Restored Memphis Belle Moved To Dayton Museum


The fabled World War II bomber Memphis Belle has been moved into its new home at an Ohio museum after years of restoration work. However, it won’t go on public display until next month. The Dayton Daily News reports the aircraft famously decorated with nose art of a pinup girl was towed Wednesday into the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton.

It’s one of the most celebrated American planes to survive the war. Captain Robert K. Morgan’s crew flew 29 combat missions with the 324th Bomb Squadron, all but four in the Memphis Belle. It flew over occupied France and Germany and was one of the first United States Army Air Forces B-17 heavy bombers to complete 25 combat missions with her crew intact.

It then weathered decades on display outdoors in Memphis, Tennessee, before being moved to Ohio in 2005. It will be unveiled at the museum May 17, the 75th anniversary of its crew’s 25th and final mission. Curator Jeff Duford says visitors will be able to get up close to the aircraft. The aircraft and its crew inspired both a documentary film and a feature film in 1990.

The aircraft was named after pilot Robert K Morgan’s sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee, and was known for its pinup girl nose art designed by Esquire Magazine artist George Petty.