The Memphis Belle

During World War II one of the most dangerous assignments for any US serviceman was to fly with the Eighth Air Force in the European Theater.  The Eighth sustained 47000 casualties, of which a stunning 26000 were KIAs.  As the War went on, and long range fighter air craft came into service, the missions became somewhat safer.  In 1942-1943, US bomber crews thought that the 25 mission rotation back to the States had been cynically set up because after twenty-five combat runs you were statistically almost certain  to be dead or in captivity.

The Memphis Belle was one of the first B-17 flying fortress bombers to beat the odds and make 25 missions, and the US Army Air Forces made much of it, sending the crew back to the States for a war bond drive.  Other crews began to hope they, too, would survive their tours, something that most of them had feared was not going to be their lot.

Published in: on May 24, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Memphis Belle  
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