Plane Names and Bloody Noses
100th Bomb Group (Heavy)
ISBN 1 898575 01 0
Named and painted B17 Flying Fortresses their crews, their
service and their nose art
'Ain't Mis Behavin' to 'Yo Yo Buddy'
Listing of 306 combat missions for 100BG
Crew lists for 120 named planes covered in the book and listed
as Missing In Action
296 pages, 380+ black/white photographs
Hard cover with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 1 898575 01 0
UK Price: £28.00 (GB Pounds) including mailing
ADD £9.50 for AIRMAIL to USA
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These were the planes flown by the men who lived and died
in the creation of the legend of the 100th Bomb Group. Men talked of the exploits
and misfortunes of the group in every far corner of the globe. This, so it
was said, was the unit singled out by the Luftwaffe for special attention.
With every telling of the tale the legend grew and, as with most legends,
it was founded in truth.
Amid the horror of war, emblazoned on the machines of
destruction there was often to be found beauty, humour, poignancy and wit.
It was no different at Thorpe Abbotts -- home of the group dubbed as "The
Bloody Hundredth" or "The Vanishing Americans." Many of the
Flying Fortresses based at Station 139 carried nose art or names. The glamorous,
flamboyant pin-up so often associated with noseart resided alongside the
cartoon, the sentimental and the sometimes outrageous image. Some crews
made do with simply lettering while others, full of intent, could find no-one
to paint their plane. Instead, the name so lovingly or irreverently bestowed
had to be carried from Fort to Fort in the minds of men, or painted onto
the backs of their A-2 leather jackets.
Whether decorative, witty, poignant or mischievous all
had their tale to tell. Selected at random by a ruthless Fate to be destroyed
in an instant flash of brilliant orange, to plunge into a cold dark sea,
to lay crippled and broken and be ravenously dismembered by friend or foe
alike. Or revel in a fanfare of glory and return home to wait in silent
rows for reincarnation in a world at peace.
© Ray Bowden 26 April 2017