USAAF Nose Art Research Project


B-24J-85-CO 42-100239

7th Bomb Group


Assigned to 492nd Bomb Squadron, this Liberator was christened at Pandaveswar, India in April 1944 by the film star Paulette Goddard who wielded a whiskey bottle filled with local gin -- traditional champagne being unavailable! The artwork was painted by ex-Disney artist Sgt Earl Freeman apparently from memory according to a newspaper report. He was rewarded with kiss from Miss Goddard who was quoted as saying, "This is the nicest thing that has happened to me since coming to India." No doubt Earl Freeman had much the same thought!

Initially assigned to the crew of Capt Frank Maholchie, "Paulette" was listed as missing on 23rd July 1944 while on a cargo haul over the "Hump" from Kurmitola, India, to Kunming (A-13) in China. Believed to have been lost as a result of engine trouble while under the command of 2Lt William Brenner. The crew bailed out successfully but Brenner remained with the plane and was killed after telling his crew "I will circle the ship so we will land close together."


© Ray Bowden 13 August 2022