The men who united as a crew in the vertical war over Europe after Pearl Harbor have all since surrendered, as we all must one day, to time. Its last living member, radio operator Robert Hanson, passed into history in 2005 at age 85. But their spirits and souls live on in the reliquary that fused their individual personalities into historic airplanes like the Memphis Belle….
The crew’s 26th mission, to sell the bonds that helped fund the war effort, lasted three months. Between June and August 1943 they flew the Memphis Belle to 31 cities, including Dayton, Ohio, where they met Orville Wright. The airplane returned to Dayton in 2005, where the restoration crew at the Air Force museum started work.
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