The beginning of nose art on aircraft
In Germany and Italy aircrew began painting logos and graphics on to military aircrafts around the start of World War 1. The first documented example being in Italy in 1913 which was a painting of a sea monster on the nose of flying boat. Which was followed by the German initiated practice of painting a mouth underneath the propeller spinner. At this time, such art was often designed and carried out by air crew rather than the pilots themselves.
This early rudimentary nose art was usually just embellished regiment insignia. It had yet to progress in to the iconic ‘painted ladies’ of the 1940’s.
A couple of years later the British and American air forces followed suit, though in much smaller numbers.