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zwingli

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Zwingli, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Zwingli

    Zwingli Member

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    I am new to this forum and was directed here by Robin Riley, webmaster of the 156 Sqdn. website.
    I am wondering if anyone can provide the odds of survival for bomber crews and pathfinder crews from approximately November 1943 to December 1944.

    Many thanks

    Leslie Zwingli
     
  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    ah this may not be what you expect but ................ how can there be a % of loss ? would anyone know. guess a person could try their best and make an analysis by retrieving archivs from every RAF heavy bomber squadron and make an overall comparison but the time allotment would be quite extensive even during the time frame you propose

    all I could say in this regard was good luck, with the LW devising the upward firing 2cm Schr├Ągwaffen the chance could not be good from an RAF crewmans standpoint. Obviously much better in 1945 with less and less LW night fighter activity present

    E `
     
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    The general figure would be around 50 percent for the 1944 period. This figure was not told to the crews otherwise they would never have signed up. The figure is debatable whether comprising Mias and pows because some of these returned after 1945, others didn't and some MIAs were in fact pows, others evaded and although thye returned safe, they did not go on ops again. Others were wounded several times, so were thye accounted for twice etc.. ? On the whole 50.000 bomber command airmen were lost during WWII.
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Skipper you mention general rule...........is this from the Archiv's or references ? am real curious as I tired way back in the 1960's to gather info's just on how many RAF heavies were lost %'s and then in went Mossies and other low flyers, etc. In regards to my cousins victory claims and his demise with the LW NF force. ~ some 7300 Allied a/c both night and day are confirmed shot down by the LW NF's, who knows on the Flak and of course the many odd accidents befalling the barve RAF crewmen.

    chances that a LW NF with SM from mid August 43 till end of 44 was going to get you was real strong
     
  5. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    My book states over 55,000 bomber crew died and using the average figure of 7 men per bomber you get 7,857 bombers lost.
    It also says during the offensives of 1943-1944 less than 25 out of 100 would survive their tour of 30 operations.

    From "A Thousand Shall Fall" by Murray Peden A very good book on life as a bomber pilot in the RAF.
     
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I found this in Brute Force by John Ellis, c1990, pg 221.

    He states that roughly 125,000 men served as aircrew for Bomber Command with 59,423 KIA or MIA and presumed dead - a casualty rate of 47.5%. If WIAs are included, the percentage rate rises to 54.3%.

    Ellis further states that in the period up to D-Day, they endured a fatality rate of around 65%. After that, numbers of aircrew and aircraft increased, such that the percentage of crews lost per mission decreased, but not necessarily the total number.

    On down in the paragraph Ellis adds that several writers have compared the "slaughter of Bomber Command with the carnage on the Western Front of WWI." As an example, he references the battalions of the Scots Guards, both of which spent the entire war, 1914-18 on the Western Front and endured a total (KIA, MIA & WIA) loss rate of 53.9%. However, the ratio of KIA was half that of Bomber Command at 24.8%. In other words, you had a slightly higher chance of being hit if you were a Tommy in 1916 than Airman in 1944, but you stood twice as bad a chance of being killed if you were the airman.

    The irony of these numbers was that Arthur Harris became "attached to the idea of strategic bombing because he specifically wanted to avoid a repetition of the bloody stalemates on the Somme and Passchendaele." In the 1930s, he wrote of "morons" volunteering to get "hung in the wire and shot in the stomach in the mud of Flanders." All the while, aircrews continued to go their deaths in very high numbers.

    Don't think I am picking on the RAF, the USAAF endured very similar casualty rates. Total number losses in each of the deep pentrations daylight raids in late 1944 and early 1945 were comparable to the Regensburg and Schweinfurt raids of 1943 that nearly, at the time, crippled the US 8th Air Force. The only difference is that the later years, three to four times as many aircraft were participating in each mission (1000 to 1200 in 1945 vs 376 in 1943) so the percentage lost was acceptably low, in the 3-6% range, instead of 25% as was lost at Schweinfurt and Regensburg.
     
  7. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    you guys are proving my point on % speculations and sadly the quotes used are causing a rise in the numbers ............ I've been in contact with so-called experts on the % rates of loses of crews and A/C of the 8th AF heavy bombers. there is no complete pictured answered, too many derivatives, plus too many references
     
  8. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    The British do know how many bombers came out of the factories and they would know how many they had left at the end of any day per squadron. They would also know how many pilots and crews were in Bomber Command during the war and how many survived, so put the two together and you can get the numbers. All you have to do is set the values for how you want your numbers to look like, such as only killed on operations, killed in training, killed testing an aircraft, killed in a ground accident, wounded and later died, lost due to lack of moral fiber, landed in Sweden, ect. ect.

