World War II Pinup Nose Art

World War II Pinup Nose Art

This is my fourth post for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. Hopefully nobody is offended but its a historical reflection of attitudes regarding wartime nose art about 70 years ago.

Thanks to Terri at Perspectives On… for nominating me for this challenge. I had been planning to try some photo challenge blogging events recently, but hadn’t quite to started yet so this little nudge helps.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I have received responses for all my challenge invitations. Julia at Julia’s Odyssey accepted my challenge in my Day One post on Lake Texas Water Levels. My Day Two challenge to Elizabeth at Tea and Paper in my post on SXSW @ The Dogwood was also accepted. Yesterday, Kay at Sky Blue Daze responded to my invitation in my post on Becker Vineyards – Feb; she indicated her participation would be later since she’s going on vacation where there is no internet for blogging access.


Hal Olsen

Hal Olsen is the last living World War II Nose Artist who now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is my wife’s first cousin once removed – the son of her maternal grandfather’s brother (or her mother’s uncle’s son). He was a U.S. Navy aviation mechanic for autopilots who also worked at Los Alamos National Lab as an artist for official bomb designs.

He painted over 100 nose art pin-up ladies on various planes in the Pacific Theater of Operations during his stint with the US Navy during World War II on Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, now a U.S. territorial commonwealth. He charged $50 per painting and it because so popular that he made enough money for a honeymoon when he got married as well as paying for art school. He was doing about two a day during the period from June – August 1945 (right around the time that I was born).

His nose art was painted on over 100 PB4Y-1 (Navy version of B-24) and B-29 Superfortress bombers while stationed on Tinian island, and appeared in the first color issue of the National Geographic magazine. Some of his most famous paintings were on the Enola Gay and Bochscar, which were the B-29 bombers involved in the atomic bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 which ended the war six days later after the Japanese surrendered. The final painting he made was Enola Gay because the Air Force “wanted her done right”. He had also painted a B-29 bomber named “Up-an-Atom” that became the title of his book.

Up an’ Atom

Up an' Atom by Hal_Olsen - Amazon book cover

My oldest son wanted Hal’s book “Up an’ Atom” (2012) for Christmas. It’s an autobiography which covers the golden age of nose art in World War. We had Hal autograph it for him. There was no color film at that time, so photos were black and white. However, the fifteen best photos were recreated on canvas for the book. Although he painted most of the women in the nude, he requested that they be modified and clothed for inclusion in the book. The originals can be seen in their original state at the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Airpower Museum in Midland, Texas.

You can find his Up an’ Atom book at the Amazon web  site.

Portraits of War

The Portraits of War Wordpress blog shows several autographed photos that Hal sent to Brennan Gauthier for his WWII Nose Art – Hal Olsen, the Last Living WWII Nose Artist post , including Lady Luck II, Green Cherries, Accentuate the Positive, and Gear Down.

Also, there is an interesting picture of him painting one of the planes as well as brief description in the index of nose artists at the US Army Air Force (USAAF) Nose Art Research Project web site.

Commemorative Air Force

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) was founded to acquire, restore and preserve in flying condition a complete collection of combat aircraft which were flown by all military services of the United States, and selected aircraft of other nations, for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans. More than just a collection of airworthy warplanes from the past, the CAF’s fleet of historic aircraft, known as the CAF Ghost Squadron, recreate, remind and reinforce the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history. It now contains over 160 aircraft.

CAF Airpower Museum

The CAF Airpower Museum, formerly American Airpower Heritage Museum, at the Commemorative Air Force headquarters is located at 9600 Wright Drive in Midland, Texas. Besides restoring and preserving World War II-era combat airplanes, it’s preserving the complete history of World War II military aviation and the memory of the men and women who built, serviced and flew the historic military aircraft of World War II. It is recognized for its collection of authentic World War II artifacts and memorabilia including uniforms of Allied and Axis countries, armament, photographs, weapons, and equipment. It is affiliated with the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Its exhibits tell the complete story of World War II military aviation from the prelude of World War II to the Atomic Bomb. They focus on the war in the Pacific, strategic bombing, D-Day and the atomic age, and include the American Combat Airman Hall of Fame, 507th Fighter Group gallery, and Nose Art Gallery.

