Miss Liberty Belle

Seeing a B-17 Bomber Up Close and Personal

If you follow me on social media then you know that I was at the Grissom Air Museum last week. I had a great time seeing some of the history of flight and photographing them. For some reason I am drawn to the older planes more than the newer planes. It was cool to see the F-14 up close, but I loved this old B-17G. I like the idea this team of men going into battle together. Each person had their job to do on the plane. This was not the original Miss Liberty Belle. The original did not make it out of the war. This was a replica that has also gone by the name Flak Jacket and Tarnished Angel at the base. I am guessing that the museum sought this name change due the similarity between it and the Mercury capsule Liberty Bell that Gus Grissom took into space. Reading a bit about the subject I found that the painting on the side is a replica of what the pilot was sending to be put on his plane except for one small change. A bathing suit was put on the woman because of the children that would see it. The crew was not so worried about who would see it during the war.

The Story of the Real Miss Liberty Belle

As I said above this is not the real Miss Liberty Belle. The real craft crashed near its base in England in 1944. The craft had taken too much damage to make it all the way home which is something considering how much damage these planes could take. The pilots could have put the plane down in the village while getting themselves out in time, or they could try and get it out of harms way for the people of Wymington and face much dire circumstances. They chose to try and steer the plane out of harms way, and in the process hit a tree that sent them into a spin. Seven of the nine crew members died in the crash. The town has erected a memorial for those that gave all to save their town as well as the members of the town that helped pulled the two survivors out of the burning wreckage. When you read about the exploits of men and women during that time you know why they were called “The Greatest Generation.”


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