I was recently contacted by a Mr Bill Ballard in America who has been lucky enough to meet and interview many a veteran over the years and has collated a vast collection of nose art photographs. He has very kindly allowed me to use this information and the photographs for your viewing pleasure. There is a lot to go through and you may have already see a little teaser on the Facebook page ‘Aircraft nose art appreciation society’ (link below) but I just had to share a few with you now to whet your appetite, as it were.
It is like an early Christmas for die-hard nose art fiends, never before seen (on the internet) pictures. I love how on many of them you are able to see that the actual picture is tucked securely in to an old-fashioned style album, I think it adds to the nostalgia, as these pictures would have been taken by the crew and have not been tampered with in any way.
The majority of what I have so far are connected to Gordy Rohrer and the 507 Bomb Squadron but I will need to dedicate a lot more time to do his story justice.
Not only is Mr Ballard allowing me access to his extensive photograph collection but he has also been telling me some very interesting and heart warming stories, I would like to share one with you now…
“He’d landed at Normandy a few days after D Day – a time when if you raised a cloud of dust, the German artillery would rain down on you. They came under heavy shelling, and took cover underneath a trailer. When the shelling ended, their ears were ringing, every tire on every vehicle had been flattened by the shrapnel, and the air was heavy with the acrid smell of gunpowder. Half a world away, his mother woke up and knew she had better start praying. She dragged her husband out of bed, and told him to start praying, because “Bubby was in trouble”, Husband hopped out, said a quick prayer, and went back into bed. She dragged him out, and said “you need to keep praying. Bubby is in big trouble”. After the war, they figured out this was the exact same time Buddy was hiding under that trailer. The trailer was filled with ammunition. If the Germans had hit it, there would have been just a big hole in the ground and nothing left of the bodies.”
Here is the P-47 which was ‘leaked’ to Facebook, the very provocative ‘Sub mission complete’, the beautiful scantily clad lady appears almost to be reclining as if the shaft is a bed in which she awaits her lover rather than a ferocious fighter.
(Original picture supplied by Bill Ballard)
(and in colour http://manthos.net/ZZZ%20PAPPYPIX/NOSE%20ART/1948-CLARK-ART-P-47-SUB-MISSION-COMPLETE.jpg )
What this space, there are many more to come!!