A new book release by the Dutch publisher Lanasta has as title ‘Mitchell Masterpieces’. These Masterpieces were the various nose-art paintings on the North American B-25 Mitchell bomber as used by the U.S. Army Air Force and the U.S. Navy during the Second World War. This is a book fully dedicated to this colourful nose-art and as such quite unique.
Author Wim Nijhuis has collected over the years details and hundreds of images of nose art. In particular on U.S. aircraft this paintwork was not only very colourful, but also in many cases very sophisticated works of art, made by gifted painters. Subject of this nose art was in most cases a wide variety of pin-up girls, move stars. comic book figures or well known political/military figures.
Except for the nose art, the author also give details on the bomber groups flying these colourful B-25’s but of course the nicest illustrations given are on scarcely dressed or nude woman figures. At that time this ‘pornography’ was more or less tolerated since it boosted the morale of the aircraft crews. Nowadays things and opinions on this are different and nowadays we can fully appreciate this beautiful paintwork.
Nijhuis also gives extensive details on B-25 colour schemes and markings in a separate chapter. The book has 248 pages on high quality glossy paper with more than 700 (!) photographs in B&W or full colour. It is a real pleasure to browse through this book, but also the text is worth reading.
I can only say that the word ‘Masterpiece’ not only relates to the book’s title, but also to the book itself! One small point of criticism: for the book-shelf I think this book really had deserved a full hard cover…. Even better news is that a Volume 2 on Mitchells used by foreign countries is already in preparation.
Title: Mitchell Masterpieces-An illustrated history of paint jobs on B-25’s in U.S. service
Author: Wim Nijhuis
Publisher: Lanasta, Oude Kampenweg 29, 7873 AG Odoorn, the Netherlands
Book number: ISBN 978-90-8616-236-9; NUGI 465
Book type: soft cover, 22 x 28.5 cm, 248 pages
Price: Euro 29.95 excluding p & p
With special thanks to Jantinus Mulder for providing a free review copy.