10124 U.S.A.A.F. Heavy Bomber Gunner, 1942-45

W. Britains

U.S.A.A.F. Heavy Bomber Gunner, 1942-45

The most dangerous assignment in the most dangerous job of crewing a bomber was that of a gunner. And of all the gunner’s positions the absolute most dangerous was that of the waist gunner. Manning these crucial battle stations, the two waist gunners were situated back-to-back making it an awkward and challenging duty. And because a bomber’s profile offers a large and inviting target, the mortality rate for these fliers was a staggering 19 percent. Overall, U.S. bomber crews had a 20 percent mortality rate, 50 times higher than the U.S. infantry in the ETO. The rates of injury and capture were also higher among bomber crews, more than in any other area of military service.

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