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Crew of B-17F Flying Fortress bomber 'Memphis Belle' at an airbase in England, United Kingdom, 7 Jun 1943

Caption   Crew of B-17F Flying Fortress bomber 'Memphis Belle' at an airbase in England, United Kingdom, 7 Jun 1943 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Air Force
More on...   
B-17 Flying Fortress   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos on Same Day See all photos dated 7 Jun 1943
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 3 Apr 2009

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (1,800 by 1,447 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
25 Jan 2009 09:18:06 PM

The men were, left to right: Tech. Sgt. Harold P. Loch of Green Bay, Wisconsin, top turret gunner Staff Sgt. Cecil H. Scott of Altoona, Pennsylvania, ball turret gunner Tech. Sgt. Robert J, Hanson of Walla Walla, Washington, radio operator Capt. James A. Verinis, New Haven, Connecticut, co-pilot Capt. Robert K. Morgan of Ashville, North Carolina, pilot Capt. Charles B. Leighton of Lansing, Michigan, navigator Staff Sgt. John P. Quinlan of Yonkers, New York, tail gunner Staff Sgt. Casimer A. Nastal of Detroit, Michigan, waist gunner Capt. Vincent B. Evans of Henderson, Texas, bombardier Staff Sgt. Clarence E. Wichell of Oak Park, Illinois, waist gunner
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
6 Jun 2010 02:56:27 PM

Bomber Nose Art World War Two Style: Thousands of Allied aircraft had some type of Nose Art or name given to them, it was a calling card of of that era and generation. The USAAF tried to even ban and censer such art, but the value of crew morale won. When a bomber, transport or fighter left the factory, or was assigned to a new crew it was just another piece of Military hardware it had no personality, but once the plane was given a name, from that time on, she was no longer just another airplane, she was their plane, their girl, she would get them home she was part of the team. Call them by another name and you might get yourself into a fight,she would be defended as any woman's honor would be. Nose Art Isn't New: Its an old tradition going back hundreds of of years, British man-of-war had female figureheads on the bow. Vikings had ornate mast-heads carved out of wood on their ships. Personal Note* How does one feel about a machine? One of the last things I did, before turning my track in, after painting out her name,was give her a kiss goodby. "Our time together is at an end,never will we cross paths again. I will always remember you ,you were "My Babe". To this day,I still have my dreams about her
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Jun 2010 07:15:01 AM

Army Air Force Brass, tolerated nose art in an effort to boost crew morale. The U.S. Navy and the Marines prohibited nose art. The RAF and the RCAF nose art was not as commonplace, as it was in the USAAF. Nose art bcame so popular, that the USAAF even created a AAF Regulation, Dated 1944! Talk about the Brass covering their backs. The men of the USAAF, knew what they were fighting for. It authorized decorating any USAAF equipment with individual designs. Nose Art along with the removing of the cap stifferer, that gave the cap that collapsed 50 mission look, was unique. It was another form of morale-boosting a status symbol the Ground Army never had. Sometimes shuned military protocal, it added to the Mystique of the US Army Air Force in World War II.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Jun 2010 07:43:50 AM

The 50 mission crush cap: Nothing made a pilot more seasoned,than the the 50 mission crush cap. It was the most popular form of headgear in the USAAF during WWII. Once again the AAF created another Regulation allowing a certain amount of lateral movement Eventually manufacturers started to make caps designed for aviators, the caps were made soft, so they could be rolled up and put into a pocket. Both Officers and enlisted men wore them. Today collectors of WWII uniforms are much prized, among them are the 50 mission crush caps.
5. Anonymous says:
8 May 2011 08:57:18 PM

I've met Captain Morgan at an air show. He's a great guy. I managed to get a signed picture :)
6. LoboSolo says:
7 Jun 2011 04:49:45 PM

I remember going to see the Belle when it was still in Memphis ... It's a shame that the Memphis city gov't ignored her.
7. Fernando says:
8 Jun 2011 11:55:20 AM

I'm remembering when I was teen, one of my first scale models was Revel's Memphis Belle ...
8. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
3 Nov 2014 05:32:53 AM

During WWII military equipment of all type was manufactured on a massive scale never seen before by thousands of companies in the USA. After WWII the USAAF and later the USAF continued to use some of its wartime equipment, until replaced by improved flying gear. MOVIES OF INTEREST: To study different types of flying gear two films I remember. The 1949 movie Twelve "O" High and the 1990 movie Memphis Belle uniforms and equipment. What was interesting to see in the 1990 film Memphis Belle, were those light blue electric heated suits. You also have wartime films and others made after World War II, that show different flying gear.
9. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
4 Nov 2014 07:15:13 PM

