UPDATE – Memphis Belle Restoration Reaches Major Milestone! – PHOTO TOUR

Memphis Belle - Restoration Photo Tour

WARBIRD RADIO – The famed B-17 Memphis Belle is currently under restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.  According to a recent press release, the restoration crew is celebrating a major milestone including the mating of the left wing to the fuselage and the extension of the landing gear.

The Memphis Belle, a B-17F Flying Fortress, is one of the most famous aircraft in history. In May 1943 it became the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to complete 25 missions over Europe and return to the United States.

The pilot, then-Lt. Robert Morgan, named the aircraft after his wartime girlfriend, Margaret Polk, of Memphis, Tenn. Lt. Morgan chose the artwork from a 1941 George Petty illustration in Esquire magazine.

Upon their return to the United States in June 1943, the Memphis Belle’s crew flew the aircraft across the country on a three-month war bond and morale boosting tour. With the bond tour and the 1944 William Wyler documentary film titled The Memphis Belle — depicting actual combat footage — the aircraft and its crew became widely known and celebrated. In 1990 a major motion picture of the same name added to their fame.

For many, the story of the Memphis Belle has become a timeless symbol of all the heroic U.S. Army Air Forces’ bomber crews who flew against Nazi Germany in World War II. In need of a thorough restoration, the Memphis Belle arrived at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in October 2005. A careful, multi-year conservation and restoration effort by museum staff — including corrosion treatment, the full outfitting of missing equipment and accurate markings — will bring the Memphis Belle back to pristine condition.

QUICK LINK:  The National Museum of the United States Air Force

B-17 Memphis Belle Restoration Photo Tour

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