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.

View all nose art photographs in our photo gallery
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Planes From The Groups And Squadrons



3rd Bomb Group Miss Snafu
5th Bomb Group Two Time
  Little Queen Mary
22nd Bomb Group Outa This World
  Pistol Packin Mama
  Tempermental Lady
43rd Bomb Group Ace O' Spades
  Cap'n and the Kids
  Come and Get It
  Double Trouble
  Kentucky Virgin
  The Old Man
90th Bomb Group Change O Luck
  Golden Lady
  Heaven Can Wait
  Hell's Belle
  Pappy's Passion
  Queen Mae
  Ten Knights in a Bar Room
  The Peter Heater
  The Powers Girl
  Windy City Kitty
307th Bomb Group Kit's Tadger
312th Bomb Group Rough as a Cob
345th Bomb Group Fitch's Bitch
380th Bomb Group Big Chief Cockeye (Sharpe #3)
  Big Chief Cockeye (Sharpe #10)
  Big Chief Cockeye (Sharpe #11)
  Old Hickory
35th Fighter Group Julie
49th Fighter Group Marge
348th Fighter Group Miss Mutt
6th Photographic Group-Reconnaissance Cherokee Strip
  Little Joe
375th Troop Carrier Group Classy Chassis
433rd Troop Carrier Group The Gray Ghost
455th Service Squadron Defenseless Virgin
  Ole Man Moe
General Headquarters, SWPA Bataan
Planes from Unknown Groups or Squadrons Angela
  Bad Maggie
  Coral Princess
  Lil' Abner
  Little Chief Cockeye
  Lonesome Angel
Unnamed Nose Art Sharpe 30 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)
  Sharpe 33 (Thomas Sharpe Collection)