Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area


As in all American Theaters of Operation during World War II, air crews in the Southwest Pacific took great pride in their planes and often named them and adorned them with artworks on the nose of the airplane; more commonly known as nose art. Every air crew depended on their airplane to get them safely through each mission, and thus grew sentimentally attached to their aircraft. Naming the aircraft and having a symbol of that name painted on the nose of the plane became a right of passage. Bombers, fighters, troop carriers, puddle jumpers; no plane was too big or too small. Humorous, sarcastic, and outrageously risqué, these examples of nose art of the Southwest Pacific Area can all be found in the vault of the MacArthur Memorial Archives.

These images came from the collections of Douglas MacArthur, Thomas Sharpe, and Frederick German. Thomas Sharpe served in the Southwest Pacific with the 79th Airdrome Squadron. Frederick German was the photographic censor for the Southwest Pacific Area Theater of Operations. Please contact the Archivist for any images that were deemed to be too outrageous for publication here. Thanks to Candice Simpson for her diligence in creating this page.




3rd Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Miss Snafu” - B25, 3rd Bomb Group, 90th Bomb Squadron - Serial #41-12487 - Sloan Auchincloss Collection
Miss Snafu
B-25
3rd Bomb Group
90th Bomb Squadron
Serial #41-12487
PH00020360 (Sloan Auchincloss Collection)

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5th Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Two Time” - B24, 13th A.F., 5th Bomb Group, 72nd Bomb Squadron - Serial #44-40546 - Sharpe 28 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Two Time
B-24
13th A.F.
5th Bomb Group
72nd Bomb Squadron
Serial #44-40546
Sharpe 28 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Sharpe 29 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Little Queen Mary” - B24, 13th A.F., 5th Bomb Group, 394th Bomb Squadron - Serial #44-40536 - Sharpe 23 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Little Queen Mary
B-24
13th A.F.
5th Bomb Group
394th Bomb Squadron
Serial #44-40536
Sharpe 23 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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22nd Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Pistol Packin Mama” - B25, 22nd Bomb Group, 2nd Squadron - Serial #41-30764 - Sharpe 26 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Pistol Packin Mama
B-25
22nd Bomb Group
2nd Squadron
Serial #41-30764
Sharpe 26 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Tempermental Lady” - B24J, 408th Bombardment Squadron - Serial #42-100174 - PH00032022b Richard LeDonne Collection
Tempermental Lady
B-24J
22nd Bomb Group
408th Bombardment Squadron
Serial #42-100174
PH00032022b (Richard LeDonne Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Outa This World” - B24, 22nd Bomb Group - Serial #42-110001 - Sharpe 25 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Outa This World
B-24
22nd Bomb Group
Serial #42-110001
Sharpe 25 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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43rd Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Cap’n and the Kids” - B17, 43rd Bomb Group, 63rd Squadron - Serial #41-24335 - PH00032284 Frederick German Collection - Lt. General George C. Kenney, stands with the crew of “Cap’n and the Kids”
Cap’n and the Kids
B-17
43rd Bomb Group
63rd Squadron
Serial #41-24335
PH00032284 (Frederick German Collection)
     Commanding General of the Fifth Air Force, Lt. General George C. Kenney,
     stands with the crew of “Cap’n and the Kids”


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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Kentucky Virgin” - B24D, 43rd Bomb Group, 63rd Squadron - Serial #42-41073 - PH00005471 Frederick German Collection
Kentucky Virgin
B-24D
43rd Bomb Group
63rd Squadron
Serial #42-41073
PH00005471 (Frederick German Collection)
Risqué Image - PH00005471 Frederick German Collection

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Come and Get It” - B24D, 43rd Bomb Group, 64th Squadron - Serial #42-40941 - PH00005465 Frederick German Collection
Come and Get It
B-24D
43rd Bomb Group
64th Squadron
Serial #42-40941
PH00005465 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Double Trouble” - B24D, 43rd Bomb Group, 64th Squadron - Serial #42-41226 - PH00005461 Frederick German Collection
Double Trouble
B-24D
43rd Bomb Group
64th Squadron
Serial #42-41226
PH00005461 (Frederick German Collection)
Risqué Image - PH00005461 Frederick German Collection

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “The Old Man” - B17, 43rd Bomb Group, 64th Squadron - PH00005787 Frederick German Collection
The Old Man
B-17
43rd Bomb Group
64th Squadron
PH00005787 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “The Old Man” - B17, 43rd Bomb Group, 64th Squadron - Serial #42-40913 - PH00005787 Frederick German Collection
Zombie
B-24
43rd Bomb Group
64th Squadron
Serial #42-40913
PH00005466 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Ace O’ Spades” - B24, 43rd Bomb Group, 403rd Squadron - Serial #42-40945 - PH00006323 (Frederick German Collection)
Ace O’ Spades
B-24
43rd Bomb Group
403rd Squadron
Serial #42-40945
PH00006323 (Frederick German Collection)

