Paint various forms of art work onto the nose of military aircraft is a practice that dates back to World War I. These usually depicted a certain company within the military or any insignia that a unit may have, yet they would eventually decline in popularity after regulations were put in place.
After the United States entry into World War II, the practice made a strong comeback, thanks to a combination of relaxed regulations and a general lack of care for following them in the first place!
This would lead to a golden-era for aircraft artwork. Due to most of the art being applied to the nose of military, the name nose art was used to describe the various depictions of artwork on aircraft.
The process of painting aircraft was viewed as a good way to pass the time, not to mention helping to build moral between companies that knew just how dangerous every flight would be.
It helped to create a sense of identity for the crew of the aircraft, as each plane would have their own unique design that set them apart from others within the unit or base.
Here’s a look at 22 rare vintage coloured photographs of World War II aircraft nose art.