I was the dedicated crew chief of “Unexpected Guest”. On the first night of Desert Storm I painted a bomb on the bomb door to celebrate a successful mission. The next day, I was in the Captain’s office trying to explain why I defaced 56 million dollars of government property. “We’re a young service, sir.” I said. “This is one of the few traditions the Air Force has.” This is how I became the NCOIC of mission marks for the squadron. If you see historical pictures of our return to Nellis, the mission marks under the cockpits are there because I put them there.
Many crew chiefs decorated their aircraft with door art. These are just a few. The crew chief, pilot and squadron commander all had to agree to the artwork. Album covers were popular. Ghosts and skulls abounded. And of course, girls were a theme. “Mystic Warrior” was unique because Gina Davis was the dedicated crew chief for the jet. She was the artist of the door art AND Gina was the model. We’ve come a long way since World War Two.
Ken Rankin was the artist for “Avenging Angel” and “Warpig”. I watched him do them and even helped on “Avenging Angel”. The idea for “Unexpected Guest” came from my assistant, Sid and the art was done by a refuel truck driver. At first I didn’t like it but grew to love it. Especially because everyone said that Beetlejuice looked like me and Sid.