17 August 2012
Last updated at 15:57
Don Allen was a commercial artist who was drafted as a ground crew chief mechanic with the Fourth Fighter Group based at Debden in Essex during World War II. His paintings are to feature in a special documentary produced by Nose Art Films, about the pin-ups, cartoons and other images painted on aircraft noses by servicemen from the United States Eighth Airforce, known as the Mighty Eighth, during World War Two.
2012 is the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Mighty Eighth in Britain. Through much of World War II, Allen painted artwork at the request of his squadron's pilots on the various aircraft. He was particularly upset at the death of Captain Vic France who was killed in action. As crew chief he had looked after Captain France's plane and knew him well.
The pencil sketch of Miss Dallas was done before Allen started work on the aircraft. Given the chance he sketched each drawing before painting it and showed it to the pilot for his approval.
Allen became famous for painting almost 100 aircraft while stationed in East Anglia. The paintings added some much needed humour and helped personalise the aircraft for men who risked their lives every day.
Ten years ago, Allen recreated the original images in colour for the Air Mobility Command museum in Dover, Delaware.
Blondie was one of the most copied pieces of postwar artwork and was one of the last pieces Don painted before returning home at the end of the war. There are plans to show the documentary film in a selection of independent cinemas across East Anglia.
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