This is stunning.......

I am Carbon

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No matter how one looks at it, these are incredible statistics. Aside from the figures on aircraft, consider this statement from the article: On average 6600 American service men died per MONTH, during WWII (about 220 a day) - - - - - -

- Most Americans who were not adults during WWII have no understanding of the magnitude of it. This listing of some of the aircraft produced - facts gives a bit of insight to it.

- 276,000 aircraft manufactured in the US .
- 43,000 planes lost overseas, including 23,000 in combat.
- 14,000 lost in the continental U.S.

The US civilian population maintained a dedicated effort for four years, many working long hours seven days per week and often also volunteering for other work. WWII was the largest human effort in history.
Some more amazing facts at the end of the photos...


Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik 36,183

Yakolev Yak-1,-3,-7, -9 31,000+

Messerschmitt Bf-109 30,480

Focke-Wulf Fw-190 29,001

Supermarine Spitfire/Seafire 20,351

Convair B-24/PB4Y Liberator/Privateer 18,482

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 15,686

North American P-51 Mustang 15,875

Junkers Ju-88 15,000

Hawker Hurricane 14,533

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk 13,738

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 12,731

Vought F4U Corsair 12,571

Grumman F6F Hellcat 12,275

Petlyakov Pe-2 11,400

Lockheed P-38 Lightning 10,037

Mitsubishi A6M Zero 10,449

North American B-25 Mitchell 9,984

Lavochkin LaGG-5 9,920

Note: The LaGG-5 was produced with both water-cooled (top) and air-cooled (bottom) engines.

Grumman TBM Avenger 9,837

Bell P-39 Airacobra 9,584

Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar 5,919

DeHavilland Mosquito 7,780

Avro Lancaster 7,377

Heinkel He-111 6,508

Handley-Page Halifax 6,176

Messerschmitt Bf-110 6,150

Lavochkin LaGG-7 5,753

Boeing B-29 Superfortress 3,970

Short Stirling 2,383

Statistics from Flight Journal magazine.
---- The staggering cost of war.

THE PRICE OF VICTORY (cost of an aircraft in WWII dollars)
B-17 $204,370. P-40 $44,892.
B-24 $215,516. P-47 $85,578.
B-25 $142,194. P-51 $51,572.
B-26 $192,426. C-47 $88,574.
B-29 $605,360. PT-17 $15,052.
P-38 $97,147. AT-6 $22,952.
From Germany 's invasion of Poland Sept.. 1, 1939 and ending with Japan 's surrender Sept. 2, 1945 --- 2,433 days. From 1942 onward, America averaged 170 planes lost a day.

How many is a 1,000 planes? B-17 production (12,731) wingtip to wingtip would extend 250 miles. 1,000 B-17s carried 2.5 million gallons of high octane fuel and required 10,000 airmen to fly and fight them.
9.7 billion gallons of gasoline consumed, 1942-1945.
107.8 million hours flown, 1943-1945.
459.7 billion rounds of aircraft ammo fired overseas, 1942-1945.
7.9 million bombs dropped overseas, 1943-1945.
2.3 million combat sorties, 1941-1945 (one sortie = one takeoff).
299,230 aircraft accepted,1940-1945.
808,471 aircraft engines accepted,1940-1945.
799,972 propellers accepted, 1940-1945.

Sources: Rene Francillon, Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific war; Cajus Bekker, The Luftwaffe Diaries; Ray Wagner, American Combat Planes; Wikipedia.

According to the AAF Statistical Digest, in less than four years (December 1941- August 1945), the US Army Air Forces lost 14,903 pilots, aircrew and assorted personnel plus 13,873 airplanes --- inside the continental United States . They were the result of 52,651 aircraft accidents (6,039 involving fatalities) in 45 months.

Think about those numbers. They average 1,170 aircraft accidents per month---- nearly 40 a day. (However, less than one accident in four resulted in total loss of the aircraft)

It gets worse.....

Almost 1,000 Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign locations. But an eye-watering 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 against the Western Axis) and 20,633 attributed 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 a 25-mission tour in Europe .

