Revisiting the Belle

25/08/12 9:36 PM

This morning after we announced the winner and had some fun wondering which Founding Father would be the best Batman and Robin, we headed back to the regional airport to see the “Memphis Belle”. You may remember our past post “From One Belle to Another.” We got some really good pictures of this B-17 Flying Fortress, but we didn’t get to see inside or see it fly that day.

This morning we did! It was so awesome! When we arrived it was out on a flight with some people so we had to wait for it to return. But boy, when it did, it was a sight to see!

Once it landed, we git to see inside. I can’t believe how small it was! The Tail Gunner and Ball Turret would have to have been small men! I can’t see just anyone fitting in there! On the movie it made the inside look so big! But really it wasn’t. The pilot, Ray was really nice enough to take my camera up to the cockpit and take some shots for us!

Ball Turret – outside

Landing Gear – Inside

Tail Gunner – Outside

Tail Gunner – Inside

Looking up through the cockpit door to the cockpit above


Cockpit Door – Ray the pilot

Then it was off for another flight. Watching them turn the engines on one at a time was so much fun to see. As it turned to taxi out to the run way, I felt a kind of sadness come over me. It was then that I started thinking about the number of men that left just like this in England, heading for a bombing run over Germany. I thought about the numbers that never made it back. Wow, even now, what pride I feel in the sacrifice these men willing gave.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 18 Comments »

18 Comments on “Revisiting the Belle”

  1. My Uncle Joe was a tail gunner.Each time he went on mission he thought it would be his last. Every day I give a prayer of thanks to our veterans.

  2. We do too!

  3. terry1954 Says:

    those were awesome photos!!!! i really enjoyed these.

  4. Thank you! They were fun to take!

  5. I had the opportunity to tour a B-17 at the McMinnville Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. The tour was being led by a man who had piloted a B-24 (a similar type of bomber) over Europe during World War II. This gentleman was so humble and kind – it was amazing to hear his stories, and how he felt he deserved no special mention; he was simply “doing what needed to be done.” And yes, that Tail Gunner bubble was tiny! I’m 5’3″ and wondered how I’ve be able to fit into it!

  6. That would have been a great opportunity to share in some history! We didn’t have anyone that served in WWII while I was there.

  7. vanbraman Says:

    Thanks for the additional pictures. It is truly a fascinating plane.

  8. You are so welcome! We had a great time taking them!

  9. This looks like an amazing time! And the photos of the plantation are beautiful.

  10. Thank you! We are sure to have more to come!

  11. gardeniahung Says:

    The B-17 Flying Fortress is a vintage aircraft for collectors and aviators.

  12. Yes it is really a great aircraft!

  13. love this!! Friday my husband and I went to yard sales and as a great big surprise, we found a B-24 panel with a Vargas girl painted on the side and my husband bought me the piece of art which is already hanging in our livingroom! I just love that WWII airplane art!

  14. Wow! That is so cool!!

  15. ryeder Says:

    Aho from Backwater, South Dakota! I’ve just nominated you for “Inspiring Blog Award” and “One Lovely Blog Award.” You may choose to pass along the fun by giving me a shout-out, then stating 7 facts about yourself and nominating 15 bloggers whom you find inspiring. Here’s where you can find my post nominating you:


  16. Thank you so much! We really appreciate you sharing us with your readers!! It means a lot to us to get both of them!

  17. Great post (again!), great pics (ditto). As for Founding Fathers as Batman & Robin: clearly John and John Quincy Adams!

  18. Thank you! Good pick!