Denice and I decided to make our first trip to the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
While the EAA Museum is pretty cool to see, the main reason for going to the EAA was a display of nose art from World War II bombers. When the bombers were decommissioned, often the nose air was painted over or sanitized by the superior officers who did not want the planes returning home with the art on them. Some planes did get back and eventually were destroyed but not before the nose art was preserved.
Here is the explanation from the EAA website:
"The collection from the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) headquarters in Dallas, Texas, made its debut in November after a month of preparation in the EAA museum’s Eagle Hangar, which honors the people and aircraft of World War II. The artifacts have been designated by the National Trust for Historical Preservation as an official project of Save America’s Treasures, which seeks to preserve historic structures, art, and published works throughout the nation. It will be on display at EAA throughout 2017.
We’re honored to be the first museum chosen by the CAF to receive this priceless collection on loan. It tells a unique story of the common soldier and airman during World War II, how this artwork was created, what it meant to these young men mostly between 18 and 25 years old, and the individual tales of these aircraft that returned along with those that didn’t.”
The nose art was common on the bombers and fighter aircraft of the era, and displayed the creativity of crews at air bases around the world. As was the custom during World War II, some of the nose art depicts slogans or places, but many of them included drawings of young women in poses from chaste to extremely provocative."
The following nose art was in an adults-only curtained area because of the nudity and the racial insensitivity.
Denice talked me into taking a ride in a biplane. The EAA has a number of planes that you can ride in but this was the only one available on this day. I will fully admit that I do not like roller coaster rides or heights--but I don't have issues flying. Except in this contraption where your head is out in the wind and the plane is rockin' and rollin' in the sky.
Next it was my turn. This is a shot I took over my shoulder of the pilot of the craft.
Trust me--I was happy to get back on the ground. I was glad I did this--but I will never do it again.