USAAF Bomber Formations Jan 42-Aug 42


The basic formation used from Jan 42 until Sep 42 was the 6 plane squadron formation. The 6 planes stretched 260 yrds across the sky. The distance from the lead plane to the rear plane is 90 yards in depth. The difference in altitude of planes in the formation is 150 feet.

An american squadron normally had 12 aircraft. Nornally 6 at a time flew on a mission.

The formation is basically two staggered inverted Vics. The two rear aircraft flew below, the two front aircraft flew flew in the centre and the two outside aircraft flew above.

Two other squadrons on each flank were 4 miles apart and were 1.5 miles behind and 1000 ft below the lead squadron. The forth sqn was 1.5 miles to the rear and 2000 ft above the echelon sqns.


Simple and easy to get into formation

Allowed for good maneuverability for bomb sighting


The 24 planes were spread over too large an area to provide adequate mutual support