Nose Art – actually not a New Age ritual….
By: Film Producer Gail Downey
From: Whirlwind Productions/Nose Art Films
One of the recent press campaigns we have been involved with here at Bridge is Nose Art and Pin-Ups. Directed and produced by Gail Downey, Nose Art and Pin-Ups is a documentary which follows the stories behind the art and images painted on the noses of aircraft by servicemen from the United States in World War Two.
Gail has written a series of guest blogs for us. In this, her first, Gail outlines a little more detail about the DVD; the topics it covers and why she was inspired to tell such an interesting story……
For those of you who know what Nose Art is, the idea of making a film about the subject probably requires little explanation. For those who don’t I have had all kinds of questions. Is it piercings? Is it some weird form of artwork you have painted on your face? Is it a New Age ritual?
The answer is no to all of the above. Nose Art is simply the artwork which is painted on aircraft, whether it be during wartime or peace. Think Memphis Belle – the famous aircraft which flew from England in World War Two and made its name, and that of its crew, by becoming the first to survive 25 missions – no mean feat when the chances of survival for servicemen was one in seven. Can you imagine that? One in seven of you didn’t come home? Think about that on the way to work today. As you are sat in a traffic jam the seventh car doesn’t make it. Terrifying thought.
So for crews to have Nose Art and Pin Ups (pictures of girls) painted on their aircraft, it gave them a morale boost, something to “pat” when they got back from missions flying across Europe and into Germany – ten hours and more at a time. I bet the English Channel looked like a piece of heaven as they came home. No wonder the wartime song “White Cliffs of Dover” still resonates with that generation today.
So why make a film about Nose Art and Pin Ups? Well although there have been books written about the subject and pictures on the internet, I wanted to find out what these images actually meant to the crew. Why and how did they chose Our Gal Sal? What and who was Miss Dallas? How did the images actually get put onto the aircraft?
Along the way the crews also told me their amazing stories of friends lost, battles won, capture and escape. These were so fascinating that I had to include them in the DVD and in my next blog, I’ll tell you how I did it.
Please support this project and help keep these veterans’ stories alive.
Gail Downey, Nose Art Films