USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Spirit of Sikeston

Spirit of Sikeston Photo courtesy of Tony Strotman
Photo courtesy of Tony Strotman

A War Bond Drive organised by the Public Schools of Sikeston, Missouri early in the war raised sufficient funds to pay for three B-25 Mitchell bombers.

Local legend has it that all three bombers may have been part of the famous Doolittle raid on Tokyo and that all three ended up at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean as a result. This may be true but the photo supplied showing the 'Spirit of Sikeston' plane looks like a USAAC photo retouch carefully posed so as not to reveal any indication of its serial number.

Photos of the other two B25s entitled as 'City of Sikeston' and 'Big Dog Scottie' funded by citizens of Scott County, Missouri have yet to be located. To date no evidence has surfaced of any actual naming ceremony and where, when or who attended. Such evidence, possibly from local newspaper archives, would confirm that these aircraft actually existed beyond a retouched photograph sent by the War Department for publicity purposes. This was a common occurrence in the early years of the war due to the pressure that existed to get aircraft off the production lines and rushed to the battle fronts. There was no time to arrange local christening ceremonies for all the equipment being funded by War Bond sales.


© Ray Bowden 20 August 2022