Nutley's Turchette remembered at WWII crash site

Sheridan Memorial Park ceremony held on the 70th anniversary, March 12, 2013, at the exact site of the B-17 crash near Sheridan, Ark. The airman to left of American flag is holding a photo of co-pilot Lt. Robert Turchette of Nutley, N.J. 

The Sheridan B-17 Memorial Park is located at the actual crash site 5.8 miles north of Sheridan, Arkansas. 

While the construction and ongoing upkeep of the Sheridan B-17 Memorial Park is our primary mission, the secondary mission is to clear the record of Pilot George Davis. Local Veterans and area residents believe that 2nd Lieutenant George Davis should not have been held responsible for the loss of his B-17F Flying Fortress and its crew. Rather, he should have been recognized for his valiant efforts in keeping his Flying Fortress airborne while over the Sheridan, Arkansas area. The actions of Pilot Davis and his crew in finding a non-residential area on which to crash land possibly saved the lives of area residents.

The most predominate feature of the park will be a Memorial Wall 33′ wide X 8′ 6″ tall located 130′ from County Road 51 on the east side.  The Memorial Wall will have a 29′ wide X 4′ 6″ tall portion which will be inset in the center of the wall. The inset will be black granite and will contain the names and information about the nine airmen. There will be a 2′ white and grey mixed granite border surrounding the inset. The Memorial Wall will be illuminated from dusk to dawn.

Centered in front of the Memorial Wall, there will be three flag poles as follows: in the center will be a 30′ pole with a 5′ X 6′ American flag and Christian flag, to the right will be a 25′ flag pole with a 4′X6′ Arkansas State flag and a 25′ flag pole bearing a 4′X6′ POW/MIA flag will be on the left. All flags will be illuminated from dusk to dawn. There will be a state flag above each of the servicemen’s names representing each of their nine home states.

The platform will have a 6′ concrete bench surfaced with granite on each side of the Memorial Wall platform.

A life size concrete footprint of the B-17F Flying Fortress will be placed between the original monument and the Memorial Wall. The dimensions of the footprint are: 103′ 9″ wide X 74′ 9″ long. The surface of the B-17F concrete footprint will be painted and when viewed, it will appear that you are looking down at an actual Flying Fortress. Posts with chains will be placed around the plane’s footprint to discourage foot traffic on the surface. 
Pilot – 2nd Lt. George H. Davis, 22, Dubuque, Iowa
Co-Pilot – 2nd Lt. Robert V. Turchette, 22, (Nutley) Newark, New Jersey
Navigator – 2nd Lt. Leo E. Dolan, 24, St. Louis, Missouri
Bombardier – 2nd Lt Phillip E. Niewolak, 24, Dunkirk, New York
Engineer – T/Sgt. Dewitt H. Tyler, 25, Porterville, California
Radio Operator – T/Sgt. Peter K. Ivanovich, 25, Bisbee, Arizona
Waist Gunner – S/Sgt. Arthur N. Potter, 26, Springfield, Vermont
Waist Gunner #2 – not assigned
Ball Turrett Gunner - S/Sgt. David G. Secorski, 22, Detroit, Michigan
Tail Gunner – S/Sgt. Kenneth D. Cain, 22, Hobbs, New Mexico

Dedication of the Sheridan B-17Memorial Park will be held Nov. 12.

Support the memorial through the Stepping Stone Project.

More information B17 Memorial

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