Good Morning Campers!
It’s Saturday and I’m on my way into work. Yeah, what else do I need to say?
Hope you enjoy today’s issue, filled with laughter and titillation of every sort. So, pour a cup of your favorite beverage, rest your tired bones and enjoy the best damn e-zine on the internet.
Two boys were walking home from Sunday school
after hearing a strong preaching on the devil.
One said to the other, ‘What do you think about
all this Satan stuff?’
The other boy replied, ‘Well, you know how
Santa Claus turned out.
It’s probably just your Dad.’
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl
whispered to her mother,
‘Why is the bride dressed in white?”
The mother replied, ‘Because white is the color
and today is the happiest day of her life.’
The child thought about this for a moment then said,
‘So why is the groom wearing black?’
Three boys are in the school yard bragging about
The first boy says, ‘My Dad scribbles a few words
on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem,
they give him $50.’
The second boy says, ‘That’s nothing. My Dad
scribbles a few words on piece of paper,
he calls it a song, they give him $100.’
The third boy says, ‘I got you both beat. My Dad
scribbles a few words on a piece of paper,
he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to
collect all the money!’
A police recruit was asked during the exam,
‘What would you do if you had to arrest your own
He answered, ‘Call for backup.’
At Sunday School they were teaching how God
created everything, including human beings.
Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they
how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs.
Later in the week his mother noticed him lying
down as though he were ill,
and she said, ‘Johnny, what is the matter?’ Little
‘I have pain in my side. I think I’m going to have
A drunk woman, stark naked, jumped into a taxi along 6th Avenue.
The Indian driver opened his eyes wide and stared at the woman. He made no attempt to start the Cab.
“What’s wrong with you Luv, haven’t you ever seen a naked woman before?”
“I’ll not be staring at you lady, I am telling you, that would not be proper, where I am coming from”.
“Well if you’re not bloody staring at me Luvie, what are you doing then?”
“Well, I am looking and looking, and I am thinking to myself, where in hell is this lady keeping the money to pay for this ride.”
“Doctor, Doctor! You’ve gotta help me!” cried the scared woman. “I have a piece of lettuce stuck in my ear!”
“That looks nasty,” commented the nurse.
“Nasty?” replied the doctor. “You haven’t seen anything yet.”
“What do you mean?” asked the nurse and alarmed patient, in unison.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg!” replied the doctor.
(Editors note: the same joke was used yesterday by Lethal Leprechaun, I leave this in to show you that, although we’ve said often that we use each other’s stuff and step on each other’s toes, we also don’t necessarily see the same joke the same way)
K² writes in to us:
Dear Lethal Leprechaun,
I heard that the Irish have solved their own fuel problem and I wanted to know if it was true and I was sure you’d be the one to know. I heard they imported 50 million tons of sand from the Arabs and they’re going to drill for their own oil. Do you know what kind of rig they are using?
Thanks to K² for this hilarious clip of an Obama Impersonator telling racist jokes at a GOP Leadership Conference
Those canal crossings get you down? Tired of having to load onto a ferry to get you and your 44 closest friends to the party? Fear not, the solution is at hand….
To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity
1. In the Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write ‘ For Marijuana.
2. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, say it with a serious face.
3. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is ‘To Go’.
4. Sing Along At The Opera.
5. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can’t Attend Their Party Because You have a headache.
6. When Leaving the Zoo, Start Running towards the Parking lot, Yelling ‘Run For Your Lives! They’re Loose!’
7. Tell Your Children Over Dinner, ‘Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.’
And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity
8. PICK UP A BOX OF CONDOMS AT THE PHARMACY, GO TO THE COUNTER AND ASK WHERE THE “FITTING ROOM IS.
No matter how one looks at it, these are incredible statistics. Aside from the figures on aircraft, consider this statement from the article: On average 6600 American service men died per MONTH, during WWII (about 220 a day).
Most Americans who were not adults during WWII have no understanding of the magnitude of it. This listing of some of the aircraft facts gives a bit of insight to it.
276,000 aircraft manufactured in the US.
43,000 planes lost overseas, including 23,000 in combat.
14,000 lost in the continental U.S.
