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Epilogue: Sacrifice and Victory

USAAF Heavy Bomber Cost

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


The Memphis Belle: American Icon and 25th Mission

Crippling the Nazi War Machine: USAAF Strategic Bombing in Europe




Return to the B-17F Memphis Belle Fact Sheet

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