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B-24J Liberator   42-110095   SILVER SHARK
The SILVER SHARK on takeoff from North Pickenham
Manufacturing Data
Serial Number 42-110095
Model B-24J
Manufacturer Consolidated - San Diego, California
Production Block B-24J-135-CO
Color Olive Drab aka OD
Group Data
Date Assigned to 492nd Assigned to the Snowy Owl Squadron
Obtained From Consolidated
Flyover Pilot unknown
Total Missions w/492nd 0
Total WWII Missions n/a
So, you read Luanne Rice's book THE EDGE OF WINTER and came here to see if the plane was real, did you?
The answer is yes and no. Let us explain.
Luanne's late father, Tom Rice, really did serve in the 492nd BG. He came into the group with the Simon Crew R-03, but was soon reassigned to the Testa Crew R-13. When the 492nd BG was disbanded, he was transferred to the 44th BG, along with the rest of the Testa crew. On 16 Jan 45 the Testa Crew was shot down, but they were able to evade capture and were returned to duty. They continued flying until the very end of the war in Europe, including the very last mission flown by the 8th Air Force.
The names of her 492nd characters in the novel, Damian O'Casey and his crewmates, are certainly fictitious, but their personalities are composites of some of the real 492nd veterans who knew her father. None of the fictional characters represent any particular person. As a tribute to her father, her fictional crew also shares her father's war record and some of his experiences.
The SILVER SHARK, the B-24 in the book, is fictitious in name, but was based upon the plane on which her father was actually flying when it was shot down. It belonged to the 44th BG, 68th BS, and was called LUCKY STRIKE, serial number 42-110095. The data tables above are accurate, except for the part about being assigned to the Snowy Owl Squadron, which we made up. You'll have to read her book to understand why.
For those of you who found this page, but are unfamiliar with Luanne Rice and her string of best-selling novels including THE EDGE OF WINTER, we invite you to visit her website, a link to which can be found to the right.
The photo above is an unidentified B-24 of the 492nd Bomb Group taking off at North Pickenham sometime in 1944. The overlayed nose art is merely our vision of what could have been painted on the SILVER SHARK, done in typical Alberto Vargas pin-up girl style.
Please excuse our offbeat nature in making this aircraft page, but some of Luanne's most loyal readers and fans may come to this site out of sheer curiousity. We figured if they've come this far, we should give them something to see.
More Info
from the 454th BG
Simon Crew R-03
Testa Crew R-13
44th BG site
Luanne Rice
 Luanne Rice
Luanne Rice
 The Edge of Winter
The Edge of Winter
Mission Record
Documented Missions with the 492nd BG
Date Mission Mission # Pilot Crew Notes
16 Mar 45 Dresden, Germany
 Link to Mission 02 page 02
Testa R-13 Target: Marshalling Yards
Lost: 12 RTD, MACR 2863
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Page last modified Sunday, January 3, 2010.