Unlike a regular geocache, a ‘virtual geocache’ is one where there isn’t a box containing a log book and trade items. Instead a virtual cache is a site where such a container would not be appropriate but would still appeal to geocachers. I placed the Days Pay virtual cache in April 2003 at the location of a mural at Richland High School.
The mural of the B-17 Bomber “Day’s Pay” was donated by the Richland High School Class of 1993 to honor those workers who paid for the bomber.
The students raised $21,000.00 to get the 3200 square-foot mural of the Day’s Pay painted, lighted, and maintained.
The “Day’s Pay” is a B-17 bomber bought for the Army Air Corps by the Hanford Engineering Works employees, each of whom donated a full day’s pay.
“Give a day’s pay and send a bomber on its way” was the campaign slogan that inspired the 51,000 workers to contribute nearly $300,000.00 over a 2 month period to purchase a B-17-G for the nation’s defense effort of World War II.
The plane was manufactured by Boeing at Seattle and delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force on July 12, 1944. In a ceremony at Hanford Airport on July 23, 1944, Hanford workers christened the plane “Day’s Pay”.
The plane later served with the 8th Air Force in England. In March 1945, its was decorated with the Air Medal, five oak leaf clusters, and two major battle stars.
The “Day’s Pay” flew a total of 67 missions and survived the war and was considered by those who flew it to be “a lucky plane” because no crew members were ever lost.
In 3 years, the cache has been visited 145 times by cachers from all around the state and country. Most would never have known of its existence without the cache to bring them.
One of geocaching’s side benefits is that many cachers hide caches, virtual or regular, at interesting spots like this one that you normally would not know to go look for when you are visiting an area. Kind of like a geeks travel guide!