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.
"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.