How Disney artists came to create cigar-smoking plane toon

Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum’s Corsair was assigned to Marine Squadron VMF-115. Famous Marine ace Joe Foss was chosen to take command of the unit just 16 days after it was established in Santa Barbara, California on July 1, 1943.

Though VMF-115 was officially the “Silver Eagles,” Foss commissioned Walt Disney artists to create an unofficial logo for the squadron, “to exemplify a more aggressive, devil-may-care attitude.” What developed was a happy, anthropomorphic Corsair smoking a cigar — Foss’s trademark — complete with goggles and silk scarf. The unit was often called “Joe’s Jokers” by the men in the squadron. Some versions of the logo have cards arrayed behind the plane.

Foss never flew the Flying Heritage’s Corsair. By the time the plane entered the squadron in the Philippines, Foss had (again) contracted malaria and had been sent home to recover.

Cory Graff is the military aviation curator at Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Urban treats prove Switzerland is more than its pristine alpine meadows

For interesting art, colorful old towns and serene waterfront settings, be sure to stop in Zürich, Luzern and Lausanne.

ITA Airways lost my luggage. Why won’t it cover my expenses?

Jacqueline Bartolini spends $992 after ITA Airways loses her luggage. It wants to reimburse her for just $733.

Pleasant and progressive, Oslo puts its people first

Every time I come to Norway, I’m fascinated by their experiment in big government, and how little people are bothered by high taxes.

College kids home for the summer? Expect it to be a balancing act for all

They’ve tasted independence and some of the privileges of adulthood. So, how can parents make this an easier transition?

Denise McKenzie, who has been a bartenders at Kuhnle’s Tavern for many years, works behind the bar on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 106 years, Kuhnle’s Tavern in Marysville is closing

Come say farewell Sunday from noon to midnight at the historic bar with five beers on tap and a 50-cent pay phone.

Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Hop on over to Whidbey Island for a garden tour on Saturday, then rock out with local bands in Everett on Saturday night.

Subaru Forester Touring SUV (Photo provided by Subaru)
2025 Subaru Forester Touring

Don’t look now, the 2025 model year vehicles are beginning to hit… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Sapphire indigo clematis

What: A profusion of royal purple flowers burst forth in early summer… Continue reading

Decorative floral violet background from a blooming Nepeta cataria catnip, catswort, catmint with bright bee.
Please pollinators with perennials like hyssop, catmint and cape fuschia

Newer cultivars of perennials simply bloom longer, quenching our cravings for color and extending the benefit to bees.

Mountlake Terrace maintenance crew Ty Burns begins demolishing “the bunkers” on Monday, June 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Eyesore no more: After decades, Mountlake Terrace bunkers bite the dust

The bunkers held a storehouse of history, much of it moldy, outdated and unwanted.

Hitting a homer is hard for most. On this machine, we all have a chance

This restored 1930s Jennings slot machine — with candy prizes for knocking it out of the park — sold for $3,840 at auction.

Airbnb host banned after spilling food in another host’s home

Airbnb bans River Roberts after he accidentally spills food on his host’s sofa. Will he ever be able to book another rental?

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.