The US civilian population maintained a dedicated effort for four years, many working long hours seven days per week and often also volunteering for other work. WWII was the largest human effort in history.
Statistics from Flight Journal magazine.
THE COST of DOING BUSINESS
–––– The staggering cost of war.
THE PRICE OF VICTORY (cost of an aircraft in WWII dollars)
PLANES A DAY WORLDWIDE
From Germany’s invasion of Poland Sept. 1, 1939 and ending with Japan’s surrender on Sept. 2, 1945 ––- 2,433 days.
From 1942 onward, America averaged 170 planes lost a day.
How many is a 1,000 planes? B-17 production (12,731) wingtip to wingtip would extend 250 miles. 1,000 B-17s carried 2.5 million gallons of high octane fuel and required 10,000 airmen to fly and fight in them.
THE NUMBERS GAME
9.7 billion gallons of gasoline consumed, 1942-1945.
107.8 million hours flown, 1943-1945.
459.7 billion rounds of aircraft ammo fired overseas, 1942-1945.
7.9 million bombs dropped overseas, 1943-1945.
2.3 million combat sorties, 1941-1945 (one sortie = one takeoff).
299,230 aircraft accepted, 1940-1945.
808,471 aircraft engines accepted, 1940-1945.
799,972 propellers accepted, 1940-1945.
WWII MOST-PRODUCED COMBAT AIRCRAFT
Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik 36,183
Yakolev Yak-1,-3,-7, -9 31,000+
Messerschmitt Bf-109 30,480
Focke-Wulf Fw-190 29,001
Supermarine Spitfire/Seafire 20,351
Convair B-24/PB4Y Liberator/Privateer 18,482
North American P-51 Mustang 15,875
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 15,686
Junkers Ju-88 15,000
Hawker Hurricane 14,533
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk 13,738
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 12,731
Vought F4U Corsair 12,571
Grumman F6F Hellcat 12,275
Petlyakov Pe-2 11,400
Lockheed P-38 Lightning 10,037
Mitsubishi A6M Zero 10,449
North American B-25 Mitchell 9,984
Lavochkin LaGG-5 9,920
Grumman TBM Avenger 9,837
Bell P-39 Airacobra 9,584
Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar 5,919
DeHavilland Mosquito 7,780
Avro Lancaster 7,377
Heinkel He-111 6,508
Handley-Page Halifax 6,176
Messerschmitt Bf-110 6,150
Lavochkin LaGG-7 5,753
Boeing B-29 Superfortress 3,970
Short Stirling 2,383
According to the AAF Statistical Digest, in less than four years (December 1941- August 1945), the US Army
Air Forces lost 14,903 pilots, aircrew and assorted personnel plus 13,873 airplanes ––- inside the continental United States. They were the result of 52,651 aircraft accidents (6,039 involving fatalities) in 45 months. They average 1,170 aircraft accidents per month–––– nearly 40 a day. (Less than one accident in four resulted in totaled aircraft, however.)
It gets worse…..
Almost 1,000 Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign climes. But an eye-watering 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 against the Western Axis) and 20,633 attributed to non-combat causes overseas.
In a single 376 plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down. That was a 16 percent loss rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England. In 1942-43, it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete a 25-mission tour in Europe.
Pacific theatre losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to smaller forces committed. The worst B-29 mission against Tokyo on May 25, 1945, cost 26 Superfortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464 dispatched from the Marianas.
On average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII, about 220 a day. By the end of the war, over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat theatres and another 18,000 wounded. Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead, including a number “liberated” by the Soviets but never returned. More than 41,000 were captured, half of the 5,400 held by the Japanese died in captivity, compared with one-tenth in German hands. Total combat casualties were pegged at 121,867.
US manpower made up the deficit. The AAF’s peak strength was reached in 1944 with 2,372,000 personnel, nearly twice the previous year’s figure.
The losses were huge––-but so were production totals. From 1941 through 1945, American industry delivered more than 276,000 military aircraft. That number was enough not only for US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but for allies as diverse as Britain, Australia, China and Russia. In fact, from 1943 onward, America produced more planes than Britain and Russia combined. And more than Germany and Japan together 1941-45.
