Army Air Forces Statistical Digest,
World War II
I found this to
be an interesting source for just about everything you could imagine
statistically. The data is contained in 218 tables. Some of the tables
are large and had to be separated for the web.
The Army Air Forces Statistical Digest (World War II),
published by the Office of Statistical Control, Headquarters, Army Air
Forces, makes available in one volume and on a uniform basis summary
statistics on AAF personnel, aircraft, equipment, combat operations and
other activities during World War II.
Since March 1942, the Office of
Statistical Control has been charged with the responsibility for
collecting, processing, analyzing and presenting statistics on all
phases of AAF strength and activity. It has been the practice to make
these data available to interested offices in the form of recurring and
special reports. The summary statistics published in this volume were
derived from these reports and from the more detailed information
available in the files of the Office of Statistical Control.
Unless otherwise indicated, the statistics cover the strength and
operations of the Army Air Forces only. In a few cases where
combinations have been made with other Army and Navy figures, the
coverage and character of the data have been clearly noted. While most
of the statistics included here are monthly for the period Pearl Harbor
to V-J Day, a few important series are carried back for a longer period.
The detailed statistics on AAF strength and operations collected
during World War II were used in analyses and studies for the Commanding
General, Army Air Forces, and staff officers at all echelons of command.
Many relationships were derived from, and analytical uses made of, these
basic statistics during World War II. For example, as a result of a
detailed study of the ratios of heavy bomber crews to heavy bomber
airplanes in the European and Mediterranean Theaters of Operations in
the fall of 1944, heavy bomber crews were transferred from ETO to MTO in
order to achieve greater balance in both theaters. To cite another
example, usage data such as gasoline consumption, bomb tonnage dropped
and airplane losses were related to operating data like flying time and
combat sorties to compute planned production would be considerably in
excess of potential future bomb consumption computed on the basis of
available airplanes, their bomb-carrying capacity and their estimated
rate of use, plus a liberal allowance for strategic reserves. To put it
another way, bomb production was out of balance with the other elements
in the Air Forces program. Based on this analysis, planned bomb
production was decreased, yielding a saving of several billion dollars.
The sources of all of the figures in the volume, unless otherwise
noted were the standardized statistical reports instituted by the Office
of Statistical Control. These reports, originating at group and bases
levels, moved up through all the echelons of command to AAF
headquarters, The final consolidation prepared at the top echelon of
command, then, constituted an over-all report of the world-wide AAF.
To facilitate the use of this volume, it has been divided into the
following sections, each covering a specific phase of Air Force activity:
- Combat Groups
- Personnel, Training and Crews
- Aircraft and Equipment
- Budget and Fiscal
- Air Transport
- Flying Safety
The tables in each section are preceded by an introductory statement,
giving some indication of the purposes for which the data were
originally gathered, the history and methods of compilation of the data,
specific sources and examples of analytical uses of the figures. In
addition, notations pertaining to several tables in the section have
been included in the introductory statement rather than in the footnotes
to separate tables. Another saving in footnotes to specific tables has
been made by the inclusion in the volume of a Glossary of definitions of
terms peculiar to the Army Air Forces.
Overseas theaters, as used in
this volume, have included the following Air Forces for the
periods indicated unless specific exception is noted:
- European Theater of Operations (ETO) - Eighth Air Force
and Ninth Air Force beginning October 1943.
- Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) - Twelfth and
Fifteenth Air Forces; also Ninth Air Force prior to October
- Pacific Ocean Areas (PTO) - Seventh Air Force prior to
July 1945 and Air Forces in Middle Pacific (AIRFORMIDPAC)
beginning July 1945.
- Far East Air Forces (FEAF) - Fifth and Thirteenth Air
Forces and Seventh Air Force beginning July 1945.
- China and India-Burma (C&I-B) - Tenth and Fourteenth Air
- Alaska - Eleventh Air Force
- Twentieth Air Force - XX and XXI Bomber Commands. The
terms "Twentieth Air Force", "XX Bomber Command" and "XXI
Bomber Command" are retained in July and August 1945 even
though they were changed to "United States Army Strategic Air
Forces (USASTAF)", "Eighth Air Force" and Twentieth Air
Force", respectively, beginning July 1945.
- Other Overseas - primarily Sixth Air Force, Antilles Air
Command, Bermuda, Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, the
Azores, United States Air Forces in South America (USAFSA),
United States Air Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME), Army
Airways Communications System (AACS), Commanding General, Army
Air Forces, overseas and Air Transport Command overseas unless