The Story of the Nose Art "Murph's Motley Mob"


I am Richard Draves. Warren was my uncle, my father's brother.

After serving with the 487th, Warren came home. I do not know what (if any) employment he had. But he was killed in an auto accident in 1947 (before my 1st birthday).  I never knew him, but from what I learned, was always sorry about that fact.

The Story as Passed Down:

Anyway, among some of his 'things' were the '487th BG Blue Book' with some photos in the pages, boxes of slides of planes, and a piece of paper with a hand drawing "Murph's Motly Mob."

Nose Art - Murph's Motly Mob

My father told me this drawing was the design Warren had drawn for his plane in the War. And that he was a Tail Gunner in a B-17.

That's it! Period! Not much of a story, Huh?

There was never anything or anyone to verify the above as fact.


Fast forward 60+ years ...


I was doing some internet searching when I stumbled upon a Crew Roster with the name "Warren J. Draves." How can this be? He died long before the internet was invented. But the facts were there, or enough to seem like this really was my uncle. It showed he was a Tail Gunner - in a B-24 named "Murph's Motley Mob."

Looking a little deeper, was a photo of the Nose Art of a B-24

In reading the history of the 487th BG, they started with B-24's then changed to B-17's in July 1944.

So the story seemed to all fit together. In looking carefully as the detail of the drawing "Murph's Motly Mob" there is an "E" penciled in to make it 'Motley', this verifies, in my mind, that this drawing was in fact the original (complete with a typo). Had it been a copy, the name would have been correct. Also the image was moved around the 'Fire Extinguisher' plate on the plane.


So there we have a story, over 60 years old, verified!