Ben James
FLYING TIGERS WWII Nose Art Original Illustration

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This is an original painting on board of the Flying Tigers nose art for the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG). This recognized emblem was only second to that of the famous Shark mouth that appeared around the front engine air scoop of the P40 Warhawk fighter planes they flew. This original illustration is the work of Texas artist Ben James and was part of his personal collection. It is one of six original nose art pieces we have available. Each pieces was hand drawn by the artist and then painted in the bright vibrant colors you see her. This piece is unsigned but was done the same year as the other painting.

The practice of having a painted insignia or design on the fuselage of an aircraft, usually on the front fuselage, are often referred to as Aircraft Nose Art or Bomber Art. Placing personalized emblems on fighting aircraft began in the early 1900′s with Italian and German pilots. The first recorded piece of nose art was a sea monster painted on an Italian flying boat in 1913. During World War II the use of famous actresses and pinup girls became very popular among the various groups and squadrons.

Nicknamed the Flying Tigers, the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force was composed of pilots from the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC), recruited under presidential authority and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. They flew from 1941 to 1942.
Ben James (1949-2016, American)
Creation Year
Illustration Board
30 in. H x 24 in. W
Dealer Location
Dallas, TX
Number of Items
Reference Number
Griffin Trading Co.
159 Howell St.
Dallas TX 75207
(214) 974-4059
1stdibs Gallery since 2009 Located in Dallas, TX
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