USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Tennessee Tess
B-17G-60-VE 44-8357

91st Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Squadron


Nose art painted by
Cpl Anthony L STARCER
91st Bomb Group
Bassingbourn, England

Tennessee Tess

Alberto Vargas' famous illustration from a June issue of "Esquire" magazine was the source and inspiration for many nose art painters around the world and Tony Starcer was no exception. The same image appeared as a centrefold as well as on sets of "Esky" playing cards -- always popular with GIs.

Beginning its combat in November 1944, this plane flew many lead roles and took some of the group's finest officers over some of toughest targets including Berlin, Gelsenkirchen, Frankfurt and Kassel. At the end of hostilities, "Tennessee Tess" was transferred into the 306th Bomb Group. By this time, the plane had lost part of its title and was known simply as "Tess", but it still sported Starcer's superb painting.


© Ray Bowden 20 July 2024