FROM OUR MAIN GALLERY- NOSE ART – PART THREE

This is the third and final chapter covering the topic of aircraft nose art. It’s been a topic that is never ending with so many stories and tales to explain the reasons why it was used or the emotions and reasons for using it.   it wasn’t just Disney characters that were used, as you can see from the photo above, many aircraft painted looney tunes to send a message. This painting was on a Ventura, based on Argentia, NL. What’s  special about this painting was that it was done at the factory in Burbank, California by the studio artists themselves.               Another two popular characters are those seen above, Popeye and Olive Oyl. I used the olive Oyl picture because it shows the humour often seen in these paintings, as olive beats the behind of Hitler. This was painted on an RCAF lane piloted by P/O D.J. Sullivan.       Many of the planes were adorned with stylized pin up girls such as “Lonesome Lola” seen here. She was on a mk1 Lanc of no.9 Sqn. This a/c finished 97 ops!   Some of these girls were very much on the line of what could be accepted and what could not, even to today’s standards! The following two pictures highlight this well.   “I’m Easy” was lost on 31July 1944.  The unnamed nude was on a B24 belonging to 159sqn. Some of the paintings were very intricate, covering all of the nose or most of the aircraft. The following  picture shows an RACF B24 mkIV serial #3742. The inspiration came from a...

A SPECIAL VISITOR TO OUR MAIN GALLERY!

  On April 5th, one of our volunteers, Len, greeted a special guest.  Sgt. Ruth Masters came into the Museum for a visit. If you’ve been in our Main Gallery, you likely took time to enjoy the Women’s Division exhibit.  It’s there that you’ll find Ruth’s uniform and badges.  We hope you enjoyed your time with us, Ruth, and will come again soon! Our Museum appreciates the donation Ruth made and hope that our visitors do as...
THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY ~ THE INVENTION OF THE TANK

THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY ~ THE INVENTION OF THE TANK

Military leaders during WW 1 have been labelled as mindless butchers, incapable of original thought, who led soldiers to useless deaths. It is true that the tremendous increases in firing rate and accuracy of both artillery and small arms created extreme lethality, which led to casualties and stalemate, not victory. The truth is actually a little more complex: the crucible of WW 1 was actually a period of great invention and innovation, so much so that it created “A Revolution in Military Affairs”, one that shaped 20th century warfare. No weapons system symbolizes that more than the creation of the tank. Combat in WW1 began in August 1914. Initially consisting of vast armies maneuvering by railway and on foot, the lethality of modern weapons forced the armies to create 450 miles of parallel trenches stretching from the Swiss border to the English Channel. There were no flanks: all attacks had to be head-on. As early as October 1914, after a month of trench warfare, military leaders were already seeking solutions to the stalemate. A LCol Swinton envisaged the need for a machine to cross trenches, barbed wire, and mud to attack the enemy. The basic idea was to take machine guns and heavier guns and place them in a steel box to protect them from defenders’ fire. Powering this machine would be the recently invented (1884) gasoline-fuelled internal combustion engine. An effective continuous track, patented in 1901, would propel them across the shell torn muddy landscape and be able to cross trenches. This unique combination of firepower, protection and mobility was christened the “tank”, a vague term that provided...
THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY ~ WWI MILITARY COMBAT INNOVATIONS

THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY ~ WWI MILITARY COMBAT INNOVATIONS

