<VV> 8th AF, no Corvair

Tony Underwood tony.underwood at cox.net
Mon Nov 22 23:28:25 EST 2010

At 06:34 PM 11/22/2010, Matt Nall wrote:

>Lastly, my guess few of us know this.  According to Don Miller in his book
>"Masters of the Sky", the 8th Air Force suffered more casualities in WWII
>than the combined totals of the US Navy and Marine Corp.

In his book, "The Mighty 8th", Roger Freeman points out this same fact.

What's more, the  Army infantry was the only service that had higher 
casualties than the 8th AF.   It wasn't until May 1943 that a USAAF 
bomber crew managed to finish a combat tour without being lost in 
action.   That would be B-17F #124485, "Memphis Belle" piloted by Bob 
Morgan.   Before that, a combat tour in the 8th AF was pretty much a 
bad gamble.    When "485" finished its tour it was an *enormous* 
morale booster... not only did that airplane finish its 25 mission 
tour and go home, nobody among the crew was killed or seriously 
wounded, although the airplane itself took a beating and used up 17 
different engines in the process.

All totalled, nearly a quarter-million air crew casualties resulted 
in Europe during WW-II on both sides.   Almost a quarter-million... a 
lot of people.

Air combat was damned dangerous then.

tony..    (has spent a bit of time sitting in the pilot's seat of 
B-17F #124485, currently undergoing an "official" restoration [its 
second] at the USAF National Museum in Ohio)  

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