1950 PBM Mariner Aircraft Art

by Ned Norris

My brother Jack Norris known as “Jock” in VP46 had joined the Navy 2 years prior to me.  When the Korean War broke out in 1950 I was completing my sophomore year in college.  I joined with hope of serving with my brother.  After completing my schools I was assigned to the USS Kearsarge and was headed for Korea when my orders came in to transfer VP46.  “Jock” Norris was an AK2 and I followed him into storekeeping.  I had the opportunity to serve in VP46 through the Korean War and made two cruises to US Naval Station, Sangley Point in the Philippines.

In looking back time spent with the squadron were some of the happiest times of my life.  Our squadron was blessed with outstanding Officers and men.  I personally had the opportunity to fly as a crewmember throughout my squadron time.  It became known in the squadron that I had a background in art.  A close friend in the squadron, C. T. Hartigan, an AT3 in Baker Dog 10 asked me if I would create and paint nose art for his crew. (A side note, C. T. Hartigan became very successful in his business career, becoming the owner and publisher of Dunn and Bradstreet Publishing in Chicago IL.)   I completed the art work on BD10 which created a great deal of interest from the other crews.   (The Bat Out of Hell)

Our Squadron Captain determined that he felt it brought our crews closer together and supported the crews in selecting nose art. (It should be noted that when we would return to the states the nose art had to be painted out much to the moaning and groaning of the crews.)  I would draw up a number of suggestions for the crews to select from.  The next obvious step was to have patches made for our flight jackets that were exactly like the individual planes nose art.  It should be noted that the Captain would periodically discuss with me what he felt was appropriate or perhaps too risqué.  Overall I believe it was a moral builder and lot of fun for all concerned.  The patches were made possible through our squadron tailor Venecia Reboya.  Vince and his family became close personal friends through the years.  Vince lived in Kiewit, Cavite with his outstanding family.   Vince passed away several years ago but we have stayed in contact with his oldest son Carlos. I would like to add that we had in our squadron  an AB3 by the name of Nesbitt Charles Jenkins Jr.  Nesbit was a great help in providing the correct spacing for the aircraft scaffolding, and the timing for the artwork.  Nesbit became a very successful contractor in Atlanta Georgia.  We remain close friends to this day seeing one another as often as possible.

My brother “Jock” is 83,  C. T. Hartigan is now 78, Nesbit and I are turning 80 in a few months and we are all going strong.  We all look back at our squadron days with wonderful memories.

More articles are found in the Summer 2011 MMA Newsletter.

Mariner/Marlin Reunion & General Meeting
OFFICIAL RECORD: Second VP-41 /Michael D. Roberts
1950 PBM Mariner Aircraft Art / Ned Norris
From your MMA Historian / Paul H. Hebner
Something Missing a Sea Story / Bob Thomas
Mariner Pilot / Frederick Johnson, “Wings” December 1972
“Dead” Men’s Diary pt. 2 / Owen McCarty, The Saturday Evening Post 1947
2012 Reunion Information

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