Why did Heavy Date ditch in the North Sea?
In the early years of the war, many crews flew the same plane for all their missions, however toward the end of the war most B-17s were relegated to a "pool," and flown by many different crews. In total, 27 different crews flew Heavy Date. I would later learn two interesting facts about Heavy Date. First, its place of honor in the 95th Bomb Group Museum in Horham, and second that one of those 27 crews included a tail gunner by the name of Joseph "Ray" Perry, who died in 2017 at age 92 and whose son was currently the United States Secretary of Energy. Records indicate that Ray's crew flew Heavy Date a total of 13 missions compared to my father's crew flying her only three. Phil also included a black and white photo of Heavy Date's nose art. This is the first time I had seen it. Seeing the actual plane only amplified my desire to find out what exactly happened that day in the North Sea.
~ From An Unexpected Coddiwomple