Published May 17, 2018
Memphis Belle crew at their first stop on the war bond tour, Washington, DC, on June 16, 1943. Commanding General of the USAAF Henry “Hap” Arnold (standing, second from the right) and Undersecretary of War Robert Patterson (standing, third from left) are pictured with them.
Memphis Belle at Patterson Field (now Wright-Patterson AFB) in July 1943.
“You are being sent on another mission, perhaps the most important of the many on which you have flown in this famous plane...It is to carry a message which should hearten a great people.”
—Gen Jacob Devers, Commander, US Army European Theater of Operations, Summer 1943
“26th Mission”: War Bond Tour
The USAAF selected the Memphis Belle and its crew to represent the strategic bombing effort on a widely-publicized war bond and morale-boosting tour with more than thirty stops across the country. Acclaimed in newspapers and greeted as heroes by large crowds, the famed aircraft and crew became national celebrities and strengthened public resolve for the war effort.
Copy of a $25 war bond purchased by Charlotte Wagner at the Memphis Belle’s second stop, Memphis, Tennessee, and signed by the members of the crew.
“Stuka,” the “eleventh” member of the war bond crew, with Capt James Verinis. Verinis bought him in England before coming back to the US.
Morgan and Verinis visit with Orville Wright (2nd from right) and Col Edward Deeds at National Cash Register (NCR) in Dayton, Ohio.
Related Fact Sheets
The Memphis Belle: American Icon and 25th Mission
Memphis Belle Crew
The “Memphis Belle” and Nose Art
26th Mission: War Bond Tour
“Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress”
Heavy Bomber “Firsts”
Combat Aircraft to Museum Artifact
Crippling the Nazi War Machine: USAAF Strategic Bombing in Europe
Early Operations (1942 to mid-1943) - Eighth Air Force in England
Ninth/Twelfth Air Forces in the Mediterranean
Combat Box/Communication and Life at 25K
Keeping them Flying: Mechanics and Armorers
Combined Bomber Offensive: Summer 1943 to Victory
Bigger Raids, Bigger Losses, and Crisis
Deadly Skies over Europe (Luftwaffe defense)
Bomber Crew Protection
Operation Tidalwave (Ploesti, 1 Aug 43)
Regensburg/Schweinfurt (17 Aug 43)
Black Thursday/Schweinfurt (14 Oct 43)
Fifteenth Air Force (created Sep 43)
Women’s Army Corps
Fighter Escort: Little Friends
Big Week (20-25 Feb 44)
Operation Frantic: Shuttle Raids to the Soviet Union
Strategic Bombing Victorious
Return to B-17F Memphis Belle Fact Sheet
Return to WWII Gallery List
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
Additional information about our COVID precautions available here
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)