Black Thursday – 70 years later

On 14 October 1943, the 8th Air Force conducted the second Schweinfurt raid. It was the most costly single raid in the history of airpower. To quote from the Wikipedia article:

“Of the 291 B-17 Flying Fortresses sent on the mission, 60 were lost outright, another 17 damaged so heavily that they had to be scrapped, and another 121 had varying degrees of battle damage. Outright losses represented over 26% of the attacking force. Losses in aircrew were equally heavy, with 650 men lost of 2,900, 22% of the bomber crews.”

“Among the most seriously affected American units was the 306th Bomb Group. It lost 100 men: 35 died on the mission or of wounds and 65 were captured. The 305th Bomb Group lost 130 men (87%), with 36 killed.”

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