Nose Art by Phil Brinkman
The 834th was known as the Zodiac squadron for the 12 B-24s, which had the signs of the zodiac painted on their noses. The original artwork was done by Cpl. Phil Brinkman, a former illustrator for a Chicago based advertising agency. This is one of the rare occasions where the name of the artists is still remembered.
Capt. W. D. Howell, of the 834th BS, had discovered Cpl. Brinkman while in Tucson, AZ. Capt. Howell had seen the artwork Cpl. Brinkman had done for the group and was impressed. He eventually arranged to have Cpl. Brinkman assigned to the 834th. Once in England, Cpl. Brinkman was put to work on the Zodiacs. While 12 planes had been selected, only 11 were finished.
None of the Zodiacs was lost during the 49 missions the 486th flew before transitioning to the Fortresses. The Zodiacs did not make the transition, and the crews named their new forts using the original names they had chosen for their Libbies.
These photos are from the USAF Academy's Mark Brown collection.