The famed Memphis Belle is now on display at the Air Force Museum 75 years after its final mission in World War II.
Family members of the 10 crewman traveled from all across the country to be at Wednesday’s unveiling. Many of them 2 NEWS spoke with say they’ve been waiting years for this special moment.
With the drop of a curtain, the Memphis Belle was finally unveiled at the Air Force Museum Wednesday night to a crowd of more than 1,000 people, including, family of members of the original crew, like Vince Loch.
“It’s been years in the making,” Loch said. “You see how much effort went into it and how many people were involved in it. It’s just plain cool. Dad would be very proud.”
His dad, Harold Loch, the top turret Gunner on the Memphis Belle, was in charge of firing the guns at top the plane. Wednesday, 6 of his 8 children, Vince, Tom, Stephen, Susie, Kathy and Patti were all attendance.
“I am so overwhelmed,” Susie Sabin said. “This is my first time seeing it. I want to touch it. I just want to touch it.”
“Our family name will go down in history,” Tom Loch said. “For all time and this exhibit is just spectacular.”
“What we learned from him is to be strong,” Patti Bailey said. “Be brave and do what you need to do.”
The crew was responsible for completing 25 missions in World War II, flying over Nazi Germany. The likelihood of survival was very slim, but never once were any of the 10 crews members seriously injured. Many credited their success to a combination of skill, good fortune and pure luck.
Also in attendance Wednesday night was Linda Morgan, the wife of the pilot Robert Morgan.
“What he always said was when he gave a speech is the Memphis Belle is a representative of all the B-17’s,” Morgan said. “And the bombers that flew in World War II.”
The Memphis Belle will officially be on display to visitors beginning Thursday, May 17, 2018, exactly 75 years to the day the plane completed it’s 25th mission in World War II.