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Posted: 6/16/2009 12:24:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 12:24:40 PM EST by drop_zone]
We had a disscussion at work. A coworkers dad was shot down and taken POW. He was on his 46th mission. I thought I read somewhere it was 50 missions and the luckey guy was stateside bound. I cant find any info and forgot where I read it.
Post a link if you can
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:25:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 12:26:29 PM EST by SamColt]
I thought it was 25

ETA: Memphis Belle
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:25:46 PM EST
Wasn't it 25 missions, I used to work with an old fella that was a navigator on a B-17, seem to remember he told me 25.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:26:18 PM EST
25, I believe, few made it.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:27:46 PM EST
I believe it was 25 also
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:27:58 PM EST
The number kept increasing as the war went on, if I remember correctly.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:28:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 12:28:26 PM EST by Mountain_Snipe]
25 for bombers, they later changed it to 30.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:28:57 PM EST
25 was for bomber crews. 50 for fighter pilots. Not sure about other AC types.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:30:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By Dr_Dickie:
The number kept increasing as the war went on, if I remember correctly.


Catch 22 ?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:31:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By Dr_Dickie:
The number kept increasing as the war went on, if I remember correctly.



This.


Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:43:58 PM EST
Started out at 25 and went up from there as the war progressed. Jimmy Stewart flew something like 52 missions as a bomber pilot. The Eight Air Force suffered some 47,000 casualties in WWII. Over 26,000 killed. There were some 8,400 casualties on D-Day. In the bombing campaign leading up to D-Day the combined air forces suffered some 12,500 casualties. Being fly boy was not all it was cracked up to be.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:47:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Started out at 25 and went up from there as the war progressed. Jimmy Stewart flew something like 52 missions as a bomber pilot. The Eight Air Force suffered some 47,000 casualties in WWII. Over 26,000 killed. There were some 8,400 casualties on D-Day. In the bombing campaign leading up to D-Day the combined air forces suffered some 12,500 casualties. Being fly boy was not all it was cracked up to be.

Army Air Corp or whatever it was called was a different animal then than the airforce we have now with complete air superiority in most conflicts we face today.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:49:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 12:50:07 PM EST by Fuggit]
My FIL was a tail gunner in a B-24 for 50 missions. Then he came home. We have his original log books.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:54:30 PM EST
If the loss rate was 1 in 3 and few ever survived long enough for 25 missions what was the point of raising the limit? To drop moral even more?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:54:30 PM EST
25 was correct. My Grandfather was a tail gunner in a b-26 over north Africa and Italy. He flew in 68 missions. We just found his flight records as well.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:57:49 PM EST
The dad of a woman I work with was shot down over Germany. He was an officer and his first name was Adolf

No shit. Ze Germans apparently got a kick out of it.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 12:58:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By DragoMuseveni:
If the loss rate was 1 in 3 and few ever survived long enough for 25 missions what was the point of raising the limit? To drop moral even more?


Stop/Loss ?





Bill
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 1:01:50 PM EST
Yep, you were more likely to die in the Army Air Corps than in Bastogne or Iwo Jima.

But would it be worth it if you got to sleep in clean sheets, a warm bunk, and could go to the pub?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 1:02:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 1:03:12 PM EST by ArmyInfantryVet]

Originally Posted By capnrob97:
25, I believe, few made it.

+1

it was safer to be a grunt, fighting on the ground in WWII than to fly in those bombers.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 1:34:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By DragoMuseveni:
If the loss rate was 1 in 3 and few ever survived long enough for 25 missions what was the point of raising the limit? To drop moral even more?




Flying missions late in the war was a LOT diferent than the beginning of the daylight bombing campaign. IIRC,statistically,the most you could expect to survive was 11-13 missions in the beginning stages.

Later when the Luftwaffe was broken down and no longer as much of a threat,and as the numbers of escort fighters increased with protection to the target and back,it was much safer.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 2:50:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Started out at 25 and went up from there as the war progressed. Jimmy Stewart flew something like 52 missions as a bomber pilot. The Eight Air Force suffered some 47,000 casualties in WWII. Over 26,000 killed. There were some 8,400 casualties on D-Day. In the bombing campaign leading up to D-Day the combined air forces suffered some 12,500 casualties. Being fly boy was not all it was cracked up to be.


