Iconic Memphis Belle’s debut in Dayton: Everything you need to know

Seventy-five years to the day the B-17 Memphis Belle finished its final mission over Europe, the iconic World War II bomber that starred in two Hollywood films will be rolled out to the public Thursday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

In Sunday’s edition, the Dayton Daily News will offer a preview of the restored bomber and the reflections of family members of the late crew members traveling throughout the country headed to Dayton.

» PHOTOS: How the Memphis Belle came back to life

The Memphis Belle gained fame as the first U.S. heavy bomber to fly 25 perilous missions over Europe and return to the United States in World War II.

“The thing I remember most is that dad was a pretty humble guy,” said Robert Morgan Jr, son of the famed Memphis Belle pilot, who is coming to Dayton from San Francisco. “He believed that they were just lucky. He watched way too many planes go down in his squadron and others.”

» RELATED: Memphis Belle to go on display at Air Force museum in 2018

The Daily News will take a look at the behind-the-scenes work to restore the Memphis Belle, which will be surrounded by 200 artifacts, many personal items the crew flew with aboard the plane.

“It’s a really big deal to me and to my co-workers because we’ve been working on this for so many years and to end in a big event that everybody can celebrate,” said Casey Simmons, an aircraft restorer.

Sunday’s edition will list activities at the museum — from a World War II aircraft fly-in to dozens of re-enactors reprising wartime roles — the public can partake in.

The Boeing-built bomber was under restoration at the museum since 2005 when it was hauled here from Tennessee.


Need a way in? AF museum will open an extra gate for Memphis Belle gala

‘Memphis Belle’ will rumble over real-life version in Dayton

Memphis Belle towed into Air Force museum for first time 

Want more military news? Follow reporter Barrie Barber on Facebook. 

About the Author