USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Slick Chick
B-17F-50-DL 42-3343

301st Bomb Group, 32nd Bomb Squadron


Nose art painted by
301st Bomb Group, 32nd Bomb Squadron
England, North Africa & Italy

Slick Chick

This B17F arrived in North Africa in June 1943 and was assigned to the crew of William Wofford. His crew flew a total of 51 missions, 360 combat hours, mostly in "Slick Chick". "She took plenty of flak and bullet holes," he recalled. "Had one, two and, once, three engines out but she brought us home every time." Over Weiner Neustadt on 2nd November 1943, Wofford's "Slick Chick" not only lost one engine but 18 inches of horizontal stabiliser as well.

The plane and crew transferred to Cerignola in Italy when the group redeployed. "Slick Chick continued to fly missions after I left Cerignola," said Wofford, " and years later I tried to find the Sergeant (Eugene Townsend) who painted that great pin-up painting of Rita Hayward..... Either at St Donat or Oudnia we found the artist, a truck, a little vino and spent the day admiring our special and personal B17. She was truly our plane and forever in our memories." The lettering was yellow accented with black, the gown was white, the sash red and hair jet black.

Wofford completed his 51-mission tour on 24th January 1944 but "Slick Chick" went on and flew a total of 58 combat missions before being retired to become a weather ship and utility aircraft for the group. Surviving the war, it is believed to have crashed on the way back to the USA and declared salvage. A sad ending for a fine combat veteran.


© Ray Bowden 20 July 2024