25 MISSIONS, 10 MEN, 1 AIRPLANE
The “Memphis Belle” was one of the 12.750 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers built by Boeing.
The aircraft was named after pilot commander Robert K. Morgan’s sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. Morgan originally intended to call the aircraft “Little One”, which was his pet name for Polk, but after Morgan and copilot Jim Verinis saw the movie “Lady for a Night”, in which the leading character owns a riverboat named the “Memphis Belle”, he proposed that name to his crew.
Morgan then contacted George Petty, a disciple of the great Alberto Vargas, at the offices of Esquire magazine and asked him for a pinup drawing to go with the name, which Petty supplied from the magazine’s April 1941 issue.
The 91st’s group artist, Corporal Tony Starcer, copied the Petty girl as art on both sides of the forward fuselage, depicting her suit in blue on the aircraft’s port side and in red on the starboard. The nose art later included 25 bomb shapes, one for each mission credit, and eight swastika designs, one for each German aircraft claimed shot down by the crew. Station and crew names were stenciled below station windows on the aircraft after its tour of duty was completed.
From the 7th of November 1942 to the 17th of May 1943, the Memphis Belle accomplished 25 successful missions without any significant damage and, most of all, without any loss among its crew.
The Memphis Belle and its crew immediately became a living legend and a leading example for all the U.S. Army, because the U.S.A.F. General Command determined that after 25 missions each crew could return back home, released from military service. This order has been a great boost for all the Servicemen, that struggled their best to accomplish their missions without getting damaged, in order to return home as heroes.
During its 25 missions, the Memphis Belle flew for 148 hours, covering more than 20.000 miles.
But the 26th, the last mission, has been the most important assignment among all: the Memphis Belle was commissioned indeed to start a promotional tour across all the United States to sell war bonds and to greet and thank the population, raising funds and boosting their morale for sustaining their Army and Servicemen with great sacrifice.
Memphis Belle’s crew visited over 32 cities where they’ve been welcomed and treated like heroes by the population. Their mascot dog, Stuka, flew with the crew, crossing the Atlantic Ocean and being an active part of the final ceremony too.
On the 17th of May 1987, exactly 44 years after its final mission, the aircraft was put into a dedicated area of the Mud Island River Park, where more than 25.000 people joined the opening ceremony of the Memphis Belle pavilion. During that celebration day, a squadron of B-17 airplanes flew across the museum area, throwing rose petals on the audience. Miss Polk and all the original crew of the Memphis Belle met and thanked the public for their effort and closeness. The bomber, after a complete and meticulous restoration, lies nowadays in the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.
U.S. Air Force officially declared the Memphis Belle as an historic national treasure: a fitting tribute to the lady of the sky!
MEMPHIS BELLE TEAM: COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE
During these last two decades, Memphis Belle – Military Watches produced almost 1 million timepieces.
But this company, that is a consolidated brand nowadays, simply started with two looking forward fellow friends: Alessandro Roman and Giovanni Panucci.
Both were already insiders of the world of watches, as they’ve been working for top tier brands previously.
One day, they just decided to team up, moved by military passion and deep horological knowledge, starting their own company, dedicating their great experience and acquired know-how to crafting professional timepieces, built for extreme conditions and expressly dedicated to the servicemen that need the best equipment available on the market.
Choosing a legendary name as “Memphis Belle” for their company comes from a commitment to excellence, a tribute to heroism, and a commitment to the highest standards both technical and creative of the horological market.
Memphis Belle watches are currently produced with the best technologies and the highest grade materials, encasing the sturdiest and most reliable movements on the market.
Being tested in the worst conditions, is a warranty of unrivaled quality for the servicemen, engaged in the most dangerous missions all around the world, and for the civilian customers too.
The company, which works for civilian and governmental clients too, has been producing bespoke issued watches for several Armies of the World, including many special division units:
- E.I. – Esercito Italiano (Italian Army)
- M.M. – Marina Militare (Italian Navy)
- A.M. – Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force)
- P.A.N. – Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale, Frecce Tricolori (National Acrobatic Team of the Italian Air Force)
- Xa Flottiglia M.A.S. (Historical commando frogman unit of the Italian Royal Navy)
- Norwegian Armed Forces
- R.No.N. – Kongelige Norske Sjøforsvaret (Royal Norwegian Navy)
- F.S.K. – Forsvarets Spesialkommando (Norwegian Special Operation Forces)
- K.L. – Koninklijke Landmacht (The Royal Netherlands Army)
- K.T.C. – Korps Commandotroepen (The Royal Netherlands Special Forces)
- Armée de l’Air (French Air Force)
- K.SK. Kommando Spezialkräfte (German Special Forces)
- R.N.O. – Royal Navy of Oman
- SP.A.F. – Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force)
- F.A.B. – Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force)
- H.A.F. – Polemikí Aeroporía (Greek Air Force)
- CZ.A.F. – Vzdušné Síly Armády České Republiky (Czech Air Force)
- S.A.S. – Special Air Service (British Army – United Kingdom Special Forces)
- N.R.D.C. – NATO Rapid Deployable Corps (N.A.C. – North Atlantic Council)
Each watch is the result of a continuous search of perfection and excellence, that’s why Memphis Belle is officially licensed to produce watches for: Aeronautica Militare, Frecce Tricolori, Xa Flottiglia M.A.S.
Predator Heritage Stainless Steel Engraved Case – Preorder$1,200.00 – $1,500.00
Predator Heritage Mille Metri$1,100.00 – $1,320.00
Predator Heritage H1$1,639.00
Predator Heritage H2$1,639.00
Predator Heritage H3$1,490.00
Predator Heritage HM3 Manual Winding$1,716.00
Predator Heritage H4$1,490.00
Heritage Mille Metri – Black$1,179.00
Predator Heritage HM4 Manual Winding$1,716.00
Predator Heritage H5$1,490.00
Heritage Mille Metri – Blue$1,179.00
Predator Heritage H7$1,590.00
Heritage Mille Metri – Green$1,179.00
Mechanical Caimano Heritage C3$990.00
Automatic GMT Arrow$1,490.00 – $1,585.00
Freccione GMT “For Honor”$1,490.00 – $1,535.00
Predator Heritage Manual Winding$11,000.00
Mechanical Caimano Heritage C1$990.00
Mechanical Caimano Heritage C2$990.00
Scafomaster Elio Decima MAS Per L’Onore (automatic)$770.00
Scafomaster Elio MB (automatic)$770.00