Seeing double…

Nose-Art-b29-reserved-800

Nose-Art-b29-anytime-500-2

You would be forgiven for thinking, at first glance, that I had mistakenly added the same photo twice, but alas you would be incorrect. I have noticed quite a few times in my journey through the history of nose art that there is often a repetition of subject or name. Which let me tell you can get very confusing during the research process for my blog.

The brunette bombshell above can be admired on 2 separate Boeing B-29’s, on both she is seen relaxing, quite studiously with a book along the flank of the craft, turning to look over her shoulder as if surprised by someone. As if someone just came up behind her and called out her name. The boys sure did like that pose for their ladies. Her attire is somewhat altered from the rather chaste white blouse and black skirt revealing her stripey shorties knickers of the first though. The cute candy stripe underwear remain however the busty lady is now topless and skirt-less. I am sure the loss of clothing is no bad thing for the airmen and civilians excitedly viewing the beautiful young lady.

With modern thinking images such as these can appear sexist (if you are of an overly P.C mindset) they were not just different times, it was hardly a very feminist era after all, but also times which required something pretty and captivating. Even during the war the powers that be had attempted to censor and even ban nose art and the depiction of half-naked females, though generally the brass hats turned a blind eye to such shenanigans. As documentary maker Gail Downey says “The crews were young. What else did those boys think about but girls and what good would it do to clamp down on it?”

So which do you prefer? The almost demure and ladylike version or the or the more sexually explicit version? Personally I think they are both beautiful examples of the nose art medium. And which name do you prefer? ‘Reserved’ or ‘Anytime’? It is almost as if they form part of a collection of paintings, in the first the lady in question is ‘Reserved’ for you, she’s just waiting for you, and in the second you have made her yours and she will be yours ‘Anytime’.

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4 comments

  1. Gerry swift · December 19, 2014

    An interesting overview Lena. At the risk of being condemned as an old fashioned mysoginist I personally find ‘Reserved’ to be the more alluring of the two images. It sends more of a message I think… Perhaps ‘ you are fighting for this ‘ or ‘ until the war is won’. Applying modern standards to the thinking of those times is difficult,, but I suspect that most Americans would have been familiar with ‘Reserved’ in those days of ‘Uncle Sam and Mom’s apple pie’ and the hidden ‘promise’ contained in the image.
    The latter image perhaps reflects youthful wishful thinking but I find the face to be more coarse in features ( intentionally ? ) and possibly representative of the ‘ canteen culture ‘ present in a predominantly male atmosphere where ‘ macho ‘ would have ruled. Not the girl ‘Mom’ would approve of ! Nicely researched and thought provoking ( to me, anyway )..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lenahedges · December 19, 2014

      I agree gerry, I personally think it more alluring when something is left to the imagination. Of course one should not view it from a modern day perspective, however some people do. As a modern female I don’t personally find the pin up artwork offensive though I appreciate that some may. As with any questions I pose it is open ended with no ‘right’ answer, purely opinion. As always I do enjoy and appreciate your comments.

      Like

  2. James Ellis · February 11

    I find them both outstanding. In a day when each flight could have been their last, I am sure it gave a sense of pride, a cause for a smile, and maybe took their mind off of what was about to take place for a minute or two as each run was about to take place. I am so fed up with “PC” and hurting of feelings. This time in our America is not what these men and women fought for. The “better” off we get each day seems to cause our values of our country and each other to get worse and worse. We seem to be able to twist anything good or bad into something it is not, just to satisfy us. I applaud all the men and women of this time frame for giving so much, and getting so little in return. All of them are true heroes in my book!!
    To put in perspective, How many young men do you know today that YOU would trust to fly a bomber with a crew of 10 into enemy territory, drop her bombs and bring her home again. If you know one, then God Bless you. I can’t hire one these days that would fit that mold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lenahedges · February 19

      I agree with every word!! You also write very nicely ! Thank you for your comment

      Like

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