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WWII Aircraft Facts

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Absolutely amazing (American) World War 2 statistics and photos. I have always known that aircrew had the highest fatality rate but the loss rate (and cost of war) detailed below is absolutely horrific. (pippaettore.com) More...

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canuck44
canuck44 2
War has been sanitized since WWII. The mortality rate for pilots in the Northern European Theater was huge. Early bomber crews could expect to live no longer than three missions over Germany until the P-51 arrived with its longer range to escort the bombers all the way to the targets. Daylight raids (mostly by US forces) had to be abandoned as the losses were unsustainable (hence sending out pilots with one hour or less on type).
Today loss of a few aircraft brings demands for Congressional investigations and widespread condemnation in the press.
linbb
linbb 3
Was reading a book not long ago, seems some British pilots had less than 40hrs of time in any aircraft before going into combat.
Young daring young men thinking they were bullet proof gave there lives to make us free.
I cannot even think of what it must have been like inside a burning bomber that you could not get out of and spend many minutes waiting for the end. May they all rest in peace now.
canuck44
canuck44 4
Anytime a 24 year old was considered the "Old Man" on a squadron and had been promoted to Squadron Leader (Major) then you knew mortality was high and survival was the top quality for promotion. Those not familiar with Douglas Bader, a double amputee and Hurricane pilot might read of his exemplary service might read of him in awe. http://acepilots.com/british/bader.html
bentwing60
bentwing60 2
Bader was also a Spitfire driver and was flying one when he was either rammed by a BF 109 or shot down by friendly fire from a Spitfire over France. Undetermined, and much speculated about. He was later Knighted and his funeral was attended by none other than Adolf Galland, who befriended him after his capture and remained so their entire lives. Wiki has a pretty good quickie on him, and he was a "Bob Hoover" caliber guy in my book. Ain't many of them. Awe is correct, for sure. Look for the story about how he responded to the derision of the squadron members upon meeting their new squadron commander, with peg legs! And for you actual Pilots out there, think about a tailwheel and 1650 horsepower, and three hours time in type! If you read the stats, above, they must have had some good flight instructors and more than a few students ill suited for their chosen endeavor. Cheers, John.
canuck44
canuck44 3
There is definitely something about amputee pilots....as flight surgeon, I had two of them on Sea Kings and were both bad asses flying off bouncing destroyers in the North Atlantic. A totally different breed in a coddled society.
yr2012
matt jensen 1
Too much dependence on electronics
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
I first heard of Douglas Bader back in the 50's. Our neighbor was the PIO at March AFB and his wife a British War Bride. Mr. Bader was her hero, and among her favorite war recollections.
mikepellow
mike pellow 1
Good Bless our service men
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
and service women
canuck44
canuck44 1
Excellent point and WWII would not have been won without the WASPs, women who ferried aircraft to the combat zones, most of the time without navigation but following a "mother" like ducklings across the Atlantic. Just over 1000 of them were so employed for this task. Only in the past few years have then been recognized.
http://www.npr.org/2010/03/09/123773525/female-wwii-pilots-the-original-fly-girls
jpcooper
Peter Cooper 1
Sir Douglas Bader's biography provides an interesting insight into the man's determination, his refusal to suffer fools gladly and his arrogance to reject whatever disagrees with his thinking.. The book is " Reach for the Sky " by Paul Brickhill. It's probably out of print at the moment but there will be plenty of used copies aroud. It is worth the effort to find a copy.
canuck44
canuck44 1
The book and the movie based on it are both available on Amazon.

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