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Memphis Belle was the nickname of a B-17F Flying Fortress 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 a 1990 Hollywood feature film: Memphis Belle. The plane was named for pilot Robert K. Morgan's sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. Morgan originally intended to call the plane Little One, after his pet name for her, but after Morgan and his copilot, Jim Verinis, saw the movie Lady for a Night, in which the leading character owns a riverboat named the Memphis Belle, he proposed that name to his crew. In May 1943 it became the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to complete 25 combat missions. The plane and crew then returned to the United States to sell war bonds. The original airplane is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH. The Museum has placed restoration of Memphis Belle near the top of its priorities. In the magazine Friends Journal of the museum's foundation, Major General Charles D. Metcalf (USAF-Ret.), the director of the museum, stated that it might take 8–10 years to fully restore the aircraft. Memphis Belle during refurbishment in 2003.By the Spring of 2009, considerable preparatory work had been accomplished, but the fuselage and wings were still disassembled. After stripping the paint from the aft fuselage of the aircraft, hundreds of names and personal messages were found scratched in the aluminum skin. During the plane's war bond tour, people were allowed to leave their mark on this war-time hero. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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