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Squadron size

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ralphomaha
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2003/12/25 15:56:40 (permalink)
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Squadron size

Greetings:



I am doing research about my late brother's service with the 99th bombardment group of the 15th AirForce during May-October of 1944.

I am trying to find out how many planes were in a B-17 squadron. What was the standard size?(TO&E) What was the typical size etc. I find lots of answers from 6 to 18. I am interested in the size of the squadrons that were in combat.

Help will be greatly appreciated

Ralph Ekwall

ralphomaha@yahoo.com
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Scott Burris
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Re: [ralphomaha] Squadron size 2003/12/25 16:49:26 (permalink)
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As you probably suspect, it depends on the time period. Smaller sizes early on, larger later in the war. If you can dig into the 99th's microfilm records you'll want to look for the "Aircraft & Engine Status Reports", or similar documents. That report will probably give you the most detailed answer.

Somebody with the 99th Bomb Group Association can probably give you a general answer, or perhaps more specific information.

Info: [url "http://forum.armyairforces.coms/gforum.cgi?post=53260"]http://forum.armyairforces.coms/gforum.cgi?post=53260[/url]
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Joshua
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Re: [Scott Burris] Squadron size 2003/12/25 20:02:28 (permalink)
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According to a book I have been reading..."A Guide to the Army Air Forces" (hope this is accurate enough to give you some help!)

[#d50700]Strength of Typical AAF Units in Men and Planes[/#d50700]

[#d50700]"Note; does not include reserve Aircraft and extra combat crews in some theaters"[/#d50700]

[#00310f]Heavy Bomb Group:[/#00310f] Major types B-17 B-24

Group Head Quarters: 25 Officers, 1 W.O., 57 Enlisted Men.

Squadron: 67 Officers, 360 Enlisted Men, 12 Aircraft.

Total Group: 293 Officers, 1 W.O., 1497 Enlisted Men, 48 Aircraft.



Unfortunatley this book does not do much in the mention of Very Heavy Groups.

There is some information regarding Medium Groups, Single Engine Fighter/Bomber Groups and Twin Engine Fighter/Bomber Groups. I hope I offered some useful information.
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billrunnels
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Re: [ralphomaha] Squadron size 2003/12/25 21:21:34 (permalink)
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[cool] Hi Ralph,

I can't speak for the 15th but in the 8th, the full squadron compliment on any mission was 12 aircraft. However, more often than not the actual number was 9 or 10. Not all aircraft were operational due to repair of damage or engine changes etc. I would think the 15th Squadron size would be the same.

Bill Runnels, Bombardier(B-17)
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jhor9
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Re: [ralphomaha] Squadron size 2003/12/26 10:44:37 (permalink)
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Ralph

I was a pilot with the 99th BG. Sqd strength was anywhere from 6,9 or 10 planes. Most of the time it was 9 or 10. 3 vees, the 10th plane would close up the 3rd vee making it 4 planes

Jules Horowitz
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dlyblood
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Re: [billrunnels] Squadron size 2003/12/26 13:08:35 (permalink)
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My research sudjests the same numbers of AC as in Bill's response. My Uncle's group was in the 409th and arrived in England late summer of 42. In many of documents I have they refer many times to the original 24 aircraft of the 93d BG. I would assume that the size of the squadron depended how fast they could build AC and train crews. Is that fare to say?

I'm not sure but I think the oirigianal 24 AC of the 93d must of been two squadrons, the 328th and the 409th, that were first of Teds Flying Circus to arrive in England.

Two squadrons went TDY to North Africa which noted is 24 AC.



Cheers[laugh]

Dave
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Joshua
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Re: [dlyblood] Squadron size 2003/12/26 14:43:49 (permalink)
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To add to my previous post...

"Tests and experience determine the number of planes which should be grouped in one squadron for maximum efficiency in combat, and what personnel, equipment and supplies are required to keep the planes flying. Such determinations then become a prescribed standard. They are published in Tables of Organization and Tables of Equipment"

This was taken from the same book as my earlier post...the copyright is 1944. The book seems accurate with alot of the other information I have looked into. So I gather that the standard was 12 A/C with the exception of theaters in which a different number was found to be more practical.




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ralphomaha
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Re: [Scott Burris] Squadron size 2003/12/26 15:58:57 (permalink)
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G M Strong
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Re: [****] Squadron size 2003/12/27 08:58:01 (permalink)
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When the 459th departed for Italy January 1944, movement orders show each Squadron with a complement of 16 AC. This would be consistent with the stated numbers. Obviously, once in combat it would be tough to have 16 operational at all times.
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jhor9
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Re: [ralphomaha] Squadron size 2003/12/27 11:12:16 (permalink)
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Ralph

Perhaps I misunderstood you. I don't recall how many planes were assigned to a Sqn. My previous post only addressed the question as to how many planes a Sqn put into the air on missions.

Jules Horowitz, pilot, 99th BG
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