Mission Completed

© Photographed December 3, 2016, with permission of
EAA AirVenture Museum
Oshkosh, Winnebago County, Wisconsin
43.984169, -88.577507
Google Map

At the request of a commanding officer, Vernon Drake painted Mission Completed from a picture card of Elvgren's French Dressing. Smaller than postcards, picture cards were often called mutoscope cards or art cards. These wallet-sized pin-ups were often purchased and collected like baseball cards.

Drake chose to customize the pin-up for the bomber. Here, she is a blonde rather than a brunette and wears a black undergarment. Rather than accept payment for the painting, Drake got his pick of aircraft on which to fly home after V-J Day.
Painting Challenges
Vernon Drake encountered many challenges when painting nose art. The intense Indian sun vaporized thinners and quickly dried paints, forcing Drake to work quickly and precisely. The available paints often reacted badly when mixed, causing the paint to peel. One aircraft Drake painted was called into duty before the nose art could dry. The bomber returned safely, although Drake had to repaint the nose.
or B-24J
China-Burma-India Theatre
18th Air Force
7th Bomb Group
483rd Bomb Squadron
or 436th Bomb Squadron
Pilot: Phillip Watson
Co-pilot: Charles Weems
Navigator: Vinette
Crew: Adamsen, Drobek, Fountain, Hance
Mission Completed is part of the part of the Commemorative Air Force WWII Nose Art Collection, on display November 2015 through December 2017, at the EAA AirVenture Museum located at

More than 30 pieces of nose art from actual World War II combat aircraft made their first-ever trip outside their home museum, with the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh chosen as the first public display location for this rare collection.

The collection from the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) headquarters in Dallas, Texas, made its debut in November 2015 after a month of preparation in the EAA museum’s Eagle Hangar, which honors the people and aircraft of World War II. The artifacts have been designated by the National Trust for Historical Preservation as an official project of Save America’s Treasures, which seeks to preserve historic structures, art, and published works throughout the nation. It will be on display at EAA throughout 2017.
Commemorative Air Force Headquarters

Click here for more information about the collection and to view all nose art photographed.

Also in the Airpower Museum, Sloppy
But Safe reflects the same pin-up
inspiration as Mission Completed.
Mission Completed as it appeared
on the co-pilot's side of a B-24.

Forever Amber is part of the Commemorative Air Force
WWII Nose Art Collection, on display during 2016

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