That just blows me away RIP

Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:01:18 PM EST
My great uncle flew 38 missions. That was in a B-24 at the end of 44 beginning of 45 with the 8th air.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:37:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By DragoMuseveni:
If the loss rate was 1 in 3 and few ever survived long enough for 25 missions what was the point of raising the limit? To drop moral even more?

When the bombers were going out with no escorts, it was a big thing for a crew to make 25 missions.

After the bombers were getting effective escort from P-47s and P-51s, and the Luftwaffe was outmatched, bomber losses went down enough that mission requirements went up.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:15:42 PM EST
1. I saw a lecture a few weeks ago by guy who did 24 missions and was complete. Many of those missions were late in the war and over Berlin.

2. I have been to the National Archives in College Park, MD and seen the original records of Jimmy Stewart's group. Pretty fascinating. The records were all stamped "Top Secret".
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:17:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mountain_Snipe:
25 for bombers, they later changed it to 30.


Yup. I was reading a book about B-17's a couple of months ago and it was 25 then they switched it to 30.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:26:57 PM EST
Most don't realize what a blood bath the air war in WW II was. One third of all British war dead was RAF Bomber Command. And that was just in NW Europe.

Started at 25 for bomber crews and went up as the war progressed and as we gained air superiority.

There was no limit in the Luftwaffe. You flew until the war ended or you did.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:36:50 PM EST
The bomber loss rate varied over the course of the war. The RAF considered their maximum acceptable rate of attrition to be about 5% per mission. Raids on Berlin often had attrition rates of high single digits to over 10%. If the overall attrition rate was 3% per mission, you'd have about a 50/50 chance of making it to 25 missions.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:55:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By drop_zone:
We had a disscussion at work. A coworkers dad was shot down and taken POW. He was on his 46th mission. I thought I read somewhere it was 50 missions and the luckey guy was stateside bound. I cant find any info and forgot where I read it.
Post a link if you can



Colonel Cathcart raised it to 50 missions at one point....If you read it somewhere....Heller's book may have been the place....

Otherwise I believe it was 25 like people above posted.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:59:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By Yossarian:
Originally Posted By drop_zone:
We had a disscussion at work. A coworkers dad was shot down and taken POW. He was on his 46th mission. I thought I read somewhere it was 50 missions and the luckey guy was stateside bound. I cant find any info and forgot where I read it.
Post a link if you can



Colonel Cathcart raised it to 50 missions at one point....If you read it somewhere....Heller's book may have been the place....
Otherwise I believe it was 25 like people above posted.

Nice post Yossarian. That's quite a catch, that "catch 22."


Link Posted: 6/17/2009 1:02:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By DragoMuseveni:
If the loss rate was 1 in 3 and few ever survived long enough for 25 missions what was the point of raising the limit? To drop moral even more?


Germans were losing planes faster then we were. Causality rates for our guys were dropping. It made sense to extend the limit since more and more were able to complete the missions.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 1:09:41 PM EST
In the 8th Air Force it changed as time went on and German defenses diminished..

My dad was in one of the first crews to finish 30 missions.

I believe it ended at 35 but I could be wrong.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 1:09:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By geegee:
Originally Posted By Yossarian:
Originally Posted By drop_zone:
We had a disscussion at work. A coworkers dad was shot down and taken POW. He was on his 46th mission. I thought I read somewhere it was 50 missions and the luckey guy was stateside bound. I cant find any info and forgot where I read it.
Post a link if you can



Colonel Cathcart raised it to 50 missions at one point ....If you read it somewhere....Heller's book may have been the place....
Otherwise I believe it was 25 like people above posted.

Nice post Yossarian. That's quite a catch, that "catch 22."



I had never read Catch 22 until a friend had sent it to me while I was in Baghdad.

I read it, and a couple weeks later when we were just a few days from getting on a bird and going home, the Surge started, and we got extended from 12 months to 15 months....I laughed at the irony.


Link Posted: 6/17/2009 1:57:20 PM EST
Initially it was 25 missions for bomber crews and 100 missions for fighter pilots. My dad flew Jugs - P47 Thunderbolts. He was shot down on his 71st mission and sent to Stalag Luft 1 at Barth Germany. In Korea, he flew an additional 101 missions in the F80.
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