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Memphis Belle (DVD)

Military DVDs

By Graham Simons
Imprint: Pen & Sword Digital
Running Time: 60 (mins)
ISBN: 5060247620299
Published: 10th May 2017

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£14.99


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Without doubt Boeing Flying Fortress B-17F 41-42285 Memphis Belle and her crew generate an image that is an all-American icon. Indeed, it has been claimed that the Memphis Belle is in the top five of the most famous American aircraft of all time. In September, 1942, a new Flying Fortress was delivered at Bangor, Maine, to a crew of ten eager American lads headed by Robert K. Morgan, a lanky 24-year-old USAAF pilot from Asheville, N. C. The boys climbed aboard, flew their ship to Memphis, Tenn. and christened her Memphis Belle in honour of Morgan's fiancée, Miss Margaret Polk of Memphis, and then headed across the Atlantic to join the US Eighth Air Force in England. Between November 7 1942 and May 171943 they flew the Memphis Belle over Hitler's Europe twenty-five times.

They dropped more than 60 tons of bombs on targets in Germany, France and Belgium. They blasted the Focke-Wulf plant at Bremen, locks at St. Nazaire and Brest, docks and shipbuilding installations at Wilhelmshaven, railway yards at Rouen, submarine pens and power houses at Lorient, and airplane works at Antwerp. They shot down eight enemy fighters, probably got five others and damaged at least a dozen. Memphis Belle flew through all the flak that Hitler could send up to them. She slugged it out with Goering's Messerschmitts and Focke-Wulfs. She was riddled by machine gun and cannon fire. Once she returned to base with most of her tail shot away. German guns destroyed a wing and five engines. Her fuselage was shot to pieces but Memphis Belle kept going back. The Memphis Belle crew has been decorated 51 times. Each of the 10 has received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters. The 51st award was Sergeant Quinlan's Purple Heart.

This DVD is a compilation of footage on the famous B-17 Memphis Belle aircraft and is expertly put together by aviation historian and author Graham Simons.

Makes for superb viewing.

Airfix Model World, October 2017

This is a moving tribute to the Memphis Belle, all of her sisters of the 8th Air Force and her crew. Shot under combat conditions in full colour, this is a remarkable video. The out-takes provide some memorable footage and the whole package is an impressive offering. Aggressively priced, it is also subject to the Pen & Sword promotional discounts. A DVD not to be missed

Read the full review here.

Firetrench
 Graham Simons

About Graham Simons

English professional aviation writer, publisher and historian Graham M Simons is one of the founders of the world famous aviation museum at Duxford near Cambridge where his interest was piqued watching the making of the ‘Battle of Britain’ film there in the late 1960’s and from the days when you could go ‘aircraft spotting’ at London Heathrow and other airports.

From this, and with an engineering background, he progressed to membership of a number of aviation societies, including sitting on the British Aviation Preservation Council, eventually taking the position of Engineering Director with one group. Here he was responsible for overseeing the restoration of a De Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide airliner to flying condition and placing this aircraft - with official approval — in the colours and markings of the first aircraft of what was then the Kings Flight. It was during this period that he was contacted by Ian Allen Ltd to write the first ever history of this classic De Havilland type.

Other titles rapidly followed and with a growing number of contacts in both the military and airliners, Graham turned professional in 1987, combining his love of writing with his skills in production to create and publish aviation histories focussed on a variety of subjects.

He is the author of Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose, Comet! The World’s First Jet Airliner, The Airbus A380: A History, and De Havilland Enterprises: A History, amongst many others published by Pen and Sword Books.

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