Feb 022006

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.

--Photo: Bomber Mural-- 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”.

--Photo: Bomber-- 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!

  19 Responses to “Day’s Pay Virtual Geocache – B-17 Bomber in Richland”

  1. Neat virtual geocache idea. My grandpa on my mom’s side was a navigator on a B-17 during WWII.

  2. Question – Is the Pay’s Day in a musuem or a display or has it been destroyed?

  3. I cannot find any history of it after the war. I am guessing it has been scrapped but maybe someone else knows more of the story and can tell us.

  4. My grandfather worked at Hanford during the war and my father, who was a boy at the time, well remembers that day that was donated to pay for this plane.

  5. If anyone is interested, the last pilot of the Days Pay is still living and a friend of mine. If anyone is interested in the history of the plane, please leave a comment and I will get back to you….

    • Been quite a while since anything happened on site but was wondering if flight jacket was ever recovered? Didn’t know about plane until we took a tour of B reactor at Hanford last week

  6. Mike, I would love to talk to your friend. I work for the city of richland and am currently working on a program “Day’s Pay.”

    Thanks for your help

  7. My Grandfather was a pilot of the Day’s Pay he spent may years researching possible clues to what happened to the plane after WWII. The last possible location of the plane was an Air Force scrap yard. He knew all the official paint would have been removed but he knew several locations on the plane where members of the crew had scratched their names, war damage and such. He was never able to find the plane before he died in ’87. I would love to get in touch with some of his crew members if possible. I believe my grandfather was in the second crew to fly the plane from England over Germany. Thank you

  8. The Days Pay was I.D. as excess and then sent to be scrapped on Dec. 4, 1947. You can find a story about this plane at http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=7491

    I am hoping to have my students do a National History Day project about the events that led to the building of this plane.



  9. I personally know one of the gunners from the Day’s Pay. He is a close friend of our family’s and he has even spoken to my students at the school I work at. If you would like for me to help you make contact with him, please email me at teachernicki@insightbb.com. Thanks

  10. This comment is to Trudy Reha. I know this is over 2 1/2 since your post but in case you ever check back, my father Lt. Seymour Deutsch flew with your grandfather on Day’s Pay and I have a picture of them all standing in front of the plane. I was heartbroken to hear that your grandfather’s flight jacket was stolen, and wondered if your family ever recovered it. I am also trying to research Shoo Shoo Baby which was on your grandfather’s jacket along with Day’s Pay and I have a picture of my father standing in front of it too. Unfortunately my father died a year after your grandfather in 1988 but know he kept in touch with some of the crew for many years. They were a member of Helton’s Hellcat’s in the 493rd Bomber Group stationed in Debach, England. I have what might also be two pictures of your grandfather. Just some info in case you don’t know about this.

    http://www.493bgdebach.co.uk/index.php http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/493d_Bombardment_Group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Debach

  11. This is for Robin Deutsch. My husband is the son of Captain Wineinger and he would love to see those pictures and get in contact with you. Please email to butterfly429@hotmail.com

  12. This is for Robin Deutsch– Wyatt Wineinger PO Box 846 Holcomb,KS. 67851 620-277-2070 He rememebers your father!

  13. My dad, Archie Purcell, was the ball turret gunner with Sy Deutsch, Winnie Wineinger, Ed Stewart, Alan Cohen, Bob Neal, Chester Pierges, and Rudy Crack. My mom and dad hosted a reunion of that crew several different times at their home in Linden, NC. I was there for the reunions and enjoyed very much meeting these fine men. Bob Neal had died years earlier, but his wife C. Maye, attended. I grew up hearing my dad talk of his crew and their experiences so it was a real treat to finally meet them. My dad was the speaker at the Richland High School dedication of the mural, and he and my mom have told us about what a great experience that was. My dad died in 2001, but my mom, Joyce Purcell, is living near me in Kernersville, NC. She is in good health and is hoping to accompany me to Washington this summer as we help our son move to Seattle. We plan to go to Richland, as I have never seen the mural. I would love top hear from any other children or grandchildren of the Day’s Pay crew. My name is Jinny Apple, tapple@triad.rr.com

  14. I am a student at richland high and i was wondering if the crew of the Days Pay had any special names they called themselves? like nick names for the whole crew?

  15. To Laura and Tim/Jinny. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I checked this site, but I emailed both of you on October 24, 2012 to get in contact with me, and also a link to an album that I have with the pictures for you to see. I hope you get them, of if not, to come back here and see that I did try to reach you. Best regards, Robin

  16. Rudolph Krack was my uncle. He resided in Garfield, NJ. He passed away a few years ago. He was a great man.

  17. The highest employment at Hanford was in June ’44. Around 45,000. By July that same year employment dropped and continued to drop till the end of the project. The number 51,000 is the number DuPont wanted published. 51,000 probably represents the total population of the Camp. By the by it’s Hanford Engineer Works. Not Engineering.

    Don L. Soreson

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