Views from inside the B-17 "Memphis Belle, " part of a formation of U.S. 91st Bomb Group B-17s on mission to bomb Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Pilot, Robert Morgan dons steel helmet. High altitude view of enemy coast. Smoke from Flak bursts is seen. Docks and submarine pens of Wilhelmshaven are seen. Germans set off smoke screens. Thick barrages of Flak explode around the aircraft. As lead aircraft in the formation, Captain Morgan changes course every 15 seconds as an evasive tactic. Morgan passes control of the B-17 to Bombardier Vince Evans as their bomb run begins. Crew's gunners fire at attacking German fighters. One B-17 is hit but continues bomb run. B-17s drop bombs. Explosions and heavy smoke from targets. As they head home, Flak stops and German fighter attacks begin in earnest and "Memphis Belle" gunners are busy fighting them off. A B-17 with number 1 engine smoking, and another with fire in number 3 engine. A B-17 falling out of control. Some crew parachutes are seen. Gunner hits an attacking German Me-109 fighter and its pilot bails out. A B-17 trailing smoke descends away from the formation.
Airmen and ground crews at RAF Bassingbourn airfield anxiously await return of 91st Bomb Group B-17s from their bombing mission over Wilhelmshaven, Germany. They engage in various diversions as they wait. Flare from a returning B-17 signals wounded aboard. An ambulance races out to meet the aircraft after landing. Injured are helped into the ambulance. A dead crewman is covered. A gunner receives blood plasma.
One by one, 29 B-17 aircraft of the 91st Bomb Group (out of 36 launched) return from their bombing mission over Wilhelmshaven, Germany during World War 2. Many suffered battle damage and have wounded crew aboard. The B-17, "Dame Satan," is seen with large holes in it. The B-17, "Old Bill," is shot to pieces, with its nose missing. Lieutenant Colonel Stanley T. Wray waits in control tower as three more aircraft arrive, including the "Memphis Belle." Her crew members relax and smile as she lets down to land. Her pilot, Captain Morgan buzzes the airfield before landing to complete their 25th bombing mission. They are congratulated by well wishers on the ground. Their crew chief paints the 25th bomb on the "Memphis Belle" fuselage. Change of scene: Brigadier General Haywood S. Hansell, Jr. awards a Distinguished Flying Cross to each crew member. Change of scene: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, of England, visit the flight crew and ground crew of "Memphis Belle" and converse with them. Change of scene: Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers, Commander of U.S. Army Forces in Europe, and Major General Ira Eaker, Commander of the 8th Air Force, visit and greet the crew. General Devers reads their orders to return to the United States and encourage Americans on the home front.
Effects of U.S. Army Air Forces operations in Germany during World War 2. German troops and civilians walk on street. Civilians clean up rubble. German civilians and troops in a chow line. Troops and civilians clean up cities, repair marshalling yards, and the buildings. Bombs falling over German targets from U.S. bomber planes. Animation of various targets in Germany shows Wilhelmshaven, Huls, Hamburg, and Schweinfurt, and the various products made there. Shows Marionburg where aircraft are made.
Scenes of Nazi U-Boats (Wolfpacks), crew members and natives at Lorient, Wilhelmshaven and Bremen in Germany. A Nazi U-Boat hangar. American bombers loaded with bombs take off from an airstrip. Bombers drop bombs over Nazi U-Boat bases and harbor from a high altitude.
B-17s of the 91st Bomb Group leave heavy contrails as they proceed, at 25 thousand feet, toward their target, Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Animated map showing Plan of the Day for 1 thousand Allied aircraft in coordinated raids, including some intended to fool the enemy. Plans of attack by Allied, so-called, Blue, Green and White forces, that include B-24s, B-17s, B-26s, and P-47 and RAF Spitfire fighter escorts. The B-17s of the 91st Bomb Group are part of the Plan of the Day.