Meet Artist & Fabricator,
Dan is one of today's leading military artists, specializing in painting military bomber jackets, airplane nose art and other related aviation and pin up art. He has painted for many of the military's top brass, including former Commander in Chief & WWII TBM Avenger Pilot, President George H.W. Bush, with his art being approved by the Bush Presidential Library. Dan's commercial work includes nose art design work for the Liberty Aviation Museum's B-25 "Georgie's Gal," painting many specialty jackets and patches for Cockpit USA, US Wings, Starwarp Concepts Publishing, and more. His artwork proudly resides all over the world at military bases, museums, on aircraft, and private commissions. We are excited that 2018 marked the 12 year anniversary of McQuality Nose Art Studio where we work to keep our great military heritage alive!
Dan is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. He was a combat medic and a paratrooper, and served with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment during the Gulf War. He now resides in central Illinois with his his wife, Rachel, and their 6 kids and Basset Hound. Dan's love for the past extended into a B.S. in History from Illinois State University and he has also served as a Pastor for nearly 20 years earning a M.Div. degree from Concordia Theological Seminary. Dan serves on the Board of Directors for the LMSG (Lutheran Military Support Group) for the ELS & WELS church bodies, and has served as Chaplain of American Legion Post #72.
How It All Began
My love for the military and especially WWII aircraft began with my grandfather, TSgt Robert E. McQuality. He was a B-17 Waist Gunner with the 385th BG, 548th BS. On his 6th mission he was shot down on the Bremen, Germany mission on Oct. 8, 1943, and spent 20 months as a POW in Stalag 17. To have survived all that, physically and mentally, he was a hero to me.
He flew on (I think) 6 missions on 5 different planes, which was not uncommon back then. Before the internet, it was near impossible to do sufficient research to find these planes. But I happened to stumble upon the plane he was shot down in "The Vibrant Virgin" 42-30275 in a book on bombers in the late nineties! I was ecstatic to finally see the a/c and the nose art of a burlesque, feather bearing beauty who coincidentally happened to look like my grandmother years ago(!). As the internet developed, I have now found 4 pictures of that a/c, as well as the nose art of "Fighting Cock", "Mayfly", "Round Trip Ticket III", and I'm still looking for "Lady Liz".
I was always drawing WWII planes as a kid, paying much attention to their markings and nose art, so it was a natural transition into learning how to reproduce this amazing period artwork onto both aluminum and leather. Whether it is artwork from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or even through Iraq, Afghanistan and our military today, military art is such a central part of our military history. I'm so honored to have the gifts to be able to preserve this heritage that is so unique.
How Cool Is This?!
My unique career as a military artist has afforded me so many wonderful opportunities! Every week, I meet people from all over the world who share the same interests as me. They are military or former military enshrining a proud career or time of their life. These are people who are memorializing their parent or family history. I talk to pilots who flew the greatest aircraft ever made, and it's a privilege - it really is!
I have painted for celebrities and for top military brass. But my favorite is to paint for the regular joes who were part of our history. In 2012, I got to paint a jacket for an old WWII Avenger pilot...a guy by the name of George Bush! He was also my Commander in Chief during the Gulf War. Another guy, Bob Cardin, was the man responsible for bringing the P-38 "Glacier Girl" from the depths of the ice. I could go on and on about the people, museums, and companies I've painted for, but it's just been an honor and a privilege. How cool that I get to do this!
If I can help you design a part of your history or help fulfill a dream you have, please contact the Studio. This is my passion and I'd love to help bring your idea to life.