Scenes regarding the U.S. 8th Air Force B-17 named Memphis Belle, the first American bomber and crew to complete twenty-five missions over enemy territory in Europe during World War Two. Views of the peaceful English countryside around the British Royal Air Force Bassingbourn airfield, home base of the U.S. 8th Air Force 91st Heavy Bombardment Group. B-17s parked all around on the airfield. Views of Bassingbourn Church, graveyard, horse-drawn wagon, fields of grain, and farm buildings. On the airfield, ground crews clean canopies, refuel aircraft, and perform maintenance on the B-17s. Bombs seen stacked in munitions dump. Airmen ride on bombs aboard trolleys pulled by tugs. One plays the harmonica. Arriving at B-17s, they begin inserting nose fuzes in bombs. Pilots, Navigators, and bombardiers attend morning mission briefing and learn that their target is Wilhelmshaven. Chaplain prays over several crew members. Bombs are loaded on the B-17s. Crew of the 324th Bomb Squadron B-17, "Memphis Belle," arrives at the aircraft aboard a jeep. Pilot, Captain Robert K. Morgan gives last minute briefing and the crew boards the aircraft for their 25th bombing mission. Their airplane has 24 bombs painted on its side (one for each mission). They start their engines.
U.S. 8th Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress bombers in England during World War 2. Crewmen inspect flak damage to B-17F, tail number 42-29487 named "Ritzy Blitz" (name not shown) of the 91st Bombardment Group, 324th Squadron, stationed at RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England. Severe damage is seen on left wing flap and left elevator.
U.S. 8th Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress bombers in England during World War 2. B-17 parked on an airfield shows damage caused during missions in Europe. The airplane is painted with image of Bugs Bunny and the name: "What's Cookin Doc?" Flak damage to the B-17. Damaged rudder. Flak demolished tail gun. A large flak hole on the airplane. Camera pans over several other B-17s. The first damaged B-17 shown, 41-24525, "What's Cookin Doc?" is from the 547th Bomb Squadron, 384th Bomb Group, at RAF Station Grafton Underwood. The rest of these battle-damaged aircraft are from the 91st Bomb Group, Bassingbourn, England, including: B-17: 42-3031, "Nitemare" of the 324th Bomb Squadron; B-17: 41-24524, "The Eagle's Wrath,"of the 323rd Bomb Squadron; and B-17: 42-2990, "Dame Satan" of the 322nd Bomb Squadron. (Note: Subsequent to this clip, two of the aircraft shown, "What's Cookin Doc?" and "Dame Satan" were shot down with all aboard KIA, one shortly after this was filmed.)
View of pilot, Captain Robert K, Morgan, in cockpit of the B-17 bomber "Memphis Belle," as it lands at air field, RAF Bassingbourn, England after a successful air strike against German target during World War II. View of landing gear coming down and touching down on the runway. This is the 25th successful bombing mission for the Memphis Belle. Crewmen wave as the plane taxis along the runway. Crewman jumps from the plane and kisses the ground. Captain Morgan and his crew celebrate with other fliers who greet them. A Sergent paints the 25th bomb on the fuselage of the plane.
B-17s of the U.S. 91st Bombardment Group, returning to their home base at RAF Station Bassingbourn following a bombing mission,in World War 2. B-17, tail number 41-24617, named "Southern Comfort," taxiing on outboard engines, only, after landing with a large chunk of its rudder shot away. Crew members and other airmen gather around the battle-damaged aircraft. Closeups of the damage to its rudder. Dim views of the B-17, "Memphis Belle," tail number 41-24485, with skin missing from wing exposing its internal ribs. It also has holes in its rudder and its nose. Closeup of a B-17 engine stained by fire-fighting foam. Other views of battle damage to a B-17.
Views of the area around RAF Bassingbourn airfield, as B-17s of the U.S. 8th Air Force, 91st Bomb Group, line up for takeoff on a mission to bomb German-held port of Wilhelmshaven, during World War Two.
among the named aircraft seen taking off are: "Dame Satan," "Hitler's Gremlin," "Helno-gal," "Royal Flush," "Der Fuehrer's Face," "Old Bill," "Peggy, my little Waaf," and "Desperate Journey."