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Thread: Loss Figures for Coastal Command 39-45

  1. #1
    Andrew D Bird Guest

    Default Loss Figures for Coastal Command 39-45

    I've conflicting figures for the number of aircraft / aircrew lost / wounded from Coastal Command:

    1,777 aircraft were lost, with 5,866 personnel killed in action. taken from HMSO, London, 1954

    Whilst another figure given to me by Hendon gives 10,875 lives lost. It is possible that the former figure may not have included missing personnel ? or those from the commonwealth and those that were wounded ?

    With the figure for the total loss of a/c as 2,060.

    Could anyone verify the figures ?

    Many Thanks

    Andrew Bird

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Hi Andrew
    I can't verify the figures but perhaps some of the difference could arise because the lower set is strictly for Coastal Command and the higher figure includes Bomber Command Sqns and OTUs that spent time on loan or operating for Coastal whilst still remaining the "property" of another Command. That having been said the difference seems large.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    New Zealand
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    Hendon's figures would appear to be closer to the mark.

    RNZAF Association 'News' of Autumn 1992 quoted the following figures for 'RAF Command Losses 1939-1945' (unfortunately the source is not provided):

    Ferry - 209
    Technical Training - 7345
    Transport - 1147
    WAAF - 464
    COASTAL - 9145
    Flying Training - 3863
    Army Co-operation - 634
    Bomber - 58378
    Maintenance - 662
    West Africa - 461
    Fighter - 7436
    2nd TAF - 2828
    Balloon - 499
    Middle East - 13225
    SEAC - 6182

    'The above figures total 112,478 and include all men and women lost in service of which 107,000 were RAF and Commonwealth aircrew.'

    New Zealanders serving in or on attachment to the RAF made up approx 3% of the losses of that service. For Coastal they numbered about 266 - extrapolation would give a total 8867 for Coastal; a crude calculation, admittedly, but one that comes very close to the above mentioned figure.

    On p682 of 'Flight' for 28 Jun 45 there is an item on 'Operational Sorties - bomb tonnage and aircraft losses for European and Mediterranean war theatres, 1939-45.' There is a separate table for 'Coastal Command (all bases)' giving a breakdown for 1939/1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945, which total as follows:

    Sorties* - 235,749
    Tonnage - 4778 (602 of mines) = 5380
    Aircraft Lost - 1479

    '* Does not include sorties by Bomber Command aircraft...'

    The preamble states that 'losses of aircraft now given in these tables below include not only those not previously announced...but additional losses of aircraft so badly damaged in combat that upon landing at their base or in Allied territory they were unfit for further service.' A footnote cautions that the figures 'must still be regarded as provisional and open to possible revision.'

    Presumably non op losses would bring the total aircraft lost figure up to the 2000+ mark given by Hendon.


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