Color Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Nose Art of the 490 Bomb Group

Some nice color photographs of Boeing B-17G nose art from the 490th Bomb Group (Heavy).  For the most part these Flying Fortresses are in unpainted natural metal with red identification markings.  These photographs are one of the seemingly rare cases where all the relevant attributions are known.  The artist was Master Sergeant Jay D. Cowan and the photographer was Captain Arnold Delmonico, both of the 490th Bomb Group.  The photographs are preserved as part of the Roger Freeman Collection, Imperial War Museum.

In late August 1944 the 490th Bomb Group traded their Liberators for B-17Gs and began bombing German industrial targets.  They were based at Eye, Suffolk until the end of the war.  The Group then participated in food drops to famine-stricken Holland.  After the war most of the aircraft pictured here were flown back to Kingman, Arizona and scrapped.

“Big Poison”, serial number 43-37894
“Alice Blue Gown”, serial number 43-38400
“£5 With Breakfast”, serial number 43-38728
A nice in-flight picture of “£5 With Breakfast”.
“The Wish Bone”, serial number 42-38058
“Love ‘Em! All”, serial number 44-8698
“Looky Looky”, serial number 44-6893
“Goin’ My Way”, 43-38865
P-51D Mustang serial number 44-11373 “Frisco Kid” of the 357th Fighter Group, photographed at Eye.
490 Bomb Group B-17G warming up engines.

Part II here:

4 thoughts on “Color Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Nose Art of the 490 Bomb Group

  1. I think you’re right. “The Wish Bone” was a replacement aircraft transferred in from another unit. She was in OD/NG camo which was touched up, and her chin turret (actually a Bendix turret this time!) is black.


  2. This blog as well as Preserving the Past was created for Clarence Simonsen’s research about aviation and nose art. He is an expert on the subject. He has been researching this for 50 years.

    Liked by 1 person

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