Nose art - tail art
Images on the noses and tails of aircraft that served as moral boosters and express perceptions of the aircraft by crew members. The quality of the ???artwork??? varied according to the art skills of available Nose and Tail artists. Ideas for subjects "came from a variety of sources such as girlfriends, newspaper and magazine images, special events or wishes. Most remembered are the pin-up girls, such as those painted by Illinois artist Samuel Rodman (1906-1979. Today nose and Tail Art Designs, converted into badges, are very collectible. The tradition dates back to ancient times when warriors decorated their shields, on whom they had the same kind of self-protective reliance as servicemen on bomb patrols did to their airplanes. These pilots grew to think of their aircraft as someone to whom they talked and totally relied upon and not "as just a B17, or just a serial number." It was a "being" with personality and gender, expressed by the decoration on its Nose or Tail. Sources: http://www.stewart-aviation.co.uk/noseart.html; Vanderpoel Art Association.