Plan Your Visit
E-newsletter Sign-up
Explore Museum Exhibits
Browse Photos
Visit Press Room
Become a Volunteer
Air Force Museum Foundation

B-17F Memphis Belle™ to be placed on permanent display - May 17, 2018

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 WWII-era aircraft static displays, 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 for the Fact Sheet to learn more about the aircraft.

Memphis Belle™ Photos

Three Day Event

The B-17F Memphis BelleTM will be placed on permanent public display on Thursday, May 17, 2018, with celebratory events on May 17-19, 2018.

The preliminary schedule of events is as follows:


Thursday, May 17, 2018


  • B-17F Memphis BelleTM Exhibit
    ribbon cutting and public opening

  • WWII aircraft on static display
    on the runway behind the museum

  • WWII reenactors and vehicles

  • Air Force Museum Theatre
    Living History Film Series ($)


Friday, May 18, 2018


  • B-17F Memphis BelleTM Exhibit open

  • WWII aircraft on static display
    on the runway behind the museum

  • WWII reenactors and vehicles

  • Big Band Concert
    featuring Glenn Miller music
    performed by Air Force Bands


Saturday, May 19, 2018


  • B-17F Memphis BelleTM Exhibit open

  • WWII aircraft flyovers throughout the day

  • WWII reenactors and vehicles

  • Air Force Museum Theatre
    Living History Film Series ($)

Details are still being finalized. Schedule is subject to change. Outdoor activities are weather dependent.

Please continue to check our website for updates.

Facebook Event Page

Click here to visit the Facebook page for this exciting event. Let us know if you are interested in going.

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.

download a flyer

Download a flyer with event information.

-  Click here for a full page flyer

-  Click here for a trifold brochure
     (8.5"x14" - double-sided)

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).

Memphis Belle™ Video Playlist

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.

  • Restoration Info

    The Memphis Belle is undergoing its final stages of restoration.  The Behind the Scenes tours of the Restoration Hangar were temporarily suspended on Nov. 3, 2017.  


    This will allow the Restoration Division to focus their attention on restoring the B-17F Memphis Belle™, and also preserves an element of surprise with regard to the final colors, paint scheme and markings of the aircraft, which will be revealed when the aircraft is unveiled to the public on May 17, 2018.

Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.