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"26th Mission": War Bond Tour

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 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.

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

Enabling Technologies

Key Leaders

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)

Gunners

Women’s Army Corps

Fighter Escort: Little Friends

Big Week (20-25 Feb 44)

Target Berlin

Operation Frantic: Shuttle Raids to the Soviet Union

Blind Bombing

D-Day Support

Strategic Bombing Victorious

Epilogue

 

Return to B-17F Memphis Belle Fact Sheet

Return to WWII Gallery List

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