Nose art

In my asteperious posting, I ended up talking about the nose art on WWII bombers (one of which was on the Jolly Rogers’s “Asterperious Special” plane). The art ranged from the crudely to the carefully drawn. A few comments from my 2004 explorations of the extensive websites memorializing the nose art (there are a few points of linguistic interest in there):

The iconography of the nose art is complicated.  Female figures (often in combination with the Jolly Rogers’s skull and crossbones) figured very prominently; at least two were Varga figures.  Some female-figured planes: Lady Luck, Naval Body, Surprise Attack, Sack Time, Million $ Baby, Booby Trap (yes, a pun), Lucky Strike, Peace Offering, Playmate, Shoo Shoo Baby, Photo Fanny, COD Knot For Tojo, The Peter Heater.

Then there’s Axis Nightmare (just the skeleton, no babe).  and a huge assortment of boastful and threatening figures: Big Ass Bird, Who Shives a Git, “The Flying Stud” (winged horse), Hells Angels, Lone Star Avenger, Mitsu Butcher, Tear-Ass (The Bull), Tyrannosaurus Rex, “Yanks From Hell”.

And some mysteries, like ‘Come And Get It’, with a duck figure not unlike the famous Donald; Sodpa’s Wabbit, with a rabbit figure not unlike the famous Bugs; and Wabbit Twansit, with Bugs and Porky riding a bomb.

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