B-17 warbird arrives at Gillespie Field

Memphis Belle made World War II history

EL CAJON, Calif. - The B-17 bomber used in the movie "Memphis Belle" along with a P-51 Mustang fighter arrived just before noon Monday at Gillespie Field in El Cajon.  

IMAGES: Restored B-17 bomber, the Memphis Belle, pays San Diego a visit

"Boy, this takes me back. It really does," said Ed Davidson of La Jolla, who flew a B-17 in World War II.   

The real Memphis Belle is housed at a Midwest museum. It made history because it and its crew were the first to survive 25 combat missions.

Davidson was not so lucky.

"January 5, 1944, we were attacked by German fighters after we had bombed an airfield in occupied France," he said.

His plane was on fire as he ditched it into the Bay of Biscay. He and his surviving crew members spent 16 months in a German camp.

Davidson continued to fly after the war and was recalled to active duty when the Korean War erupted.

The "Memphis Belle" that arrived at Gillespie Field will be open to public tours and flights this weekend.

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