The Arizona Museum Memorial Association and The War in the Pacific National Historical Park launched "Planes and Pin-Ups", a traveling exhibit during the 60th anniversary veterans celebrations on Saipan.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, the United States was in a dire situation. Under command of General Douglas MacArthur, the United States adopted an "island-hopping" strategy for pushing the enemy back towards Japan. In June 1944, approximately 2 1/2 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, US forces returned en masse to the Mariana Island. On July 16th, 1945, the B-29s of the 20th Air Force began flying 12-to 14 hour missions to Japan from bases on Guam, Tinian, and Saipan.
Nose art, images painted on airplanes primarily during wars, provides powerful insight into the life and times of the soldiers involved in those wars. The art conveys a multiplicity of meanings, from pride in one’s country, to bravado, to the hope for a successful return from a dangerous mission.
During World War II, nose art reached its apogee, and many significant examples were produced in the Pacific Theater; many on the planes that flew in and out of the Mariana Islands. This exhibit will creatively display numerous works of nose art and will recognize the men who painted them. It will also delve into missions undertaken in the Pacific Theater, as well as the combat tactics employed there. The exhibit will include original nose art painted by Hal Olsen, a veteran who decorated over 100 aircraft during the Second World War while stationed at Tinian.
The exhibit premiered in Saipan during the Battle for Saipan and Tinian commemoration activities and the exhibit then subsequently traveled to Guam. This traveling trunk exhibit will also then possibly be displayed in Honolulu and additional venues in the contiguous United States. With funding provided by the Arizona Memorial Museum Association in Honolulu, Hawaii, the exhibit was designed and fabricated by International Museum Corporation (IMC), a Houston, Texas based traveling exhibit company.
For additional information, please contact Eric Brunnemann, Superintendent of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park and the American Memorial Park or Tammy Duchesne, Museum Curator.
Eric Brunnemann Superintendent, War in the Pacific National Historical Park and/ or Tammy Duchesne, 460 North Marine Corps Drive Piti, Guam 96915 (671) 472.7240.