Memphis Belle

Memphis Belle (1990)

2 suggested corrections

(2 votes)

Factual error: When the radio operator was asking for a radio check he used a phonetic alphabet. He use the word Tango, representing the letter T. Tango is the modern and current phonetic representation for T. In the 1940's the word was Tare. Able, Baker...Roger, Sugar, Tare, Uncle...Zebra.

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Suggested correction: British forces adopted the American phonetic alphabet in 1942.

American forces weren't using "Tango" until 1956. When the British and American forces coordinated calling alphabets in 1943, they used "Tare", not "Tango."

Bishop73

Factual error: When the crews head out to their aircraft, the ground crews are just finishing "bombing-up" and preparing the planes. In reality, these jobs were begun while the aircrews were still in bed, and would be long finished by the time they arrived at their planes.

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Suggested correction: Due to the high number of missions which were cancelled at the last minute due to weather, ground crews often would leave the loading of bombs to the very last minute, to stop them having to unload them again after a last minute cancellation due to cloud cover. This is especially realistic as the mission in the movie is delayed for this reason. Source - "a real good war" by Sam Halpert.

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 blackout. Blackout restrictions were rigidly enforced and were not eased until September 1944. The last mission of the Memphis Belle was in May 1943.

More mistakes in Memphis Belle

Richard Rascal Moore: Uh, we ain't going to Krautville. Our plane's broke.
Eugene McVey: No, it's fixed.
Richard Rascal Moore: Christ, let's go break it.

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Question: At the briefing it's pointed out that there's a hospital, school, etc. around the factory they're bombing, and Dennis is very adamant about getting the bombs "right in the pickle barrel" so a lot of innocent people don't get hurt. But the planes are spread out over a large area in the sky, and are also moving when the bombs are dropped, so wouldn't the bombs land over a large area and not just in the limited vicinity of the factory?

Krista

Chosen answer: It would seem that every plane's Norden bombsight would drop from different angles, etc., each designated for a common target. So, 2 planes could be higher, lower, ahead or behind the target and each hit the target, if the bombadiers had an accurate fix on the target.

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