Friday, June 3, 2016

WASP History Video (and their Mascot Fifinella)

Fifinella was a female gremlin designed by Walt Disney for a proposed film from Roald Dahl's book The Gremlins. The Women Airforce Service Pilots asked permission to use the image as their official mascot and the Disney Company granted them the rights in 1943. 

The original design had the small winged figure coming in for a landing with a red circle in the background; she is portrayed with horns, a yellow flight cap, a red top, yellow slacks, long black gloves, red high-top boots and goggles. Rather than having the figure in a landing pose, the WASPs added a large bomb astride which the figure sat. They dressed her in a red coat and purple trousers and added a dark blue circle for extra impact. Still, there were many custom patches made, so form and color varied from patch to patch.

Fifinella appeared on patches, letterheads, matchbook covers and decals. She also put in appearances in many variations on the noses of bombers: One B-17G Flying Fortress, Fifinella (Serial #42-107030) of the 91st Bomb Group, was named after her. Fifinella was lost on August 13, 1944 on a bombing raid at Le Manoir, France. During the Korean War there was also a B-29 Superfortress (Serial #42-6569) of the 19th Bomb Group named Fifinella.

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