RUNWAY ARTIST – AN ENGLISH GIRL PAINTS NOSE ART ON FLYING FORTRESSES

Our honey for this week is Ann Josephine Haywood, a 24-year-old blonde and blue-eyed English miss, whose drawings of curvesome lovelies on fuselages of Flying Forts are about the only things that Nazi fighter pilots like to look at in the air these days. Miss Haywood—or Annie, as she is far better known to the boys who fly the bombers she decorates—works in the American Red Cross Aero Club at an 8th Air Force Heavy Bombardment Base near the thatched cottage where she lives with her mummy and her sister Joan.



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Against a background of one of her own creations, Annie Haywood bats a breezy breeze with Sgt. Fred C. DiCiaccio (centre), of Somerville, Mass., and T/Sgt. Francis R. Fuller, of White River Junction, Vt., who has just chalked up his 13th mission

Annie’s chief concern is looking out for the needs of the EMs at the club and she goes in for her fairly extensive art work only in her off hours, all of which leaves her little time to exercise the two riding horses she still keeps as a token of the good old days when she had her own string of ponies and used to go in for amateur racing.

We ran into Annie at the base the other day and she took us around to show off some of her handiwork, which struck us a being a large bit of all right and which the combat crews swear brings them luck. She took us first to the Aero Club, whose walls she has decked out with some babes doing the rhumba, and then to the Officer’s Club where, in the bar, she has painted a large mural of forlorn-looking looie with a couple of pink elephants leering over his shoulder. Finally we made a swing with her around the field, while she pointed out such masterpieces of hers as Dragon Lady, Thunderbird, Pregnant Portia, and Shack Bunny.



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Annie puts a few deft finishing touches on yet another Fort.

All in all, it was quite a trip, for Annie is as bouncing and exuberant a young lady as ever slapped paint on a Fort, and her Aero Club work, plus the fact that she is a familiar sight on the runway sweating out missions, has made her just about the best known person at the base.  Everywhere Annie took us the boys waved her a “Hi!” and she was so busy passing the time of day with them that we could barely get a word in. It seemed to us that neither her accent nor her highly vocal spirits were precisely British and later, over a butt, she confirmed this hunch. Turned out that though Annie was born near Oxford and her father was a Yorkshireman, her mother is a Viennese. Annie herself spent two years of her infancy in Austria and was brought up here by French and Austrian governesses.

She was attending an English finishing school and planning to go to Paris to study art when the war came along and put the kibosh on her plans. “And what a big bum it was,” Annie exclaimed, “because otherwise I would be in Paris now! Whoopie!”

The boys at the base keep telling Annie to cheer up, there’s plenty of time yet.



For More on the Eighth Air Force Check Out:

Blood and Fears: How America’s Bomber Boys of the 8th Air Force Saved World War II


Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany


The Boys In The B-17: 8Th Air Force Combat Stories Of WWII


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