Here’s a very brief video overview of the CAF Airpower Museum.

“CAF Airpower Museum – Overview” – 1 min 48 sec

 

Nose Art Gallery

Designated by the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation as an official project of Save America’s Treasures, the unique one-of-a-kind Aviation Nose Art Gallery collection is the world’s largest. It includes 34 very rare original Nose Art panels that represent the artistic expressions of young men at war. The panels were cut from fuselages of World War II aircraft as they were being scrapped after the war.

Easy Maid is easily one of the most recognizable pieces in the collection and was painted by the world’s last living nose art artist, Hal Olsen.

Hear Hal’s story of how and why he painted this and many other Nose Art images during World War II.

CAF Airpower Museum – Hal Olsen (2013) – 2 min 29 sec

 

Easy Maid

Nose Art - Easy Maid

The Save the Girls project web site was established to preserve, restore, and display the world’s largest collection of World War II aircraft nose art.

Hal’s Easy Maid image on a PB4Y-1 Navy bomber is included in the Nose Art Gallery. Click on the thumbnail for background information or the larger image.

He’a a very nice, talented guy, and I wanted to share his unique story. We have several watercolor paintings hanging on walls in our house that he graciously gave us (not nose art nudes, but landscape and beach scenes). I hope you found this interesting and liked the photos and information about nose art.


The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. And actually everyone can join in. So feel free to if you like the idea.


I would like to invite Sandi at Sappy as a Tree to join the party. I have known her since Blogging 101 and Photography 101, and she has been a frequent commenter on my blog. I’ve enjoyed following her blog, and she follows me as well. Although not as active, I thought she might be a good candidate to join this challenge anyway. As mentioned before, it is totally up to you to accept this challenge.

Becker Vineyards – Feb

Becker Vineyards – Feb

This is my third post for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge.

Thanks to Terri at Perspectives On… for nominating me for this challenge. I had been planning to try some photo challenge blogging events recently, but hadn’t quite to started yet so this little nudge helps. Julia at Julia’s Odyssey accepted my challenge in my Day One post on Lake Texas Water Levels. Yesterday, Elizabeth at Tea and Paper also responded to my Day Two challenge from my post on SXSW @ The Dogwood.


In February, we picked up our wine club package from Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, Texas. We get 3 bottles quarterly in February, May, September, and December. This time it contained a Zinfindel, “Inverno” (Merlot/Cabernet), and Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

We also enjoyed a free wine tasting with Chenin Blanc, Prairie Rotie, Malbec Reserve, Tempranillo Reserve, Raven, and Zinfandel, as well as a complimentary Merlot Reserve. These pickup parties include live music as well as snacks such as crackers, cheeses, meatball in marinara, green olives, black olive bread chunks, nuts, etc.

There was also handmade chocolate truffles and barks from Delysia Chocolatier in Austin, as well as nuts from Al’s Gourmet Nuts in San Antonio. I had a free sample of the Raspberry Chocolate Truffle, and there were lots more available to purchase.

Out trip down to the Fredericksburg area is always pleasant. It’s so nice to take drives out in the hill country, and we usually enjoy getting German food at one of the many restaurants in Fredericksburg too.

It’s interesting that in February there are skunks splattered all of the highways which have been hit by cars (and you can smell them too). Apparently, it’s their mating season and coming out at night on 70 mph roads ends their search for a mate rather quickly. Also, you often see the large turkey vultures scavenging for the dead animals like skunks (or deer).

I captured several photos during out visit. There is building with all the windows on the side which houses the barrel room where they sometimes also have had tastings. However this year they have it in the main tasting room of the main building, where I have some inside shots (but didn’t get the outside). They have a lavender farm behind the winery where they have a Lavender Festival every year in May. You can see lots of lavender products displays on the wall near the tasting bar.

