Image taken at Reading, PA WWII Weekend, June 1, 2018 by 2018 (c).

The B-17G aircraft now being flown and exhibited by the foundation as The movie Memphis Belle didn’t contribute to the war effort, but it did help build on the mystique of the Flying Fortress. Delivered to the military in April 1945, just as the war in Europe was nearing an end, the plane was retired from service in 1959 without having seen combat. Sold as surplus for $2,687 in 1960, it was converted into a fire-fighting tanker and used against wildfires in the West during the 1960s and ’70s. It was later purchased and refurbished by the Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation . It was featured in the 1990 movie “Memphis Belle,” starring Matthew Modine and based on the exploits of the original B-17F bomber of that name. The foundation renamed its plane “The Movie Memphis Belle.”

The original Memphis Belle became famous as the first U.S. heavy bomber to complete 25 missions over Europe, keeping its crew alive all the while. Having been displayed on Mud Island and other locations across Memphis, it was returned for restoration and display to the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.

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