Saluting the Belle

It’s not often that I get to talk about the defense side of Boeing. But I definitely wanted to share a special moment from this past weekend that honored a Boeing legend.


The new memorial in Memphis.

Boeing and FedEx teamed up to help dedicate a memorial to the crew of the “Memphis Belle,” the famed WWII B-17 bomber. The monument is a life-size, bronze statue of Margaret Polk. She was the sweetheart of Captain Robert Morgan, who named the B-17 Flying Fortress the “Memphis Belle” in honor of her.


The crew of the Memphis Belle with Margaret Polk. Courtesy of the Memphis Belle Memorial Association.

The airplane was built in Seattle and was the first U.S. bomber to complete 25 missions over enemy territory during the war. The Memphis Belle is now undergoing restoration at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. My thanks to retired Lt. Gen. Chuck Johnson, Vice President of Boeing’s C3/Networks & Support Systems, who attended the ceremony in Memphis.

The new monument is not only a tribute to the crew of the Memphis Belle and those who served in WWII, but also to the men and women of Boeing who contributed to the war effort by building 6,981 B-17s in various models.

Comments (4)

Peter (Rexburg, Idaho):

My hat is off to those who crewed, built, and supported these men and aircraft. The greatest generation earned their title through blood, sweat, and tears, and these were a product of their fortitude. I hope we can make them proud of what they did by making our country something they would be proud to have risked all for.

Marcus (Berkeley):

Great airplane and great movie. A reason to be proud.

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

They, the crew on the Memphis Belle and the others who fought for the American and Allied side are truly of the greatest generation with unequaled courage and bravery.

David Stemen (Dayton, Ohio, USA):

I am a volunteer for the National Museum of the United States Air Force here in Dayton, Ohio. I have the honor of being involved in the restoration of the Memphis Belle and personally have over a thousand hours in her. I consider this opportunity to participate a life changing event for me and am anxious to see her roll out of restoration and into the museum for all to see.

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