Michigan Base Honors “Nose Art” Painters

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Three artists who designed “nose art” for U.S. military aircrafts were recognized at a Michigan Air National Guard 127th Wing ceremony for continuing the long-held tradition in military avionics.
The ceremony in Selfridge Tuesday was part of a future event celebrating the base’s 100th anniversary and its role in U.S. military aviation, the Detroit News reported.

Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum, commander of the 127th Wing, began the awards and unveiling of the artwork with how nose cone art is embedded in Air Force history. Nose art includes paintings of nicknames, slogans and other artwork on the aircraft’s nose. Slocum said that over wartime, paintings also included common enemies and pin-up girls.

“It was a little bit of rebelliousness,” he said. He went on to add, “It was aviation graffiti.”

The winners were Rachel Barton, 34, Scott Whiteside, 15, and Marianne Pupka, 56. The winners also received scholarship prizes for Macomb Community College.

Barton’s nose art on an A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter jet and a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft included an American eagle spreading its wings in front of a silhouette of Michigan. She won a $1,000 scholarship.

Scott’s nose art was the head of Uncle Sam over a lightning bolt and red pitchfork. He won a $600 scholarship.
Pupka painted the words “Selfridge National Guard Base,” ”First 100 Years!” and “I Will Defend” over an American flag and the state of Michigan.

The base, one of the oldest in the nation, is named after Army Lt. Thomas Selfridge, who died in 1908 while flying with aviation pioneer Orville Wright.

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