Corrected entry: When they arrive over the target, they find it covered by cloud, and Dennis makes the near-suicidal decision to go around for another run. Bombing missions were briefed for primary, secondary and tertiary targets, plus targets of opportunity; if the primary was inaccessible, the procedure was to abandon it and try the secondary, and so on. The leader of a mission would only go around for a second attempt if there was no possibility of hitting it on later missions (e.g. some of the bombing missions carried out in preparation for D-Day were no-return engagements).
Corrected entry: When the badly damaged Memphis Belle finally lands, the crew disembark and several of them light cigarettes. Not a chance. Anyone smoking within a few hundred yards of a WW2 bomber would have been arrested on the spot - if they were lucky enough to survive the experience. Those planes were flying fuel tanks, and they had lots left sloshing about after a mission. A damaged bomber was especially vulnerable. In fact, crews were forbidden to take smoking materials, matches or lighters on a mission.
Corrected entry: The whole crew of the Memphis Belle are shown having breakfast in the same mess hall. In fact, officers and sergeants messed in separate halls.
Corrected entry: The movie features a bomber flown by a crew who are all on their first mission. This never happened. The USAAF (and the RAF) always sent 'first timers' with experienced crew members on their first few flights. It would have been highly unusual to find a bomber with two crew members on their first flight together, let alone all seven.
Corrected entry: Everytime the gun crews call out attacking fighters, they identify them as (Focke-Wulf) 190's. Only two such aircraft appear in the movie. The rest of the German fighters are Messerchmitt Bf109's.
Corrected entry: In a couple of scenes one of the crew is shown taking photographs indoors with a box camera. As no flash was used and there wouldnt have been any high speed film for that type of camera, they wouldnt have come out.
Corrected entry: At the beginning when the planes are coming back, and the last one crashes, slow the playback to slow motion, and you can see the two port engines are missing propellers...one on the inner engine, and two on the outer. Just a few seconds later, those same two engines have all their respective props, but bent back.
Corrected entry: The U.S fighters that escort the B-17s are P-51D Mustangs that have to turn back early due to lack of fuel. In 1943, the bombers would have had P-47 Thunderbolts as escort as the P-51D did not enter service until 1944. The Mustang could also fly all the way to the target and back due to its longer range.
Factual error: They hold a huge dance in the hangar at night, and Dennis leaves to walk to the Memphis Belle through the hangar doors, which are wide open. The whole flight line, tarmac and hangar are bathed with light - on a US Air Force base in East Anglia during the height of the German bombing offensive. Haven't they heard of the blackout? Why not just paint a big fluorescent sign on the runway saying 'Please Drop Bombs Here'?
Sgt. Virgil Hoogesteger: I know exactly what I'm gonna do.
Richard Rascal Moore: Oh God, Virg, if I have to hear one more word about that stupid restaurant.
Sgt. Virgil Hoogesteger: It's not stupid! At least I've got a plan! What are you gonna do after the war, huh?
Richard Rascal Moore: Come to your restaurant and rob it.
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