Early in World War II, the United States 8th Air Force decided to use its heavy bombers in daytime attacks against occupied Europe. The British predicted horrible losses during daylight raids. It was not suprising that the first bomber crew to complete 25 missions would be regarded as heroes. The crew of the B-17 “Memphis Belle” was the first to complete a combat tour. Between November 7, 1942, and May 17, 1943, the crew flew missions ranging from 4 to almost 10 hours in duration. For these missions Capt. Robert K. Morgan and his crew were awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Memphis Belle and its crew were then returned to the United States on a morale-building tour of aircraft plants.

Captain and crew of the Memphis Belle

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