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Postage Stamp 1:155 Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress: Memphis Belle

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Postage Stamp 1:155 Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress: Memphis Belle

Postage Stamp 1:155 Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress: Memphis Belle

Memphis Belle is a Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress used during the Second World War that inspired the making of two motion pictures: a 1944 documentary film, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress and the 1990 Hollywood feature film, Memphis Belle. It was one of the first United States Army Air Forces B-17 heavy bombers to complete 25 combat missions, after which the aircrew returned with the bomber to the United States to sell war bonds. In 2005 restoration began on the Memphis Belle at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio where, from May 2018, it has been on display. The B-17 used in the 1990 feature film is housed at the National Warplane Museum

The B-17 was named after pilot Robert K Morgan's sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. Morgan originally intended to call the bomber Little One, which was his pet name for Polk. After Morgan and copilot Jim Verinis viewed the feature film Lady for a Night, in which the leading character owns a riverboat named the Memphis Belle, he proposed that name to his aircrew.[N 4] Morgan then contacted George Petty at the offices of Esquire magazine and asked him for a pinup drawing to go with the name, which Petty supplied from the magazine's April 1941 issue.

The 91st's group artist, Corporal Tony Starcer, copied, then transferred the Petty girl artwork to both sides of the forward fuselage, depicting her swimsuit in blue on the aircraft's port side and in red on the starboard side. The nose art later included 25 bomb shapes, one for each mission credit, and eight Nazi swastikas, one for each German aircraft claimed shot down by the crew. Station and crew names were stenciled below station windows on the bomber after its tour of duty was completed.

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