To all active duty, retired and veteran members of our armed forces and your families:
WELCOME! YOU'RE HOME!
INTRODUCTING THE NEW
SILVER STAR SERVICE FLAG FOR OUR WOUNDED!
Cautions on postings (OPSEC)
The Code of Conduct
I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them in every way.
When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country or its allies or harmful to their cause.
I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Wess Cody and Crew Don
Boeing-built B-17F-10-BO, serial 41-24485, was delivered in July 1942 and flew its seven months of missions with the 324th Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group from Bassingbourne, England. These were:
7 November 1942 - Brest, France
9 November 1942 - St. Nazaire, France
17 November 1942 - St, Nazaire
6 December 1942 - Lille, France
20 December 1942 - Rommily-Sur-Seine, France
3 January 1943 - St. Nazaire
13 January 1943 - Lille
23 January 1943 - Lorient, France
4 February 1943 - Emden, Germany
14 February 1943 - Hamm, Germany
16 February 1943 - St. Nazaire
26 February 1943 - Wilhelmshaven, Germany
27 February 1943 - Brest
6 March 1943 - Lorient
12 March 1943 - Rouen, France
13 March 1943 - Abbeville, France
22 March 1943 - Wilhemshaven
28 March 1943 - Rouen
5 April 1943 - Antwerp, Belgium
16 April 1943 - Lorient
17 April 1943 - Bremen, Germany
1 May 1943 - St. Nazaire
4 May 1943 - Antwerp
15 May 1943 - Wilhelmshaven
17 May 1943 - Lorient
It was then brought back to the United States for War Bond tours. The plane was named for pilot Robert K. Morgan's sweetheart, Margaret Polk. The famous Petty girl nose art was painted by the 91st's group artist Tony Starcer. After the war the Flying Fortress was saved from reclamation at Altus, Oklahoma by the efforts of the mayor of Memphis, the Hon. Walter Chandler, and the city bought the plane for $350. It was flown to Memphis in July 1946 and stored until the summer of 1949 when it was placed on display at the National Guard armory. It sat out-of-doors into the 1980s, slowly deteriorating due to weather and vandalism.
In the early 1970s another mayor had donated the historic plane back to the Air Force, but they allowed it to remain in Memphis contingent on it being maintained.
Efforts by the locally-organized Memphis Belle Memorial Association, Inc. (MBMA) saw the aircraft moved to Mud Island in the Mississippi River in 1987 for display in a new pavilion with roof cover.
It was still open to the elements, however, and prone to weathering.
Dissatisfaction with the site led to efforts to create a new museum facility in nearby Shelby County.
In the summer of 2003 the Belle was disassembled and moved to a restoration facility in Millington, Tennessee for work.
In September 2004, however, the National Museum of the United States Air Force, apparently tiring of the ups and downs of the city's attempts to preserve the aircraft, indicated that they wanted it back for restoration and eventual display at the museum near Dayton, Ohio.
A local outcry and political pressure brought on the Air Force caused them to relent later in the fall.
On August 30, 2005 the MBMA announce that a consultant that they hired determined that the MBMA would not be able to raise enough money to restore the Belle and otherwise fufill the Air Force's requirements to keep posession of the aircraft.
They announced plans to return the aircraft to the National Museum of the United States Air Force after a final exhibition in Millington, Tennessee on September 30 - October 2, 2005.
The Belle arrived safely at the Dayton, Ohio facility of the National Museum of the United States Air Force in mid-October 2005.
A former firebomber B-17G-85-DL, serial 44-83546, registered N3703G, was converted into a B-17F configuration by removal of its chin turret for the 1990 remake of the Memphis Belle story and continues to make air show appearances in that guise.
It currently operates out of Floyd Bennett Field, New York.
What Readers Have to Say!
Newton's Best of the Best
Great website, Steve!
I've always appreciated your tireless support of Operation HERO's relationship
with America Supporting Americans, and now you've gone above and beyond again to
herald the accoplishments and perseverance of ALL of our heroes - from local
soldiers to police officers and firefighters. Serving one's community
exemplifies the true meaning of honor - an idea you've lived and continue to
champion. Through your personal efforts, tireless drive and undeniable
compassion - we're lifted to be better people. For your motivation - thank you.
For your website - Keep the pictures and letters coming. Together, in forums
like yours, we find strength.
- Andy Taylor / Operation HERO / KTTS
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