Memphis Belle reporting for duty 75 years after last mission against Nazi Germany

Memphis Belle reporting for duty 75 years after last mission against Nazi Germany (WKEF/WRGT)

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force said the Memphis Belle is ready to report for duty 75 years after its last mission against Nazi Germany.

The B-17F Memphis Belle is arguably one of the most recognizable symbols of World War II, and after about 13 years of crews working on restoring it to its former glory, the Memphis Belle is ready for its new home.

FOX 45 got a live sneak peek at the plane and exhibit Wednesday as museum officials unveiled it to family members of the Memphis Belle crew and invited dignitaries.

The plan is for the aircraft to remain on permanent public display in its own exhibit in the World War II gallery. The whole exhibit will include interactive displays, archival film footage and personal artifacts.

During WWII, the Memphis Belle completed 25 combat missions over Europe, and was the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to come back to the U.S. after doing so.

From May 17 to 19, the museum is celebrating the opening of the exhibit with a ribbon cutting ceremony and more than 160 WWII military and home front reenactors, as well as a fleet of WWII-era planes taking off and flying over the museum.

A full schedule of the events throughout the celebration is available on the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force's website.

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