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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:00 am 
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I'm trying to finish up a box of parts for the USAFM's Memphis Belle restoration project. I'm trying to find a right hand upper turret shutter bracket. The P/N is SG 1175 but the parts manual only shows the left hand side, P/N SG 1174. As luck would have it, I've found five left hand parts but not a single right hand bracket. Anyone have a R/H version that they would trade for a left? :? Sorry if I've posted this request before.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:52 am 
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I was wondering just how many parts were stolen from the Belle under the umbrella of "restoration"

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 Post subject: Souvenir Hounds
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:56 pm 
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No doubt, I'm sure the Memphis Belle has been subjected to some souvenir hunting since the end of WWII but I suspect most of that ended in the 1970s. I've seen some photos of the interior that were taken in the late 1970s and the condition looks about like it did when the USAFM took it back. All things considered, I'm amazed there was anything left on the inside at all. I'll bet many of the missing "souvenirs" are still floating around the Memphis area. The USAFM folks are trying very hard to make it as original as possible. I know this because the list of parts they asked me to find for the ball turret and upper turret are mostly very small and in some cases, are not even visible on the restored turret.

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 Post subject: Image from parts manual
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Here's a scan of the page in the Sperry A1 upper turret parts manual.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:21 pm 
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Went to school with that airplane. I do not remember it having an upper turret when it at the school, only the lower.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:53 pm 
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racemech11 wrote:
Went to school with that airplane. I do not remember it having an upper turret when it at the school, only the lower.


Not sure I understand :?: Was the Belle at a tech school for a while? I was not aware the upper turret was ever taken out until it was moved to the USAFM. But then I don't know much about this plane's history after the war. :?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:54 pm 
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The Memphis Bell sit on display for a number of years in Memphis in the mid town area. It moved from there to the Memphis Vo-Tech school. At the time, it was thought that it would go back on display; not sure where that was going to be. There was not much eqauipment in it, no cockpit, instrument panels seats or much of anything else. The engines were removed and disassembled, cleaned painted and put back together with no rings. Props were cleaned and painted. Alot of sheet metal was replaced on the belly and some other areas due to damage and corrosion. It was eventually moved to the air guard ramp and the moved to an outdoor covered display area in the downtown area of Memphis called Mud Island.

It was moved from there to the Millington airport where the restoration that is now in progress was started.

I do remember that the upper turret was installed at some point, but would not move. The lower turret would move and the bomb bay doors could be cranked open and closed.

It was kinda net that the first warbird I every worked on was the Memphis Bell.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:27 pm 
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racemech11 wrote:

It was kinda net that the first warbird I every worked on was the Memphis Bell.


Yeah, one of the mechanics I used to work with got her start on the Belle at Memphis Vo-Tech.

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 Post subject: WIX 101
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:56 pm 
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Very interesting. I first saw the Belle at Mud Island and I knew it had been in Memphis for many years but no idea it was at a tech school. I wonder if the turrets in it now, are the originals? No wonder it's missing so many small items from the interior! With a post war history like that, I'm surprised it's still in existence at all.

Every time I log onto the WIX forums I learn something. What did we all do in our spare time before the internet?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:24 pm 
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A fellow I work with also worked on the Belle at Memphis Vo-Tech. He confirms what Chip said--the interior was pretty well stripped of portable items back then. Bobby told me they found some spent .50 cartridges in the belly during the corrosion repair project. I'll have to ask him if he knows what became of them.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:43 am 
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The way she "left" Memphis will make it pretty hard to get any parts floating around town rounded up. The "liberation" left a pretty sour taste in the mouths of those trying to bring her back to "life".

Good Luck.

JT

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 Post subject: No doubt
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:14 pm 
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JT wrote:
The way she "left" Memphis will make it pretty hard to get any parts floating around town rounded up. The "liberation" left a pretty sour taste in the mouths of those trying to bring her back to "life".

Good Luck.

JT


I'll bet there were, and indeed still are, some hard feelings over that deal. Still, I hope that some of the missing items eventually make their way back to the plane. It's not like it was traded to another country, given to a private museum, or even to another USAFM satellite museum. It went to "the" USAFM. That's got to count for something right? :?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:21 am 
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It's not like it was traded to another country, given to a private museum, or even to another USAFM satellite museum. It went to "the" USAFM. That's got to count for something right?


She did indeed. At least she is being treated the way she desirves. Even though there are people here that care about her disposition the 'City Fathers" certianly didn't.

JT

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 Post subject: I know the feeling....
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:06 pm 
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JT wrote:
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It's not like it was traded to another country, given to a private museum, or even to another USAFM satellite museum. It went to "the" USAFM. That's got to count for something right?


She did indeed. At least she is being treated the way she desirves. Even though there are people here that care about her disposition the 'City Fathers" certianly didn't.

JT


Well I certainly know what it feels like when the City Fathers or for that matter, the descendants of a certain well known aircraft manufacturer, don't care about local aviation history.

Let's see how many F-4 Phantoms were built in St. Louis? Around 5,000 I think. How many are on display here in town? There's one with a pole shoved up it's rear end in front of the soon to be closed Air Guard base.

How many F-15 have been build so far? A bunch and how many are on display? Once again, there's one with a pole up it's rear end at the Air Guard Base.

Let's not forget about the F-18. I think they have shot down one or two enemy fighter jets.

You can drive by these two, including one F-100 (you guessed it, with a pole up it's @ss) but there's no place to stop and admire them. What an undignified way to display something! You don't see famous people as statuary monuments with a pole up their rear end do you?

If you totaled up all the air to air shoot downs credited to jet fighters around the world, I'll bet a significant number of the planes that did the shooting down were built right here in St. Louis. Of course you would never know that based on the jets on indoor display in this town.
:x

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:58 pm 
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{You don't see famous people as statuary monuments with a pole up their rear end do you?

Maybe we could start a trend- How about one for Jane Fonda?


On a serious note, try the 512th Museum at Dover. They did Shoo Shoo Baby and another one. They may have something.

Paul

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