Art, Education, Military, News

Design contest brings new nose art to Selfridge aircraft


If you are a military history buff you know pictures of 1940s movie stars like Betty Grable or Rita Hayworth and other art graced the noses of aircraft during World War II, and that company or unit insignia were often seen on planes in World War I.

Many people think that kind of nose art went out of style back then, but nose art on planes is still going. Selfridge Air National Guard Base recently held a Nose Art Contest to find new art for its aircraft.

Rachel Barton, a part-time reservist from Belleville, won the contest. Her art will become the official logo of the base’s centennial celebration this year that includes an air show and open house August 19 and 20.  She was also awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Macomb Community College.

Her art, which will be on the A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter jet and a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft, shows an American eagle spreading its wings in front of a silhouette of Michigan.

17553432_10154661513363650_2284381178488373259_nA $600 scholarship went to second place winner Scott Whiteside from Warren Mott High School. Marianne Pupka, a student at Macomb Community College, received third place and $400 scholarship.


17553460_10154661513373650_8846924928158587406_nThe contest was a joint venture by Selfridge and the school to create an image that reflected and celebrated the base’s 100 years of service to America and Michigan.

The goal was to design an image that was symbolic, distinctive, and, most importantly, represents the base. The base received 20 submissions from the Macomb Community College Media and Communications Arts Department and members of the base.

The winners were announced by Brig Gen John D. Slocum, 127th Wing Commander, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, and Kris Mellebrand, professor, media and communication arts, Macomb Community College.

Those who entered the contest join in a tradition that dates back to World War I, the first war that both saw air combat, and the year Selfridge opened.

The art really took off (no pun intended) when America marched off to World War II and acted as a morale booster for the aircrew and flightline workers as it bound them together as a group.

New life has been breathed into a century-old tradition by the combined creativity of current students and military personnel.

– Top picture: L-R: Winners Marianne Pupka, Rachel Barton (with her daughter) and  Scott Whiteside with Kris Mellebrand, professor, media and communication arts, Macomb Community College, and Brig Gen John D. Slocum, 127th Wing Commander, Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

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