The Best Aircraft Nose Art from World War II (Part 2)

The Best Aircraft Nose Art from World War II (Part 2) | World War Wings Videos

YouTube / TJ3 History

In this post, we’ll pick from five memorable, unique, or funny nose art pieces from WWII and tell the stories of their pilots and planes. 

5. “Vivacious Virgin II” P-8 flown by Ian Mackenzie

YouTube / TJ3 History

Flown by Ian Mackenzie, this plane is one of the most recognizable nose art pieces from the 370th fighter group, flying from the European theater. 

YouTube / TJ3 History

Mackenzie would go on to survive the entire war and would later fly the Vivacious Virgin III when his group transitioned to the P-51 Mustang. 

4. “Chow Hound” B-17 of the 91st Bomb Group

YouTube / TJ3 History

Many designs in this era were inspired by Disney cartoons and this example paid homage to Disney’s beloved dog, Pluto. 

Chow Hound flew 50 missions over Europe. On August 8th, 1944, the plane was on a bombing mission deep into France when she took a direct hit from flak. Witnesses say that she split in half, and immediately went down into a farmer’s field. All of her crew were killed in action. 

3. “The Black Tulip” Bf-109 flown by Erich Hartmann

YouTube / TJ3 History

Hartmann was a deadly pilot over the Eastern front against the Soviets taking down over 300 aircraft, making quite a reputation for himself. 

But what makes this nose art interesting is not necessarily the design but the story behind it. When he finally got the black tulip design and heart emblem, he found the enemy fighters were able to recognize the design, recognize him, and would constantly flee their dogfights. He would later switch to a 109 with a standard paint scheme because enemy fighters simply wouldn’t go against him. 

2. “Blunder Bus” B-24 of the 389th Bomb Group

YouTube / TJ3 History

This nose art featured Donald Duck with a shotgun. This American bomber was unfortunately shot down just after a month on the front lines. 10 of the 11 crew members were able to successfully bail out. 

1. “Jeanie” P-47 flown by Vernon Zeiske

YouTube / TJ3 History

This nose art was named after a girl in the States and given a stunning piece of artwork representing her. 

According to the story, Vernon fell in love with a girl named Jeanie but she would end up falling for his brother Bud instead, and they were later married. 

On January 26th, 1945 while returning home from a mission, Vernon would lose visibility flying over mountainous terrain in Belgium. With the low altitude and unable to see, he crashed into the mountainside and both he and Jeanie would be lost. 


Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates