B-17 Flying Fortress G-BEDF Sally B is the last remaining airworthy B-17 in Europe. She is based in the UK from where she flies regularly at air shows, memorial flypasts and commemorative events as a memorial to the USAAF in Europe. Since 1982, Sally B has been operated by Elly Sallingboe of B-17 Preservation with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers and the backing of one of the largest supporters clubs of its kind in the world – the Sally B Supporters Club. Sally B is maintained by Chief Engineer Peter Brown and his team of volunteers, and flown by volunteer experienced professional pilots.
Sally B is permanently based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford where she is on static display when not flying. However, the aircraft is not part of the Museum’s own collection and relies solely on charitable donations, sponsorship, sales of souvenirs, and the loyal support of her working team of volunteers and 8,000 Sally B Supporters Club Members, one of the largest clubs of its kind in the world. Bearing this in mind, it is incredible to think that this aircraft has been flying in the UK for 38 years.
Operating a large, four-engined aircraft is extremely expensive and the costs must be met if Sally B is to continue her mission. It would be a huge loss to our country if this unique, tangible piece of history could not continue because of a lack of funding. Sadly, in just a few years, even the men who survived the war will all be gone. It is up to us to keep their legacy alive – but Sally B needs more support to continue to do so.
Sally B has played a major part in the following films and television productions:
Memphis Belle (film) Warner Brothers (of which she still wears the nose art)
Black Book (film) Warner Brothers
Noah’s Ark (film) Walt Disney
Bomber Crew (tv) Channel 4
It Ain’t Half Hot Mum (tv) BBC
Over Here (tv) BBC
Walter Cronkite (tv) Discovery Channel
We’ll Meet Again (tv) LWT