Flying down memory lane in Indianapolis

October 3, 2012 by  

When the B-17 bomber Memphis Belle landed in Indianapolis, Indiana, last Monday, October 1, she brought a lot of memories with her. The aircraft is World War II vintage and several veterans of that conflict were on hand to welcome the Belle. Not only that, but they were given a ride in the plane, many for the first time since the 1940s.

Veteran Marc Ogden called the plane’s arrival “terribly exciting” and added that:

“I think my heart rate doubled.”

Ogden was a right waist gunner on his bomber and flew 14 missions over occupied Europe. On his Monday flight, he took the opportunity to sit at some of the other positions throughout the aircraft. Although he was delighted to see the Memphis Belle, not all his memories are happy ones. He recalls that on his next to last flight, one of his buddies, the tail gunner, was killed by gunfire from the ground. Despite that, the day spent with the old B-17 was a happy one.

The Memphis Belle is owned and operated by the Liberty Foundation – a nonprofit organization that sends the aircraft on an annual tour to educate the public about the B-17 and the men who flew it. This particular airplane is famous for being the first heavy bomber to successfully complete 25 missions without losing any of the crew members.

Since it gives rides, the Liberty Foundation could use brochure printers to give the history of the aircraft in printed format, along with flyers to display times, prices, and procedures. Public flights are available this weekend, October 6 – 7.