WWII Nose Art – Hal Olsen, the Last Living WWII Nose Artist


I recently had the esteemed pleasure of acquiring five nose art photos of PB4Y-2 airplanes.  Using the power of the internet, I was able to look up four of the  planes, the Green Cherries, and the Lady Luck II.  With a bit of luck I tracked down the name of the original artist.  Hal Olsen painted over 100 nose art pin-up ladies on various planes in the PTO during his stint with the US Navy during WWII.  He charged $50 per painting and eventually used the money to enter formal art school and travel with his wife.  He is considered the last living nose art painter of WWII.    Having tracked him down, I wrote him a nice letter asking for his autograph and promising that I would send along some copies of my photos. He graciously signed all of my photos and added an inspiring letter with the group.  Thanks Hal!  You’re one for the story books.

Thanks Hal!

Lady Luck II
Green Cherries

Hal’s Autograph
"Gear Down and Locked Up" - an image shot by Lt. Theodore Rowcliffe, USNR before the plane was shot down in August of 1945Special thanks to Dave Rowcliffe for providing this image watermark free!

“Gear Down and Locked ” – an image shot by Lt. Theodore Rowcliffe, USNR before the plane was shot down in August of 1945
Special thanks to Dave Rowcliffe for providing this image watermark free!

Operation Crossroads Training Photo – The Enola Gay and Top Secret in Roswell, New Mexico 1946


Not sure if I’ve posted this image before, but thought that now would be a good time to add some aviation related color slides from my personal collection.  A jackpot of an ebay find a few months back turned out to contain original color images of the 509th Composite Group training in Roswell, New Mexico prior to the Operation Crossroads testing.  I have other images from this grouping, as well as some original paper material related to the 509th posted to this blog. Please enjoy this first (and one my favorites) image of the Enola Gay and some other B-29’s of the 509th lined up at Roswell. Not sure who the crew member is, but I’m glad the photographer missed the focus on this one!