71 years ago this month something quite remarkable happened. An 8th United States Army Air Force heavy bomber completed 25 missions against Europe. This was the first time this had happened, the average crew life expectancy in my recollection was in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 missions. This was the crisis of the American bombing program, without fighter escort, the price of the offensive was very high. To the point that the 8th AAF took higher casualties than almost any other unit in Europe. That plane was the Memphis Belle, and she became one of the most famous aircraft in history.
And yes, I did note that a very silly official at RAF Bassingbourn did order a fence built around the memorial to the Memphis Belle but, I also note that MOD ordered it removed with a comment about ‘some bloke with a clipboard’, so I won’t carry on about it.
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