"DAY'S PAY" MURAL
Day's Pay mural on the gym wall
"DAY'S PAY" B-17 BOMBER
On "D-day", June 6, 1944 during World War II; workers at the Hanford Engineering Works Project thought of the men giving their lives on Normandy's beaches. A carpenter came up with the idea that Hanford could buy a plane for the Army Air Force to help support our troops. Approximately 51,000 Hanford workers donated a full day's pay collecting nearly $300,000.00 to buy a B-17 Bomber to give to the Army Air Force. The plane was manufactured by Boeing in Seattle and delivered on July 12, 1944 to the Army Air Force. In a ceremony at Hanford Airport on July 23, 1944, Hanford workers christened the plane "Day's Pay".
The Christening Program was scanned by Richard Swanson, class of '64 Bomber
Click the thumbnail to see a LARGER view.
The Day's Pay was stationed in the European Theater and flew about 67 missions before being returned to the United States on July 10, 1945.
The Richland High School Class of 1993 has honored those workers who paid for the bomber by donating a mural of the B-17 Bomber to the School as their Senior Class Gift. '93 students raised $21,000.00 to get the mural of the Day's Pay painted, lighted, and maintained. The 3200 square-foot mural is fastened to the North outside wall of the School's gymnasium. In donating the mural, the Senior Class President stated, "this is commemorating a historical event,...It's what the community did that we want to remember."
February 10, 1993, Tri City Herald Article
The following information is from:
'ABUNDANCE OF STRENGTH' - 8th AIR FORCE OPERATIONS, AUGUST 1944-MAY 1945'.
This B-17 was a B-17-80-B0-43-38223. The airplane was indeed paid for by the 51,000 employees at HEW. The traditional breaking of a bottle over on of the propeller boxes was performed by Mrs. K.B. Harris, a company employee, whose son, Lt. J.E. Harris was lost in action over Germany in
The B-17 was then flown to Kearney, Nebraska, and assigned to the crew of Nelson W. Warner *[Warren --see NOTE below]*. Upon arrival in England, Warner's crew were sent to the 94th Bomb group at Bury St. Edmunds (Rougham), while "Day's Pay" was allocated to the 862 Bomb Squadron, 493rd Bomb Group, at Debach Suffolk, and assigned to Lt. Arlys D. Wineinger's crew.
The first mission flown by "Day's Pay" was to Dusseldorf, on 9 September, and it flew more than fifty missions in the 493rd Bomb Group. Then in February 1945 following deactivation of the 862nd Bomb Squadron, it was transferred to the 94th Bomb Group, and had completed sixty-seven missions by the time it was returned to the ZOI, 10JULY1945.
Final Air Force designations read like this:
43-38223 Del Cheyenne10/7/44; Kearney 18/7/44; Grenier 7/8/44; ass862BS/493BG Debach 9/8/44; tran410BS/94BG (GL-H) Rougham10/8/44; retUS Bradley 10/7/44; 4185 BU Independence 12/7/45; RFC Kingman 24/10/45. DAYS PAY.
*NOTE - The correct name of the Pilot from Kearney to
England is Nelson W. Warren. (Info from his daughter-in-law, April 2001.)
THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE LANDING OF A B-17
by George Ureke, Lt. Colonel USAF (Ret.)
Flying a bombing mission out of Foggia, Italy,
off of Tortorella US Army Air Field in Italy, during
W.W.ll, our B-17 caught one hell of a lot of flack.
All four engines were still running, but ALL flight
instruments failed. We had no airspeed indicator. Since
we were returning from the bombing mission in formation
we didn't really need flight instruments except for the
approach and landing. When we arrived over the base at
Tortorella, we peeled off, flying the landing pattern
in trail formation. How to plan my approach with no air
speed indicator? An idea came to me. We II drop behind
the ship in front of us, so that on the final approach,
we can establish a rate of closure to ensure that our
approach would be above stall speed.
Well, in the morning, when we took off, the steel
mat runway was covered with three inches of slimy mud..
It had been raining for weeks. Airplanes, taking off
and landing just pushed the steel mat deeper into the
mud. Every time an airplane took off or landed, more
and more slimy mud had pushed up on top of the steel
mat. So as we approached the mud-covered runway, there
were three or four inches of slippery slime on top of
the mat. But we were not worried (about coming in
"hot"), until I called for flaps. Kenneth D. Goodwin,
our copilot, replied, "We don't have any. They're not
coming down". - And it was too late to crank them down
We weren't about to go around again without an
airspeed indicator. Due to the "hot" approach speed
we didn't touch down until we were half-way down the
field. The airplane in front of us made a normal
landing and turned off at a taxi-strip about five-
hundred feet short of the end of the runway. That pilot
managed to land short enough to turn to the left onto
that first taxi strip. As he turned, he looked out his
left window and saw that we were halfway down the field
before we touched down. He turned to his co-pilot and
says, "Look out that right window. George is going to
crash into the gully at the end of the runway."
(Several British bombers had hit that gully in the
past, and they blew up).
We finally got the plane on the mud and I hit the
brakes. no brakes! (in a B-17, the pilot and co-pilot
can look out their window and see the wheel on their
side). Every time I touched the brakes, the wheels
would stop, lock, and we'd hydroplane over the mud. I
had one choice, something we'd normally try to avoid.
"Ground-loop" I pulled No. 3 and 4 engines all the way
back. I pushed No. 1 and 2 throttles forward to take-
off power, I called for "boosters" and started tapping
the right brake (trying to ground loop to the right, and
let centrifugal force tip the left wing into the
ground). We'd damage the airplane but avoid crashing
into the gully.
Normally, the plane would turn and leave the
runway. But it was so slimy, the wheels had no friction
to make it turn. The plane just kept sliding forward.
No. 1 and 2 engines at full take-off power caused the
airplane to spin around while sliding straight down the
runway. As it approached 180 degrees, I pushed number 3
and 4 throttles full forward. Now we had "take off"
power on all four engines. There we were, going
backwards, toward the end of the runway with all four
engines at full take-off power.
Well, we stopped right on the very end of the
runway and immediately started to taxi back to the
taxiway we just passed while we were sliding backwards.
You can imagine how scared our navigator, James W.
Collier, and the bombardier, Lowell E. Clifton, were.
Sitting in the nose of the airplane, as it approached
the end of the runway and began to spin. This maneuver
is one that I'm sure had never been done previously nor
will it ever be done again. It isn't something anyone
would want to practice. I can only say that on that
landing, Ken Goodwin and I were both co-pilots. God
was flying the airplane on that landing, which is why
I call it the most unforgettable landing in a B-17.
And, you know, we never heard from anybody. Nobody
ever came to ask what had caused us to land backward.
All the medals we got were for far lesser
accomplishments. That's why I say, it was God who made
that most unbelievable landing in a B-17.
page started: 08/20/97
page updated: 10/08/11
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DAYS' PAY MURAL