USAAF Bomber Formations Dec 42

Revised 18 Plane Group Formation


In Dec 42 the revised18 plane group,developed by Col. Curtis LeMay of 305th BG, was split into 3 sqns of 6 planes stacked towards the sun. The leading sqn was in the centre. The high and low sqns trailing slightly behind. Up to four groups flew at 1.5 mile intervals, each 900 ft above the group in front and echeloned towards the sun.


Unleashed the B17's field of fire

Concentrated firepower



Lead formation was 4,000 ft below the rear formation in a 4 group Javelin

Altitude variations made it difficult for the higher formations to keep speed with the lower formations

The 1.5 mile gap between groups was suppose to prevent the germans from launching head on attacks. The gap ended up being wider allowing the germans to do head on attacks.