B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-32066 / Silver Sliver

B-17 #42-32066 / Silver Sliverzoom_in



  • RCL: QW-D, OE-D

Missions: 67


History of
B-17 42-32066 / Silver Sliver

Delivered Cheyenne 21/1/44; Gr Island 11/2/44; Presque Is 11/2/44; Assigned 412BS/95BG [QW-D] Horham 3/3/44; transferred 335BS (OE-D); 67m, with R.E. Squyres sustained battle damaged Stuttgart 16/12/44, ran into mud off end of runway on return, then hit by 43-38453 which had overshot runway, Salvaged 17/12/44. SILVER (SLIVER) SLIPPER.

Last updated: 24. April 2021


B-17 42-32066 / Silver Sliver Details

How we identified B-17G-35-BO #42-32066 ‘Silver Slipper’.

I came across this picture of a B-17 of the 95th Bomb Group (Square B) over Rostock, Germany.
The image caption stated, that this was a mission on 11 January 1944.

But something is strange and confusing on that picture. So, let’s check facts and do it right 😉

Looking to the 95th Bomb Group history, and general 8th Air Force history. The target of on that day was Oschersleben, Germany. The 95th Bomb Group flew to Rostock on follow days:

  • 20 February 1944
  • 24 February 1944
  • 11 April 1944

First thing to check is the correct date of this picture.

If you look closer to the B-17. You can see, that the inner side of the engine nacelles are painted with olive to avoid sun reflections. And non-staggered waist gun positions, but fitted with windows. That means, this is a Natural Metal Finish (NMF) B-17. February 1944 is a bit to early for NMF B-17s in combat. So, the date of the picture is 11 April 1944.

After that, I have checked the mission report of 95th BG about 11 April 1944. And the report states, that the primary of that day was Poznan, Poland. But this target was under overcast and the group bomb a target of opportunity – Rostock, Germany.

For my ww2overlay project, I have put the original image to a current Bing Map picture. In this overlay, I noticed that the bombing run was done from East to West direction. This fact confirms the 11 April 1944 as correct date of the picture. Because They flew from Poland back in East to West direction and bombed Rostock, Germany.

The identification

After that, I have check the mission load list and formation chart. We have reduced down the possible NMF B-17s and eight B-17s left. These are:

  • 42-97290 – Smilin’ Sandy Sanchez (B-17G)
  • 42-97232 – G. I. Issue (B-17G)
  • 42-97223 – (B-17G)
  • 42-97215 – Scooter (B-17G)
  • 42-97194 – Good Pickin (B-17G)
  • 42-97120 – Irene’s Folly (B-17G)
  • 42-97068 – Key Bird (B-17G)
  • 42-32066 – Silver Slipper (B-17G)

As you can see and check the formation chart over the target, #2066 ‚Silver Slipper‘ was the lead plane of that day.
And the very interesting information is on the original image, at the top. There is a number #1992, which is the s/n of the camera plane. But #1992 is not in the formation chart, but a B-17 #1993, in same group like #2066 ‚Silver Slipper‘. We are sure, that this #1992 was a spelling-error and #2066 ‚Silver Slipper‘ is our B-17 in the picture.

Much thanks to Phil M. of the Facebook Group „Flying Fortress 1936 – 1945“ for brainstorming and help.


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