Yellow Fever

© Photographed December 3, 2016, with permission of
EAA AirVenture Museum
Oshkosh, Winnebago County, Wisconsin
43.984169, -88.577507
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Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever is one of the most challenging and complex nose art paintings in the Airpower Museum collection. Little is known about Robert Silva, the artist who signed Yellow Fever.

Here, Silva depicts an alluring Asian woman with a dangerous and mysterious quality, exemplified by her long, sharp fingernails and the glow emanating from her head. He pays special attention to her intricate garment, which adds to her exotic appearance.
The Title
Although it is impossible to know the artist's intent, the title, Yellow Fever, presents several interpretations. In one, the word fever implies a passionate urgency that exaggerates the explicit sexuality of the artwork. The use of yellow, a derogatory term for Asians commonly used in the '40s, could reflect a need to dehumanize the Japanese, distancing American troops from the enemy. Both words together suggest a passionate desire to attack the Japanese in an all-out effort to win. Another interpretation may convey an aviator's fear of yellow fever, an infectious disease of tropical climates. Beyond the threat of disease, aircrews flying deep into Asia were in danger of going down in the jungle -- a place full of natural dangers as well as the threat of becoming prisoners of war.
B-24M
Serial #44-50803
China-Burma-India Theatre
14th Air Force
308th Bomb Group
374th Bomb Squadron
Pilot: Don Maison
Co-Pilot: Joe Wharton
Navigator: John Reeder
Crew: John McLaughlin, Robert Gohd, Denver Houts, Frank Entriken, Marvin Waters, Burr Voelker, Solomon Derewetzky, Pasquale Dipuadua, Joseph Morrissey, Lloyd Graham, Harold Poe 
Yellow Fever is part of the Commemorative Air Force WWII Nose Art Collection, on display November 2015 through December 2017, at the EAA AirVenture Museum located at

More than 30 pieces of nose art from actual World War II combat aircraft made their first-ever trip outside their home museum, with the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh chosen as the first public display location for this rare collection.

The collection from the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) headquarters in Dallas, Texas, made its debut in November 2015 after a month of preparation in the EAA museum’s Eagle Hangar, which honors the people and aircraft of World War II. The artifacts have been designated by the National Trust for Historical Preservation as an official project of Save America’s Treasures, which seeks to preserve historic structures, art, and published works throughout the nation. It will be on display at EAA throughout 2017.
Commemorative Air Force Headquarters

Click here for more information about the collection and to view all nose art photographed.


Chug-a-lug, another B-24 of the 308th Bomb
Group, returns from a Hump flight to China.

Silva painted Lady Luck and Impatient
Lady in addition to Yellow Fever.

Yellow Fever is in a closed-off gallery with
this Parental Notice at the entrance.

Yellow Fever is part of the Commemorative Air Force
WWII Nose Art Collection, on display through December 2017

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