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90th Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “How'm-I-Doin'” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 319th Squadron - Serial #42-41223 - PH00005460 Frederick German Collection
How'm-I-Doin'
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
319th Squadron
Serial #42-41223
PH00005460 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Pappy's Passion” - B24J, 90th Bomb Group, 319th Squadron - Serial #42-100222 - PH00032022 Richard Le Donne Collection
Pappy's Passion
B-24J
90th Bomb Group
319th Squadron
Serial #42-100222
PH00032022 (Richard Le Donne Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Queen Mae” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 319th Squadron - Serial #44-40337 - Sharpe 27 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Queen Mae
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
319th Squadron
Serial #44-40337
Sharpe 27 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Risqué Image - 27 Thomas Sharpe Collection

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “The Peter Heater” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 320th Squadron - Serial #42-40917 - PH00005469 Frederick German Collection
The Peter Heater
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
320th Squadron
Serial #42-40917
PH00005469 (Frederick German Collection)

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NNose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Dinky” - B24, 90th Bomb Group, 320th Squadron - Serial #42-40325  Sharpe 31 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Dinky
B-24
90th Bomb Group
320th Squadron
Serial #42-40325
Sharpe 31 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Drip” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 321st Bomb Squadron - Serial #42-41105 - Sharpe 14 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Drip
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
321st Bomb Squadron
Serial #42-41105
Sharpe 14 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Golden Lady” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 321st Squadron - Serial #42-40914 - Sharpe 17 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Golden Lady
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
321st Squadron
Serial #42-40914
Sharpe 17 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Risqué Image - 17 Thomas Sharpe Collection

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Ten Knights in a Bar Room” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 321st Squadron - Serial #42-72806 - PH00005472 Frederick German Collection
Ten Knights in a Bar Room
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
321st Squadron
Serial #42-72806
PH00005472 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Change O Luck” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 400th Squadron - Serial #41-11868 - PH00005468 Frederick German Collection
Change O Luck
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
400th Squadron
Serial #41-11868
PH00005468 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Hell's Belle” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 400th Squadron - Serial #41-24290 - PH00032271 Frederick German Collection
Hell's Belle
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
400th Squadron
Serial #41-24290
PH00032271 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “The Powers Girl” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 400th Squadron - Serial #42-72807 - PH00005467 Frederick German Collection
The Powers Girl
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
400th Squadron
Serial #42-72807
PH00005467 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Heaven Can Wait” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group, 400th Squadron - Serial #42-41216 - PH00005477 (Frederick German Collection)
Heaven Can Wait
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
400th Squadron
Serial #42-41216
PH00005477 (Frederick German Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Windy City Kitty” - B24D, 90th Bomb Group - PH00005479 Frederick German Collection
Windy City Kitty
B-24D
90th Bomb Group
PH00005479 (Frederick German Collection)
Risqué Image - PH00005479 Frederick German Collection
Risqué Image - PH00005480 Frederick German Collection

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307th Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Kit’s Tadger” - B24, 13th Air Force, 307th Bomb Group, 371st Bomb Squadron - Serial #44-40604 - Sharpe 20 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Kit’s Tadger
B-24
13th Air Force
307th Bomb Group
371st Bomb Squadron
Serial #44-40604
Sharpe 20 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
     Thomas Sharpe stands on the right. Picture taken at an air base
     on the island of Morotai in 1944.


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312th Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Rough as a Cob”, A-20G-10, 312th Bomb Group, 387th Squadron - Serial #42-54096 - Sharpe 35 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Rough as a Cob
A-20G-10
312th Bomb Group
387th Squadron
Serial #42-54096
Sharpe 35 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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345th Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Fitch’s Bitch”, B-25, 5th Air Force, 345th Bomb Group - PH00005235 Frederick German Collection
Fitch’s Bitch
B-25
5th Air Force
345th Bomb Group
PH00005235 (Frederick German Collection)

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380th Bomb Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Fitch’s Bitch”, B-25, 345th Bomb Group - PH00005235 Frederick German Collection
Big Chief Cockeye
B-24D
380th Bomb Group
530th Squadron
Sharpe #3, 10, 11 (Thomas Sharp Collection)
Risqué Image - Sharpe #3
Risqué Image - Sharpe #10
Risqué Image - Sharpe #11

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Old Hickory” - B24, 380th Bomb Group, 530th Bomb Squadron - Serial #42-40827 - Sharpe 12 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Old Hickory
B-24
380th Bomb Group
530th Bomb Squadron
Serial #42-40827
Sharpe 12 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
     Thomas Sharpe, 79th Airdrome Squadron, poses with Old Hickory
     at a New Guinea Air Base.