Out in front of the veranda and patio there is a cute old small house that once was used for guests to stay (but not any longer). There is interesting tall windmill right near there too. There are also photos of the package, bottles, and wine club newsletter descriptions below., including a windmill, House, Tasting Room, and Goodies.

It was a fun day, and I their wine is very good. I also hope you liked the photos.


The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. And actually everyone can join in. So feel free to if you like the idea.


I would like to invite Kay at Sky Blue Daze to join the party. She was another participant in Photography 101 during November 2014. I’ve enjoyed following her blog, and I thought she might be a good candidate to join this challenge. As mentioned before, it is totally up to you to accept this challenge.

SXSW @ The Dogwood

SXSW @ The Dogwood

This is my second post for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge.

Thanks to Terri at Perspectives On… for nominating me for this challenge. I had been planning to try some photo challenge blogging events recently, but hadn’t quite to started yet so this little nudge helps. Yesterday Julia at Julia’s Odyssey accepted my challenge in my Day One post on Lake Texas Water Levels.


Last Wednesday I went to a day party at The Dogwood for the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival here in Austin, Texas. These are some photos I took for several bands I watched perform there. I will also be creating some music posts for the bands that I heard over the next several days, and then I will update this post with those links too.

The weather was lovely that day in the mid-70’s so it was a great day to be out enjoying the music downtown (with thousands of others). Since it was also Spring Break for my grandkids, we agreed to have them at our house for a sleepover from Friday – Sunday. It was supposed to rain then anyway, although we did get some breaks in the rain to play some tennis with them and go to the park for a while. I didn’t want to go listen to more music and leave my wife alone with them for several days. I also decided to skip going on Thursday for a break before the kids arrived.

The Dogwood

This was the Guitartown/Conqueroo Kickoff 2015 Party at The Dogwood on 6th Street. It featured alt-country and Americana music all day, but I only stayed for about 3 hours. There were two stages available, where the bands performed in alternate half-hour sets. After watching outside on the patio, you could go inside (which was air conditioned) for the next band, etc. Right next to the outdoor stage was all this cactus that I thought might make an interesting shot, although it didn’t really turn out that good after cropping out all the heads in front of me.

IMG_3562 Cactus at The Belmont

I didn’t get going earlier like I had planned after getting a call from the assisted living facility where my mom lives. I needed to stop at Walmart to pick up some more underwear since she was out and they were borrowing from other residents. When I dropped them off, I noticed that she was sleeping in a chair in the living room (right after lunch) so I decided not to wake her up to visit that day since I didn’t want be even later than I was. It takes me about an hour to drive to downtown Austin, so I didn’t get there until about 2:30 pm. Luckily I was able to find a parking space on the street not too far from the venue which had a 5-hour time limit.

Day Party

I saw singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard from Wimberley, Texas at 3:00 outside, Aaron Lee Tasjan from New Albany, Ohio at 3:30 inside, American Aquarium from Raleigh, North Carolina at 4:00 outside, The Mastersons from Brooklyn, New York at 4:30 inside, and Bill Carter & Will Sexton from Austin at 5:00 outside. Here are several photos that I took during their performances.

Street Scene

I walked down 6th Street to take in the unique “music everywhere” atmosphere. Lots of interesting people watching with so many different people (and styles) from all over the world. I started receiving low battery warnings from my iPhone 5 so unfortunately I had to give up the idea of taking more photos since it was completely drained before dinner, and I didn’t have any place to use my charger. I guess I need to figure out what’s draining my battery so quickly or else get some battery booster so I can at least get through the day, especially while traveling.

SXSW 6th Street Crowd

SXSW 6th Street Crowd

SXSW 2015 Banner

SXSW 2015 Banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonshine

I had dinner at the Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill where I had Green Chili Macaroni with grilled chicken, corn bisque, and bacon gratin (shown below), along with complimentary jalapeño corn bread, and a glass of wine. Check out their photo gallery slideshow which highlights their menu and atmosphere, which features “an innovative take on classic American comfort food”.

