The Memphis Belle, a B-17 bomber built in 1945, is at the Tampa Executive Airport near us Saturday and Sunday. A recent promotional article at TBO.com tells some about the significance of the plane.
“The B-17 is the iconic World War II bomber,” he said. Between 1935 and 1945, nearly 13,000 B-17s were built.
“About 4,300 of them went down and each carried a 10-man crew,” he said. “We are quite honored to fly this airplane.”
Our grandson had a baseball game near us Saturday morning. At lunch I told him about the Memphis Belle. I told him that Grandmother and I were about his age when the plane was built, and that I would like for him to see it.
It was a beautiful day in Tampa, and we enjoyed seeing the B-17 land and take off while we were at the airport.
An older gentleman who was a gunner on the B-17 during WWII was among the visitors at the airport while we were there. There may have been others.
Seeing the Memphis Belle was a good reminder of the historic importance of the B-17 “flying fortress” in the history of our country, and of the men who have served.
This plane was featured in the 1990 movie by the same name.