For two decades, from 1955 to 1975, humans brought destruction and death in the so called Vietnam War (also known as the Second Indochina War). We don’t really want to be in the soldiers’ position and thoughts at the time, but we can imagine the stress and brutality they experienced. For strategic reasons, soldiers started to paint their helicopters, initially to properly identify friendly units. But it then evolved and left us something sweeter – at least apparently: the so called “Nose Art” inspired by the pop culture.
Through their paintings, soldiers evoked good thoughts or memories from their childhood, home life and peace time. Hopefully the nose art helped them to cope with the stress, to overcome the fear of death and the trauma caused by the war actions. We don’t really know whether they had a positive psychological effect. We can just have a look at 10+ artworks and let you judge by yourself.
1. Snoopy (shooting a machine gun)
2. Ghost Rider
3. The Green Hornet (the masked crime-fighter arrives in Vietnam)
4. Tiger head
5. Bull head
6. An armed helicopter…on a real copter
7. Road Runner (who hasn’t see the cartoon yet)
8. USA flag (…and a love for freedom)
9. A praise for peace making
10. Shark mouth
11. The Incredible Hulk (who wouldn’t need any helicopter -Ed.)
12. ‘Tasty’ lollipops
13. Red Cross
War is one of the worst activities humans can do – and always will be – while art is one of the most pleasant things humans have ever conceived and created. Is it enough to make a terrible was better – at least in soldiers’ mind?