By Michael Bushnell
June 25, 2014
Buckling the military style seat belt in the Memphis Belle as we readied for take-off, it’s easy to imagine how those young Army Air Corps flyers felt as they readied for bombing runs over Germany during World War II. The B-17F, also known as the Memphis Belle, is stationed at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport this week and will be open for flights and tours this Saturday and Sunday, June 28th and 29th. Owned by the Liberty Foundation in Tulsa, Okla., the iconic bomber is the plane actually used in the filming of the movie “The Memphis Belle” starring Harry Connick Jr., among others. Flights are priced at $450 and last roughly 45 minutes, 30 minutes of which are actually air time. We were honored to be joined by WWII veteran Jake Simonitch, father of Pendleton Heights resident Jean Simonitch. Jake was a navigator and flew with the 390th Bomb Group that flew out of Suffolk England. He is credited with three enemy kills and spent time in a German prison camp when he was shot down on his 18th mission. For more information on reserving space on the Memphis Belle this weekend, contact Scott Maher at 918-340-0243 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.