Pacific theatre losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to smaller forces committed.. The worst 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. By the end of the war, over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat theatres and another 18,000 wounded. Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead, including a number "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 pegged at 121,867.

US manpower made up the deficit. The AAF's peak strength was reached in 1944 with 2,372,000 personnel, nearly twice the previous year's figure.

The losses were huge---but so were production totals. From 1941 through 1945, American industry deliveredmore than 276,000 military aircraft. That number was enough not only for US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but for allies as diverse as Britain , Australia , China and Russia . In fact, from 1943 onward, America produced more planes than Britain and Russia combined. And more than Germany and Japan together 1941-45.
However, our enemies took massive losses. Through much of 1944, the Luftwaffe sustained uncontrolled hemorrhaging, reaching 25 percent of aircrews and 40 planes a month. And in late 1944 into 1945, nearly half the pilots in Japanese squadrons had flown fewer than 200 hours. The disparity of two years before had been completely reversed.

Experience Level:

Uncle Sam sent many of his sons to war with absolute minimums of training. Some fighter pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than one hour in their assigned aircraft.

The 357th Fighter Group (often known as The Yoxford Boys) went to England in late 1943 having trained on P-39s. The group never saw a Mustang until shortly before its first combat mission.

A high-time P-51 pilot had 30 hours in type. Many had fewer than five hours. Some had one hour.

With arrival of new aircraft, many combat 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 February 1944, there was no time to stand down for an orderly transition.

The Group commander, Col. Donald Blakeslee, 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." He was not alone.

Some fighter pilots tucked their wheels in the well on their first combat mission with one previous flight in the aircraft. Meanwhile, 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 copilots were less than a year out of flight school..

In WWII flying 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; the world's most sophisticated, most capable and most expensive bomber was too urgently needed to stand down for mere safety reasons.. The AAF set a reasonably high standard for B-29 pilots, but the desired figures were seldom attained.

The original cadre of the 58th Bomb Wing was to have 400 hours of multi-engine time, but there were not enough experienced pilots to meet the criterion. Only ten percent had overseas experience. Conversely, when a $2.1 billion B-2 crashed in 2008, the Air Force initiated a two-month "safety pause" rather than declare a "stand down", let alone grounding.

The B-29 was no better for maintenance. Though the R3350 was known as a complicated, troublesome power-plant, no more than half the mechanics had previous experience with the Duplex Cyclone. But they made it work.

Perhaps the greatest unsung success story of AAF training was Navigators.

The Army graduated some 50,000 during the War. And many had never flown out of sight of land before leaving "Uncle Sugar" for a war zone. Yet the huge majority found their way across oceans and continents without getting lost or running out of fuel --- a stirring tribute to the AAF's educational establishments.

Cadet To Colonel:

It was possible for a flying cadet at the time of Pearl Harbor to finish the war with eagles on his shoulders. That was the record of John D. Landers, a 21-year-old Texan, who was commissioned a second lieutenant on December 12, 1941. He joined his combat squadron with 209 hours total flight time, including 2 in P-40s. He finished the war as a full colonel, commanding an 8th Air Force Group --- at age 24.

As the training pipeline filled up, however those low figures became exceptions.

By early 1944, the average AAF fighter pilot entering combat had logged at least 450 hours, usually including 250 hours in training. At the same time, many captains and first lieutenants claimed over 600 hours.


At its height in mid-1944, the Army Air Forces 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.
The 2009 figures represent about 12 percent of the manpower and 7 percent of the airplanes of the WWII peak.


