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... But you wouldn’t want your mom to see it!
January 29, 2013 7:55 AM   Subscribe

"When you were up there in a plane, you’d get shot at, and you couldn’t call field artillery to support you. You had no ambulance, no medic. There was no tank to come in and run over the enemy. All it took was one accurate aircraft shot, and a plane full of 10 guys was gone. The commanders, for the most part, understood this,” Conway continues, “So there was a little bit more leniency in that regard than there would have been with ground guys. The officers figured, ‘Well, if this guy wants to paint a naked lady on the back of the jacket, what good is it to try to stop him? He could be dead tomorrow morning.’ The main objective was winning the war, not enforcing minor regulations and rules.”
posted by ChuraChura (23 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Love the camels!
posted by MtDewd at 8:00 AM on January 29, 2013


Fascinating. Thanks, ChuraChura!
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:06 AM on January 29, 2013


If an 18 or 19 year old is getting in a plane to fly across the Atlantic, dodge the Luftwaffe, bomb something and repeat the process in reverse I say let him paint what the hell he wants on his jacket or aircraft nose.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:11 AM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


GallonOfAlan: "If an 18 or 19 year old is getting in a plane to fly across the Atlantic, dodge the Luftwaffe, bomb something and repeat the process in reverse I say let him paint what the hell he wants on his jacket or aircraft nose."

Congratulations, you're apparently ready to command a squad of bombadiers.
posted by boo_radley at 8:36 AM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Very cool, thanks for posting.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:42 AM on January 29, 2013


I would love to see the bomber jackets of Jimmy Stewart and Joseph Heller.
posted by pynchonesque at 8:50 AM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Back then, they were only strict about the regulations that mattered

Because back then war wasn't really an elective for either the soldier or the country. Now war is continuous with volunteers, mercenaries and big business. How many wars is America involved in right this moment? Three or four or who even knows? When was the last military aircraft shot down? How old do you have to be in order to have been born during peacetime in America?
posted by srboisvert at 8:51 AM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


My grandfather was a fighter pilot. He had a jacket like this. He may also have had an occupation child.

When I asked my mother about this, she said pretty much the same thing those officers said.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:55 AM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


What a great article.
posted by zombieApoc at 9:22 AM on January 29, 2013


This is wonderful, thanks for posting.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 9:22 AM on January 29, 2013


I would love to see the bomber jackets of Jimmy Stewart and Joseph Heller. And George McGovern.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:31 AM on January 29, 2013


Back then, they were only strict about the regulations that mattered

I'm not sure I believe that's true.
posted by The World Famous at 9:56 AM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cool. Of course, nowadays they only let you paint "Jesus Killed Mohammed" in Arabic on the side of your Humvee.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:29 AM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


These are great, the collectors are right; it's not so much the jackets as the stories behind them.
posted by arcticseal at 10:32 AM on January 29, 2013


Cool article, thanks for posting it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:08 AM on January 29, 2013


I would do something this, but instead of a lady riding on a plane dropping bombs, I'd just have the lady spread as if giving birth but the babies are BOMBS, lots of them.

(I have issues)
posted by symbioid at 11:29 AM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, regarding srboisvert's question about peacetime in America...

When *was* the last time America was actually not fighting some sort of war. Ever? Like, I mean, we had wars against the Indigenous people of this continent even if not called "wars" (more and what they call a "war" against the native populace was more, IMO, like a battle of a longer war of extermination). Then we had expansion to other things in this hemisphere, the civil war, more hemispherical shit, WWI, WWII, some South Pacific shit perhaps(?) Korea, 'Nam, Contras, Iraq/Iran, Iraq, Serbia, Iraq II: Electric Boogaloo, Afghanistan, etc, etc, etc...

Like, I know some of these are proxy wars, and some are more like covert wars/operations, unofficial wars. But have we EVER had an actual "peacetime America"?
posted by symbioid at 11:37 AM on January 29, 2013


boo_radley: GallonOfAlan: "If an 18 or 19 year old is getting in a plane to fly across the Atlantic, dodge the Luftwaffe, bomb something and repeat the process in reverse I say let him paint what the hell he wants on his jacket or aircraft nose."

Congratulations, you're apparently ready to command a squad of bombadiers.
Stick to something you know about, kid. The men you're mocking won World War II.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:21 PM on January 29, 2013


I don't think he was mocking anyone? And in any case, if he were mocking someone it sure wasn't the poor Russian cannon fodder who won the war.
posted by Justinian at 12:24 PM on January 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


(Though to be fair I suppose a good case could be made that American airmen won the war in the Pacific.)
posted by Justinian at 12:25 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are great, the collectors are right; it's not so much the jackets as the stories behind them.
You will like this then - Nose Art and Pilot Portraits (the whole archived site makes for interesting and poignant reading).
posted by unliteral at 4:10 PM on January 29, 2013


Yeah, not mocking anybody. Just noticed the similarity between GallonOfAlan's comment and Conway's paraphrasing.
posted by boo_radley at 7:03 PM on January 29, 2013


My apologies, boo_radley.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:41 PM on January 30, 2013


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