Memphis Belle Documentary from Graham M. Simons

Without a doubt, the Boeing Flying Fortress B-17F 41-42285 "Memphis Belle" and her crew generate an image that is all-American. Indeed, it has been claimed that the "Memphis Belle" is one of the top five most famous American aircraft of all time.

In September 1942, a new Flying Fortress was delivered to Bangor, Maine, to a crew of ten eager American lads headed by Robert K. Morgan. The boys climbed aboard, flew their ship to Memphis, Tennessee, and christened her "Memphis Belle" in honor of Morgan's fiancee, and then headed across the Atlantic to join the US Eighth Air Force in England.

Between 7 November 1942 and 17 May 1943 they flew the Memphis Belle over Hitler's Europe twenty-five times. They dropped more than 60 tons of bombs on targets in Germany, France and Belgium. They blasted the Focke-Wulf plant at Bremen, locks at St Nazaire and Brest, docks and shipbuilding installations at Wilhelmshaven, railway yards at Rouen, submarine pens and power houses at Lorient, and airplane works at Antwerp. They shot down eight enemy fighters and damaged at least a dozen more. The Memphis Belle flew through all the flak that Hitler could send up to them. She slugged it out with Goering's Messerschmitts and Focke-Wulfs, once returning to base with most of her tail shot away. German guns destroyed a wing and five engines, and her fuselage was shot to pieces but Memphis Belle kept going back. The aircraft's crew has been decorated 51 times; each of the ten receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters.

This two-disc DVD collection is a treasure trove of material for all Memphis Belle and avaiation enthusiasts, containing the original 45-minute documentary film first released in 1944, 150 minutes of rare outtakes from the documentary, an introductory slideshow that sets the scene and a ninety-page downloadable document that studies the documentary in detail - scene by scene. All is expertly drawn together by aviation expert Graham Simons.

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