Restored B-17F “The Memphis Belle” Unveiled on 75th Anniversary of Final Mission.

Restored B-17F “The Memphis Belle” Unveiled on 75th Anniversary of Final Mission.

Boeing B-17F Memphis Belle See credits below*

Several days ago, the National Museum of the U. S. Air Force unveiled an exhibit of the original B-17F Memphis Belle, “exactly 75 years after its crew finished their last mission in the war against Nazi Germany on May 17, 1943.”  The Memphis Belle, had not been on public display since 2002 and will go on “permanent exhibit in the facility’s World War Two Gallery.” 

National Museum of the U. S. Air Force:

…The new exhibit will tell the complete story of the Memphis Belle and address the many myths associated with the aircraft. Artifacts will be on display from seven of the crewmembers including several war-time uniforms; a flight suit; combat boots; flying goggles; dog-tags; pilot’s wings and other rank insignia. In addition, rare color archival footage—some of which has never been seen by the public before—will be shown in the exhibit[…]

In the following video courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, “Restoration Specialists Chad Vanhook and Casey Simmons talk about their experience in painting the nose art on the historic B-17F Memphis Bell.”

World War II veteran, Gillespie Field. Dowell, 88, served on B-17s as an engineer and top turret gunner during World War II. …

Below is video footage of the Memphis Belle being towed from the Restoration Hangar of the the museum’s Restoration Hangar to the World War II Gallery during a private ceremony on May 14, 2018. 

As noted in the credits under the above video, “The Belle and B-17G Shoo, Shoo, Shoo Baby where photographed together nose to nose in front of the hangar. “
Below is the Memphis Belle ceremony live streamed from Air Force TV Live:

*Image:  Boeing B-17F Memphis Belle on display in the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. B-17’s flew in every combat zone during World War II, but its most significant service was over Europe. Along with the B-24 Liberator, the B-17 formed the backbone of the USAAF strategic bombing force, and it helped win the war by crippling Germany’s war industry.  Source: National Museum of the US Air Force (USAF Ken LaRock)

[H/t Military History Now.]

Cross-posted on Veterans’ Tales.


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