Aviation History

MEMPHIS BELLE REBORN AGAIN

Some aircraft are restored once-and-done. The famed B-17F Flying Fortress Memphis Belle has undergone several treatments over the years, ranging from quick facelifts to an earnest refurbishing in Memphis in the 1980s. In its latest and likely last debut, the celebrated bomber emerged fresh from the well-equipped shops at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

might easily have joined thousands of surplus warplanes that were unceremoniously scrapped at war’s end. Delivered to Oklahoma’s Altus Army Airfield in August 1945, the bomber was parked with rows of B-17s came to the attention of the mayor of its namesake city in Tennessee, a $350 transfer title gained Memphis possession of the combat veteran Fortress.

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