It's May 1943 at a US Army Air Corps base in England. The four officers and six enlisted men of the Memphis Belle - a B-17 bomber so nicknamed for the girlfriend of its stern and stoic ... See full summary »
Documentary about the 25th and last bombing mission of a B17, the "Memphis Belle". The "Memphis Belle" took part in a great bombing raid on sub-pens in Wilhelmshafen, Germany. On their way ... See full summary »
James A. Verinis
For almost 60 years the B-17 bomber, the Memphis Belle, called Memphis, Tennessee home. In Oct. 2005, The U.S. Air Force removed one of the most famous aircraft in the world from the ... See full summary »
It's May 1943 at a US Army Air Corps base in England. The four officers and six enlisted men of the Memphis Belle - a B-17 bomber so nicknamed for the girlfriend of its stern and stoic captain, Dennis Dearborn - will soon start their twenty-fifth mission, having completed their previous twenty-four successfully with nary an incident, while fewer and fewer other planes are coming back from their missions at all. If they complete their next mission successfully, they will be the first Army Air Corps B-17 Crew to complete their tour of duty. Visiting communications officer Lt. Col. Bruce Derringer wants to publicize and highly tout their accomplishment, even before it happens, as a long term good news campaign at a time when there is little good news to report. Derringer's plan is against the wishes of the base commander, Col. Craig Harriman, who would prefer to treat the ten as any of his other hard working men. The previous success of the Memphis Belle is despite the disparate natures ... Written by
Bombardier 1Lt. Val Kozlowski (Billy Zane) is depicted looking through the Norden bombsight and releasing the bombs with the salvo switch when he sees the target in the crosshairs. In real life, the lead bombardier would find the target in his sight long before the release point, lock his sight onto the target, enter all relevant data on the bombs and known crosswinds, and then the sight would fly the plane to the release point and drop the bombs automatically. Bombardiers on other planes would hit their salvo switches when they saw the lead bomber drop their bombs. If done right, the system was capable of pinpoint accuracy. In combat conditions however, unrecognized crosswinds, battle damage to the autopilot system, and turbulence from flak bursts could all affect accuracy. As a result, some targets were hit perfectly, while other were literally missed by a mile. See more »
When the B-17s prepare to take off for their mission, one close-up on the runway reveals its pilots wearing modern headphones. See more »
"Memphis Belle" tells of the last combat mission of a legendary WWII B-17 bomber and her crew. The film is Hollywoodized for entertainment value and doesn't square with history on many counts including a fully fictionalized crew. Nonetheless, the film is offers a good cast, good drama, plenty of suspense and action, and imparts some sense of the daring and danger involved in the Belle's mission #25 and daylight Army Air Corps raids over Western Europe. Worth a look for those unfamiliar with the sacrifices of the air combat crews of WWII.
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