Valent's Vintage Aircraft Nose Art Book Depicts an Important Part of Warbird Culture2:04 PM
By Dan Pimentel,
You’re wearing a fur-lined ﬂying suit, because where you’re going, it’s thirty degrees below zero. You’ve got an oxygen mask, because where you’re going it’s hard to breathe. You’re carrying a map, because at 25,000 feet there are no signs. Prior to December 7, 1941, your main goal in life was to get a car and marry Ginger Rogers, but now it’s just to stay alive another day, because you’re a crewman on a B—17, and where you’re going, people are going to die.
But not you, not your plane, not your crew, because you’re special, and the special people always come back. They don’t blow up in the sky, or go in at 400 miles per hour, one wing gone, no chutes, on fire—not the special ones; they always come back.
So we need a special name for our plane— and a special picture on it. Maybe a picture of Betty Grable, or one of those Vargas girls from Esquire. And we’ll name it something like “Sack Time,” "Mister Completely” or "Target For Tonight.” But it has to be special, and when it’s ﬁnished, it will be ready - Ready for Duty.