STATISTICS – 8th Air Force


In the earliest months, crewmen of the Mighty Eighth had a life expectancy of just 6 to 8 missions.

Only 1 in 3 would complete the required 25 missions (later 30 and then 35) and be sent home to the hero’s welcome they deserved.

A total of 350,000 men served in the 8th AF of which about 225,000 were air crewmen.
There were 26,000 airmen killed in action
28,000 became prisoners of war.

The 8th AF was never turned back from a target by enemy action.

On average, almost 4 percent of the bomber force were killed or missing in action on each mission.

A remarkable fact about the men of the Mighty 8th was that most of them knew, each time they climbed into their planes, what their chances were of coming back uninjured.  The statistics were gloomy.

Typically, there are 4 wounded to every man killed in war; here the numbers are reversed – 4 killed for every man wounded – a chilling detail about the dangers of air combat.