Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner

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The film actually depicted the next to last mission of the crew see below on May 15, , and was made as a morale -building inspiration for the Home Front by showing the everyday courage of the men who manned these bombers. The crew on the missions filmed included: [4]. Morgan's crew had not flown all of its missions together. Captain Verinis had originally been Morgan's co-pilot at the beginning of their combat tour but had become a "first pilot" aircraft commander in his own right on December 30, , after which he flew 16 missions as commander of a replacement B he named Connecticut Yankee after his home state.

Verinis finished his tour two days before the rest of Morgan's crew. Nor was Morgan's crew the one originally selected by Wyler for filming. Morgan was then selected and his crew re-united by the Eighth Air Force to complete its tour together and to return to the United States for a war bond drive.

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Wyler also informed Morgan when asked that, had the Memphis Belle been shot down on the crew's final mission, Wyler had a backup crew working with another B about to finish its 25 missions, Hell's Angels of the nearby d Bombardment Group. Morgan states in his memoirs that he was approached by Wyler in late January after his crew's eighth mission.

Wyler told Morgan he wanted to film the Memphis Belle and her crew because of "a certain mystique" to the aircraft's nickname, and that Morgan's reputation as a pilot meant that Wyler would be "in the center of the action The first mission flown in filming was not aboard the Memphis Belle , but aboard the B Jersey Bounce on a February 26, , mission to Wilhelmshaven , Germany. The Memphis Belle was being repaired after severe battle damage incurred on February The mission experienced heavy German fighter attacks and two of the 91st group's Bs were shot down.

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The camera setup is documented in the photograph of the Bad Penny , which Morgan and Wyler flew on a mission to Antwerp on April 5, The original crew, during their war bonds drive in the United States, made typical appropriate comments to each other while watching the silent movie in a studio. The result was difficult to distinguish from real combat recordings.

In The New York Times review of the documentary, critic Bosley Crowther praised the film as "A thorough and vivid comprehension of what a daylight bombing is actually like for the young men who wing our heavy bombers from English bases into the heart of Germany In , the United States Library of Congress deemed the original version "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

A fictionalized version of the story, Memphis Belle , was produced in by David Puttnam in England. It is also included with the Blu-ray release of the Memphis Belle. There are connections with Twelve o'Clock High. Rick Atkinson. A Ranger Born. Robert W. John Nichol. Parachute Infantry. David Kenyon Webster. The Day of Battle. Red Star Rogue. Kenneth Sewell. The Ultimate Battle. Bill Sloan. Last of the Few.

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Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner

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