Noses in the Air for new WW2 Documentary

The stories behind iconic World War Two art and images are told in ‘Nose Art and Pin-Ups’ – the latest documentary film to be released by Coventry video experts Whirlwind Productions.

Scheduled for release in August to commemorate the anniversary of the start of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) bombing offensive against Germany in WW2, the film explores the various themes of nose art through pin-ups of “gals” back home, and American States as well as some more humorous images of animals and other cartoon characters. Nose art was the name given to expressive images painted on the noses of aircraft used throughout the war.

In what is a passionate subject for Whirlwind Productions Managing Director Gail Downey, ‘Nose Art and Pin-Ups’ began as she was researching a programme for The History Channel. After becoming concerned that living veterans were becoming fewer and fewer, Gail self-funded a trip to the USA to meet nose art crew members and interviewed nose artist Don Allen who was a crew chief at an American base in East Anglia. The result is a fascinating insight into how the lives of military personnel were made that little more bearable with the morale boost that nose art provided.

Of all the bombers that went out to fight in the war, only one in seven of the bomber and fighter crews returned. Servicemen distanced themselves from one another for fear that a potential friend could be taken away from them at any one time. ’Nose Art and Pin-Ups’ not only explores the fun topics behind the bomber’s iconic images such as: Our Gal Sal, Blondie , and Turnip Termite, but also the deeply personal and sometimes shocking stories of the veterans themselves.

Gail said: "I became fascinated by nose art and the stories behind the images a few years ago and became worried that veterans’ fascinating stories were becoming lost as they got older. I decided to dig deep into my savings, hire a cameraman, and finance a trip to the States myself to meet the veterans and find out more. I wanted to know why they had chosen particular nose art images for their planes and to hear about their time in England and their lives. I was bowled over by their courage and how they all understated the role they played. For them it was just a job and yet 30,000 service personnel were killed - that is almost one in seven who never made it back home.”

Gail has been backed in her efforts by WW2 enthusiast and Michael P. Faley. Michael is Director of the 8th Airforce Historical.

Michael said:" Nose Art was the extension of the bomber crews, fighter crews and even the ground crews' personalities. I think this is a very worthwhile project and a fine tribute to the men remembered for their "rides" (i.e. aircraft) as their exploits."

‘Nose Art and Pin-Ups’ is available to pre-order now from and will be shown exclusively in select cinemas throughout the UK.

For further information, please contact:-

Gail Downey, Nose Art Films on 07976 819913, or email


Denise Taylor, Bridge PR & Media Services on 024 76 520025, or e-mail

About Nose Art and Pin-Ups:

‘Nose Art and Pin-Ups’ is a documentary about the pin-ups, cartoons and other images painted on aircraft by servicemen from the United States Eighth Airforce - the "Mighty Eighth" - in World War Two. The documentary features interviews from War War Two veterans and historians and will be released in August 2012 in the UK and America.

You can follow Nose Art and Pin-Ups on Twitter @NoseArtFilms.

About Whirlwind Productions:

Whirlwind Productions is an experienced video production company based in Coventry. Its Managing Director, Gail Downey has experience working in national and regional television and corporate films, media training and video PR.





Documents & Links


For veterans going to war was just a job and yet 30,000 service personnel were killed - that is almost one in seven who never made it back home
Gail Downey, Nose Art and Pin-Ups Producer