Names and Nose Art For the B-17 Bombers of the 385th Bomb Group of the Mighty 8th Airforce

Welcome. We hope you enjoy the nostolgia of our war plane and nose-art gallery. We would like to thank W. W. Varnedoe, Jr. for allowing us to reproduce the following pictures from his book, “The Story of Van’s Valiants of the 8th Army Air Forec – A History of the 385th Bomb Group in World War II.

Planes are shown alphabetically by name. Pictures were provided from a variety of publications so that every B-17 for which a nose art picture survived could be listed. Thus we appologize for the poor quality in many of the photos.

You will notice several of the planes utilized the same name. However, there were usually variations that set them apart.

Some examples:

  • When Stars and Stripes #42-3544, was lost, #42-31349 was named Stars and Stipes, 2nd Edition in honor off the Armed Forces Magazine of that name.
  • Shack Bunny, was used on three B-17’s in the 385th Bomb Group. # 42-3551 had a blond on her nose, # 42-5913 had a brunette on her nose, but # 42-30819 only had the name painted on the nose.
  • The original Raunchy Wolf was # 42-3290. B-17 #42-30249 was named El Lobo with a wolf’s head on her nose. However, when Raunchy Wolf was lost the crew over El Lobo and painted out the El Lobo logo and replaced it with the name Raunchy Wolf.
  • #42-3547 was named Latest Rumor and had a girl talking on a telephone as well as shark’s teeth on its nose. When another crew inherited the plane, they painted over the shark’s teeth and the name and renamed the plane Blue Champagne. However, there was another B-17 named Blue Champagne, #42-37977, whose nose was painted in imitation of the first Blue Champagne.