Feb. 20-25, 1944: "The Big Week" During "The Big Week," 3,300 bombers were dispatched from England and 500 from Italy, with 137 of the former and 89 of the latter being lost. Also, 28 AAF fighters were shot down by the enemy (by both flak and interceptors) in desperate defense of the hinterland. The number of U.S. personnel killed, missing and seriously wounded totaled 2,600, but 75 percent of the buildings attacked in the German aircraft industrial system were destroyed. In addition, 600 Luftwaffe airplanes were claimed as destroyed in vicious air battles over Germany. Click here to return to the World War II Gallery. Find Out More Related Fact Sheets AAF Fighter Escort Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.