Moonshine_Patio_Bar_and_Grill_Green-Chile-Mac

Evening Showcases

Also I went to the official SXSW evening showcases at 18th Over Austin on the top floor of the Hilton Garden Inn with table seating and large windows behind the musicians and all around the room for great views at sunset and nighttime of the city.

At 8:00 I saw Alice Phoebe Lou from South Africa and now Berlin, Germany. See my folk music post for Alice Phoebe Lou which includes her music, videos, and links. Then at 9:00 folk singer/songwriter Joan Shelley from Louisville, Kentucky performed, and finally at 10:00 folk pop singer/songwriter Jenn Grant from Prince Edward Island, Canada and now based in Halifax, Nova Scotia came on. I decided it was probably my time to leave so I could get home by midnight.

It was a fun day, and I enjoyed the music. I also hope you liked the photos.


The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. And actually everyone can join in. So feel free to if you like the idea.


I would like to invite Elizabeth at Tea and Paper to join the party. She was another participant in Photography 101 during November 2014 when I received comments on my photos from her. I also notice she likes poetry, which I have tried recently during Poetry 101. Since she seems to like photography too, I thought that she might be a good candidate to join this challenge. Also, I appreciate that she mentioned that my blog gave her inspiration. As mentioned before, it is totally up to you to accept this challenge.

Lake Travis Water Level

Lake Travis Water Level

This is my first post for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge.

Thanks to Terri at Perspectives On… for nominating me for this challenge. I had been planning to try some photo challenge blogging events recently, but hadn’t quite to started yet so this little nudge helps.


I live on the north shore of Lake Travis, which is a large reservoir lake that was created as part of a chain of seven Highland Lakes on the Colorado River in central Texas.

We have been in a drought for the past six years, and the lake is about 53 feet below full (37% full), and about 42 feet below monthly historical averages; of course, it will drop further during the summer months (maybe another 10 feet or so). Even though we have actually had quite a bit of rain recently, it has hardly raised the lakes much at all since the ground is so dry and everything gets absorbed rather than running off.

Recently, I took some photos with my iPhone 5 to capture what it looks like, especially since it’s fairly dramatic in places with high cliffs or large dry areas normally covered. For example, down by the Mansfield Dam there are the “Sometimes Islands” that have risen out of the water, or actually the water dropped and  shows them “sometimes” when the water gets very low.

When you walk down to the end of my street, you can look out over the lake where it bends around the Pace Bend Park peninsula visible across from my house. You can see how far on the left side in the brown area where the water used to be, with the limestone cliffs on the right side.

I went over to Arrowpoint Park, one of the many parks available to property owners, for some additional photos since the cliffs on the far side are closer and easier to see there. You can walk on the near side of the lake for quite a ways which used to covered with water, so you see a lot of interesting rocks, etc. Also, the marinas for boats have had to relocate multiple times further out into the lake so that they are still in the water.

Finally, I drove over to Cody Park, which is another park that we have often gone to swim in the lake, but it’s now much lower and you can walk way out further before coming to the water. It’s amazing how much stuff there was under the water, like tree stumps, etc and how much has already grown in since the drought.

The first several photos here who an inlet that really illustrates how low the water is now, and all that area was previously covered with water (including where I was standing and way up further). The other photos show how high some of the cliffs are on the other side.


The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. And actually everyone can join in. So feel free to if you like the idea.


I would like to invite Julia at Julia’s Odyssey to join the party. She participated in Blogging 101 and Photo 101  with me, and I notice that she has been taking part in the Weekly Photo Challenges. Also, I appreciate that she mentioned that my blog gave her inspiration. As mentioned before, it is totally up to you to accept this challenge.

Photography 101 – Top Picks

Photography 101 – Top Picks

This photo grid represents my top 10 picks of photos posted for the Photography 101 course during November 2014. You can see all my photo posts in a calendar format on the Photography 101 menu tab under Photos.

 

It was fun sharing my photos with you during this workshop.