Her curvy figured graced more than one bomber nose in World War II. Pinup girl Aline Osborn sometimes received over 100 letters a day asking for a date from servicemen during the war, when she entertained the troops. She was recognized for her role in the Valentines for Veterans campaign, when State Rep. Greg Simms, presented her with a proclamation from the Indiana House of Representatives honoring her work six decades ago. She began modeling in the 1940s in Chicago. The Navy pinup series was her big break and got her in a lot of magazines. Her nights were spent dancing with soldiers at the Aragon Ballroom and other Chicago hot spots, all under the watchful eye of her protective father. She's been happily married to her husband James, who she met during the war, for sixty years.
The first US aircraft nose art was actually from another medium- magazines. Airmen would put magazine pictures on the nose of their aircraft- starting with the venerable B-17. There's a connection between man and machine- particularly a machine as complicated as an aircraft. Pilots and air crews spent many hours aloft, and the comforting droll of the engines was a well known lullaby for many of the flight crew. As they developed an attachment to the airframe, the leap to naming the aircraft, and adoring her with pictures of pinup girls gradually evolved. Women provide comfort for boys in their childhood as mothers, and companionship and support as wives, so having an attractive pin up girl on the nose of the aircraft came naturally. The vintage pinup provided a link back to home, a stylized version of beauty and caring that the men could not experience since being stationed thousands of miles from home, fighting on foreign shores.
While the military did not officially endorse nose art or pinups calendars, there was unofficial approval as it improved morale, and took the mens' minds off the boredom, and sometimes the intense horror of war. War is an intense psychological experience, and an escape, if only for a moment, by admiring a retro pinup helped the soldiers and airmen keep their sanity. The pinup girl earned her stripes by helping men get through one of the most difficult times in history.