DAYTON – Following years of restoration, the famous Flying Fortress known as the Memphis Belle was moved earlier this week inside the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, where she will be officially unveiled for permanent public display during ceremonies at the museum on May 17.
Memphis Belle is widely known for being the first B-17 to complete 25 missions over Europe in World War II before returning to the U.S. – where she and her crew were featured on a War Bonds Tour. One of those stops was in Dayton. She has also been featured in two Hollywood films.
Another B-17 called A Shoo Shoo Baby, which has been on display inside the museum, will be returned to her owners at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.
A week-long event called “Gathering of B-17s” will be held at Grimes Field in Urbana in relation to the Memphis Belle exhibit opening in Dayton. Hosted by the Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, a group of B-17s will be at Grimes Field May 14-15 and May 19-20 for static displays and rides for a fee.
During May 17-19, these same B-17s will participate in the Memphis Belle exhibit unveiling in Dayton.
For more information about the upcoming week of B-17s in the Urbana and Dayton area, log on to champaignaviationmuseum.org or nationalmuseum.af.mil
Preview event April 26
A lecture about the Memphis Belle will be held at 10:30 a.m. on April 26 at the Champaign Aviation Museum. It will be conducted by the curator of the National Museum of the United States Air Force and will cover the restoration and history of the Memphis Belle.