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Aircrew casualities



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 16th 03, 03:31 PM
ArtKramr
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Default Aircrew casualities

The common wisdom in WW II was that tail gunners and bombardiers suffered the
highest casualties among bomber aircrews. Anyone have any actual statistics on
aircrew casualties by position in USAAC bombers?



Arthur Kramer
344th BG 494th BS
England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
http://www.coastcomp.com/artkramer

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  #2  
Old September 16th 03, 07:36 PM
Erik Plagen
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"ArtKramr" wrote in message
The common wisdom in WW II was that tail gunners and bombardiers suffered

the
highest casualties among bomber aircrews. Anyone have any actual

statistics on
aircrew casualties by position in USAAC bombers?



'COMMON WISDOM" OF WHOM?

Luftwaffe statistics-

Pilots 85%
Waist Gunners-8%
Dorsal und Ventral Gunners- 3%
Upper turret Gunners-2%
Navigators- 1 1/2%
Nose Gunners/Bomb Togglers.05%

Schematische Kriegsgliederung, RH 2. Has also been published in Kurt
Mehner's Geheime Tagesberichte der OKW, 12 vols.

Erik


  #3  
Old September 16th 03, 11:21 PM
Guy Alcala
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ArtKramr wrote:

The common wisdom in WW II was that tail gunners and bombardiers suffered the
highest casualties among bomber aircrews. Anyone have any actual statistics on
aircrew casualties by position in USAAC bombers?


I wish you had asked that a few weeks ago, as I had a source here which gave the
stats for B-17s. AFAIR, pilots were top of the list (because they had to stay
while everyone else got out), with ball turret gunners about equal in loss rate.
Bombardiers were actually among the best in survival rate if not the best (I think
the navs were the best), because many of the attacks were from the rear, and
because they had an escape hatch in their compartment that was easy to get to.

Guy

  #6  
Old September 17th 03, 04:11 AM
Michael Williamson
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Erik Plagen wrote:
"ArtKramr" wrote in message

The common wisdom in WW II was that tail gunners and bombardiers suffered


the

highest casualties among bomber aircrews. Anyone have any actual


statistics on

aircrew casualties by position in USAAC bombers?




'COMMON WISDOM" OF WHOM?

Luftwaffe statistics-

Pilots 85%
Waist Gunners-8%
Dorsal und Ventral Gunners- 3%
Upper turret Gunners-2%
Navigators- 1 1/2%
Nose Gunners/Bomb Togglers.05%

Schematische Kriegsgliederung, RH 2. Has also been published in Kurt
Mehner's Geheime Tagesberichte der OKW, 12 vols.

Erik


Overall statistics may or may not be all that helpful- what were
the numbers of (for instance) waist gunners flying with the Luftwaffe,
and what were their casualty rates compared to the other crew positions
in the same aircraft? Different casualty rates for different aircraft,
along with the total numbers of each type involved in the overall
statistics, make it difficult to come up with a single, overall answer.

Mike

  #8  
Old September 17th 03, 05:07 AM
ArtKramr
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Subject: Aircrew casualities
From: Michael Williamson PAM
Date: 9/16/03 8:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Message-id:

Erik Plagen wrote:
"ArtKramr" wrote in message

The common wisdom in WW II was that tail gunners and bombardiers suffered


the

highest casualties among bomber aircrews. Anyone have any actual


statistics on

aircrew casualties by position in USAAC bombers?




'COMMON WISDOM" OF WHOM?

Luftwaffe statistics-

Pilots 85%
Waist Gunners-8%
Dorsal und Ventral Gunners- 3%
Upper turret Gunners-2%
Navigators- 1 1/2%
Nose Gunners/Bomb Togglers.05%

Schematische Kriegsgliederung, RH 2. Has also been published in Kurt
Mehner's Geheime Tagesberichte der OKW, 12 vols.

Erik


Overall statistics may or may not be all that helpful- what were
the numbers of (for instance) waist gunners flying with the Luftwaffe,
and what were their casualty rates compared to the other crew positions
in the same aircraft? Different casualty rates for different aircraft,
along with the total numbers of each type involved in the overall
statistics, make it difficult to come up with a single, overall answer.

Mike


I don't think there is a single answer. Some postions in some planes are very
diffciult to get out of. The nose of a B-26 for example. But the A-26 Invader
had a trap door under the nose. One twist and you were falling through space.

Arthur Kramer
344th BG 494th BS
England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
http://www.coastcomp.com/artkramer

  #9  
Old September 17th 03, 05:09 AM
Guy Alcala
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Default

" wrote:

(ArtKramr) wrote:

Bombardiers were actually among the best in survival rate if not the best (I
think
the navs were the best), because many of the attacks were from the rear, and
because they had an escape hatch in their compartment that was easy to get
to.

Guy


In the B-26 we had no escape hatch at all. The bombardier had along path to
creawl in front of the copilot then out the bombay. A long trip indeed. Maybe
we should break down the losses by aircraft type rather than lumping all
bombers together

Arthur Kramer


Lancasters were good to Bombardiers (and nose gunners), they had
their own good sized hatch in the bottom of the nose compartment,
matter of fact the Pilot and Engineer used that hatch too.


OTOH, the survival rate was considerably worse than for Halifax crews, who had
better placed escape hatches. The survival rate of either was pretty dismal at
night -- IIRR, Middlebrook stated an 86% fatality rate for Lanc crews when shot
down, with the Halifax being slightly better. Crew fatality rates by U.S. heavies
operating by day were much better, about the inverse of the RAF night bombers,
roughly 15%. You could probably chalk that up to more armor, being able to see the
enemy approach so more defensive fire (and thus less effective fire from the
fighters, due to evasive action and longer firing ranges), and in the last resort,
it being much easier to find and put on parachutes and then locate the exits by
day. It would be interesting to see if B-17s and B-24s that operated with RAF 100
Group by night, had similar crew survival rates as the RAF heavies doing the same
missions.

Guy

  #10  
Old September 17th 03, 05:12 AM
ArtKramr
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Default

Subject: Aircrew casualities
From: "Gord Beaman" )
Date: 9/16/03 8:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Message-id:

(ArtKramr) wrote:

Bombardiers were actually among the best in survival rate if not the best

(I
think
the navs were the best), because many of the attacks were from the rear,

and
because they had an escape hatch in their compartment that was easy to get
to.

Guy


In the B-26 we had no escape hatch at all. The bombardier had along path to
creawl in front of the copilot then out the bombay. A long trip indeed.

Maybe
we should break down the losses by aircraft type rather than lumping all
bombers together

Arthur Kramer


Lancasters were good to Bombardiers (and nose gunners), they had
their own good sized hatch in the bottom of the nose compartment,
matter of fact the Pilot and Engineer used that hatch too.
--

-Gord.



They fixed the B-26 problem for bombardiers when they built the A-26 Invader. I
sat a on a trap door. One twist of the handle and you were out. It was nice to
leave the B's for the A's just for that escape hatch..



Arthur Kramer
344th BG 494th BS
England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
http://www.coastcomp.com/artkramer

 




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