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Sator Sierra Sanchez


Completed 44 missions with the 95th BG and had B-17 #42-97290 'Smilin' Sandy Sanchez' named after him. Returned to the 15th AAF and completed another 22 missions before being shot down over Germany on 15 March 1945. Sanchez was Killed in Action (KIA).

In 1943, Sanchez was the holder of a new European theater record of 44 heavy bomber missions. In his honor, a Flying Fortress has been named 'Smillin' Sandy Sanchez'.
He also has a display at the US Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.

In the city where he was born Joliet, Illinois, there is park named in his honor and a sculpture of a Top Turret Gunner. And new grade school name after him.

Silver Star, DFC,Soldier's Medal, Purple Heart w/ 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, AM w/ 8 Oak Leaf Cluster



Units served with

  • 301st Bomb Group

    301st Bomb Group

    Activated 3-February-1942 at Geiger Field, Washington and equipped with B-17s. On 27-May-1942 the ground unit moved to Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, and the aircraft went to Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), California for...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 334th Bomb Squadron
  • 353rd Bomb Squadron


  • 42-97290 'Smilin' Sandy Sanchez'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    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...

Associated Place

  • Horham

    Military site : airfield
    Horham airfield was planned and built for RAF use, but handed over to the Eighth Air Force and used initially by the 47th Bomb Group. When they joined the Twelfth Air Force in January 1943, it became home to the B-26 Marauders of the 323rd Bomb Group....


Event Location Date
Born Joliet, IL, USA 22 March 1921
Died 15 March 1945

His name is on the Tablets of the Missing.


Date Contributor Update
12 April 2016 18:02:18 Lucy May Changes to nickname, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

ABMC record:

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:03 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / relative