Ruptured Duck Nose Art

Corporal Roger Lovelace

Corporal Roger V. Lovelace
See Military Record

My father, Roger V. Lovelace was one of the pioneers of Nose Art during World War II. He designed the Ruptured Duck artwork and painted it on the B-25B bomber that participated in the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo. The following is from the book Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (Random House pub. 1943) :

"One morning I came out to my plane and found that somebody had chalked the words 'RUPTURED DUCK' on the side of the fuselage. I grabbed Corporal Lovelace, a gunner I knew, and asked him to paint some sort of design on the ship. He's a good caricaturist. Lovelace got out his stuff and painted a funny Donald Duck, with a head-set and the earphone cords all twisted around his head. Lovelace did a swell job in blue, yellow, white and red. Then he added something that gave all of us another laugh. Under Donald Duck he drew a couple of crossed crutches."

That's how history has recorded the story but my father told it a bit differently:

"I had painted "Dinah Might" first with some stencil brushes and right after that some big shots showed up on the tarmac. I thought I was going to be thrown in the brig for defacing a million dollar piece of military equipment. Instead I was congradulated for personalizing the plane and raising morale."

After others had seen the plane with the new nose art they hired professional sign painters with air brush equipment to paint more planes with nose art including pin-ups, ferocious and protective characters and the like.

Early sketch of Ruptured Duck   Rupture Duck
Early Sketch of The Ruptured Duck
My Father did this Sketch for Me

Rodger Lovelace drawing the Ruptured DuckSketched especially for PICTURE is "The Ruptured Duck", the Donald Duck caricature that Roger Lovelace painted on his crew's B-25 Billy Mitchell bomber. This was the bomber flown by the 1st Lt. Ted Lawson on the famed Doolittle Raid described in Lawson's book "Thirty Seconds over Tokyo. Roger Lovelace trained with the Doolittle fliers but missed the raid because of a last-minute accident.

Read the brochure that this photo came from.

Ruptured Duck

Historical Articles and Accounts for
Roger V. Lovelace

Rodger Lovelace

Combat Crew No. 13 at MacDill Airfield

Jinxed Raider




Other Articles

"The Ruptured Duck Bomber Nose Art" by Roger Lovelace

"He Missed 30 Seconds Over Tokyo Bay By a Day"

Excerpt: "D-Day June 6, 1944 - The Climatic Battle of World War II"