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Posted: 10/4/2004 11:00:28 PM EDT
I think that this is going to piss off a lot of people who spent their time and money building the structure and refurbishing the 'Belle while the US Air Force didn't do jack shit.

PRESS RELEASE -- Secretary of the Air Force, Directorate of Public Affairs

Release No. 1004043
Oct 4, 2004

Memphis Belle to find new home at Air Force's national museum

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Air Force officials announced plans to relocate the World War II B-17 "Memphis Belle" to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio today.

No date has been set, but the move is expected to occur before the end of the year in conjunction with activities planned to observe the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

"We are grateful to the Memphis Belle Memorial Association for its preservation and restoration of the Memphis Belle," said Maj. Gen. (Ret) Charles Metcalf, director of the NMUSAF. "We have enjoyed the partnership over the years and look forward to the continued collaboration as we make this transition," he added.

The aircraft has been located in the Memphis, Tenn. area since 1946. It was on loan from the Air Force to volunteers and aviation enthusiasts until the 1980s when the MBMA became its leaseholder.

The Memphis Belle under the tent on Mud Island, Memphis, TN

"The Memphis Belle is a prominent and famous part of the Air Force's historic collection," said Mr. Dick Anderegg, director of Air Force history. "As such, it is only appropriate that it be displayed at the service's national museum where it can be viewed by millions and exhibited in a manner consistent with its proud legacy."

The museum's restoration team, which maintains all of the nearly 350 aircraft and aerospace vehicles in the museum's collection, will continue the restoration on-site. The effort will begin immediately upon the aircraft's arrival and is expected to take several years to complete.

Museum officials plan to exhibit the aircraft as the centerpiece of its considerable WWII aircraft collection once restoration is complete.

"We will give it a level of care and public visibility befitting its legacy to ensure its continued preservation for future generations to learn about the heroism and bravery of its crew," said Gen Metcalf.

The Memphis Belle is a national and cultural icon with a name recognition comparable to that of the B-29 Enola Gay on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

In 2003, nearly 1.35 million people visited the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum. Current and future museum expansion promises to generate increased attendance.

Note to media: For more information on the Memphis Belle announcement, contact Jackie Hampton in the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs at (703) 697-4424. For more information on the aircraft's transport to the NMUSAF and future restoration and exhibit efforts,
contact the museum's public affairs division at (937) 255-4704, ext. 332.

Memphis Belle web site
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 11:14:28 PM EDT
Looking forward to seeing it in Dayton.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 11:34:49 PM EDT
I live 30 min. from the USAF museum. I look forward to seeing "the Belle" there. As long as it's kept in the USA and in good condition, it really doesn't matter to me where it's displayed.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 11:36:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 11:50:58 PM EDT by jimtash9]
The sad thing about this story is that here in Asheville, we had some major flooding and damage due to the hurricanes and the house where Mrs. Morgan lives was no exception. A lot of Col. Morgans belongings were damaged in the flood but one thing that stands out is that she had his bomber jacket outside drying and it was STOLEN, and so far it hasn't been recovered yet. There sure are some real POS people in this world.
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