With the exception of the aircraft names and the basic premise (that it was the first plane to survive its tour of duty in the air war over Europe, having completed 25 combat missions), the 1990 film was fiction based on fact. The incidents shown were taken from many missions and not from the last mission alone. Still it was great fun to watch :)
My favorite pair of air crew from World War II - a B-17 "Memphis Belle" pilot and waist gunner, shown here with their life jackets on
In their leather jackets without their inflatable B-4 life preservers
USA Air Force B–17 Bomber Pilot, World War II - his flying gear includes “Memphis Belle” A-2 leather jacket, USAAF Shoulder Insignia, Officer’s service cap, Officer’s service shirt with dress necktie and light drab “pink” trousers, Pistol belt with hip holster and 1911 A1 .45 Colt pistol, inflatable B-4 life preserver, HS-33 Headset with Intercom link, clipboard and dress shoes. This outfit was produced by Aces for GI Joe Collectors’ Club, 1996
Officer's crush cap with gold officer’s insignia by Cotswold Collectibles
Clipboard with pre-flight checklist
“Memphis Belle” A-2 leather jacket
USA Air Force B–17 Waist Gunner, World War II - Flying gear includes High Altitude Cold Weather B-3 sheepskin leather jacket, sheepskin gauntlets, A-3 sheepskin leather trousers, A-6A leather boots (black rubber soles with front zip fasteners), inflatable B-4 life preserver, ANH-16 Winter helmet, garisson cap, ‘Skyway’ goggles and A-8B oxygen mask with H-2 emergency oxygen cylinder. Outfit produced by Aces, 1996 plus some GI Joe accessories added
Not "Memphis Belle" but "Homesick Angel"
A B-17 Flying Fortress carried two waist gunners - each protected his respective side of the aircraft. Waist gunners incurred the largest number of casualties of all the Fortress crew positions. Early waist gunner positions were directly across from each other, often causing the gunners to bump into one another and getting entangled in each other’s oxygen lines. Later, the positions were staggered, giving the gunners greater mobility. On early B-17’s, waist window coverings were on slide rails and had to be opened before combat so the guns could be swung out from their stowed positions. Because the waist gunners were exposed to the freezing slipstream, the High Altitude Cold Weather B-3 sheepskin leather jacket, sheepskin gauntlets, and A-3 sheepskin leather trousers helped keep them warm and fighting fit.