Tag Archives: Smilin’ Sandy Sanchez

TSGT Sator Sierra (“Sandy”) Sanchez (22 March 1921–15 March 1945)

In what was to be the last picture ever taken of him, highly-decorated Staff Sergeant Sator Sierra “Sandy” Sanchez poses in Lucera, Italy, in March 1945.

Killed in action, 15 March 1945, Germany

Highly-decorated Staff Sergeant Sator Sierra “Sandy” Sanchez poses at Moffit Air Field outside Las Vegas in March 1943, where he attended airplane mechanics school. Sanchez flew over 45 missions as a B-17 gunner named, “Smilin Sandy Sanchez,” before he was killed in action over Germany on March 15, 1945.

12 May 1944 TSGT Sator Sierra Sanchez, 353rd BS/301st BG, completes his 44th combat mission. Brand new B-17G-45-BO, 42-97290, named Smilin’ Sandy Sanchez in his honor

(American Air Museum in Britain UPL 19239)
SSS (Find a Grave)

SS DFC Soldier’s Medal PH w/ 1 OLC, AM w/8 OLC 2/s 1/brnz

22 March 1921–15 March 1945

b. Joliet Township, Illinois

5’8″ 138

Boeing B-17G-45-BO Flying Fortress 42-97246, from the same production block as “Smilin’ Sandy Sanchez”
B-17G-45-BO 42-97246, from the same production block as Smilin’ Sandy (UPL 37434)

B-17 Flying Fortress 42-97290    BG-H
Delivered Cheyenne 15/2/44; Kearney 27/2/44; Presque Is 11/3/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 22/4/44; transferred 334BS/95BG [BG-H] Horham 28/4/44; 23m Missing in Action Berlin 19/5/44 with Capt Bill Waltman, Co-pilot: Wayne McCallon, Navigator: Henry Robertson, Bombardier: Jim Fournier, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Dale Grossman, Radio Operator: Harry Myers, Ball turret gunner: Russ Brainard, Waist gunner: Jim Coppage, Waist gunner: Winfred Wright, Tail gunner: Albt Faust (10 INT); suffered battle damage and crash landed Akesholm, Sweden. Missing Air Crew Report 4928. SMILIN’ SANDY SANCHEZ. (Named after a so called tail gunner.)

Boeing B-17G-45-BO Flying Fortress 42-97290, BG H. (95th Bomb Group)