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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Memphis Belle

Boeing B-17 F #41-24485

 

—Margaret Polk —

 
Memphis Belle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, July 1, 2015
1. Memphis Belle Marker
Inscription. Front
Margaret Polk
Margaret Polk was a Memphis resident and a graduate of the Hutchison School. While a student at Southwestern in Memphis, she dated Pilot Robert Morgan prior to his deployment overseas. Bob named his B-17F-Memphis Belle, in honor of the girl he left behind. For the rest of her life, she lent her presence and her support as the 'real' Memphis Belle.

Back:
History of the Memphis Belle
The Memphis Belle, a Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, was one of 12,731 B-17s (heavy bombers) built under the direction of the Boeing Aircraft Company. With a crew of ten, the aircraft was among the first B-17s to retire from service in the European Theater of Operations. After 25 officially-credited missions, the crew and their lucky mascot, a Scottie dog called Stuka, returned home without major injuries. The Army Air Force assigned a crew to the aircraft in Bangor, Maine, in September 1942, which they flew to Memphis on a shakedown flight, where it was christened the Memphis Belle in honor of the pilot’s wartime sweetheart, Miss Margaret Polk. From there they flew to their combat base in Bassingbourne, England, north of London. The aircraft flew in combat from November 7, 1942 to May 19, 1943. Upon completion of these missions, they flew home first to Washington
Memphis Belle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, July 1, 2015
2. Memphis Belle Marker
and then to Memphis to visit the real Memphis belle, Margaret Polk. The Memphis Belle then toured the country on a 32 city War Bond Tour visiting Army Air Force bases, aircraft manufacturers and equipment suppliers to raise public awareness and support. Following the tour, the aircraft was flown to the Spokane Air Depot in Washington State, where it underwent a complete overhaul, after which the Memphis Belle was flown to MacDill Field near Tampa, Florida, to become a training aircraft. With Germany’s surrender, it was flown on July 2, 1945, to Altus Army Airfield in Oklahoma, where it was placed on storage status on September 9, and nine days later passed to the Reclamation Center of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the agency tasked with the disposal of surplus military equipment. The City of Memphis rescued the aircraft and flew it to Memphis on July 17, 1946. The Memphis Belle remained in Memphis for 59 years at various locations including the Army National Guard Armory Building on Central Avenue, the Memphis Airport, Mud Island and Millington all the while undergoing preservation and restoration. Much of that time it was in the loving care of the Memphis Belle Memorial Association founded by Frank Donofrio. On October 5, 2005, the aircraft was transferred to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, part of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton,
Margaret Polk image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, July 1, 2015
3. Margaret Polk
Margaret Polk section of Memphis Belle Marker
Ohio, to be restored as a “Plane of Record”. This memorial is erected to honor the B-17F 41-24485-Memphis Belle, the crew, Margaret Polk and the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country in World War II.
 
Location. 35° 8.849′ N, 89° 59.643′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker can be reached from Veterans Plaza Drive 0.1 miles north of Poplar Avenue. Click for map. Marker is in Veterans Plaza inside of Overtyon Park. Marker is in this post office area: Memphis TN 38104, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Overton Park Shell/The Levitt Shell At Overton Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rhodes College (approx. 0.3 miles away); Tennessee Williams Play (approx. 0.6 miles away); Overton Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Griffin House (approx. 0.8 miles away); First Baptist Church (approx. 0.8 miles away); Bettis Family Cemetery (approx. 0.9 miles away); Hutchison School (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Memphis.
 
Categories. War, World II
 
History of the Memphis Belle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, July 1, 2015
4. History of the Memphis Belle Marker
Reverse site of marker
Memphis Belle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, July 1, 2015
5. Memphis Belle Marker
View looking South at Memphis Belle Marker in Veterans Plaza, Overton Park, Memphis, tn
Memphis Belle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, July 1, 2015
6. Memphis Belle Marker
View looking north at Veteran's Plaza in Overton Park, Memphis, TN
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 211 times since then and 2 times this year. Last updated on , by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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