RAF War Dead in Asia during WW2

A related post elsewhere got me searching on the casualty figures that the RAF incurred in South East Asia  cover India, Burma and the Pacific. The main source that I could fall back on was the CWGC Database .

Using CWGC, following figures could be extracted. In the SEAC Region  6,897 aircrew belonging to all common wealth air forces are commemorated.

Bangladesh 359
India 2069
Malaysia 319
Myanmar 513
Pakistan 233
Singapore 3137
Sri Lanka 267

Additionally , 2,116 are commemorated in the Asian countries of the Pacific theatre

Pacific Sector 2,116
China / Hongkong 79
Indonesia 1105
PNG 768
Thailand 164

The above does not include Australia which commemorates another 2700 names.

All these in total do not even account to 10% of the total air force loss of life in WW2 which tops out at 124,281.  53,882 of these are commemorated in just one country – the United Kingdom.

The number of 124,281 is for all losses.

Of these 70,253 seem to be on active operations. as quoted here

John Terraine in The Right of the Line gives:

‘From first to last, 1939-45, the Royal Air Force lost 70,253 officers, NCOs and airmen killed or missing on operations, the overwhelming majority of them being aircrew. This was the price of its victory, and of it by far the largest share fell to Bomber Command between Sept 1939 and May 1945: 47,268. This great number is the grim total of those lost on operations; it was the unique hazard of the airman’s trade that a further 8,305 Bomber Command aircrew lost their lives in non-operational flying – training or accident. In addition, 1,570 ground crew (RAF and WAAF) were killed or lost their lives from other causes during that period, making a full total of 57,143.’

Coastal Command suffered 9,377 lives lost as per Wikipedia

Fighter Command lost 3,690  as per Wikipedia.

Figures for North Africa,  Middle East and other non-operational training areas are still being collected.


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