History of the Boeing B-17G 'The Movie Memphis Belle'

We are thrilled to be welcoming ‘The Movie Memphis Belle’ B-17 to the 2019 Audi Stuart Air Show. Not only will you be able to tour this aircraft, but you will also be able to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a ride in it! Repo Man, Mike Kennedy of Discovery Channel’s Airplane Repo, will be flying Second-In-Command for the National Warplane Museum.

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Learn more about this aircraft’s amazing history:

The B-17G "The Movie Memphis Belle" has had a long and interesting history since it came off the assembly line in 1944. 44-83546-A was delivered to the USAAF on 1/4/45 in Topeka, Kansas.

  • From 1945 to 1954 it served first as a CB-17G transporting cargo and troops. It later was redesignated as a VB-17G (VIP Transport) at Kodiak, Alaska, converted and assigned to Maj Gen Glenn O. Barcus, CO Fighter Command 5AF in Korea.

  • From October 1954 to 1959 it was stored at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. On July 31, 1959 it was taken out of military service and registered to National Metals Company in Phoenix, Az as N3703G. From September 11, 1959 to 1967, it was registered to Edgar A. Neely/Fast-Way Air Service, Long Beach, CA. Converted to a fire tanker in July, 1960 and flown as #E75 (Later #E78).

  • From April 25, 1967 to 1982 it was registered to TBM Inc, Tulare, CA and flown as #E78 (Later #E68).

In September 1982 it was bought by David Tallichet/MARC (Military Aircraft Restoration Corp) in Chino, CA and was flown in camoflage as 23060/LN-T. It is still owned by the Tallichet family.

Dave Tallichet was a co-pilot for the 100th BG in WWII flying B-17F's. He loved the F model so much that in 1988-1989 he had the B-17 converted to an F model by removing the G model chin turret and replacing it with an F model nose. He also converted the G model "staggered" waist gun positions to the F model "back to back" positions of the F model. He also changed the larger G model Cheyenne tail gun postion to the smaller F model Stinger tail gun as well as modifications to the rudder.

In 1989, his niece Catheryn Wyler (daughter of William Wyler who did the original 1944 Memphis Belle documentary), came to uncle Dave to use the B-17 as the star of the 1990 movie "Memphis Belle" which she was a producer. It flew in the movie as Memphis Belle, 124485 arriving in Duxford, UK, June 20, 1989.

After the movie it returned to the US and continues to fly as the "Movie Memphis Belle". It was damaged in a taxi accident in Fayetteville, NC and repaired on November 3, 1995.

It was flown around the country to airshows and events by Dave Tallichet until his death October 31, 2007.

In 2013 it was loaned to the Liberty Foundation who operated the aircraft at airshows until 2017. It was then loaned to the National Warplane Museum/1941 Historic Aircraft Group in Genseo, NY who still operate it today.

Get your 2019 Audi Stuart Air Show tickets now at our special pre-order price. The B-17, “The Movie Memphis Belle” will be positioned for static tours after morning rides are complete.