The 487th Bombardment Squadron/ 340th Bombardment Group/ 57th Bomb Wing recognized the genius,
sincerity and the average soldier's appreciation of Bill Mauldin's cartoons by adopting his classic
"Stars and Stripes" characters, Willie and Joe, for nose art on their B-25J Mitchell medium bombers
during WWII. Time ran out for
Bill Mauldin on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 but his humor, wisdom and editorial statements will
live on forever.
My father has a book containing many of Bill Mauldin's cartoons that
he bought at a yard sale. I selected a few of them which seem to relate to the 57th
Bomb Wing in one way or another. I include them here as a tribute to Bill Mauldin.
But there's no place to dig a hole in a B-25 when they're firing their 88s at you.
I like this one because it shows what it was probably like for the other side
too after the B-25s of the 57th Bomb Wing knocked out their bridges.
Here's a really nice model of B-25J-7X from the 487th Bomb Squadron showing Bill Mauldin's classic noseart. I received this model from
487th BS tail-gunner Hank Del Percio. Thanks Hank!