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Boeing B-17F Memphis Belle™

Note: This aircraft is currently undergoing restoration. You can view the restoration progress by participating in the museum's Behind the Scenes Tour. The last fall Behind the Scenes tour featuring the Memphis Belle will be Nov. 3, 2017.  Additional information about the aircraft's restoration is available on the Restoration Projects page. Click here for the fact sheet on this aircraft.

One of the most recognizable symbols of World War II will once again report for duty exactly 75 years after its crew finished their last mission in the war against Nazi Germany on May 17, 1943. Plans call for the aircraft to be placed on permanent public display in the WWII Gallery of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on May 17, 2018.  The new exhibit surrounding the Memphis Belle will include interactive displays, rare archival film footage and many personal artifacts which have never been seen before by our visitors.

The famed B-17F Memphis Belle and its crew became iconic symbols of the heavy bomber crews and support personnel who helped defeat Nazi Germany. The Memphis Belle was the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to return to the United States after completing 25 combat missions over Europe during World War II. The USAAF chose the aircraft for a highly-publicized war bond tour from June-August 1943, and its crew was celebrated as national heroes. The aircraft and crew were also the subject of two widely-seen Hollywood movies (one in 1944 and another in 1990).

Plans are underway for a three day event (May 17-19, 2018) to include a WWII-era aircraft fly-in, WWII reenactors and vehicles, memorabilia and artifact displays, music from the era, related guest speakers for lectures, book signings and films, including both Memphis Belle films in the Air Force Museum Theatre.  Activities will be both inside and outside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Click here to download a flyer.

Memphis Belle™ Photos

Three Day Event

Plans are underway for a three day event, occurring on
May 17-19, 2018.  Details are still being finalized.  Please continue to check our website for updates.

Where to stay

Accommodations could fill up fast as the date approaches, so if you plan to attend consider making your arrangements as soon as possible. This weekend will be a busy one in the Dayton area as Hamvention, the largest amateur radio convention in the world takes place beginning Friday, May 18. (Select the drop-down arrow in the boxes below for information on area lodging).

Security Notice

Please note that for security reasons, all bags are subject to search, and weapons are not permitted within the museum.  In addition, all adults may be asked to show their identification card upon entering the museum.

Participant Registration

If you are interested in participating in this event

(WWII reenactors, vehicle owners, authors or vendors),

please contact the Special Events Division to request additional information.

Featured Artifacts

Each week we will be featuring pictures of artifacts that will be included in the Memphis Belle Exhibit and the new USAAF Strategic Bombing in Europe Exhibit.  Click here to view these artifacts.

  • How can I see the Memphis Belle?

    The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will discontinue public tours of the B-17F Memphis Belle™ in November 2017 to allow museum staff to complete restoration efforts and prepare the exhibit area. The last fall Behind the Scene tour featuring the Memphis Belle will be Nov 3, 2017. The Memphis Belle will be placed on public display in the museum’s World War II Gallery on May 17, 2018 exactly 75 years after its crew finished their last mission in the war against Nazi Germany on May 17, 1943. 

Memphis Belle™ Video Playlist

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