However, our enemies took massive losses. Through much of 1944, the Luftwaffe sustained uncontrolled hemorrhaging, reaching 25 percent of aircrews and 40 planes a month. And in late 1944 into 1945, nearly half the pilots in Japanese squadrons had flown fewer than 200 hours. The disparity of two years before had been completely reversed.
Uncle Sam sent many of his sons to war with absolute minimums of training. Some fighter pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than 1 hour in their assigned aircraft.
The 357th Fighter Group (often known as The Yoxford Boys) went to England in late 1943 having trained on P-39s. The group never saw a Mustang until shortly before its first combat mission.
A high-time P-51 pilot had 30 hours in type. Many had fewer than five hours. Some had one hour.
With arrival of new aircraft, many combat units transitioned in combat. The attitude was, “They all have a stick and a throttle. Go fly `em.” When the famed 4th Fighter Group converted from P-47s to P-51s in February 1944, there was no time to stand down for an orderly transition. The Group commander, Col. Donald Blakeslee, said, “You can learn to fly `51s on the way to the target.
A future P-47 ace said, “I was sent to England to die.” He was not alone. Some fighter pilots tucked their wheels in the well on their first combat mission with one previous flight in the aircraft. Meanwhile, many bomber crews were still learning their trade. Of Jimmy Doolittle’s 15 pilots on the April 1942 Tokyo raid, only five had won their wings before 1941. All but one of the 16 copilots were less than a year out of flight school.
In WWII flying safety took a back seat to combat. The AAF’s worst accident rate was recorded by the A-36 Invader version of the P-51: a staggering 274 accidents per 100,000 flying hours. Next worst were the P-39 at 245, the P-40 at 188, and the P-38 at 139. All were Allison powered.
Bomber wrecks were fewer but more expensive. The B-17 and B-24 averaged 30 and 35 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, respectively–– a horrific figure considering that from 1980 to 2000 the Air Force’s major mishap rate was less than 2.
The B-29 was even worse at 40; the world’s most sophisticated, most capable and most expensive bomber was too urgently needed to stand down for mere safety reasons. The AAF set a reasonably high standard for B-29 pilots, but the desired figures were seldom attained.
The original cadre of the 58th Bomb Wing was to have 400 hours of multi-engine time, but there were not enough experienced pilots to meet the criterion. Only ten percent had overseas experience. Conversely, when a $2.1 billion B-2 crashed in 2008, the Air Force initiated a two-month “safety pause” rather than declare a “stand down”,
let alone grounding.
The B-29 was no better for maintenance. Though the R3350 was known as a complicated, troublesome power-plant, no more than half the mechanics had previous experience with the Duplex Cyclone. But they made it work.
Perhaps the greatest unsung success story of AAF training was Navigators. The Army graduated some 50,000 during the War. And many had never flown out of sight of land before leaving “Uncle Sugar” for a war zone. Yet the huge majority found their way across oceans and continents without getting lost or running out of fuel ––- a stirring tribute to the AAF’s educational establishments.
Cadet To Colonel:
It was possible for a flying cadet at the time of Pearl Harbor to finish the war with eagles on his shoulders. That was the record of John D. Landers, a 21-year-old Texan, who was commissioned a second lieutenant on December 12, 1941. He joined his combat squadron with 209 hours total flight time, including 2½ in P-40s. He finished the war as a full colonel, commanding an 8th Air Force Group ––- at age 24.
As the training pipeline filled up, however those low figures became exceptions.
By early 1944, the average AAF fighter pilot entering combat had logged at least 450 hours, usually including 250 hours in training. At the same time, many captains and first lieutenants claimed over 600 hours.
At its height in mid-1944, the Army Air Forces had 2.6 million people and nearly 80,000 aircraft of all types.
Today the US Air Force employs 327,000 active personnel (plus 170,000 civilians) with 5,500+ manned and perhaps 200 unmanned aircraft.
The 2009 figures represent about 12 percent of the manpower and 7 percent of the airplanes of the WWII peak.
Whether there will ever be another war like that experienced in 1940-45 is doubtful, as fighters and bombers have given way to helicopters and remotely-controlled drones over Afghanistan and Iraq. But within living memory, men left the earth in 1,000-plane formations and fought major battles five miles high, leaving a legacy that remains timeless.