casualty rates among B-17 crew

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by diddyriddick, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    I'm just curious. Has anybody seen any info on casualty rates for B-17 crews by position in the aircraft? While I have nothing to base this on other than random guessing, it seems that the ball-turret gunner was particularly vulnerable.
     
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    I've read somewhere
    that the waist gunners took the biggest hammering, I'll see if I've got it here rather than something I read off a web page
     
  3. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Ball turret and Tail were the two that I'd heard got the worst of it. Doubt you were getting out of either position once that thing entered a flat spin.
     
  4. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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  5. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    I believe in this book there is some numbers, "Gunner" ISBN 1-55046-332-2.

    From memory, it is as you say the waist gunners, with the ball turret gunner being one of the safest crew positions. Again from memory, iirc, waist gunners suffered about twice the causalities of the next crew position but then there was usually 2 waist gunners.

    The book had other interesting info like:

    Testing done by the USAAF found that the bullet pattern from a B-17 during ground testing had the following results for 12 rounds to 600yds:

    ball turret > dia. 15' - 8.3mils
    upper turret > dia. 21' - 11.7mils
    chin turret > dia. 23' - 12.6 mils
    waist(closed) dia. 26' - 14.3mils
    side nose > dia. 34' - 18.7mils
    tail turret > dia 45' - 25mils

    For the B-24 it was:

    ball turret > dia. 15' - 8.3mils
    upper turret > dia. 20' - 11.2mils
    nose turret > dia. 23' - 12.9mils (Emerson)
    nose turret > dia. 35' - 19.3mils (Motor Prod.)
    waist(closed) dia. 23' - 12.9mils
    waist(open) dia. 63' - 35.6mils
    tail turret > dia 35' - 19.3mils

    There was also data on the position attacks on the bomber came from.
     
  6. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    There's a rather upsettingly-clinical pdf out there somewhere - I'll see if I can find the link.
     
  7. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    #7 mhuxt, Aug 24, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
    Sorry can't find it, deleted off my HD too by the looks of it.

    It contained analyses of damage to bombers and their crew overall and by German weapon type (flak, assorted airborne guns).

    I felt rather ghoulish reading through it. Not my main area of interest and there was a pic of one poor fellow sans the back of his head. Made me feel like someone hanging around the scene of a fatal accident - bad mojo so deleted it.

    Probably on one of the US Air Forces own historical servers.
     
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