    If you just make it all bombers lost during the war to all causes, the number should be easy to get. :explosion3:
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I added conditions and said it was debatable. But if you make an average of Slips figures you"ll get the ones I read. Chorley says 55.000 thousand by the way. In a nutshell figures run from 50.000 to 59.000.
     
  10. 156Squadron

    156Squadron Member

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    Leslie

    Welcome to Forum, bit of a baptism of fire?

    The posts so far do not seem to be answering your question, i.e. the COMPARABLE loss rate between Pathfinder Crews and other bomber Squadrons?

    For the benefit of others I will post the answer from my forum:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    As you would expect, I only have stats for 156 Sqn, see

    Perio01 - Crew Losses by month

    Perio01 - Sorties by month

    A very subjective question actually, as it depends during what period you were flying. As you can see, from Dec 43 to Mch 44, the so called Battle of Berlin, was an extremely dangerous period.

    To add more complexity to any comparison you need to take into account the targets being attacked. Some groups had a harder target set than others.

    When I get a chance I will do a chart by target, I already know which target will head the list though viz: Berlin.

    ----------------------------------------

    So guys what of the COMPARATIVE figures, was it more dangerous to be in PFF force?
    Logic tells me that it was, but I have seen some fairly horrific stats from other Squadrons.

    Given that the PFF were better trained and probably better equipped, did that offset the additional dangers that they faced.

    The losses in some of the Halifax and Stirlings in 3 & 4 Group in 1943 were horrendous.

    So..........



    Robin 156 Squadron = Pathfinder Force
     
  11. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    True , most crews wanted to fly in a Lanc, but they were not available for all. Worse some squadrons, such as the 300 Polish squadron, were given the old beat up Lancs with less material than others. The Wellinton losses were high. I wonder if there are any Mnachester figures available depiste the small number amount of lost aircrafts of this type.
     
  12. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    ah re-read her question again 156th, she asked the bomber crew looses for both not on a separate basis. I still see much too high a disparity in losses in the 50,000 range.

    no matter we can argue all we want, in true regards it was ghastly

    well I hope she returns for comment(s) and have her father pop on with his first person thoughts a we have all had the pleasure of the Campbells
     
  13. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Now we're talking Erich, nothing is better than a first hand testimony.
     
  14. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    yes then we can help research into his background missions and then ........... ? well it's all about understanding and helping in return :D
     
  15. Zwingli

    Zwingli Member

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    Thank you all for your comments. Perhaps my question was not clear however these are some stats I have received from another forum post.

    125,000 flew with Bomber Command, 55,573 were killed.

    Survival rate with bomber command was about 14 operations, and with Pathfinders about 7.

    Other information, apparently compiled after the war were basically that out of 100 airmen, 51 would be killed on operations, while a further 9 would be killed in Britain, while training, taking off and/or landing/returning from ops.

    Kind regards

    Leslie
     
  16. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I am curious Leslie what the 7 for the Pathfinders is based on ? due to combat losses, i.e. Night fighters or most probably Flak ?
     
  17. Zwingli

    Zwingli Member

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    Hello Erich

    I would say likely due to all three. The reason for the heavier losses, according to my father was that the Pathfinders were required to fly straight and level into the target for about 5 minutes, regardless of ground defenses, flak, night fighters etc. which made them a far easier target.
     
  18. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    let me throw in a short comment.....yes I agree,

    the LW NF veterans I have interviewed of course were well aware of the Pathfinder duties and tried to seek them out. In all due course upon the excellent RAF crews this was not achieved in 90 % of the cases. the LW crews had to deal with RAF bomber formations if we want to call them that as they came upon them via ground and airborne radar control, generally speaking somewhere in the middle of the route, sometimes tail end as the bomber stream came into Germany or left the target area for home
     
  19. Zwingli

    Zwingli Member

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    Erich, that also coincides with information my father has given me. He also said you had to be very aware of the Lancasters around you as on occasion, the LW would put a captured Lancaster back into the bomber stream. He stated it was not uncommon to be followed home to England by fighters and actually be shot up as you were in the stream for landing at home base.

    I have also posted a reply to the newcomers site with respect to comments regarding my father providing first hand accounts.

    Regards

    Leslie
     
  20. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Leslie as you are welcomed heartedly by our little band of members may I ask if it is possible and not wishing to detract from your forthcoming work on your father, may we hear from him/you on his last mission during the night he was shot down by the NJG 1 Bf 110G-4 pilot........... ?

    I for one am really interested in his thoughts of this encounter on the night of the August 1943 mission. Dr. Boiten is a marvelous resource of which you cannot go wrong..........let me edit this question

    read the item of being shot down on 156th sq web-site. So Leslie doe your father think or did he think at the time it was the crew from the Ju 88G that took his Lanc out ?...pointed at the bottom of the story page

    E ~
     

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