Memphis Belle takes flight over Smyrna - WKRN News 2

Memphis Belle takes flight over Smyrna

Posted:
SMYRNA, Tenn. -

The historic Memphis Belle, a living museum, was in the air over Rutherford County on Thursday afternoon.

Among those gathered to see the historic plane included World War II Veterans Dick Harris and Glenn Hale.

Both men were B-17 bomber pilots who flew with the 8th Air Force in England.

On Thursday afternoon the veterans were given the opportunity to take a ride on the Memphis Belle.

"An opportunity to fly on a B-17 is awesome," Hale said.

He said seeing the bomber brings back both good and bad memories.

Hale made 14 missions before engine trouble caused his B-17 to go down over Poland were he was captured and became a POW.  

Harris said he flew 18 missions before his B-17 was shot down. He and his entire crew survived jumping from the airplane and time in a German Prisoner of War Camp.

"We got shot down in November and got out of prison the next April," he recalled.

Harris said jumping out of an airplane at 20,000 feet is not the easiest thing to do and he remembers giving his radio operator a helping hand to jump out of his bomber, which was on fire.

"He had one foot on the bulk head and one foot on the walkway that goes through the middle of the bomb bay," Harris explained.

The radio man told Harris he would rather go down with the airplane then jump.

"[I] kicked his foot and [he's], gone," said Harris. "Every Christmas after that, I got a Christmas card from him saying thank you for kicking me out of the airplane."

The Memphis Belle is in Smyrna thanks to the Liberty Foundation which allows the public to experience a living museum in person by riding, touching and experiencing a piece of history in real life.

The Liberty Foundation is offering rides on Father's Day weekend on the Memphis Belle and a Curtiss P-40E "Warhawk" fighter.

The Memphis Belle is one of only eight remaining B-17 which are still flying and was the actual airplane used to make the 1990 movie "Memphis Belle."

To schedule a flight, call 918-340-0243.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missing Manchester mom found in Colorado, on way home

    Missing Manchester mom found in Colorado, on way home

    Jul 28, 2014 06:42 PM2014-07-28 23:48:00 GMT
    According to the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Brooke Roberts, 30, was found safe over the weekend in Colorado.More >>
    According to the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Brooke Roberts, 30, was found safe over the weekend in Colorado.More >>
  • Knoxville meteorologist's response to viewer goes viral

    Knoxville meteorologist's response to viewer goes viral

    A Knoxville meteorologist responded to a viewer’s letter on Facebook because there was no return address, and the post went viral.More >>
    A Knoxville meteorologist responded to a viewer’s letter on Facebook because there was no return address, and the post went viral.More >>
  • FL man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    FL man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-07-27 15:39:37 GMT
    Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.
    A Lakeland man has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.Jerry Ashley is still grieving over the passing of his wife Darlene, who died from an aneurysm last month at the age of 48.His loss has been compounded by thieves, who broke into his Lakeland home this week.Ashley has a lot of fond memories of his wife, and many of those memories are stored in a computer that was stolen from his home, now he taking an u...More >>
    A Lakeland man has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.Jerry Ashley is still grieving over the passing of his wife Darlene, who died from an aneurysm last month at the age of 48.His loss has been compounded by thieves, who broke into his Lakeland home this week.Ashley has a lot of fond memories of his wife, and many of those memories are stored in a computer that was stolen from his home, now he taking an u...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

441 Murfreesboro Road Nashville, TN 37210

Telephone: 615.369.7222
Fax: 615.369.7329
Email: news@wkrn.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Nashville, LLC. A Media General Company.