Memphis Belle leaving namesake city

Oct. 6, 2004 at 1:06 PM
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DAYTON, Ohio, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Air Force Museum officials are set to bring the Memphis Belle, the famous World War II B-17 bomber on display in Memphis, to the Ohio site for repairs.

The Memphis Belle, on display in its namesake city for the past 58 years, is in need of restoration after weather and vandalism damage, the Dayton, Ohio, Daily News reported Wednesday.

The plane will be airlifted to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton in several months to undergo a five-year restoration, said Charles Metcalf, museum director.

The Memphis Belle Memorial Association in Tennessee attempted to preserve the historical plane, but it is now in "crummy shape," Metcalf said.

The Memphis Belle became famous in World War II when the Army made its 25th combat mission into a wartime film, then sent the bomber and its crew on a U.S. War Bonds tour.

A 1990 film, "Memphis Belle," revived interest in the bomber.

The upcoming repair job will be the plane's fourth restoration.

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