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Through Our Parents' Eyes

Military Aircraft Nose Art: An American Tradition

From the Collection of Lt. Col. Frank Cline, USMC
22nd Bombardment Group, Pacific Theater

In April, 2009, Bill Cline emailed images from pictures of nose art taken during WW II. Bill explained that the pictures are among the papers of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Cline, a career Marine who enlisted as a private in 1942 and retired in 1974 as The Marine Corps Avionics Officer, Headquarters Marine Corps, located in Arlington, Virginia. During his 32 years as a Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Cline served in the Pacific, Korea and Vietnam.

During WW II, Frank Cline was stationed with a detachment of Marines on Anquar, one of the Palau Islands, and on another island, Samar, located in the Philippines. He served as an Aircraft Communications / Navigation Systems Technician with the Marine Corps' fighter squadron VMF-222. Known as the "Flying Deuces" and the "SeaBee Air Force," the squadron flew F4U Corsairs. It was on these islands that the nose art photographs were taken.

Lt. Col. Cline's collection includes more than nose art photos and we are grateful to Bill Cline for sharing them on this website. Visitors will appreciate seeing the Philippines through the eye of a young Marine, as well as photos of his brothers in arms. His 30 plus years of service in the Marine Corps took him through three wars, from the Philippines, Guadalcanal and Okinawa, to Korea and Japan, and to Vietnam.

The WW II nose art on these first two pages are classic nose art. As noted on this website's World War II page, 1940's pin-up played a prominent role. In addition, the "farther from headquarters, and the farther from the public eye, the racier the art." Anguar and Samar were certainly far from the "public eye."

click any image to retrieve a larger version;
follow the links to view details about this aircraft

Marine Sgt. Frank Cline at his radio repair bench in 1944
Marine Sgt. Frank Cline at his radio repair bench in Okinawa, 1944

Nose Art: Red Raiders
Red Raiders
22nd Bombardment Group
Nose Art B-24 Pilot
Frank performing maintenance on an F4U Corsair

Nose Art Daddy's Girl
Daddy's Girl details
Nose Art Heavenly Lambchop
Heavenly Lambchop

Nose Art Liberty Belle
Liberty Belle II details
Nose Art Maiden Montana
Maiden Montana details

Nose Art Missleading
Missleading details
Nose Art Modest Maiden
Modest Maiden details

Nose Art UpDraft
Up Draft
Nose Art stamp on envelope passed by naval censor
Passed By Naval Censor stamp

Nose Art (untitled female figure with dress open)
Nose Art Patient Kitten
Patient Kitten details

Continue with Frank Cline's WW II Photos  next page