P-40 WARHAWK LULU BELLE

COL. PHILIP ADAIR, 89TH FS, 80TH FG, 10TH AF

Flight Journal - - BRUSHSTROKES -

“Our Fighter Group was known as the Burma Ban­shees, and when I was as­signed my P-40, I took some lib­er­ties to per­son­al­ize it. Be­ing an old-car guy—I loved the cars of the 1930s—I bor­rowed some white paint and painted white­walls on all the tires in­clud­ing the tail­wheel. I de­cided to name my Warhawk af­ter a fa­mous New York model named Lu­cille. Each P-40 in our Group had a death’s head skull promi­nently painted on our noses, with blood drip­ping from its teeth. We knew the Ja­pa­nese were su­per­sti­tious, so we just stacked the deck in our fa­vor with the skull head hop­ing to scare the heck out of them.”

There is no doubt that the world has be­come too po­lit­i­cally cor­rect to put up with a bunch of young peo­ple putting their ques­tion­able marks on govern­ment prop­erty. Still, even to­day, the testos­terone and élan some­times breaks through and a per­sonal mark is al­lowed. In fact, the ser­vices have oc­ca­sion­ally painted a few air­planes pur­posely to com­mem­o­rate a time long ago, when free­dom was in ques­tion and kids with their aerial graf­fiti had to pro­vide the an­swer.

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