1/54 scale model of the B-17F Flying Fortress. The Flying Fortress had a nickname which was Memphis Belle during the Second World War. It became the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to complete 25 missions over Europe and return to the United States.
In September 1942, the Memphis Belle was delivered to the 91st Bomb Group at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine and was deployed to Prestwick, Scotland on September 30. On October 14, the Memphis Belle deployed to its permanent base at Bassingbourn, England. Captain Robert Morgans crew had flown 25 combat missions with the 324th Bomb Squadron, all but four in the Memphis Belle and on May 19, 1943, Memphis Belle flew its 25th and last mission with a different crew to Kiel, Germany. On JUne 8, 1943, Memphis Belle was flown back to the United States by Morgans crew for war bond tours.
After the war, Memphis Belle was saved from reclamation at Atlus, Oklahoma, where it had been consigned since August 1, 1945, by the efforts of the mayor of Memphis, Walter Chandler. The city bought the plane for $350. In JUly 1946, the plane was flown to Memphis and was stored until summer of 1949 when it was placed on display at the National Guard armory. In the 1980s, it sat out-of-doors, slowly deteriorating due to weather and occasional vandalism.
A fictionalized version of the Memphis Belle was made in the 1990 wherein a former firebomber B-17G-85-DL, serial 44-83546, registered N33703G was converted into a B-17F configuration by removing its chin turret and it continued making air show appearances in that guise. The B17, which was owned by David Tallichet, now carries the historic markings found on the actual Memphis Belle. It currently operates out of Floyd Bennett Field, New York. There were other planes also nicknamed as Memphis Belle, such as a Republic F-105D-10-RE Thunderchief (60-0504) from the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, a General Dynamics FB-111 (68-0267), two Boeing B-52 Stratofortress have the name Memphis Belle B-52G (59-2594) was named as Memphis Belle III and took part in the 1991 Gulf War and the first B-52H (60-0001) was named Memphis Belle IV which has seen action in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter (67-0024)n became the Memphis Belle V and a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy (69-0025) was named as Memphis Belle X.
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