On August 10 the *New York Times *published a story ( http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/world/asia/11china.html? ) about China’s progress in launching its first aircraft carrier, a refurbished Soviet-build vessel. The story contained this eye-opening statement intended to point up just how dangerous the aircraft carrier business can be:
*“In a blog entry posted on Tuesday, an expert on the Chinese military, Andrew S. Erickson, cited Pentagon figures showing that the United States Navy and Marines together lost nearly 12,000 aircraft and 8,500 crew members from 1949 to 1988, including 776 planes and 535 crew members in 1954 alone.”*Are these figures accurate? And if so, what the heck was going on in 1954!?!? I did the math and 1954 was twice as deadly as the average year in that 1949 to 1988 time period.
Thanks all, in advance.