Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest Memphis Belle crew members perform maintenance on the B-17 as it is being tugged to the Champaign Aviation Museum on Monday. This Memphis Belle is the aircraft that starred in the 1990 feature film of the same name. The real Belle will be unveiled to the public following years of restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on Thursday.
Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The movie Memphis Belle takes to the skies at Grimes Air Field on Monday during the first day of The Gathering of B-17s event. The movie Memphis Belle starred in the 1990 feature film bio-pic story of the real Memphis Belle and her crew. The actual Memphis Belle, fresh from a decade of restoration will be unveiled to the public during ceremonies at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on Thursday.
Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest Dan and, Janice Dana Ehrlich, along with Paul Bellamy, Andy Swinnen, and Greg Schafer, l-r, chat in front of B-17 Champaign Lady at Grimes Air Field on Monday during the first day of The Gather of B-17s event in Urbana. The Dana’s father was a waist gunner in a B-17 during World War II. Bellamy, who is from England and Swinnen, who traveled from the Netherlands for the event, are both historians on the 401st Bomb Group, of which Champaign Lady was a part. Schafer is a volunteer for the Champaign Aviation Museum. The events of today lead up to the a reunion of the 401st Bomb Group later this week and the debut of the newly-restored B-17 Memphis Belle at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on Thursday.
The photo shows, from left to right, the Yankee Lady and the movie Memphis Belle B-17 bombers at Grimes Field on Monday. They will be staged there until they fly to Dayton on Wednesday morning for the unveiling of the restored Memphis Belle at the U.S. Air Force Museum on Thursday. The aircraft will return to Grimes Field after the unveiling and will be available for viewing Saturday and Sunday. The public is invited to Grimes Field today, Friday and Saturday to take photographs, enjoy music and refreshments, or to sign up for a short flight on either aircraft for $450. The second photo shows photographers and viewers at Grimes Field on Monday morning.