The Memphis Belle crew?s war bond tour of the U.S. was effectively about raising American morale during the war, but it also had a strategic purpose: to sell the public and the president on the effectiveness of the B-17.
In January 1942, the U.S. military created a new bomber command, the Eighth Air Force, and sent a small contingent of men overseas to loosen the Nazis' grip on Europe. The command's star player was the B-17, a fast, heavily armed aircraft that changed the course of World War II. Witness them take on the mighty German Luftwaffe over enemy skies. Discover the story of how one B-17--the Memphis Belle--and its crew lifted the spirits of a nation and became a symbol of American prowess in defense of freedom.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.