40% of the 125,000 bomber crews that served during World War II, or roughly 50,000 men, emerged relatively unscathed by war’s end. But 60% or 75,446 men died, were wounded or shot down, the latter ending up in German or Japanese prisoner-of-war camps (like Steve McQueen‘s Cpt. Virgil Hilz in The Great Escape). Bad odds.
From realclearhistory: “The U.S. suffered 52,173 aircrew combat losses. But another 25,844 died in accidents, and more than half of these died in the continental U.S. The U.S. lost 65,164 planes during the war, but only 22,948 in combat. There were 21,583 lost due to accidents in the U.S., and another 20,633 lost in accidents overseas.”