28.000 x 20.000 inches
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B-24 Lead Assembly Ship
Painting - Acrylic On Canvas
This is the 2nd Lead Assembly Ship for the 458th Bomb Group, belonging to the 754th Bomb Squadron. She was known in the airgroup as the" Spotted Ape", " Spotted Ass Ape", and " Wonder Bread" Before given this wild paint scheme she was known as Dixie Bell II. Prior to this aircraft there was one other " First Sergeant" with this paint scheme. It was destroyed on the ground when a flare gun accidentally discharged in the aircraft.
The mission of these brightly painted aircraft was to help the airgroup form up on a single leader.The white stripe in the red cicle on the fuselage even had lights in it so the group could see it at night. Once the group was formed up the aircraft would break away from the formation and head back to the airbase.
I want to thank two people for their assistance in this painting. I had limited information on this aircraft, but a close friend 'Larry Keahey '(over in the photograhy section of this site) came up with some color pictures of it.,Especially the top of the wings. I had re-drawn the dots at least three times and was frustrated to no end. About the paint scheme: This is what the Franklin Mint came up with. All the combat photos I had showed the rear and interior of the rudders as olive drab. Also the interior of the rudders and horizontal stablizer had the red and yellow dots continued on the inside
The other person I want to thank is Marc Stewart, an outstanding aviation artist on this site. He is also a member of the (ASAA), American Society Aviation Art. With out his advice and encouragement I would have thrown this canvas out the door into the yard. Note: Original artwork has been sold, Prints are still available thru FAA.
January 31st, 2009
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