Sorties Flown

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Garyt, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Garyt

    Garyt Member

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    Does anyone know of a source that gives Sorties flown, preferably by type of plane, for both Axis and Allies in the different theatres of WW2?

    I would think this would give us an idea to a point how outnumbered at various stages of the war the different airforces were.

    How many planes/pilots is helpful - but I would think a better indication would be sorties flown, and an idea where these sorties were flown scecifically. Now if the mission type would be available (which I doubt) that would even be more helpful.
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    The Army Air Forces Statistical Digest give sorties for the USAAF.

    For the entire war in theaters versus Germany:
    ETO: 1,034.052
    MTO: 659,513
    Total: 2,362,800

    For the entire war in theaters versus Japan:
    POA: 59,101
    FEAF: 415,979
    CBI: 148,029
    Alaska: 7,318
    20th AF: 38,808
    Total: 669,235

    That is from Table 118, Combat Sorties Flown, By Theater, Dec 1941 to Aug 1945. POS is Pacific Ocean Area. FEAF is Far East Air Force. CBI is China-Burma-India. The 20th Air Force flew B-29’s. It also covers tons of bombs dropped, airplane losses, victories, and such things.

    I have a spreadsheet with the data in it compiled after years of looking.

    There is a report called Naval Aviaton Combat Statistics for WWII that compiles similar data for the Navy and Marines.

    If you check: BC - Group Stats, you can find some sortie data for the UK.

    If you check: Strategic bombing during World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, there are some data on USAAF and RAF bombing and sorties. Also: Strategic bombing during World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and WW2 RAF Bomber Command Stats, WW2 RAF Bomber Command Stats, and a book called Osprey Combat Aircraft (31) Lancaster Squadrons 1942 – 43 by John Lake, and 2002, Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II © 1946/47, 1989, and BC - Group Stats.

    You might check: Jan J. Safarik: Air Aces Home Page for victories. Another great source is Francis Dean’s America’s Hundred Thousand. Here is a chart I compiled for the USA:

    Kills.jpg

    Finally the USAAF Statistical Digest has some good data for the USA. There are more, but these are a great start.
     
  3. Garyt

    Garyt Member

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    Great Info, Greg. Thank you very much!
     
  4. Garyt

    Garyt Member

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    Any info on Axis sorties?
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I've been looking for a LONG time and, to date, nothing much on axis sorties for the entire war. You can find a few things on individual battles, but that isn't that same thing. I DO have a great list of aces from around the world, all but 2 or 3 countries, but axis sortie data are hard to find. Might have something to do with the bombing, but is more likely due to not wanting to pay for making a complete accounting of the war costs and statistics.

    If you win the war, the government will usually demand an accounting regardless of the expense. If you lose the war, rebuilding from the damage is more likely to have priority and going back later to account for everything might seem counter-productive to the recovery. Whoever funds it might come under some public scrutiny for re-election. Studies like that take time, funds, access to the information, and a desire to complete the effort. It all might be there except for the funding.

    I've seen some German production statistics such as numbers of aircraft built for what cost, and I have a list of German Aces and the awarded claims. But even such basic data as what type plane the victor and victim were flying are only available in small groups. For some reason I have the complete list of victories and partial sorties for people like Hartmann, Rall, and Barkhorn but the same data for the whole war proves impossible to get ... so far.

    For instance, I can find that Hartmann flew 1,404 missions of which 850 were combat missions and scored 352 victories. Barkhorn flew 1,104 missions and scored 301 victories, but I have no tally of how many missions were combat missions. Rall flew 621 combat mission and scored 275 victories but I have no tally of all missions including non-combat missions. I have Nowotny's victory list, but no tally of missions.

    So I think the data are there, but I just don't know where to find them.

    I have no desire to make anyone feel bad or good by reminding them of who won and who lost ... I just want to find the data so I can make some comparative analysis on my own. I find that many people who have managed to publish books come to what I would call incorrect conclusions, some with incorrect information listed as fact from sources that cannot be found anywhere.

    So I try my best to collect the most accurate data I can find ... until I can prove to myself that some new data are actually true, then I change the saved data and move on from there.

    I have found the US Navy combat victory awards to be head and shoulders more accurate than anything from the ETO. It has less to do with the Navy being better and much more to do with the fact that the ocean is a big place and there are only so many carriers. Encounters between aircraft were largely of the 4 on 4 up to 8 - 12 on 1 or more than to anything else. When the fights are small, keeping track is much easier than for 1,000 plane raids where 4 or 5 planes or gunners might be shooting at the same target. Even the big attacks in the Pacific usually saw no more than about 20 - 25 planes versus the resistance at any one time. Likewise if you are flying a ground attack mission with 2 - 6 A-20's, keeping track of the results is much easier than if you had a large group of aircraft all attacking at once.

    Guys like Dick Bong and Tommy McGuire usually flew in a flight of 4 maybe 2 flights of 4, and seeing the victories and losses was much easier than in the large fights in the ETO.

    So, good luck and, if you can find the data, please share it or share where you found it. It cannot be that I am the only one interested other than you in this aviation forum dedicated to WWII!

    Cheers!
     
  6. Garyt

    Garyt Member

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    Well, no luck on my part so far, and either others on this forum don't know where to look or don't share our interest :lol:
     
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