F4U-1A Stay tuned for more about Corsairs, meanwhile take a look at this photo of an F4U-1A Corsair model that a viewer built…… nice job Tom!

Pearl Harbor Day- USS Arizona

I know that we usually focus on airplanes with this blog but I thought since aviation played a huge roll on the attack of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 that I would stop and pay tribute to the gallant Americans that lost their lives that day.

USS Arizona bomb impactingArizona Exploding
We are so used to seeing the famous footage of Dr. Eric Haakensen aboard the USS Solace that we seldom know what the USS Arizona looked like before December 7th so I thought it would be nice to see her in all her glory before that fateful day…..
USS Arizona

USS Arizona leaves New YorkThis is USS Arizona (BB-39) as she is leaving New York City for her first “shakedown cruise” in 1916. The vessel was the first to be named “Arizona”. This was done specifically to honor the 48th state’s admission into the union, which had happened just the year before the battleship was authorized by Congress. (The Arizona was commissioned in 1916.)

USS ArizonaUSS Arizona port side
Here is the USS Arizona at sea. Displacement fully loaded: 37,654 tons, maximum speed: 20.7 knots. The above photos show the bow and the port side. (Note the three Vought OS2U Kingfisher aircraft on the stern.)
USS Arizona starboard side

This is a view of the USS Arizona’s starboard side.

USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor mapThe National Park Service has a great map, illustrated by Zack Anderson, that shows where the Arizona was berthed during the attack. If you take a close look you can also see the vantage point of Dr. Eric Haakensen (aboard the USS Solace) as he filmed the Arizona exploding.

This is a photo from a Japanese aircraft that shows the Arizona in Battleship row at Pearl Harbor.
USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor Today

Arizona MemorialThe wreck of Arizona remains at Pearl Harbor, a memorial to the 1,177 men of her crew lost that December morning in 1941. The wreck was designated as a national shrine on May 30, 1962. A memorial was built across the ship’s sunken remains, including a shrine room listing the names of the lost crewmembers on a marble wall. Warships of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and other navies routinely salute Arizona when passing through Pearl Harbor.

After all these years about a quart of oil still leaks from the hull (as you you can see in the photo) and rises to the surface of the water. Survivors from the crew say that the oil will continue to leak until the last survivor dies.
Rest in peace USS Arizona….

Get the latest book by Bill O’Reilly:
Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan Hardcover – September 13, 2016
by Bill O’Reilly
Here is another great book about Pearl Harbor that I have read:
Day of Infamy, 60th Anniversary: The Classic Account of the Bombing of Pearl Harbor 60th Anniversary Edition by Walter Lord
Here is a cool model of the USS Arizona (BB-39) USS Arizona
The classic movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor! Tora! Tora! Tora!
Another great flick about Pearl Harbor: Pearl Harbor

Aircraft “Nose Art”

Peter Driben Pinup WWIIMost associate “nose art” with World War II airplanes and it would not have been uncommon to see a WWII pinup girl by Peter Driben on the side of a B-17. Did you know that decorating airplanes with artwork goes back earlier than WWII? Ever since men went to war they have felt the need to personalize their aircraft with unofficial and personal markings. The first recorded example of nose art is said to have been an Italian flying boat in 1913 (it had a sea monster painted on the nose). It is also interesting to note that Italian and German airmen were instrumental in the practice of nose art. (Although at first it was usually just squadron insignias.)

Ideas for nose art came from everywhere… girlfriends, wives, posters, calendars, comics, or historical events but they all had one thing in common and that was to inspire and to relieve the stress of war. The golden age of nose art is generally associated with World War II and the Korean war but there are examples from Vietnam, the Gulf War, and even the airplanes of today. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of them….

World War I

Francessco Barracca

This is Italian Ace Francessco Barracca with his Spad XIII World War I fighter. He was part of the 91st Squadriglia. *Note the black horse artwork on the side of the airplane, it was later used by Enzo Ferrari as the company logo.

World War II

Woody WoodpeckerSecrut Weapin

Woody Woodpecker was created in 1940 by artist Ben Hardaway and Walter Lantz animation studio and was very popular during WWII. Here he is featured on a B-24 bomber known as “Secrut Weapin.”

World War II

B-24 Suprise AttackSuprise Attack

This is an Alberto Vargas pinup girl painted on the side of a B-24 bomber.

World War II

Brinkman LibraPhil Brinkman was another poular artist during WWII. Here is one of the Zodiac series that he did on the side of a B-24. There was a B-24 featuring each of the zodiac signs except Taurus.

World War II

Sentimental JourneyOf course many have seen the Actress Betty Grable on this B-17 of the Commerative Air Force. (She was a popular actress of the time.)

World War II

B-29 BockscarThis is the nose art featured on the B-29 that dropped the second atomic bomb “Fatman” over Nagasaki, Japan at the end of WWII. (It is now in the Wright Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.)

Vietnam to Present

F8 CrusaderSharks teeth are very popular and they were not only on P-40′s of WWII but you can see them on modern fighters such as this F8 Crusader.

Vietnam to Present

B52 Express Delivery

This is a B-52 bomber with nose art called “Express Delivery”.

Vietnam to Present


KC 135 tankers have nose art too!

Vietnam to Present

A-10 Shark mouth

The A-10 Thunderbolt “Warthog” on the left features a sharks mouth like the P-40 and F8 Crusader; it is the inspiration behind our A-10 Warthog “Bite ‘Em” design. Click here to see the “Bite ‘Em” design….
I hope you enjoyed the brief look at some of my favorite nose art pictures. it was fun writing the story. If you would like to see some more of designs click here to visit my online portfolios…

Here is a book that I have and it has great pictures of aircraft noseart! Vintage Aircraft Nose Art (Motorbooks Classic) Paperback – by Gary Valant