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427th Estes Crew
Shirley W. Estes, Pilot
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(crew assigned 427BS: 16 Jan 1944 - photo: late 1943)

(Back L-R) 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)

(Front L-R) Lt Shirley W. Estes (P), Lt Ballard T. Byers (CP),
Lt John T. Shemwell (N), Lt Thomas W. Minter (B)

Crew Notes:
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]