"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, October 7, 2011

Girls of the Day - Nose Art Version

The men who flew B-17's over Europe in World War II suffered tremendous casualties... 46,500 killed or wounded out of 250,000 crew members.   So it seems particularly poignant how these young men dressed up their bombers' noses with portraits of young ladies -- they were expressing both what they were fighting for, and what some of them would never get to experience.   Here are some examples of B-17 nose art I've found, once again through the miracle of the Internet.   Some of them are racier than I would have expected (and I doubt would be allowed in today's military):

Here is the most famous, I suppose, due to the movie Memphis Belle:

Cool stuff.   It's one of the great boons of the current age that historical artifacts like these can be preserved and seen instantly by people around the world with a click of a button.  

Lest we forget.

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