Owen Hughes was born in Freemont, Ohio, in 1919. After high school, he worked as a commercial sign painter and trained in hand lettering techniques. In anticipation of the draft, Owen joined the Air Force with hopes of becoming a flyer. After his arrival at the Air Force base in Patterson Field, Ohio, for training in aerial photography, he was deployed overseas to England. He was stationed at Burtonwood Airfield and later went on to Paris, where he worked and lived in the airplanes beneath the Eiffel Tower. In his later years, Owen designed the nose art for “Doc,” one of only two B-29 bomber planes still flying today. He continues to attend air shows throughout the country.
In this interview, Owen recalls witnessing air raids while stationed at air fields in England, experiencing Paris nightlife, and working on designs for Glacier Girl and Doc,. He speaks about his work with various mediums of art, including hand lettering, nose art, jacket designs, and photography.
Narrator: Owen Hughes
Interviewer: Celeste Schantz Kovachi
Archival Processor: Katy Shenk
Copyeditor: Erica Fugger
Date: June 12, 2018
Location: Newark, New York
Session Number: 1
Contributor: Newark Public Library
Project: National Home Front Project
Accession Number: HughesOwen_HFN-OH_061218