Sweetpea and the Memphis Belle
at the
 Great State of Maine Airshow
September 10 & 11 2005


Click on any picture to see a LARGE version

The Great State of Maine Airshow drew crowds of about 220,000 people over the two days  it was held.  The US Navy Blue Angels performed along with an impressive number of other aerial acts.  Dozens and dozens of aircraft were on static display and hundreds of vendors set up displays and booths adjacent to Brunswick Naval Air Station's parallel  8000 foot long runways.  I was given the opportunity to display my restored GPW and Bantam trailer with the Memphis Belle.  What a thrill!

bell nose

The B-17 at the show is the one used in filming the 1989 movie "Memphis Belle".  It is a WWII B-17 repainted in the original Memphis Belle's markings.  The original Memphis Bell is currently being moved to the USAF Museum in Dayton. Ohio.

In order to clear security to set up on the flight-line, I had to arrive in Sweetpea by 6am each day.  Here you can see Sweetpea under the Belle's wing at sunrise with the Navy Blue Angels parked in the background and to the right...


The gates opened at 8 am giving us plenty of time to look over the Belle and to set up our display.


Mrs. Linda Morgan, widow of Capt. Robert "Bob" Morgan, the pilot of the Memphis Bell in WWII arrived to set up her tables, etc. next to Sweetpea under the Belle's right


The restored WWII jeep and trailer glowed in the morning light under the wing of the WWII bomber...

sweetpea and belle

At 8 am the crowds started arriving and the response the crowd gave to the B-17, Mrs. Morgan and Sweetpea
was almost overwhelming...

The crowd got bigger and bigger throughout the day...

Mrs. Morgan is one great woman, a pilot herself and we got along great throughout the two days.  She has a website, www.memphis-belle.com, that is well worth a visit...

At 2:00 pm each day we moved Sweetpea aside and the Belle taxied out and flew for the huge crowd of over 100,000 people each day.

The crowd stood in silent respect as she flew past, it was an extremely emotional sight for any American with an understanding of the sacrifices made during WWII...

Of course the private tour of the Belle was the highlight of my day.  Here is Sweetpea seen through the right waist gun door...

And finally, my favorite picture showing Sweetpea, and the Memphis Bell with the US Navy Blue Angels in formation overhead...

See what a great hobby owning a WWII jeep can be?

Additional Images:

Inside the Memphis Belle
View forward from waist gun area
View out right waist gun door
Ren at the communications area
Pilot and co-pilot seats
View up into top turret
Cockpit controls
Bombadier view

Airshow sights
Right front quarter of the Memphis Belle
Belle taxiing into position after flight
Is it 1944 or 2005?

email me at  -----> jeepguy@dialmaine.com

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