Documentary about Memphis Belle, iconic WW II bomber on view locally, premieres this week

The Memphis Belle is on view at the U.S. Air Force museum. CONTRIBUTED
The Memphis Belle is on view at the U.S. Air Force museum. CONTRIBUTED

Think TV 16 will air the documentary about the plane’s history and the 13-year restoration

A documentary about the Memphis Belle, the iconic World War II bomber on view at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, is about to make its debut.

“Memphis Belle: Her Final Mission,” a locally produced documentary, will air Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9 p.m. on Think TV 16.

ExploreMemphis Belle visited Dayton on “26th mission”
The Memphis Belle and crew flew into Patterson Field in Dayton in 1943 while on a war bond tour of 30 cities. The tour, a way to raise money and boost morale, was dubbed the “26th mission.” UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
The Memphis Belle and crew flew into Patterson Field in Dayton in 1943 while on a war bond tour of 30 cities. The tour, a way to raise money and boost morale, was dubbed the “26th mission.” UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

The plane, along with her crew, was the first Army Air Forces heavy bomber to fly 25 missions over Nazi-held Europe and return to the United States.

In 1943, the Memphis Belle flew into Dayton during a war bond tour of 30 cities. The tour, a way to raise money and boost morale, was dubbed the “26th mission.”

Two years later the plane was “sitting in a boneyard” until the city of Memphis rescued it, according to the station’s website. In 2005 the Air Force Museum began a 13-year restoration.

Crowds gather around the B-17F Memphis Belle to get a better look at the conclusion of its unveiling ceremony at the Memphis Belle exhibit inside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, May 16, 2018. The Memphis Belle is the most famous Flying Fortress, having been the first able to return to the United States following 25 combat missions over occupied Europe during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)
Crowds gather around the B-17F Memphis Belle to get a better look at the conclusion of its unveiling ceremony at the Memphis Belle exhibit inside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, May 16, 2018. The Memphis Belle is the most famous Flying Fortress, having been the first able to return to the United States following 25 combat missions over occupied Europe during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Interviews with the curator and restoration crew about the insights and challenges of the long restoration mission and first-hand accounts taken from combat diaries of the bomber’s dangerous missions are part of the documentary.

More information about the documentary can be found at https://thinktv.org/memphis-belle-the-final-mission/.

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