B-29 Losses

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by DerAdlerIstGelandet, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Does anyone know the B-29 losses for WW2?

    How many were shot down by Enemy Aircraft if any?

    How many were shot down by FLAK?

    How many were lost due to mechanical failure?

    How many were lost due to other such as weather or pilot error?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I believe there were only about 300 B-29 losses due to enemy actions during WW2 - I'll try to find more info...
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I found a site that indicates 371 looses from the Marianas, here's a table that has additional losses..

    Army Air Forces in World War II

    The chart showing "Very Heavy Bombers" for the 20th AF it's safe to assume that this indicates B-29s
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Dont forget the B29's were also flying in the CBI theater.

    When I get home tonight I will look at the loss's and see what I can find out.
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Cool thanks for the info. I did not think it was a lot. It would neat to see though how many were shot down by enemy fighters, flak, etc.
     
  6. DaveB.inVa

    DaveB.inVa Member

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    Bob Mann's book shows 136 XX Bomber Command losses but doesnt have a tally for the XXI Bomber Command. I could go through the entire serial number list and count em all but at the time that seems like too much effort. Bob's book has a list of circumstances for each B-29 but it doesnt go into great detail as to flak, fighters and such. It only indicates where it was lost, youll see lines like ditched north of Guam, exploded over Tokyo, hit by falling bomb, lost over Osaka. Rarely youll see stuff like flak, fighters and such. Its in there but not a lot. If you have any questions as far as specific B-29's Ill look up what I can for you though.
     
  7. Udet

    Udet Banned

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    Mr. flyboy, hi.

    I would not say the number of B-29s lost in action was low. We talk about
    +/-360 bombers lost; such number should be compared with the total number of bombers who reached service in the PTO.

    If I recall correctly, the vast majority of missions flown by the super-fortress before having the Marianas available as base were comprised of small number of bombers never reaching 100 planes; a very distant thing when compared to the massed formations of B-17s and B-24s flying over Germany during the same period. (We of course know the differences between both enemy targets and the quality of the air defences).

    The fleets of raiders certainly surpassed the 100 planes when operations from the Marianas were commenced in late 1944 (November).

    So some rough 360 B-29´s lost in action will not represent a low casualty rate; sustainable of course, but it was not low.

    Cheers!
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Greetings!

    I could agree with you when you look at the numbers up front but considering these looses span from the spring of 1944 to August 1945 and some of the mission were flown at low level (8,000 feet) they are low. Most big B-29 raids hosted about 100 aircraft. The biggest B-29 raid I know of was one of the first Tokyo fire bombing raids which fielded over 300 aircraft at low level. Attached is a table showing 20th AF losses during the period, the numbers reflect the heaviest periods of bombing prior to August 6.

    I believe by the war's end there were 1000 B-29 in the Pacific, 350+ combat losses for this period ranged about 10% depending on the raid (May 1945 saw 91 B-29s lost, the highest loss month of it's deployment). With that a second chart showing losses by month which is a small percentage when compared to the ETO.

    I think the final key here is more was done with less because of the weapon - that being the B-29...

    BTW 3943 B-29s were built, 562 were lost, including 35 in Korea and these were all causes, combat and "other". If I do my math correctly that shows about a 14% attrition rate (about 10% combat) - not bad for an aircraft that served in 2 wars, fought jets, was the first sword of the Strategic Air Command (which meant being ready to fly 24-7 and continually training for that) and served until 1959.

    (I uploaded one chart, go to the link to see the other data)

    Army Air Forces in World War II
     

    Attached Files:

  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Thanks for all the info guys. I will have to get that book as well.
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I found some info on the losses.

    http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/aafsd/aafsd_pdf/t165.pdf

    20th Bomber Command
    80 total, with 22 due to fighters, 7 from AAA and 51 from "other"
    breakdown by year is:
    1944 70 total, with 20 due to fighters, 5 from AAA and 45 from "other"
    1945 10 total, with 2 due to fighters, 2 from AAA and 6 from "other"

    21st Bomber Command
    334 total, with 52 due to fighters, 47 from AAA, 19 from fighter/AAA and 216 from "other"
    breakdown by year is:
    1944 25 total, with 4 due to fighters, 1 from AAA, and 20 from "other"
    1945 309 total, with 48 due to fighters, 46 from AAA, 19 from fighter/AAA and 196from "other"
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Same report different site...

    A good portion of those "other" losses were due to weather and mechanical failure.

    That site you used is excellent for research.....
     
  12. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Of course its a great site. You found it and let us know about it!

    :lol:
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    :thumbright:
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  15. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    The thing Im amazed about is how many losses were fewer compared to B-24s and B17s. Then again, The B-17 and B-24 were used in both theaters of the war while the B-29 was used in one.
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Also look at how long they were in service for. The B-29 did not start bombing Japan until mid 1944.

    German AA guns were better as well and the Luftwaffe was able to put more up to meet the bombers than the Japs were able to.
     
  17. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    I know. FLAK 88s as well as good interceptors manage to tear up American bombers by the dozens!
     
  18. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    Well its my understanding B-29 was able to fly to a higher ceiling than anything the Japs had.
     
  19. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    But they didn't, most of the B-29 raids on Japan were low level firebombing raids...
     
  20. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    During the daylight hours, the attacks were from high altitudes. Daylight raids still occured with regularity throughout the campaign. There was no single doctrine of "only" nighttime raids.
     
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