Flight Training accidents in WWII

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dave Siciliano View Post
    From the National WWII Museum US MILITARY CASUALTIES IN WORLD WAR II

    Army and Air Force 318,274 565,861
    Navy 62,614 37,778
    Marines 24,511 68,207
    Coast Guard 1,917 Unknown
    TOTAL 407,316 671,278
    Dave, what do the numbers represent? Killed? Accidents? Injured? What does column 1 represent? Column 2?

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    • #17
      That was done on my I-Phone. Here's a better copy. Unfortunately, the pilots of each service aren't shown separately. It's one of he issues in researching this. That's why I thought the paper posted above was so helpful. US Military Casualties in World War II

      Army and Air Force 318,274 565,861
      Navy 62,614 37,778
      Marines 24,511 68,207
      Coast Guard 1,917 Unknown
      TOTAL 407,316 671,278

      Merchant Marine Casualties

      Died as POWs 37
      Dead 5,662
      Missing/Presumed Dead 4,780
      Killed at Sea 845

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      • #18
        I just finished reading the entire report. Nice compilation of a lot of aircraft accidents during WWII. The tables at the end are worth saving for future discussions.

        I'm reminded of the description I read many years ago about a raid on Europe before precision bombing became the rule. One hundred bombers, 1,000 men, went on a daylight raid. When the crews saw the lead bomber drop his bombs, they would drop theirs. Just the lead bombardier called the shots. All lead by a 26-year-old lieutenant colonel, with less than 400 hours in his log book.

        The reason that it's significant is because this report on WWII aircraft accidents only mentioned once, in passing, the young age of the pilots. I can remember many r8sky things I did at age 21 I would never have done 5 or so years later. Many of the aircraft commanders were 21 years old. I believe that was a factor in the number of accidents.

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        • #19
          For some reason the column titles won’t copy. The left is deaths, the right is casualties.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Ward Miller View Post
            Many of the aircraft commanders were 21 years old.
            The B-25 that hit the Empire State Bldg was flown by a 27-year-old L/C...but his log had 1000 hours and one war in it.

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            • #21
              In Max Hastings’ book on page 318 it says: By 1945, every heavy bomber carried an extraordinary weight of high technology and skilled manpower to operate it. A B-24 Liberator contained 1,550,000 separate parts.

              Does that sound accurate?

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              • #22
                If so, then the average part weighed 0.28 ounces or 8 grams (27,500 lbs/1,550,000). Sounds doubtful.
                Last edited by Rod Madsen; 04-15-2019, 19:23.
                regards, Rod

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                • #23
                  They must be counting rivets :-)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Dave Siciliano View Post
                    They must be counting rivets :-)
                    Definitely. 0.28 ounces would be in a comparable order of magnitude for a rivet

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                    • #25
                      Another figure in Hasting’s book: in January 1944, during the RAF’s so-called Battle of Berlin, Bomber Command lost 314 aircraft, or 5 percent of its strength, on every raid. Since a British bomber crew was obligated to carry out thirty operations to complete a tour of operations, and an American crew twenty-five, it needed no wizard of odds to compute that an airman was more likely to die than to survive his personal experience of bombing Germany.

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                      • #26
                        The above was on page 300

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Dave Siciliano View Post
                          an airman was more likely to die than to survive his personal experience of bombing Germany.
                          Yep: that's a 21% survival rate.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Ralph Jones View Post
                            ferry an airplane cross country:

                            "What kind of airplane?"
                            "B-29."
                            "Never flown one."
                            "Here's the manual, there's your crew."
                            Chuckled here - then I got to think'n 'bout it and me at China Lake with 44-62070!
                            "What kind of airplane?"
                            "B-29."
                            "Never flown one."
                            "You did bring your own manual, right?" "And your crew?"

                            best, randy

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