The 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association raised funds to assist in the restoration of EAA's B-17 named Aluminum Overcast. To honor the 398th's financial contributions, the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) painted the Aluminum Overcast in full 398th combat colors and insignia. The Aluminum Overcast carries the original 398th's 601st Squadron identification 3O and call letter H of B-17G serial number 42-102516. That B-17 was shot down and lost in combat on August 13, 1944, while being flow by Hal Weekley. However, there is no record as to whether or not that B-17 had nose art.

Airplane nose art, like the painting on the backs of A-2 jackets, was widely used and very creative on the airplanes of WWII.  Sources of inspiration for nose art were endless. Naturally pinups were the most popular, followed by cartoon characters, copied girl friend pictures or names, movie stars, etc.  Some times the nose art decorations were to be considered good luck charms, or maybe were used in an attempt to trick death or cheat destiny.

The Aluminum Overcast nose art was added as a typical example of B-17 nose art of that time. Evidently there was no model, special attachment or meaning in the nose art on the AO, just a pretty lady.  It is reported that the Aluminum Overcast's art work was done by two ladies at Oshkosh, so the Aluminum Overcast's fair haired lady is prim and proper. 

Randy Stange, 398th member and son of 398th veteran Raymond P. Stange, took this photograph on June 10, 2002 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lee Anne Bradley, 398th Group Historian forwarded the photograph to Dave for the 398th web pages. If you would like to add information about this picture, please contact our 398th Photo Historian. Picture Reference Number PR02.