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Memphis Belle True Story

Memphis Belle True Story
Memphis Belle True Story

Memphis Belle True Story: Memphis Belle is a 1990 British-American military drama film directed by Michael Caton-Jones and written by Monte Merrick that tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with a soldier.

The film stars Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, and Harry Connick Jr., among other actors and singers (in his film debut). In Memphis Belle, director William Wyler fictionalizes the 1944 documentary Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress. The film is about the 25th and final mission of an American Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, the Memphis Belle, which was based in England during World War II and flew missions over Europe.

The 1990 version, co-produced by David Puttnam and Wyler’s daughter Catherine, was dedicated to her father and co-produced by Puttnam and Wyler. Towards the conclusion of the film, a tribute is made to all pilots, friendly or hostile, who fought in the skies over Europe during World War II.

Memphis Belle True Story
Memphis Belle True StoryThe crew of the “Memphis Belle” (left to right) Harold Loch (Top Turret), Cecil Scott (Ball Turret), Robert Hanson (Radio), Jim Vernis (Co-Pilot), Robert Morgan (Pilot), Chuck Leighton (Navigator), John Quinlan (Tail Gun), Tony Nastal (Right Waist), Vince Evans (Bombardier)Bill Winchell (Left Waist). (National Archives)

The important story needs to be communicated in a compelling manner. However, maybe as a result of a long history of exploitative or cynical Vietnam War films, World War II films are more difficult to produce. “Memphis Belle” should have had the force of a “Twelve O’Clock High,” but instead she came out as weak. It doesn’t work like that.

Facts have never been allowed to stand in the way of a good tale in Hollywood. As an example, consider the 1990 film Memphis Belle. Because of the film’s desire to take a dramatic license, it invents people, situations, and whole missions. Of course, this in no way diminishes the illustrious reputation that the Belle has achieved, nor does it diminish the courage of the men who flew in her.

The Memphis Belle was joined to the inventory of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) on July 15, 1942, and served until 1945. That same year, the aircraft landed in Bangor, Maine, where it joined the 91st Heavy Bombardment Group, which was then based in the city. The first combat mission of the aircraft took place on November 7, 1942. The aircraft went on to fly 24 more missions, the last of which took place on May 19, 1943 and was shot down.

The aircraft was given the name Memphis Belle by pilot Robert K. Morgan in honor of Margaret Polk, a girl he admired who resided in Memphis, Tennessee, and for whom he had a soft spot. Morgan was originally from the city of Asheville in North Carolina.

Memphis Belle True Story
Memphis Belle True StoryBoeing B-17F-10-BO “Memphis Belle” nose art. (U.S. Air Force photo)

During their tour of service, Memphis Belle, a B-17 Flying Fortress, and her crew are expected to perform 25 missions, which is required in order for the crew to be discharged. Belle and the rest of the squadron are tasked with striking a Focke Wulf 190 production factory in Bremen, Germany, as part of a coordinated strike.

The short-range fighters, although being initially accompanied by P-5s, soon have little choice but to retire, leaving the vulnerable bombers to fend for themselves on their way to and from the objective.

Belle’s accomplishments are significant since she will be the first member of the Eighth Air Force to finish her tour of duty. In order to raise funds for the war effort, Army Public Relations Officer Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Derringer plans to capitalize on Belle’s celebrity, which has grown as a result of her accomplishments.

Memphis Belle True Story

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