Published May 17, 2018
USAAF Heavy Bomber Cost
Starting with only a theory and a handful of aircraft, the USAAF faced early setbacks and devastating losses. Still, heavy bomber crews time and time again resolutely fought through enemy defenses to hit their targets. With their courage and sacrifice, the USAAF created a massive, unstoppable bomber force that crippled the enemy and played a decisive role in defeating Nazi Germany.
USAAF Strategic Bombing Campaign Accomplishments:
Defeated the Luftwaffe and gained air superiority over Europe, which permitted the successful and critical D-Day invasion.
Compelled the Luftwaffe to move fighters and antiaircraft guns from the battlefront to defend its homeland against bomber attack.
Forced Nazi Germany to commit enormous resources to repair damage and disperse its production.
Paralyzed German military operations with attacks on oil and transportation sectors.
USAAF Heavy Bomber Cost:
30,000+ heavy bomber crewmen killed.
30,000+ heavy bomber crewmen captured.
10,000+ heavy bomber crewmen wounded.
8,000+ heavy bombers lost in combat.
Related Fact Sheets
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Memphis Belle Crew
The “Memphis Belle” and Nose Art
26th Mission: War Bond Tour
“Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress”
Heavy Bomber “Firsts”
Combat Aircraft to Museum Artifact
Crippling the Nazi War Machine: USAAF Strategic Bombing in Europe
Early Operations (1942 to mid-1943) - Eighth Air Force in England
Ninth/Twelfth Air Forces in the Mediterranean
Combat Box/Communication and Life at 25K
Keeping them Flying: Mechanics and Armorers
Combined Bomber Offensive: Summer 1943 to Victory
Bigger Raids, Bigger Losses, and Crisis
Deadly Skies over Europe (Luftwaffe defense)
Bomber Crew Protection
Operation Tidalwave (Ploesti, 1 Aug 43)
Regensburg/Schweinfurt (17 Aug 43)
Black Thursday/Schweinfurt (14 Oct 43)
Fifteenth Air Force (created Sep 43)
Women’s Army Corps
Fighter Escort: Little Friends
Big Week (20-25 Feb 44)
Operation Frantic: Shuttle Raids to the Soviet Union
Strategic Bombing Victorious
Return to the B-17F Memphis Belle Fact Sheet
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