DAYTON — Vectren Dayton Air Show officials announced this week that the B-17 Movie Memphis Belle will fly and be on display during this summer’s air show.
Joining the B-17 will the Tuskegee Airmen P-51 Mustang Red Tail along with its Rise Above Theater during Dayton’s premier summer event June 23-24 at the Dayton International Airport.
The Memphis Belle appearance is especially exciting give the opening of the original Memphis Belle exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in May. The Memphis Belle was the first Army Air Force heavy bomber to complete 25 missions over Europe during World War II and return to the United States.
The May 17 opening coincides with the Memphis Belle’s final mission against Nazi Germany on May 17, 1943.
“We are honored to add these two historical WWII attractions to the show”, stated Scott Buchanan, Chairman of the USATS Board of Trustees. “They both played a major role in our country’s history and we’re thrilled to have them join our incredible 2018 show lineup.”
The B-17G Movie Memphis Belle that will appear at the 2018 show was the star of the 1990 Warner Brother film, Memphis Belle. The film was a fictionalization of the 1943 documentary Memphis Belle, about the 25th and last mission of the American Boeing B-17 Memphis Belle Flying Fortress bomber. The Movie Memphis Belle will commemorate this milestone and take spectators back in history giving them a chance to both see this iconic WWII heavy bomber fly and view it on display up close and personal in this anniversary year.
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron has selected Dayton for an appearance of its Tuskegee P-51 Mustang aircraft and Rise Above Theater production. CAF’s mission is to educate audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen – America’s first black military pilots. These airmen became legendary because their strength of character, courage and ability to triumph over adversity served to inspire others to RISE ABOVE obstacles in their own lives and achieve their goals. The CAF presentation will include a flight and display of the P-51 Mustang Red Tail aircraft Tuskegee Airmen flew. The Rise Above theater is a 30-seat panoramic film presentation of the Tuskegee Airmen’s story.
The B-17 Movie Memphis Belle and Tuskegee P-51 Mustang will join previously announced attractions, the world-renowned U.S. Navy Blue Angels, TORA! TORA! TORA!, U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor and U.S. Army Golden Knights. That’s not all, air show legend Sean D. Tucker, Jack Link’s Jet Waco, female aerobatic superstar Vicky Benzing and Cincinnati’s own Redline Airshows Aerobatic Team will perform in 2018 too. Air show officials plan to announce other attractions over the next couple of months.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.