Sunday, April 15, 2018

R.I.P. Art Bell 1945--2018

We are profoundly saddened with the news that the creator and original host of Coast to Coast AM, Art Bell, has passed away at the age of 72 at his home in Pahrump, Nevada.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Eye-Opening WW-II Facts

    The “Greatest Generation” sacrificed and did all of this:

    On average  6600 American service men died per MONTH , during WW2
    (about 220 a day).
    The Douglas plant in Long Beach produced a completed B-17 every 6 hours.
    People who were not around during WW2 have no understanding of the
    magnitude.  This gives some insight.
    276,000 aircraft manufactured in the US .
    43,000 planes lost overseas, including 23,000 in combat.
    14,000 lost in the continental U.S.
    The staggering cost of aircraft in 1945 dollars.
    AT-6        $22,952.        C-47      $88.574.
    B-17        $204,370.      P-38        $97,147.
    B-24      $215,516.    P-40      $44,892.
    B-25      $142,194.    P-47      $85,578.
    B-26      $192,426.    P-51      $51,572.
    B-29      $605.360      PT-17      $15,052.
    From Germany 's invasion of Poland Sept. 1, 1939  until Japan 's
    surrender on Sept. 2, 1945 = 2,433 days.
    America lost an average of 170 planes a day .
    A  B-17 carried 2,500 gallons of high octane fuel and carried a crew
    of 10 airmen.
    9.7 billion gallons of gasoline consumed.
    108 million hours flown.
    460 thousand million rounds of aircraft ammo fired overseas.
    7.9 million bombs dropped  overseas.
    2.3 million combat flights.
    299,230 aircraft used.
    808,471 aircraft engines used.
    799,972 propellers.
    Russian  Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik                36, 183
    Yakolev Yak-1,-3,-7, -9                                  31,000
    Messerschmitt Bf-109                                    30,480
    Focke-Wulf Fw-190                                        29,001
    Supermarine Spitfire                                      20,351
    Convair B-24/PB4Y Liberator/Privateer          18,482
    Republic P-47 Thunderbolt                            15,686
    North American P-51 Mustang                      15,875
    Junkers Ju-88                                                15,000
    Hawker Hurricane                                          14,533
    Curtiss P-40 Warhawk                                    13,738
    Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress                          12,731
    Vought F4U Corsair                                        12,571
    Grumman F6F Hellcat                                    12,275
    Petlyakov Pe-2                                                11,400
    Lockheed P-38 Lightning                                10,037
    Mitsubishi A6M Zero                                      10,449
    North American B-25 Mitchell                          9,984
    Lavochkin LaGG-5                                            9,920
    Grumman TBM Avenger                                    9,837
    Bell P-39 Airacobra                                          9,584
    Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar                                        5,919
    DeHavilland Mosquito                                      7,780
    Avro Lancaster                                                  7,377
    Heinkel He-111                                                  6,508
    Handley-Page Halifax                                        6,176
    Messerschmitt Bf-110                                        6,150
    Lavochkin LaGG-7                                            5,753
    Boeing B-29 Superfortress                                3,970
    Short  Stirling
    The US lost 14,903 pilots, aircrew and support personnel plus 13,873
    airplanes --- inside the continental United States .  There were
    52,651 aircraft accidents (6,039 involving fatalities) in 45 months.
    Average 1,170 aircraft accidents per month -- nearly 40 a day.
    It gets worse.....
    Almost 1,000  planes disappeared  en route from the US to foreign
    climes. But 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on
    combat missions (18,418 in Europe) and 20,633 due to non-combat causes
    In a single 376 plane raid in August 1943,  60 B-17s were shot down.
    That was a 16 percent loss rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England.
    In 1942-43, it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to
    complete the intended 25-mission tour in Europe.
    Pacific theatre losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to
    smaller forces committed. The B-29 mission against Tokyo on May 25,
    1945, cost 26 Super Fortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464 dispatched from
    the Marianas.
    On average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII,
    about 220 a day.  Over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat and
    another 18,000 wounded. Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead,
    including those  "liberated" by the Soviets but never returned.
    More than 41,000 were captured.  Half of the 5,400 held by the
    Japanese died in captivity, compared with one-tenth in German hands.
    Total combat casualties were  121,867.
    The US forces peak strength was in 1944 with 2,372,000 personnel,
    nearly twice the previous year's figure.
    Losses were huge -- but so were production totals. From 1941 through
    1945, American industry delivered more than 276,000 military aircraft.
    That was not only for US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but also for
    allies as diverse as Britain, Australia, China and Russia.
    Our enemies took massive losses. Through much of 1944, the Luftwaffe
    sustained hemorrhaging of 25% of aircrews and 40 planes a month.
    Experience Level:
    Uncle Sam sent many men to war with minimum training. Some fighter
    pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than 1 hour in their assigned
    The 357th Fighter Group (The Yoxford Boys) went to England in late
    1943 having trained on P-39s, then flew Mustangs. They never saw a
    Mustang until the first combat mission.
    With the arrival of new aircraft, many units transitioned in combat.
    The attitude was, "They all have a stick and a throttle. Go fly 'em."
    When the famed 4th Fighter Group converted from P-47s to P-51s in Feb
    44, there was no time to stand down for an orderly transition. The
    Group commander, Col. Donald  Blakeslee, said,  "You can learn to
    fly 51s on the way to the target."
    A future P-47 ace said, "I was sent to England to die." Many bomber
    crews were still learning their trade. Of Jimmy Doolittle's 15 pilots
    on the April 1942  Tokyo raid, only five had won their wings before
    1941. All but one of the 16 co-pilots were less than a year out of
    flight school.
    In WW2, safety took a back seat to combat. The AAF's worst accident
    rate was recorded by the A-36 Invader version of the P-51: a
    staggering 274 accidents per 100,000 flying hours. Next worst were the
    P-39 at 245, the P-40 at 188, and the P-38 at 139. All were Allison
    Bomber wrecks were fewer but more expensive. The B-17 and B-24
    averaged 30 and 35 accidents per 100,000 flight hours respectively --
    a horrific figure considering that from 1980 to 2000 the Air Force's
    major mishap rate was less than 2.
    The B-29 was even worse at 40 per 100,000 hours; the world's most
    sophisticated, most capable and most expensive bomber was too urgently
    needed to be able to stand down for mere safety reasons.
    (Compare:  when a $2.1 billion B-2 crashed in 2008, the Air Force
    declared a two-month "safety pause").
    The B-29 was no better for maintenance. Although the R3350 was known
    as a complicated, troublesome power-plant, only half the mechanics had
    previous experience with it.
    Perhaps the greatest success story concerned Navigators. The Army
    graduated some 50,000 during WW2.
    Many had never flown out of sight of land before leaving "Uncle Sugar"
    for a war zone. Yet they found their way across oceans and continents
    without getting lost or running out of fuel - a tribute to the AAF's
    At its height in mid-1944, the USAAF had 2.6 million people and nearly
    80,000 aircraft of all types.
    Today the US Air Force employs 327,000 active personnel (plus 170,000
    civilians) with 5,500+ manned and perhaps 200 unmanned aircraft.
    That's about 12% of the manpower and 7% of the airplanes of the WW2
    Another war like that of 1939-45 is doubtful, as fighters and bombers
    have given way to helicopters and remotely-controlled drones, e.g.
    over Afghanistan and Iraq. But within our living memory, men left the
    earth in 1,000-plane formations and fought major battles five miles
    high, leaving a legacy that remains timeless.

Sunday, April 01, 2018