Naval aviation special markings and nose art is a field that has been largely ignored, primarily due to the lack of coverage in mainstream aviation history publications. Using research into archives, feedback from veterans, and personal photographs by the authors, Jim Meehan and William Tate, have documented thousands of previously unknown individual aircraft with these markings. Paint Locker Magic: A History of Naval Aviation Special Markings and Artwork covers markings on US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft over the 100 year history of US naval aviation.
This fascinating and visually resplendent book includes illustrations of special markings and nose art on early canvas-covered airplanes through the World War 2 era when nose art flourished and then continues on into the jet age, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and up to the present war on terror with aircraft marked to commemorate the 9-11 terrorist attacks. This coverage includes fighters and attack aircraft of the carrier navy and the patrol aircraft, transports, blimps, research and test aircraft and helicopters. Markings include personal nose art and pinups, shark mouth and similar markings, cartoons depicting special missions, Christmas and similar markings and tributes.
Jim Meehan is a retired engineer employed by the Department of Defense in the repair, modification and maintenance of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. Meehan is a member of the American Aviation Historical Society, Tailhook Association, Marine Corps Aviation Association and various aviation museums and societies.
William Tate grew up in the Fifties adjacent to ‘old’ NAS Atlanta; there he developed a lasting interest in naval aviation. While in high school, Tate joined the Navy and qualified as a naval aircrew man. He flew in many aircraft such as Connies, Neptunes, Orions, Skytrain IIs, Hawkeyes and Sea Stallions. He retired in
1991 with 3,300 flight hours and seventy deck landings. He studied art in college and also volunteered to paint nose art on ANG Phantoms.