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            Monday, June 20, 2016



 







The US lost 14,903 pilots, aircrew and support personnel plus 13,873 airplanes --- inside the continental United States. There were 52,651 aircraft accidents (6,039 involving fatalities) in 45 months. Average 1,170 aircraft accidents per month---- nearly 40 a day.
 
It gets worse.....
Almost 1,000  planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign climes. But  43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 in Europe ) and 20,633 due to non-combat causes overseas.
 
In a single 376 plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down. That was a 16 percent loss rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England. In 1942-43, it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete the intended 25-mission tour in Europe .
 
In 1942-43, it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete the intended 25-mission tour in Europe .
Pacific theatre losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to smaller forces committed. The B-29 mission against Tokyo on May 25, 1945, cost 26 Superfortresses,  5.6 percent of the 464 dispatched from the Marianas .
 
On  average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII, about 220 a day. Over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat and another 18,000 wounded. Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead, including those "liberated" by the Soviets but never returned. More than 41,000 were captured. Half of the 5,400 held by the Japanese died in captivity, compared with one-tenth in German hands. Total combat casualties were  121,867.
 
The US forces peak strength was in 1944 with 2,372,000 personnel, nearly twice the previous year's figure.
 
Losses were huge---but so were production totals. From 1941 through 1945, American industry delivered more than 276,000 military aircraft. That was not only for US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but also for allies as diverse as Britain, Australia , China and Russia .  
 
With the arrival of new aircraft, many units transitioned in combat. The attitude was, "They all have a stick and a throttle. Go fly `em." When the famed 4th Fighter Group converted from P-47s to P-51s in Feb 44, there was no time to stand down for an orderly transition. The Group commander, Col. DonaldBlakeslee, said, "You can learn to fly 51s on the way to the target".
Our enemies took massive losses. Through much of 1944, the Luftwaffe sustained hemorrhaging of 25% of aircrews and 40 planes a month.
 

Experience  Level:
Uncle Sam sent many men to war with minimum training. Some fighter pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than 1 hour in their assigned aircraft.. The 357th Fighter Group (The Yoxford Boys) went to England in late 1943 having trained on P-39s, then flew Mustangs. They never saw a Mustang until the first combat mission. 
 
With the arrival of new aircraft, many units transitioned in combat. The attitude was, "They all have a stick and a throttle. Go fly `em." When the famed 4th Fighter Group converted from P-47s to P-51s in Feb 44, there was no time to stand down for an orderly transition. The Group commander, Col. DonaldBlakeslee,  said, "You  can learn to fly 51s on the way to the target". 
  
A future P-47 ace said, "I was sent to England to die."  Many bomber crews were still learning their trade. Of Jimmy Doolittle's 15 pilots on the April 1942  Tokyo raid, only five had won their wings before 1941. All but one of the 16 co-pilots were less than a year out of flight school.
 
In WW2,  safety took a back seat to combat.  The AAF's worst accident rate was recorded by the A-36 Invader version of the P-51: a staggering 274 accidents per 100,000 flying hours.   Next worst were the P-39 at 245, the P-40 at 188, and the P-38 at 139.  All were Allison powered.
 
Bomber wrecks were fewer but more expensive. The B-17 and B-24 averaged 30 and 35 accidents per 100,000 flight hours respectively-- a horrific figure considering that from 1980 to 2000 the Air Force's major mishap rate was less than 2.
 
The B-29 was even worse at 40 per 100,000 hours; the world's most sophisticated, most capable and most expensive bomber was too urgently needed to be able to stand down for mere safety reasons.
 
(Compare:  when a $2.1 billion B-2 crashed in 2008, the Air Force declared a two-month "safety pause").
 
The B-29 was no better for maintenance. Although the R3350 was known as a complicated, troublesome power-plant, only half the mechanics had previous experience with it.  
 
Navigators:
Perhaps the greatest success story concerned Navigators. The Army graduated some 50,000 during WW2.
 
Many had never flown out of sight of land before leaving "Uncle Sugar" for a war zone. Yet they found their way across oceans and continents without getting lost or running out of fuel - a tribute to the AAF's training.
 
At its height in mid-1944, the USAAF had 2.6 million people and nearly 80,000 aircraft of all types. 
Today the US Air Force employs 327,000 active personnel (plus 170,000 civilians) with 5,500+ manned and perhaps 200 unmanned aircraft. That's about 12% of the manpower and 7% of the airplanes of the WW2 peak.
 
SUMMATION:
Another war like that of 1939-45 is doubtful, as fighters and bombers have given way to helicopters and remotely-controlled drones, eg. over Afghanistan and Iraq. But within our living memory, men left the earth in 1,000-plane formations and fought major battles five miles high, leaving a legacy that remains timeless.


Via Cuzzin Ricky
Yeah, we're all thinking along the same lines ... if you're older than 40 yrs. After that, who knows.

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            Amazing WW2 Aircraft Facts Posted by Rodger the Real King of France | 6/20/2016 08:15:00 AM | PERMALINK Back Link (9) | Send This Post | HOME
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Comments:

"The MSM Rule of Inverse Electoral Correlation:
The closer the presidential race gets, the louder the MSM declares that it’s over. And all this comes even as Clinton has had a terrible week—arguably her worst week ever, as the billowing smoke of financial scandal clouds herself and her family."


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I'm trying to figure out how "808,471 aircraft engines were used," but only 799,972 propellers?
 
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@Rodger the Real King of France i'm going to guess that replacing an engine didn't always require a new prop.
 
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Okay, that was a trick question to see who was paying attention. Look for a little bonus in your paycheck this week.
 
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"460 thousand million rounds of aircraft ammo"? You mean 460 BILLION?

Just Damn... Talk about a copper shortage. Now you can see why they had to raid the US Mint for silver to make the electrical buss-bars at Oak Ridge, Tennesee for the Manhattan project. It was melted down and returned after the war.


 
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A Jug was 35 grand more than a Mustang? Well who'd a thunk it. -Anymouse
 
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A P-47 was far more formidable than a P-51 and nearly indestructible...took only a bullet to down these liquid cooled engines and some jugs came back with 3,000 bullet holes in them...as for accidents a WW II instructor told me a Lancaster captain was released with only 35 hours of flight training...pressure was extreme on training schools...(Lancaster were a very high performance complex bombers)
 
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I can confirm Sonoboy's comment. My dad managed a magnesium plant in Lake Charles, LA, towards the end of the war and they did the same thing. There was a 24/7 army guard over the bus bars and they weren't allowed to polish them which was the custom.

I have two four inch airplane desk ornaments in Mg. One has a propellor and the other doesn't.

BTW dad was drafted four times, and each time his management put the kibosh on it as his electrochemical background made him too valuable to the war effort. He always felt a little ashamed that he hadn't gone.
 
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Another interesting statistic: The Army Air Force lost more airmen just in the European strategic bombing campaign than all Marine casualties in the Pacific.
 
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Gotta be a typo - in 1944 Germany was only losing 40 planes a month?? That's nothing, certainly not "hemorrhaging"!
 
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