Whether there will ever be another war like that experienced in 1940-45 is doubtful, as fighters and bombers have given way to helicopters and remotely-controlled drones over Afghanistan and Iraq . But within living memory, men left the earth in 1,000-plane formations and fought major battles five miles high, leaving a legacy that remains timeless.
Thank you Carbon. I'm amazed by the shear number of Pilots and aircraft that participated in WW2.The flight time those boys had is absolutely amazing. I can't imagine taking control of an airplane with no time to learn how it flew other than your first flight "on the way to the target".
Here in the UK at Duxford theres a memorial sculpture in glass designed by Renato Niemis. It lines the route to the entrance of the Museum,
The sculpture comprises 52 toughened clear float glass panels, each etched with the outlines of aircraft missing in action in operations flown by American air forces from Britain during the Second World War.
7,031 aircraft are depicted and represent losses incurred by the 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF), 9th USAAF, and US Navy. Each panel is 4 feet wide by 6.5 feet high by three quarters of an inch thick and bears a number of aircraft corresponding to a particular Air Force or Navy Group or Groups. The engraved images take the form of the individual aircraft types at a scale of 1:240. Bomber, Fighter, Reconnaissance, Photographic and Transport Carrier Groups, Emergency Rescue Services, the Night Leaflet Squadron and the Radio Counter Measures Group all have their place; no Groups that suffered losses are forgotten.
Seeing this really puts it into perspective!


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They are.
We go to duxford a lot, its not far from us, my kids love walking round the old WWII bombers/fighters .. Getting them to look at the planes represented on the glass memorial wall is the only way to get it through to them just how many service-men died protecting our way of life, I think they get it..
And we have only just got an official memorial to bomber command in the uk. Still no real campaign medal for them though. 'Bomber' Harris is a dirty name to the lefty apologists in this country.
That was just bomber command in the ETO plus Africa then Far East plus fighters coastal command transport command fleet air arm etc etc, too many. As an side WW2 started in 1939 here in Europe .
Here are some pics of Canada's Bomber Command Museum. Its located in the small town of Nanton, which is about 100 Kms from Calgary. Its a tribute to the 10,000 canadians that died in Bomber Command. They flew Halifax, Lancaster, and Mosquito bombers mostly.

I go down to the museum several times each summer. They run the Lancaster's V12 merlin engines 4 times each season. Its just a nice ride on the XS.

If anyone is interested in an amazing read about a canadian bomber command pilot in WW2, get a copy of "A Thousand Shall Fall". Murray Peden was the pilot and is the author. Rated as one of the best accounts of wartime flying ever written.

Thats a pic of the "Tallboy" replica bomb, used to sink the German battleship Turpitz, in 1944 in Norway. The "Torpex" word on the front, indicates the explosive type, which was 50% more exposive than TNT. While at the museum, I met and talked with a crew member of a Lancaster, that was on the Turpitz mission. The gentleman was quite old.


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An uncle of mine just died this last summer that was a navigator starting in 1942 in europe flying B17's. He finished his almost 30 years in B52's. It took me a while to come to the realization of why he always seemed so glad to be alive. He wasn't supposed to live longer than 1943.
While I have served, Ive never been in combat. My job was of the last resort type. I have the utmost respect for those who have been in harms way and helped paved the way for all of us today. That includes all of the allied forces. The "Greatest Generation" is a well deserved title.
I served 1976-'96 in the USAF. Fighter aircraft crew cheif. While stationed in the UK '78-'80 I visited Duxford and other bases of the RAF and 8th A.F. I got a real sense of what those air warriors of WWII went through. Here in Tucson we have at the Pima Air and Space Museum, the 390th Bomber Gp Memorial. A restored B-17G in the center of the hall, surrounded by artifacts of the time. We can never repay the debt to these men and women, who paid the price for what we enjoy and the youth take for granted.
The older you get the more you respect what these guys and gals gave up. My grand father was a waaco glider pilot in ww2, from what I,ve heard if was almost a death sentence to fly a glider. But he was around to start a family and tell a few stories(I wish I wasnt so young and dumb so I could have enjoyed more stories).
For anyone with an interest in WWII, I discovered a great Youtube channel awhile back called WWII In Color, or something close to that. Lots of videos.
Ive been a follower of those on Youtube for a while xjwmx, good stuff there !:thumbsup:

This is a great site too

XS1961.......................Thanks for the link, looks like an interesting site.

If you have never read "A Thousand Shall Fall" by Murray Peden, you should get a copy. Much of the account is based in England.
If you have never read "A Thousand Shall Fall" by Murray Peden, you should get a copy. Much of the account is based in England.
Thanks,looked it up & Ive just ordered it on Amazon:thumbsup: