Following on from yesterday’s post on the Dambusters Raid. Seventy years ago today the crew of the U.S. Army 8th Airforce Bomber ‘The Memphis Belle’ completed the 25th and final mission of their tour. They were the first crew to complete a full tour of 25 operations since the U.S. Army Air Force arrived in England in 1942. This was a most significant feat, and it was a huge boost to the morale of the aircrews who had suffered badly in losses sustained to enemy action. It gave them hope and belief that they could survive. Between 1942 and 1945 the U.S. Army Air Force lost 30,000 bomber crew. The RAF lost 55,000 between 1939-45. All of them deserve our respect. By Malcolm Clough

Memphis Belle B-17 bomber and her crew

Memphis Belle B-17 Bomber and her Crew

Memphis Belle in 1943

Memphis Belle in the air in 1943

Memphis Belle

A B-17 Bomber with Memphis Belle nose art

Memphis Belle type B -17 Bomber

A B-17 Bomber, similar to the Memphis Belle