While researching the the circumstances surrounding the death of my Great Uncle during WWII, I found an interesting bit of information that puts into perspective the massive amount of ammunition production that had to take place during the second world war. The January, 1945 war diary for Navy amphibious patrol aircraft squadron VPB-27 lists the crash of a PBM-5 Mariner float plane and the associated loss of life (my great uncle being one of the crewmen killed). The last line item of the report is as follows:
“4. During the period 108,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition were expended and 696 one hundred pound water filled bombs were dropped.”
It is amazing to me that just one squadron alone, out of hundreds maybe, in just the U.S. Navy, in just one month of training, expended over 100,000 rounds of ammunition.
I wonder if more ammunition was expended in training during WWII ( or any war) than in actual combat…