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Old 6th August 2023, 12:15
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Buckeye30 Buckeye30 is offline
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B-29 artwork-- before & after

A Directive from XXI BC HQ to Bomb Groups via Bomb Wings in March 1945 ordered the removal of "girlie" nose-art from B-29s, this is from 313 Wing; a rumour was that a visiting female big-wig took offence to these-- and some suggestive names. In fact the only Wing to comply fully was the 73rd on Saipan (497/498/499/500 BGs) who adopted a Wing symbol as on "Gravel Gertie". Other Groups found various ways to delay action but there was a certain amount of grudging compliance.

"Peace on Earth" was 42-63412, A Square 25, 497BG with typical artwork; she was lost in March before she could lose her lady.

"Gravel Gertie" (500th) was 42-65221, Z-29 with standard Wing emblem (a "headless chicken carrying a bowling ball") in August. "Gertie" was a rather ugly female in the "Dick Tracy" comic strip.
Thankfully there are many photos of their artwork to remember, much by Seabees and Marines.


313bw-memo by Nicholas King, on Flickr


497bg by Nicholas King, on Flickr


500bg by Nicholas King, on Flickr
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Old 7th August 2023, 20:19
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: B-29 artwork-- before & after

Some versions of this story say the "visiting female big-wig" was Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the president. I have never seen any real proof of that. Other stories say that Eleanor was a proponent of the "City of ...." system of naming B-29s which was to support war bond efforts in those cities.

https://www.markstyling.com/b_29.1/b29_cu_76.jpg

Some such bombers had two names:

https://www.markstyling.com/b_29.1/b29_cu_74.jpg

Last edited by RSwank; 7th August 2023 at 21:16.
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Old 8th August 2023, 15:20
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: B-29 artwork-- before & after

Not only in the Pacific.... See https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...1335%2C4565968

Regards,
Leendert
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Old 9th August 2023, 18:52
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Re: B-29 artwork-- before & after

Thanks both; the carrying out of this order was left to Group Commanders (or Wing in some cases) and some were more lenient. There were efforts to cover parts of the nudes and some had "censored" across the interesting parts. Photos of Eighth and Fifteenth B-17s and B-24s at Kingman AZ for scrapping post-war show some never had the artwork removed eg. "Naughty Nancy" ( 306BG), "D-Day Doll" (447th), "Looky Looky" ( 490th) and "Yankee Girl" (100th).
B-24s in the Pacific, far removed from major HQs were especially able to keep their pin-ups and some were spectacular.
There was an Army Air Forces Regulation in 1944 (35-22) (wish I could find it) which allowed nose-art "for morale purposes" but not the more obvious sexual names which some artists tried to get away with.


Nick


PS I've got the 2 volumes of "The Wild Blue Yonder (songs of the Air Force)" and the Stag Bar Edition is mostly quite filthy, many of them courtesy of the RAF and Royal Navy. Mrs. R would have a fit.

Last edited by Buckeye30; 10th August 2023 at 18:19.
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