SHIRLEY W. ESTES CREW - 427th BS
(crew assigned 427BS: 16 Jan 1944 - photo: late 1943)
T/Sgt Jack J. Price (E),
S/Sgt Orvis K. Silrum (WG),
T/Sgt Wayne Magner (R),
S/Sgt William T.L. Werner (TG),
S/Sgt Nathan H. Wiley (BT)
Lt Shirley W. Estes (P),
Lt Ballard T. Byers (CP),
Lt John T. Shemwell (N),
Lt Thomas W. Minter (B)
Crew flew a 30 mission combat tour. First mission #104 (4 Feb 1944).
Last Mission #160 (25 May 1944).
Most memorable mission: - Mission #111, 22 February 1944, to Aschersleben,
Germany in B-17F #42-5081 Luscious Lady 427th BS (GN-V).
About an hour and one-half before reaching the target, during heavy German
Fighter attacks, a 20 mm shell seriously injured Sgt William T.L. Werner,
Tail Gunner from Lebanon, PA. Realizing that his B-17's survival depended
upon him being able to defend it from rear attacks, he remained at his
position and continued firing his guns without pause. About 20-30 minutes
later Luscious Lady was hit by flak and Sgt Werner received additional wounds
in his arms, abdominal area and leg. Only after
all fighter attacks had ceased did Sgt Werner, weakened by the loss of blood,
crawl to the waist gunner compartment where he collapsed. His survival was
the result of his heated flying suit being knocked out and the freezing
temperatures lowered his body temperature and helped his blood from his
wounds coagulate quickly. Sgt Werner was awarded the Distinguished Service
Cross (The second highest USAAF award).
[photo from the 303rd BGA Archives]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]