Military Combat Innovations of WW1:  a Revolution in Military Affairs   WW1 quickly proved the lethality of modern weapons: their extended range, accuracy, ease of use, and unprecedented volume created huge casualties and stalemate. WW1 created the need for new technologies and tactics, and they were remarkable in their number. A brief list follows.  Land Power The following new weapons were invented: tracer bullets, incendiary bullets, light machine guns, flamethrowers, effective hand grenades, poison gas, and the tank.   New fire techniques were invented: artillery would fire a “creeping barrage” going forward just ahead of attacking soldiers. Artillery and machine guns would fire for long periods on the same area “suppressing” enemy action. At the same time innovative ways to locate the enemy’s guns, including the use of microphones were invented.       Sea Power WW1 saw the start of using unrestricted submarine warfare to cut sea lines of communication. Inventions to counter the new submarine threat included: sonar, hydrophones, and depth charges all had to be invented. The birth of air power meant that naval forces needed it as well, so aircraft carriers were invented.    Air Power Tethered balloons already existed, but real air power using fixed wing aircraft, both single and crewed, as well as dirigibles were fielded in large numbers and most air power missions were invented in WW1. Air power saw the invention of effective large scale aircrew training, interrupter gear (to enable safely shooting through one’s propeller), bombsights, bombs, autopilots, airborne radios, air traffic control, pilotless bombs/drones etc.   Conclusion 20th century warfare was dominated by armoured land battle, submarine blockades and the...
THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY

THIS MONTH IN OUR LIBRARY ~ VIMY

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge.  Our Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jon Ambler has created an interesting display in our Museum Library for those of you who are able to visit the Comox Air Force Museum.  Included is an informative narrative.  I thought you might like to read it here on our website.  Thanks to Jon for the work he’s done to educate us! Background The Battle of Vimy Ridge is Canada’s most celebrated military victory. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, attacked the ridge from 9 to 12 April, 1917 and captured it. Vimy Ridge itself is a seven kilometer-long hill rising amid the open countryside north of Arras, France. To the east of the ridge was German occupied territory on the Douai plain; to the west were the British lines. German forces were entrenched on the ridge, having held it for much of the war. More than 100,000 Allied soldiers had already been killed and wounded in previous efforts to dislodge the Germans from the ridge. Easter Monday 1917 After a week of intense Allied bombardment, the Canadian Corps attacked the ridge at 5:30 am on 9 April, Easter Monday. Timing and co-ordination were critical — the troops moved up the long western slope of the ridge, just behind a rolling artillery barrage designed to keep the Germans hidden in their bunkers and away from their machine guns as long as possible. In wind, sleet and snow, an initial wave of more than 15,000 Canadians stormed the ridge and captured most of the German positions by...
ANIMALS IN WAR ~ STORIES OF COURAGE: STARBUCK, BEACHCOMBER, AND SIMON

ANIMALS IN WAR ~ STORIES OF COURAGE: STARBUCK, BEACHCOMBER, AND SIMON

Animals have long helped people in times of war, conflict, and peace.  A stone arch in the Peace Tower honours these special workers and supporters; The work by artist, John. A. Pearson, represents the animals that served during the war: reindeer, pack mules, carrier pigeons, horses, dogs, canaries and mice. The inscription reads: THE TUNNELLERS’ FRIENDS, THE HUMBLE BEASTS THAT SERVED AND DIED.   Animals served in wars in a variety of roles such as transporting supplies, delivering messages, helping the wounded or just being a soldier’s companion.  In fact, thousands of animals contributed in times of war. Pigeons were used during the First and Second World Wars to deliver messages when radio or telephone communication wasn’t possible.  They flew for many kilometres and in all kinds of weather.  The sky was sometimes filled with gun fire.  Some of them didn’t complete their journeys and others were wounded.  It was dangerous but the birds were loyal and faithful. One such ‘feathered friend’ was Beachcomber, who served with the Canadian army win WWII as a carrier pigeon.  This was an important job as the soldiers in the field, sailors on their ships, and pilots in airplanes needed the ability to communicate and send messages about their progress, to request supplies, or to call for help.  The messages were written on small pieces of paper, put inside a small container and attached to one of Beachcomber’s legs.  (photo VAC)       In August, 1942, Beachcomber brought the first news of the landing at Dieppe, under hazardous conditions;  for this he was awarded the Dickin Medal on March 6, 1944.       Horses...

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