Norris News – May 18, 2018

On May 18, 2018, in News from Nashville 2018, by Mark Norris
The restored Memphis Belle on the 75th anniversary of her final mission in World War 2.

The restored Memphis Belle on the 75th anniversary of her final mission in World War II.

The Memphis Belle

The Memphis Belle, America’s first B-17 to successfully complete 25 missions in combat during World War II, made history again this week.

Presenting Lt. General Jack Hudson with a signed copy of Public Chapter 33 naming the Memphis Belle as Tennessee’s official state airplane. General Hudson is the Executive Director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Speaking is Memphis Belle Memorial Association President, Brian Pecon.

Presenting Lt. General Jack Hudson with a signed copy of Public Chapter 33 naming the Memphis Belle as Tennessee’s official state airplane. General Hudson is the Executive Director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Speaking is Memphis Belle Memorial Association President, Brian Pecon.

On the 75th Anniversary of her final mission, after 13 years of magnificent restoration by the United States Air Force, the Belle debuted as the newest exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Chris and me with our friends...in front of the restored Memphis Belle.

Chris and me with our friends…in front of the restored Memphis Belle.

I was fortunate enough to represent Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly at the ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by thousands who came to celebrate this magnificent machine and pay homage to the men and women who fought so valiantly to keep us free.

Richard “Buzzy” Davis in his original uniform with reenactors. Mr. Davis was a B-24 tail gunner in World War 2.

Richard “Buzzy” Davis in his original uniform with reenactors. Mr. Davis was a B-24 tail gunner in World War 2.

The General Assembly recognized and codified the Memphis Belle as Tennessee’s official airplane pursuant to Public Chapter 33 of 2017 which I sponsored together with Representative Ron Lollar.

On Thursday, it was my honor to present a signed copy of PC 33, framed with an official medallion (see below), to Lt. General Jack Hudson who is the Executive Director of the National Museum.

Bob Moses of Brownsville joined us in Dayton for the unveiling.

Bob Moses of Brownsville joined us in Dayton for the unveiling.

The Memphis Belle Memorial Association was represented by President Brian Pecon, Dr. Harry Friedman, and David White from Memphis. We also saw P.Z. Horton of Germantown and Mike Cross of Bartlett, and we met Bob Moses from Brownsville.

Wes Stowers flew his P-51 Mustang to the event from Knoxville and participated in the flyover.

Buzz Davis with the Memphis Belle in the background.

Buzz Davis with the Memphis Belle in the background.

We were also joined by two of my life-long friends, Van Pedigo and Richard “Buzzy” Davis from my hometown, Richfield, Ohio. Buzzy was a B-24 tail gunner. At age 94, his original uniform still fits him like a glove. He wore it proudly and was the center of attention for many who personally thanked him for his service. It was a fitting tribute.

Official medallion of the Memphis Belle Memorial Association

Official medallion of the Memphis Belle Memorial Association

In the News:

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/why-some-experts-say-attempt-reform-juvenile-justice-tennessee-came-short#stream/0

https://www.memphisflyer.com/NewsBlog/archives/2018/05/16/child-held-in-state-prison-released-on-bond

http://clevelandbanner.com/stories/in-reflection-brooks-eyes-his-special-bills,80167

https://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2018/05/11/tn-economic-incentives-film-video-game-scores-music/602055002/

http://www.therogersvillereview.com/rogersville/article_8e103ddc-d0d9-5956-a265-83535b0e23bb.html

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