Richard Emerson Denny


Object Number - UPL 37948 - TSGT Richard Emerson Denny Flight Engineer Russell Gecks Crew 96th BG - 337th BS

Richard E. Denny, Flight Engineer / Top Turret Gunner, B-17 was born in Owatonna, MN on August 6, 1923. His biography is in a chapter in the book "The Greatest Generation of Silver Wings" by Don Ward pp. 57-66 with photos. It includes a description of the April 8th 1944 bail out and 5 month evasion.
He has also published two books: "As Life Unfolds" and "A Soldier Looks at Spiritual Warfare."
He was a member of the 8th AFHS-MN. See

Shot down 8 April 1944 in B-17 #4239856 'Wacky Woody. ' Evaded.


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Units served with

The insignia of the 96th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 337th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot


  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Lane tech of chicago, wacky woody
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 337th Bomb Squadron



Event Location Date Description


Owatonna, Minnesota 1923-08-06


Bailed Out/Evaded

Urk, The Netherlands 1944-04-08 Denny: "After about 9 days we were gathered in a group of 10-12 evadees and followed a lame smuggler who applied his trade by going through a cave between the two countries". In fact it were not caves but an ancient man made tunneling system where limestone was mined since Roman days. A maze of hundreds of miles of old tunnels with all kinds of sculptures, name graffiti and hidden chapels exists. Some parts are accessible today. It seems they went through the Canner-mountain section. "After 45 minutes walking in the darkness in the middle of the mountain, known only to a very few, the guide raised his lantern and told us to look up. These was a six foot painting of Jesus Christ hanging on the cross. A strange sense of His presence came over me. We had to crawl through a 45 feet long, very narrow and small passageway on our stomachs to get into another section" (the Belgian section). Most likely Neercanne or Canne. More of the story can be found here:


Fort Snelling, Minnesota 1942-10-30


St. Paul, Minnesota 2008-07-13


Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota 2008-07-17 Fort Snelling National Cemetery Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA Plot 1643, Section 3


Date1 Jan 2015 12:15:43
Date27 Sep 2014 18:22:29

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 3651 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Richard Emerson Denny: Gallery (1 items)