The lovely lady taking a tour of what seems to be a P-38 Lightning, possibly at Lockheed’s Burbank plant circa 1943, has all the looks of a film noir femme fatal.
Well, that’s because she is Linda Darnell, an oft-forgotten tragic starlet of the 1940s and 50s.
During WWII, Ms. Darnell, described by Hollywood flacks as the “girl with the perfect face,” did her part for the war effort with a series of tours, Bond drives, lunch with returning GIs, and the like while at the height of her popularity in Zorro films, swashbuckling pirate movies, Westerns, and action adventures of the kind that the Joes and Bluejackets overseas delighted in watching to take their mind off the war.
She also was a featured pin-up in Yank magazine in 1944.
This, naturally, translated to ending up as nose art on Navy and Air Force planes.
Sadly, Ms. Darnell died the day after she suffered burns over 90 percent of her body in an Illinois house fire in 1965, aged just 41.