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Black and white photographic print signed by members of the crew of the Memphis Belle, a B-17 Boeing Flying Fortress, piloted by Robert K. Morgan of the United States 8th Air Force's 91st Bomb Group, traditionally recognized as the first bomber crew in the European Theatre to complete 25 missions over Nazi-held Europe on May 17, 1943. The photograph depicts the crew and film director William Wyler having just returned from a mission during the filming of the documentary "Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress," released in 1944. Autographs include (from left to right): Robert Hanson, Radio Operator; Harold P. Loch, Third Engineer/Top Turret Gunner; Clarence E. "Bill" Winchell, Left Waist Gunner (signed across chest); Mrs. Cecil Scott, signing for her husband, Cecil Scott, Ball Turret Gunner; Captain Vincent B. Evans, Bombardier (deceased; signed by his sister); Joseph M "Joe" Giambrone, Crew Chief; Captain Charles B. Leighton, Navigator; Captain Robert Knight Morgan, pilot (signed across chest); Captain James A. Verinis, Co-pilot; Catherine Wyler, daughter of William Wyler (deceased); Casmer A. "Tony" Nastal, Right Waist Gunner; and John P. Quinlan, Tail Gunner. 16" H x 20" W. Note: The Memphis Belle was retired from combat and served as a training aircraft. After the war she was deposited at Altus, Oklahoma where hundreds of wartime aircraft were being crushed and melted down for metals reclamation. A wartime correspondent happened upon the "Belle" and she was acquired by the City of Memphis, Tennessee and displayed in front of the National Guard Armory until 1977, when the Memphis Belle Memorial Association (MBMA) was founded for the purpose to raise funds for its restoration and establish a museum to be built around it. In 2005, after many years of dedicated work, the MBMA released the Memphis Belle to the National Museum of the USAF, by mutual agreement. There, in Dayton, Ohio, the Memphis Belle was completely restored and placed on public display on 17 May 2018–75 years to the day of her 25th and last mission on 17 May 1943. The owner of this archival-grade photograph was for many years, on the Board of Directors for the Memphis Belle Memorial Association and for a few of those years, served as its President. He was a close friend of Margaret Polk, who remained in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew to know all the living crew members of the Memphis Belle, who would periodically be brought into Memphis for special events, during fund-raising efforts to restore their famous plane. It was during one of those visits that he had a set of these archival-grade photographs printed and had the original surviving crew members sign them. Additional information on the history of the Memphis Belle and the film based on it, directed by Wyler, is available on request and will be made available to the winning bidder.
CONDITION: Overall very good condition. Signatures in good, legible condition.