Post-20: Ten U.S. Bombers

The April 10th issue of the Korea Herald  has a curious listing on its “Today in History” section:

1945: German Me 262 jet fighters shoots  [sic] down 10 U.S. bombers near Berlin


Germany’s Me-262 “Sparrow”
I lived in Berlin for six months. I’ve sometimes wondered what it was like to be there in April of ’45. But my real question is: Why would a detail of the action of WWII, like this, qualify for anyone’s “Today in History”?

Some googling leads me to several possible answers: (1) The Me-262 was the world’s first jet aircraft, (2) losing ten bombers on a single day may have been a very high one-day loss, (3) maybe whoever chose this factoid simply wanted to note that the Germans still had it together enough at such a late date to manage to shoot down ten in one go-’round

On #2: According to this, the U.S. 8th Air Force, which flew bombers against Germany, lost 4,145 bombers in the war.

The 8th flew Mission #1 on 17 August 1942 when 12 B-17s attacked Rouen Marshalling yards and the last mission on 8 May 1945 Mission #986, when 12 B-17s dropped leaflets in Germany.

If the USA lost 4,145 bombers in the time period above-delineated, that comes to 4.2 bombers lost per day. Losing ten on one day (April 10th, ’45) is not particularly dramatic. Again according to this, the highest single-day bomber loss was in 1943, when 60 were lost in one day.


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