A legendary Second World War bomber is set to go on display for the first time after being restored at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio.
The B-17 'Flying Fortress' known as Memphis Belle was introduced as the anchor of an extensive exhibit in the Dayton-area museum's war gallery. The Memphis Belle has spent the last dozen years or so undergoing a piece-by-piece rehabilitation, from the clear plastic nose cone down to the twin .50-caliber machine guns mounted in the tail.
The plane, known for its risque nose paintings featuring a pin-up girl, was celebrated for being the first bomber to survive 25 missions over occupied Europe and return to the US in 1943.
It was the subject of a 1944 documentary directed by William Wyler, wherein its final mission over northern Germany was charted. The Memphis Belle also inspired the 1990 Hollywood feature film by the same name, starring Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz and Harry Connick Jr. It became symbolic of the US air effort as Americans aided the British in pummeling German territory from above in mass bombing raids.
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