The Beautiful “Bomber Girls” of Yesteryear
I have been taking care of a sick nerdtastic guy today when not at work. Poor guy. Despite being sickly, he did pay me a compliment that I was totally not expecting. Today I was told “You look like one of those girls painted on the noses of the WWII bombers. You know, except with clothes on”. Now, several things went through my head at that point. The first thing was that a lot of WWII “bomber girls” did in fact have clothing on. Granted, some had almost no clothing on, but they had clothing none the less. Second was that I did not have on nearly enough make-up to be any form of pin-up girl. Lastly was that a great number of people my age and younger have absolutely no idea what a “bomber girl” is or they think it is in reference to a horrible Japanese manga. As such, today I have decided to do some explaining as to what exactly a “bomber girl” is.
To begin with, contrary to popular belief, not every branch of the United States military had “bomber girls” painted on their plane’s noses. Really? Yep, true story! The reason for that was because the Navy and Marines were usually occupied with maritime warfare and the planes they had and used were shared. They service men were generally not told, this is your plane and you take care of it. Rather it was more of a, this is one of our planes and you may or may not get to actually fly it even though you are trained to do so. It was the Army Air Force men that actually got to make their planed truly their own with beautiful pieces of art. Often these pieces of art depicted cartoonish characters. The most common ones were eagles, dragons, sharks, and the most famous were the “bomber girls”.
Bob Hope is really to blame for the rise of these “bomber girls” if you are going to blame anyone for it. The reason was that during his time broadcasting his shows from military bases during the 40’s he brought along other famous entertainers for the troops. Among these were singers and actors. Then there were the pin-up girls and the glamorous Hollywood actresses. The most famous of these was Ava Gardner. My personal favorite is Betty Grable. The other popular lady of the days was Rita Hayworth who was not only famous for her beauty, but also for her on screen dances with Fred Astaire. He is my favorite dancer. These beauties often reminded the troops of life back home in the States. As such, their likeness, and that of other pin-up girls, made it on to the noses of their planes. Here are some pictures of the ladies mentioned above for you that I found on Pinterest.
What other purpose did these “bomber girls” have? Well, besides giving the troops something pretty to look at and memories of home, they were used much in the same way that the figureheads on the old sailing ships were. These figure heads were meant to intimidate foes, ward off evil spirits, and bring luck and happiness to those on board the ships. More often than not, these figureheads were beautiful, sometimes naked, women. This can be seen in the “bomber girls” of WWII. Out of all the bomber nose are from WWII, this one is my favorite.
Unlike the modern pin-up girls, these women were not tiny size zeros. They were full figured and had curves like nobody’s business. Not knocking modern pin-up girls, one of my friends is a pin-up girl and she is tiny, but there is just something comforting about the vintage pin-up girls and “bomber girls”. Why do I say comforting? Well, I look a bit odd if I am below a certain weight because I have an hourglass figure. It is nice to know that these curvy girls are still considered to be bad-ass babes to this day. In other words, to all my fellow curvy pin-up girls, go hug an Army Air Force guy since Bob Hope is no longer with us. Better yet, go hug a WWII vet. Without them, curvy pin-up girls would not be quite as popular or awesome as they are today. Even better? Go hug a military veteran in general. They are pretty awesome and full of win.
Thanks military guys and galls! Love you all for everything you do for us here in the States!
Bonus Fun Fact! Lucille Ball was a pin-up girl. Really? Really! Here are a couple of photos for you all! She was unnaturally pretty when she was not on “I Love Lucy”. I hate that show. Sorry…not sorry…