OOPS! made a mistake the 1949 movie should be titled Twelve "O" Clock High. What have our B-17 Memphis Belle crew been issued. THE GREATEST GENERATION: WORLD WAR II First row left to right: First man wears the Shearing leather flying suit w/B-3 jacket and A-3 trousers and B-2 leather flying cap. Officer wears his crusher cap, A-2 leather flying jacket, Mae West life preserver versions were the B-1, B-2, B-4 and olive drab trousers. Next man wears the A-4 one piece flight suit, and type A-11 leather flying helmet w/goggles. Next Officer wears his Officers crusher cap, A-2 flying jacket, Mae West life preserver and OD trousers. Last man issued B-3 leather flying cap, Shearing leather flying suit B-3 jacket and A-3 trousers, Mae West and gloves. Second row left to right: Officer wears his overseas cap w/headphones, A-2 flying jacket OD shirt and OD trousers. Next man wears light weight flying cap with headphones, could be wearing his A-2 flying jacket and Mae West OD shirt and OD trousers. Next man wears his overseas cap w/headphones, A-2 flight jacket, Mae West, OD shirt and OD trousers. Officer wears his Officers crusher cap, A-2 flying jacket, Mae West life preserver OD shirt and OD trousers. Last man wears his B-2 flying cap w/goggles, Shearing leather flying suit w/B-3 jacket and A-3 trousers and Mae West life preserver. Did you know that Luftwaffe Pilot Officers also took the stiffner out of their caps, to give that crusher look. All crewman are issued F-2 flying boots and electric heated suits and gloves...its cold around 30,000 feet, and you gotta keep warm Did you know during WWII men that were selected for the USAAF to train as pilots, navigators and bombardiers and washed out were kept on and retrained as flight engineer/gunner, radio operator/gunner and gunners others went into ground jobs and aircraft maintenance the USAAF wanted to keep the best personnel. The Luftwaffe did the same if a man washed out he was retrained to keep the best personnel however as the war went on Luftwaffe battalions were formed and these highly trained men were thrown away as infantry. FLYING SHADES: Last but not least those Bausch & Lomb and Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses along with the A-2 leather flying jacket are timeless designs. Other World War II movies that show flying gear are: Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo 1944. DVD Command Decision 1948 DVD Above and Beyond 1952 DVD Tuskegee Airman(HBO)Home Box Office 2000 DVD Red Tails 2012 DVD Strategic Air Command 1955 film shows the B-36 and B-47 bombers also has a lot of aircraft that has been phased out of USAF service decades ago. Shows newer issue 1950s flying gear N-2B Cold Weather flight parka, B-15 flight jacket, flight coveralls, fatigue uniforms, caps and other gear. ONCE AGAIN I THANK THE EDITOR/WW2DB FOR ALLOWING ME TO CONTINUE LEAVING MY COMMENTS
10. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
6 Nov 2014 04:18:28 PM

TRHE STRESS OF COMBAT: The crew of the Memphis Belle were lucky to have completed 25 combat missions and return home to the good U.S. of A. Did you know that later on the USAAF raised the number of completed combat missions to...30 and to 35 and later to 50! how much were men to take, what was the breaking point before the stress of combat caught up to them. HEAD COUNT: With the arrival of the P-51 Mustang, to escort the bombers was one reason why combat missions were raised. How many original bomber crews survived those crews suffered killed, wounded and missing others for one reason or another, were sent home while others were medically sent home for wounds or injuries, and never flew again. So the question is, was it a crewman's tour of duty or a complete crew. Did you know that some crews flew missions in other bombers with different names. In the 1949 movie Twelve "O" Clock High this subject was looked into even the 1948 movie Command Decision showed the stress of command. In WWI it was Shell Shock, In WWII it was Combat Fatigue and later conflicts/wars its called PTSD. War will change a human being for the rest of his or her days. What a soldier will see and react to, is beyond normal human experience. In 1967 I went to South Vietnam as a 20 year old, 1968 I later spent time in U.S. Army hospitals in Japan and my home state of California. In 1969 Returned to Vietnam after two-tours I returned home in 1970 a much older 22 year old sergeant, who saw way too much of war. WAR IS STRANGE: You meet people get to know and like them and one day, you never see them again. The stress of war, is shown on a mans face their were no young soldiers you just got older...
11. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
15 Nov 2014 03:18:15 PM

IN HARMS WAY: The 8th Air Force suffered a high rate of casualties, some sources list between 26,000 to 28,000 KIA, MIA 28,000 listed as POWs, WIA 18,000 some bodies were never recovered. Psychological stress due to combat those airmen, were sent home along with those who were wounded and never flew again. COST OF WAR: From August 1943 to March 1944, 3,888 B-17s flew bombing missions over Germany. 344 aborted, 2,785 crossed the coast to bomb targets in Europe, 107 were lost on route, 3,310 bombed the target, 378 were total loss due to damage, 1,360 were damaged beyond repair, 4,750 B-17s were lost to enemy action Did you know that the Boeing B-17 made up 2/3rds of the bombing force in England. Crews faced over 10 hour missions at 25,000ft with temperatures of 40 degrees below zero. Even before reaching the targets in Germany. Crews faced the ever present danger of mid air collisions with hundreds of other B-17s groups flying in the overcast skies. Once formations crossed the coast they had to be on the lookout for fighters and flak to the target, and run into the same thing on the way back, more fighters and flak. YB-40 GUNSHIP: To help cut losses to fighters Boeing developed a gunship version of the B-17 the new ship mounted a chin turret w/2 x .50 caliber machine guns, top turret w/2 x .50s, an added turret w/2 x .50s where the radio operators position was, waist gunners had 2 x.50s, ball turret 2 x.50s and tail position w/2 x .50s ammo load was 11,275 rounds over the standard B-17Fs 3,900rounds. Rushed into combat with the 92nd Bomb Group, in May 1943 it was realized that once the other B-17s dropped there bombs, the gunship couldn't keep up with the formation all YB-40s were later withdrawn. Later production B-17Gs came off the assembly line mounting built with the Bendix chin turret that had 450rpg, other modifications were cheek gun positions that mounted 1 x .50 caliber machine gun on each side of the nose.

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