Aviation Art: The Lighter Side

In wartime, a customized Zippo was part of an airman’s identity

(Cowan's Auctions)

Snoopy

(Cowan's Auctions)

"Snoopy the Flying Ace replaced Bugs Bunny of World War II nose art fame as the most popular cartoon character of the conflict," writes Buchanan. "The beloved delusional beagle first crawled on top of his doghouse and cursed his imaginary enemy the Red Baron in October 1965, just as President Lyndon B. Johnson increased U.S. combat troops from 3,500 Marines in March to close to 200,000 by December. "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron," by the Royal Guardsmen, climbed to the top of the American Forces Vietnam Network charts in 1968 as GIs sought comfort in the wake of the Tet Offensive in the beagle's ability to defeat his nemesis, the Red Baron—read the Viet Cong—in the song's final chorus: Snoopy fired once / And he fired twice / And that Bloody Red Baron went spinning out of sight."

Tags

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus