurkeyHollandia
8 Apr 1944SewellBismarck Sea search
9 Apr 1944WallinAwar AD
16 Apr 1944LanphereHollandia
21 Apr 1944SheltonAli Island
22 Apr 1944SewellBoram AD
23 Apr 1944SheltonWewak
27 Apr 1944PerraudBoram AD
28 Apr 1944PerraudSarmi
1 May 1944EvansWakde & Wewak
15 May 1944KindigMaffin AD
16 May 1944PerraudWakde
17 May 1944DeRocheBiak
22 May 1944MehlhornBiak
27 May 1944NunnBiak
29 May 1944HenryMokmer AD
3 Jun 1944HoefgenSarmi
11 Jun 1944NunnN. Sorido AD
13 Jun 1944LintPeleliu
20 Jun 1944NunnNoemfoor Island
27 Jun 1944RockSoroei Village
1 Jul 1944GemmillKamiri AD
26 Jul 1944RockRansiki AD
27 Jul 1944WhiteMiti Island
16 Aug 1944PerraudMiti AD
28 Aug 1944ChaplainPoint Victoria
29 Aug 1944BellWasile Bay
1 Sep 1944WhiteMatina AD

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© Ray Bowden 23 July 2024