Memphis Belle is a Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress used during the Second World War that inspired the making of two motion pictures: a 1944 documentary film, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, and a 1990 Hollywood feature film, Memphis Belle. The aircraft was one of the first United States Army Air Forces B-17 heavy bombers to complete 25 combat missions. The aircraft and crew then returned to the United States to sell war bonds. In 2005, restoration began on the aircraft at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio where, from May 2018, it is on display.
Lt Flemming, 323rd BS, 91st Bomb Group (H)
My Dad, Lt Thomas Flemming, was a member of the 323rd Bombardment Squadron, 91st BG at Bassingbourn from August 1944 to February 1945. He flew 35 combat missions, mostly as a co-pilot. He didn’t talk too much about specific missions, mostly about how lucky he was to have made it through.
When he arrived at Bassingbourn in 1944 the requirement was 25 missions and then they could rotate back stateside. When Dad hit mission #23 or so, the Air Force increased the mission requirement to 35. This seems to be reflected in Dad’s logbook where he has numbered each mission up to #25. After that he stopped numbering… it seems to reflect an attitude of “F**k!, what the hell am I numbering for… when I reach #35 they’ll just up it to 45!” I can understand this attitude, looking at his log the 19th mission was a real punch-up…
Seen “The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress” on Netflix yet?