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World War II nose art by © Joe  Beasley IPA

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Bomber Girls: Airplane Nose Art of World War II

Squadron insignias could be found on World War I era aircrafts but it wasn’t until World War II that the idea of actually painting a whole image onto the nose of a plane came to fruition. Before that point, men would paste pages from popular magazines onto the nose section, tail section or fuselages of their aircrafts. As painting images on airplane noses became popular, a bona fide industry sprang up and artists were suddenly in demand. They would get paid as much as $15.00 per nose art, a small fortune for an artist at the time. World War II was widely considered the “Golden Age” of nose art.

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A photographer since 1960, I was a photographer for the award winning student newspaper at the University of Miami. While there I was influenced by Wilson Hicks, former Picture Editor of Life Magazine After serving in the Army as a photographer, I returned to McMinnville and worked as a technical photographer

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