DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – The fabled World War II bomber Memphis Belle has been moved into its new home at an Ohio museum after years of restoration work, but won’t go on public display until May.
The Dayton Daily News reports the aircraft famously decorated with nose art of a pinup girl was towed Wednesday into the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton.
It’s one of the most celebrated American planes to survive the war. It flew over occupied France and Germany, then weathered decades on display outdoors in Memphis, Tennessee, before being moved to Ohio in 2005.
It will be unveiled at the museum May 17, the 75th anniversary of its crew’s 25th and final mission.
Curator Jeff Duford says visitors will be able to get close to the aircraft.
“The Memphis Belle is really the symbol of these heavy bomber crewmen who helped win the war against Nazi Germany,” says Duford.
The B-17F was among the first to survive 25 mission over enemy air. At the time, only a quarter of bomber crewmen finished their tours without being killed, injured or captured.
Museum curators say the attention to detail is critical to preserving American history for future generations.
“For our visitors coming to the museum later this year, and for decades to come, the legacy and the sacrifice of these young men will be remembered long after we’re gone,” says Duford.