TV Presents Sexy Nose Art B-29 Korean War

Uploaded on Saturday 14 December 2013


Xcorps TV Presents Sexy Nose Art B-29 Korean War -
John R.Edmondson and the 56th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron – Korean War B-29 Sexy Color Nose Art!
By: J.Stuart Edmondson

This was a time just after WW2 and the A Bomb drop on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Things were tense in the world because Russia would soon have the H-bomb. It was also a time before satellites looked down on the earth to predict the weather and to spy on enemies. Getting that information was somewhat dangerous to human life! To get that job done you had to put a crew of United States Air Force flyboys together and put them in charge of a Boeing RB-29/WB-29 Superfortress and send them on weather spy missions!

My Dad, J.R.Edmondson, was on assignment again 7 years after flying navigator in B-17s and B-24s in WW2. Now during the Korean ‘conflict’ he was part the ‘Fighting’ 56th Reconnaissance Squadron based out of Yokota Japan which was active for just one year from 1951-1952.

When asked, my Dad used to talk about the very long cold missions in the weaponless planes looking for and flying into typhoons (hurricanes) to check the storms strength. One mission he said was so violent that the wind shear twisted the whole tail assembly of the B-29 off by 3 degrees! The plane had to be scrapped! “A ride to all hell and back” he said!

There were stories as well about spy missions north out of Yakota toward the Russian frontier not only to test how well the ‘Rooskis’ guarded their airspace but also to sniff the air via a “bug catcher” atmospheric sampler which was installed where the upper and lower gun turrets had been. This was a time when the U.S. and Russia were blowing off A bombs in the atmosphere to test them out. The question at the time was if Russia had the much more powerful H Bomb. This question was answered on August 12, 1953 when specialized filters on the B-29 did collect radioactive fallout from Russia’s first hydrogen bomb test. News of this nuclear finding rocked the Air Staff and the world politically!

On the subject of military plane Nose Art the B-29s of The 56th Reconnaissance Squadron was bawdy beautiful and quite exceptional and though short-lived represented the very best in an all American Art form!
Lt. J.R.Edmondson was lucky enough to capture the images on 35mm Kodachrome slide film using a very high quality 35mm camera. He told me that a new squadron commanders wife had objected to the iconic artwork and the planes were soon ordered scrubbed clean. Just before that happened Lt.Edmondson walked the runway tarmac - stopping to shoot one slide frame of each B-29 with his new Nikon S2 camera.

Though there are several of the 56th B-29 nose art shots existing in black and white the 18 frames my Dad shot are the only complete color photo documentation known to exist of the Squadrons Nose Art.
Now available are print reproductions made from these original Kodachrome slides from The Xcorps on e-Bay! For non-commercial use only.



Language: English

Length: 5:01

Country: United States