The great news is that all 7 aboard were able to exit the aircraft without injury. Sad that a piece of history that I have seen at various airports around the state with my Dad is now gone.
The Belle was on a repositioning flight out of Aurora, IL.
You can see from the pictures in the second link below that the pilots were able to put her down in a field with the gear down. The inboard engine propeller on the pilot’s left side is completely feathered, indicating the proximate source of the problem. News reports state there was an engine fire.
Here is the archive of LiveATC.net where the Fortress is calling the tower saying they are on fire. It will send chills up your spine.
Select KARR Tower, then 14:30-15:00 GMT/UTC time in the drop down boxes, then Submit. Fast forward to 14:44 on the KARR June 13 14:30-15:00 clip
According to Wikipedia on B-17’s
There are a total of 53 surviving airframes worldwide these are all that remain of the thousands built during WWII:
* 12 active flying
* 9 on static display
* 2 currently undergoing restoration to fly
* 3 currently undergoing restoration for display
* 5 in storage
* 19 partial airframes/hulks
Here is a detailed account of what happened from the Chief Pilot of the Foundation: