USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Shoo Shoo Baby
B-24H-25-FO 42-95197

446th Bomb Group, 704th Bomb Squadron

Shoo Shoo Baby

This B24 completed 99 missions prior to its loss on 4 April 1945. Richard Lawson's crew took the aircraft to Wesendorf airfield that day and were hit by the flak which was described as moderate and accurate. The hydraulics were shot and as they flew back all four engines began to cut out intermittently.

Once over England, unable to lower the main gear without hydraulics, Lawson ordered his crew to bail out. The B24 crashed 9 miles short of its home base at Flixton, near Raveningham.

The nose art was painted by an unknown but clearly talented person, basing it on one of Vargas' popular pin-ups seen in Esquire magazine. At some point, the original titling was scraped off and replaced with the colourful version seen in the photo. The aircraft is believed to have previously been assigned to 448BG and it is possible that the change occurred when it was transferred. Some sources indicate that it was named "Gypsy Queen" prior to transfer after the original crew's Stateside trainer and it is possible that the nose art pin-up was painted whilst with that outfit or even prior to deployment overseas. Further information is sought on this and for the reason for the change of titling style.

There was also an earlier B24 assigned to 446BG which carried the same name. It was lost in late December 1944.


© Ray Bowden 13 August 2022