Incredible color footage from the 1944 documentary, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, during an air raid and combat over Germany. You’ll be able to see a B-17 going down out of control after being hit. Followed by footage of some B-17’s that were severely damaged by Flak but still were able to make it home.
The footage was filmed either filmed on 17 May 1943 with its target being Lorient, France, which was actually the 24th mission of the “Memphis Belle” or it was filmed on 26 February 1943, target being Wilhemshaven, Germany. Various B-17’s were shot down that day. As well that the footage was then filmed aboard B-17 “Jersey Bounce”, since the Memphis Belle was still in repair from severe AA damage it sustained before.
The B-17 going down could then be one of the following: B-17F-BO-50 41-5362 “Short Snorter II’, B-17F-27-BO 41-24604 “Arkie”, B-17 41-24623 or B-17F-50-BO “Devil’s Playmate”.
Footage was taken from the 1944 documentary film, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, directed by Major William Wyler. Captured on 16 mm color film by three cinematographers, including First Lieutenant Harold J. Tannenbaum, who was later killed in action during the filming when the bomber he was in was shot down over France on April 16, 1943.
The initial film had no sound and was later added.
Watch the full movie:
Fact: The B-17 “Memphis Belle” was not the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to complete 25 missions over Europe! This was actually the B-17 “Hell’s Angels” which went on to complete 48 missions.
See more incredible (combat) footage from World War 2 that was caught on tape.