DAAB Training Flights
During the short duration of the training at DAAB, 115 young
airmen died in air crashes. In the 27 months of training, 23 bombers
were destroyed in crashes. From a purely statistical point of view,
115 out of approximately 8,000 trainees, is a small percentage.
The only problem is--these were lives of people. We must realize,
however, that 7,886 people did not die, and this training allowed
most of them to return home to their families
after WWII was over.
Although just 4 years old in 1944, Pat Higdon remembers very vividly
when a B-17 developed engine trouble over Unionville and the crew
bailed out. It was August 15, 1944. The pilot, co-pilot and the
engineer were able to get the airplane back to the base.
Area visitors to The Veterans' Museum share many memories of crashes
Dr. Blair Bentley, historian, calculated the cost in dollars of the
casualties at DAAB: Insurance payments for the estates of the
casualties, $1,140,000; the value of the destroyed aircraft was
$8,970,000--for a total of $10,110,000.
(Much of the Training Flight material is furnished courtesy of Dr.
Blair Bentley, historian, now of Jackson, Tennessee; by Pat Higdon,
DAAB Association President and Museum Director; and Tim Bivens, who
has researched extensively concerning the history of DAAB.)