Sunday, January 27, 2008

Eighth Air Force Facts

These were sent to me by 95th Bomb Group bombardier Maurice Rockett, and come from the Eighth Air Force News.

Eighth Air Force Comparative Statistics:

At its peak, the Eighth Air Force had over 200,000 officers and men.

At its peak, it numbered 40.5 heavy bomb groups, 15 fighter groups, and 2 Photo Recon Groups operating from bases in the United Kingdom.

At this peak strength, a typical mission consisted of 1,400 heavy bombers escorted by 800 fighters, consuming 3,500,000 gallons of fuel, expending 250,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition, destroying 25 German aircraft in the air and on the ground for the loss of 4 United States fighters and five bombers, and dropping 3,300 tons of bombs on enemy targets while on visual missions. 40% fell within one thousand feet of assigned Mean Point of Impacts and 75% within 2,000 feet.

Behing these figures are the combat crews and fighter pilots who fought in the skies.

46,456 became casualties.
14 were awarded the Medal of Honor.
220 were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
11 were awarded Distinguished Service Medals.
207 were awarded Legions of Merit.
817 were awarded Silver Stars.
41,497 were awarded Distinguished Service Crosses.
478 were awarded Soldier's Medals.
6,845 were awarded Purple Hearts.
122,705 were awarded Air Medals.
2,972 were awarded Bronze Stars.
28,000 were awarded POW Medals.

In addition, none could have flown without the maintainence and ground personnel, who repaired 59,644 battle-damaged aircraft, loaded 732,231 tons of bombs, and linked and loaded 99,256,341 rounds of ammunition.

Incidentally, Maurice has a Purple Heart, an Air Medal, and a Distinguished Flying Cross. He lost an eye on a mission aboard a B-17. Maurice is one of my top guys for sending good information for this blog. Thanks, Maurice!

Maurice Rockett upon graduation from Bombardier school.


Les said...

Such a great post and sent by a great man! I really enjoy your blog and reading Maurice's emails. Maurice and Grace are so sharp at 86 it makes me wonder what they were like in their early 20s. Keep up the great work both of you. Thanks! -Les

r morris said...

I agree, Les. Maurice and Grace prove the adage that you're only as old (or young) as you feel. I love 'em both.

Anonymous said...

Proud to be of the same name - I am a Rockett from TIPPERARY IN IRELAND,there is a long history of Rocketts in the military on this side of the Atlantic but not as distinguished as Maurice (to my knowledge), what a survivor,real true grit with humility and dignity - a real man.
God Bless,
Best Regards
Patrick Rockett