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35th Fighter Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Julie”, P-39 - 41st Fighter Squadron - Sharpe 19 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Julie
P-39
41st Fighter Squadron
Sharpe 19 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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49th Fighter Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Marge”, P-38, 9th Fighter Squadron - Sharpe 4 Thomas Sharp Collection
Marge
P-38
9th Fighter Squadron
Sharpe 4 (Thomas Sharp Collection)
     Marge was the fighter plane of Major Dick Bong, top air ace of World War II, is
     shown with twenty seven Japanese flags signifying twenty seven kills.


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348th Fighter Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Miss Mutt”, P-47, 348th Fighter Group, 341st Squadron - PH00005476 Frederick German Collection
Miss Mutt
P-47
348th Fighter Group
341st Squadron
PH00005476 (Frederick German Collection)

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6th Photographic Group-Reconnaissance

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Cherokee Strip”, B-24, 6th Photographic Group - Reconnaissance, 20th Combat Mapping Squadron - Sharpe 9 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Cherokee Strip
B-24
6th Photographic Group - Reconnaissance
20th Combat Mapping Squadron
Sharpe 9 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Risqué Image - Sharpe 9

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Little Joe”, B-24, 6th Photographic Group - Reconnaissance, 20th Combat Mapping Squadron - Serial No. 42-64054 - Sharpe 22 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Little Joe
B-24
6th Photographic Group - Reconnaissance
20th Combat Mapping Squadron
Serial #42-64054
Sharpe 22 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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375th Troop Carrier Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Classy Chassis”, C-47, 375th Troop Carrier Group, 55th Troop Carrier Squadron - PH00031315 Frederick German Collection
Classy Chassis
C-47
375th Troop Carrier Group
55th Troop Carrier Squadron
PH00031315 (Frederick German Collection)
Risqué Image - PH00031315 Frederick German Collection

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433rd Troop Carrier Group

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “The Gray Ghost”, Douglas C-47, 433rd Troop Carrier Group, 68th Squadron - PH00005464 Frederick German Collection
The Gray Ghost
Douglas C-47
433rd Troop Carrier Group
68th Squadron
PH00005464 (Frederick German Collection)
Risqué Image - PH00005464 Frederick German Collection

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455th Service Squadron

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Defenseless Virgin”, C-47, 455th Service Squadron - PH00005470 Frederick German Collection
Defenseless Virgin
C-47
455th Service Squadron
PH00005470 (Frederick German Collection)
Risqué Image - PH00005470 Frederick German Collection

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Ole Man Moe”, C-47, 455th Service Squadron - PH00005473 Frederick German Collection
Ole Man Moe
C-47
455th Service Squadron
PH00005473 (Frederick German Collection)
Risqué Image - PH00005473 Frederick German Collection

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General Headquarters, SWPA

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Bataan”, B-17 - Sharpe 6 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Bataan
B-17
Sharpe 6 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
     General MacArthur’s B-17 Flying Fortress is worked on at an air base near Port
     Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 1943.


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Planes from Unknown Groups or Squadrons

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Angela”, B-24 - Sharpe 1 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Angela
B-24
Sharpe 1 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Risqué Image - Sharpe 1 Thomas Sharpe Collection

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Bad Maggie”, C-47 - Sharpe 2 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Bad Maggie
C-47
Sharpe 2 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Coral Princess”, C-47 - Sharpe 8 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Coral Princess
C-47
Sharpe 8 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Geronimo”, C-47 - Sharpe 18 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Geronimo
C-47
Sharpe 18 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Risqué Image - Sharpe 18 Thomas Sharpe Collection

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Hon-Bum”, B-25 - Sharpe 37 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Hon-Bum
B-25
Sharpe 37 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Lil’ Abner”, C-47 - PH00006136 SWPA Photo Albums
Lil’ Abner
C-47
PH00006136 (SWPA Photo Albums)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Little Chief Cockeye”, B-25 - Sharpe 21 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Little Chief Cockeye
B-25
Sharpe 21 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - “Lonesome Angel”, C-47 - Sharpe 36 Thomas Sharpe Collection
Lonesome Angel
C-47
Sharpe 36 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Risqué Image - Sharpe 36 Thomas Sharpe Collection

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Unnamed Nose Art

Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - Sharpe 30 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Sharpe 30 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Risqué Image - Sharpe 30 Thomas Sharpe Collection

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Nose Art of the Southwest Pacific Area - Sharpe 33 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
Sharpe 33 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)

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