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post #11 of 12 Old 03-05-2020, 07:29 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Another dead giveaway for later models was the lack of paint.
Excellent research! The Memphis Belle's last combat mission was in May, 1943. According to the article accessed by the link posted above, the "no-paint" policy began about 1944.

Wonder if the Army Air Corps made the ground crews REMOVE all the paint from the aircraft previously painted?


The article said a B-17 took 300 pounds of paint; I bet only a fraction of the weight of the radar-absorbing "paint" on a modern-day STEALTH aircraft!

“You better put down that gun. You got two ways to go, put it down or use it. Even if you tie me, you’re gonna be dead.” "John Russell" (Paul Newman), Hombre

Last edited by Damocles; 03-05-2020 at 07:32 AM.
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-05-2020, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,416
I had a chance to fly on a B-24 Liberator down in Topeka KS last Fall but passed. I had always read they were very hard to fly and earned the nickname "The Flying Coffin" due to how many airmen they killed in training accidents. It was the plane George McGovern flew, by the way. Shortly after that, a B-17 crashed in Connecticut and killed several people. Still, had it been a B-17 in Topeka, I would have ponied up the $500 for a ride. I wasn't truly concerned about my safety on the B-24: there's just no substitute for a B-17.

Interesting fact:

"Looking at totals for the entire war is even more sobering. The U.S. suffered 52,173 aircrew combat losses. But another 25,844 died in accidents. More than half of these died in the continental U.S. The U.S. lost 65,164 planes during the war, but only 22,948 in combat. There were 21,583 lost due to accidents in the U.S., and another 20,633 lost in accidents overseas."

The 8th Air Force lost over 600 crewman in one day on a single mission: the Black Thursday raid on Schweinfurt, Germany. I highly recommend Martin Caidin's book about that raid.

Don't know if it's true or not, but I read that there were more aircraft destroyed during WWII than exist in the entire world today to include all military, commercial and private aircraft. I can easily believe it's a fact. Wikipedia states the United States alone lost 95,000 aircraft in WW2. Soviet Union lost over 106,400. So, not even counting Germany, Japan and Great Britain there, not to mention all the other countries involved.

Edit: Noted a large discrepancy between "US Aircraft Lost" statistics in this post: don't know which is accurate. Still a hell of a lot, tho.......

Last edited by planalp; 03-05-2020 at 06:27 PM.
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