Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Top 18 Vintage WWII Pinup Poster Girls

a graffiti covered wall

Reporting to duty at Pearl Harbor Warbirds is like going back in time and immersing yourself in history.

As you enter the office, you’ll hear sounds of typewriters typing, smell the distinct aroma of Old Spice and see plenty of things reminiscent of December 1941. Playing cards, zippo lighters, confidential reports, Army helmets – and plenty of beautiful black and white pinup photos.

World War II in 1941 was the golden age of pinups. For the first time in history, the US military unofficially sanctioned the creation and distribution of pinup pictures, magazines and calendars to troops in order to raise morale and remind young men what they were fighting for. These vintage WWII pinup posters adorned servicemen’s lockers, the walls of barracks, and even the sides of planes. To this day, pinup fans emulate the vintage style of pinups that was triggered during WWII.

Here are the top 18 vintage WWII pinup poster girls that you may have found in Pearl Harbor in the days before, during and after the attack.

Rita Hayworth
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Rita Hayworth
As one of the most famous pinup girls during WII, Rita Hayworth’s photos were taken across the Pacific to Hawaii by troops in 1941. Rita’s two brothers bought served in WWII, and was also involved in selling war bonds.

Lana Turner
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Lana Turner
During World War II, Lana Turner was a popular pinup girl because of her popular roles in films like Ziegfeld Girl, Johnny Eager, Slightly Dangerous, and four films with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Clark Gable.

Vivien Leigh
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh was an actress and singer best known for originating the role of Miss Adelaide in the musical theater production Guys and Dolls.

Marlene Dietrich
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Marlene Dietrich

Betty Grable
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Betty Grable
Betty Grable was perhaps the most popular pinup girl during WWII. Betty’s studio, Twentieth Century Fox, provided five million copies of one pinup photo to distribute to troops. After the war, Grable became the most highly paid woman in America, earning about $300,000 a year.

Carole Landis
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Carole Landis
Carole Landis was the female lead in the 1940 film One Million B.C., and was known as “The Ping Girl” and “The Chest” because of her curvy figure.

Lucille Ball
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy.

Veronica Lake
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Veronica Lake
During World War II, Veronica Lake traded in her trademark peek-a-boo hairstyle at the urging of the government for a more practical, safer hairstyle. This was to encourage women working in war industry factories to follow her lead. Besides being a famous WWII pin-up girl, Veronica Lake also traveled throughout the U.S. to raise money for war bonds.

Katharine Hepburn
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Katharine Hepburn
During a career revival, Katharine Hepburn became a popular pin-up girl before experiencing a slow down in her career after the war.

Jane Russell
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Jane Russell
Jane Russell was nicknamed the “sweater girl” after the garment that best emphasized her breasts. Her debut film, The Outlaw, was almost pulled by censors who were concerned about the amount of cleavage she showed.

Ingrid Bergman
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Ingrid Bergman
After starring in Intermezzo: A Love Story, Ingrid Bergman was a popular World War II pin-up girl before going on to star in Casablanca in 1942.

Ida Lupino
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Ida Lupino
More than just a pinup girl, Ida Lupino served as a Lieutenant in the Women’s Ambulance and Defense Corps during World War II.

Jean Harlow
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow may have passed away before World War II, but her image lived on.

Ginger Rogers
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1941 for her role in Kitty Foyle.

Greta Garbo
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Greta Garbo
In 1931, she played the World War I German spy in the lavish production of Mata Hari. Ten years later, her image adorned servicemen’s lockers in World War II.

Constance Bennett
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Constance Bennett
Constance Bennett supported Greta Garbo in the film, Two-Faced Woman in 1941 before going on to found a cosmetics and clothing company.

Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Shelby Carollo

Lauren Bacall
Vintage WWII Pinup Photo Lauren Bacall
In 1941, Bacall took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she was classmates with Kirk Douglas. It wasn’t until after the war did she catch her big breakthrough as an actress.

Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Hawai‘i flight adventure tours available. Be immersed in the details of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor and soar above the important sites that played a part in the “Day of Infamy.” Relive history as you retrace the steps of the Army and Navy airmen in the days following the bombing. Fly on some of the same routes the Japanese attackers used into the airfields at Wheeler, Kāne‘ohe and Bellows. There are many air tours in Hawai‘i, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Hawai‘i Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience making it one of the best O‘ahu attractions.

Experience an immersive two hour adventure that allows you to relive history as a Naval Aviator and fly Pearl Harbor like it was on December 10th, 1941. Learn more about the Admiral’s Warbird Adventure.