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Thread: The Man who Flew the Memphis Belle

  1. #1
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    Default The Man who Flew the Memphis Belle

    This book is by Robert K. Morgan from Asheville, North Carolina. I can easily say that this is the best book I have read about WWII aviation. Colonel Morgan was the pilot of the first heavy bomber to finish a complete tour of duty (25 missions) in the ETO to return home to a nationwide bond tour. He then checked out in the B-29 and led the first air raid on Tokyo. He proceeded to complete 25 missions in the PTO as well. This book not only includes great war stories, but it also makes the human side of the conflict incredibly real. I have read this book 6 times now, and am on my 7th. It's incredible to read. William Wyler also produced a documentary of the Memphis Belle's 25th mission over Europe that is in color. It is quite amazing to watch it after reading this book. You can order Colonel Morgan's book and the documentary from his widow, Linda Morgan, at http://www.memphis-belle.org along with other memorabilia.

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    I did my basic training on the camp which was the Memphis Belle's base in WW2 (it's now ATR Bassingbourn). I never noticed much about the MB around the place (not that there's time to in Basic), but the airfield is a pain in the arse to run round.
    The Gurkha soldier
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    Most generous of the generous
    Never had country
    More faithful friends
    Than you

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    LOL When did you do your basic? I know that the base was originally the estate of a prominent family that was taken over for use in WWII. From Colonel Morgan's description, it was still very much similar to how the estate looked when they took it over for WWII when he was there. Of course, there had been some modifications to support the Army Air Force's efforts. However, one of the things he says was very nice about it then was that it was very "homey" due to the fact that it HAD been a home! He says they were the envy of all the Army Air Force wings at the time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDL
    I did my basic training on the camp which was the Memphis Belle's base in WW2 (it's now ATR Bassingbourn). I never noticed much about the MB around the place (not that there's time to in Basic), but the airfield is a pain in the arse to run round.
    Lol, any airfield is a pain to run around..... You think, oh its just a runway and then you realise its miles long.....


    Nice info though what is the book called, or did I miss something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyLynnB17
    LOL When did you do your basic? I know that the base was originally the estate of a prominent family that was taken over for use in WWII. From Colonel Morgan's description, it was still very much similar to how the estate looked when they took it over for WWII when he was there. Of course, there had been some modifications to support the Army Air Force's efforts. However, one of the things he says was very nice about it then was that it was very "homey" due to the fact that it HAD been a home! He says they were the envy of all the Army Air Force wings at the time!
    September - December 1998. I know there was a big house somewhere around the camp, but I never saw it. It's a nice little camp for a training place.
    The Gurkha soldier
    Bravest of the brave
    Most generous of the generous
    Never had country
    More faithful friends
    Than you

  6. #6
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    The name of the book is The Man who Flew the Memphis Belle by Retired Colonel Robert K. Morgan. The ISBN number for the book is 0451205944. It was published in May 2002. You can go to any online bookstore such as Booksamillion www.bamm.com or Amazon www.amazon.com and simply enter the ISBN number or the title and locate the book. It is in paperback and is relatively inexpensive. The book is also available on cassette and CD. If you take at look at Colonel Morgan's personal webpage that is still maintained by his widow at www.memphis-belle.com you can learn a lot more about him. Mrs. Morgan is very approachable as well. She still travels around on the airshow circuit to promote her late husband's life and to promote WWII and the planes of the era. She also will answer any email inquiries.

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    Thanks for that mate, Ive just trawled my local library's site and they have a copy. I will definately give it a read, and if its as good as you say will consider buying it.

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    No problem! Let me know what you think! I have a feeling you will want to buy it. Don't forget to check out trying to get the DVD or VHS documentary on the 25th mission. It's actual footage as the film crew went along on the mission. Mrs. Morgan has both the original release and the 60th Anniversary restored edition of the documentary for sale on her website at www.memphis-belle.com. You can find both the book and documentary on sale on eBay of course as well. The 60th Anniversary edition of the doumentary includes over 3 extra hours of footage that was taken but not used in the documentary. I just ordered the 60th Anniversary edition myself and haven't watched it yet. It should be exciting!

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    I've got the video of the Memphis Belle somewhere at home, someone bought it for me when I was a kid. Will have to get it next time I'm on leave and have another watch.
    The Gurkha soldier
    Bravest of the brave
    Most generous of the generous
    Never had country
    More faithful friends
    Than you

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    It's quite interesting, I think. It definitely gives you an idea of how well Hollywood does (or doesn't do) at depicting such a senario.

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    How does/did Mrs. Morgan/Mr. Morgan feel about the 1991 Memphis Belle movie done by Hollywood?

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    I'm not sure how Mrs. Morgan feels about the Hollywood version of the Memphis Belle tale. I know that William Wyler's granddaughter is the one who made the Hollywood version of the story. (William Wyler produced the documentary of the actual 25th mission of the Memphis Belle.) Colonel Morgan recounts his thoughts of the movie in his book. He thought it was really something that he being a kid from Asheville, North Carolina would have a Hollywood movie based on his war exploits. He talks about the aspects of the movie that are a bit embellished, and the parts of it that were true. From his tone and talk in his book I think he was rather pleased with it. I'm sure Mrs. Morgan could give us some more insight on what he thought. He just recently passed away a little over a year ago (May of 2004). He was active in promoting the Belle and WWII up until his death. He still flew all of the time as well. As a matter of fact, the fall that led to his death occurred as he was walking out to his car at an airport in Asheville after returning from flying. He definitely led an amazing life from birth until his untimely death.

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    Regimentul 38 "Neagoe Basarab"
    Divizia 10 Infanterie


    101st Airborne

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    Thanks Dani! Thats awesome! I didn't know the documentary was anywhere online! I've saved it to my favorites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyLynnB17
    Thanks Dani! Thats awesome! I didn't know the documentary was anywhere online! I've saved it to my favorites.
    Glad to help you mate!
    Regimentul 38 "Neagoe Basarab"
    Divizia 10 Infanterie


    101st Airborne

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