Rum & Coke

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

Drawing inspiration from the comic strips of Walt Disney, Milton Caniff and All Capp, many nose artists chose to paint cartoons rather than pin-ups. Rum & Coke artist Mike Luchetti chose to interpret a popular Andrews Sisters' song in cartoon form. Though not part of Rum & Coke's crew, Luchetti did serve with the 840th Bomb Squadron of the 483rd Bomb Group.
The Andrews Sisters
Rum & Coke was named after a song by the Andrews Sisters, a popular singing trio well known for entertaining troops overseas. When the song "Rum and Coca-Cola" came out in 1944, it immediately went platinum . . . radio stations refused to play this wild popular . . . song, which talks of alcohol and a popular . . . soft drink.
Serial #44-8584
Mediterranean Theater
15th Air Force
87th Bomb Group
483rd Bomb Group /
816th Bomb Squadron
Pilot: James Barrett
Co-pilot: James Bowton
Navigator: Don Hamilton
Crew: Parlapiono, McKee, Cardle, Mynster, Anderson, Skjonsby, Overlease
Rum & Coke 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

  • The Andrews Sisters have recorded the song at least 3 times for different labels: Decca Records in 1945, Capitol Records in 1956, and DOT Records in 1961.
  • During their final TV appearance as a trio, The Andrews Sisters performed the song as part of a medley with Dean Martin on The Dean Martin Show on September 29, 1966 and replaced the lyric "Go down Point Koomahna" with "Too much rum, no cola", poking fun of Martin's drinking.
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.

One of the best selling female vocal groups of all
time, the Andrew Sister's "Boogie Woogie Bugle
Boy" and "Beer Barrel Polka" were instant hits.

Cartoons like this nose art appeared
on bombers, fighters and other types
of aircraft.

Rum and Coca-Cola
sheet music
The three Andrews Sisters, LaVerne, Maxine and Patty, recorded "Rum and Coca-Cola" with only twenty minutes left in their recording session. The calypso tune went on to sell over 7 million copies. To keep up with the incredible demand for the record, Decca had to borrow shellac from other record companies. Scarce during WWII, shellac was the protective coating or varnish used in record manufacturing at the time.

Rum & Coke is part of the Commemorative Air Force
WWII Nose Art Collection, on display during 2016

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