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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 29th May 2013, 10:38
tcolvin tcolvin is offline
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Bomber Command aircraft losses

The number of BC aircraft destroyed has apparently undergone a significant revision.
Dizzy Allen quoted 8,325 losses; Fahy has 8,403, but the website http://www.elsham.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/raf_bc/ claims to have the details of 14,194 aircraft and crews lost by Bomber Command, comprising 12,853 squadron aircraft, 958 from Operational Training Units and 125 from the Heavy Conversion Units.
Does anyone have an explanation?
And presumably this number does not include uncrewed BC aircraft destroyed on the ground.

The same website states that the groundcrew:aircrew ratio was greater than 10:1. So if in March 1943 there were 8,300 aircrew (1,189 heavies x 7 aircrew) and in April 1945 there were 18,963 aircrew (2,709 heavies x 7), then groundcrew could have numbered 100,000 in 1943 and 200,000 in 1945. Is this the best possible estimate?
source for aircraft numbers is the order of battle given on http://www.hellzapoppin.demon.co.uk/battleorder45.htm
Tony
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Old 29th May 2013, 10:55
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Bomber Command aircraft losses

A rule of thumb has been that about as many aircraft were lost in training as in combat, so this suggests that the 8,000+ losses are combat losses and the 14,000+ total. In which case I suspect it does include those lost on the ground. However, without proper definitions it's impossible to judge on such limited information.
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Old 29th May 2013, 15:09
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Bill Walker Bill Walker is offline
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Re: Bomber Command aircraft losses

I agree with Graham. I have recently read that Bomber Command was very reluctant to classify aircraft as a combat loss: if an aircraft was damaged in combat but crashed in the UK (say on landing) it was not counted as a combat loss, but rather as a non-operational loss. I wonder if the new numbers include these?
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