Well, I hate to argue with Mr. Wilkerson. . .
He is probably right about how it would best work in the game.
By the end of September 1942, my ASW warfare is beginning to take hold. Part of that has to do with resources, part to do with training, and part to do with -- leadership or inspiration, i.e., me studying up on what to expect from the real world examples and following same. This game (and previous incarnations) is awfully hard on AFB's that think they can get far ahead of the historical time lines by pushing the right buttons.
I have long had the Wirraways flying low to the water, and they don't seem to be nearly as certain to attack subs (after all these months) as the radar equipped planes like the Hudson III's or Catalinas. My Aussie Beaufort squadron has also been trying the low level approach. On the other hand, I haven't seen a sub near the Golden Gate since I started flying the blimps out of Moffet Field (Frisco hex). Maybe the Japanese subs have MAD detection devices? Maybe just coincidence.
To answer the questions from the thread starter:
I didn't find anything in the manual about altitude, but even a math clod like myself can understand that the less ocean to search, the better your chances. So, I now have ASW planes flying short legged missions out of San Diego, LA, San Luis Opispo, Frisco, Eureka, Astoria, Tacoma, Seattle, Victoria, etc... Imagine the same for other locations. So for those of you wondering what to do with all of those AV's, AVP's, and AVD's, this is what they were made for.
I always try to have a certain percentage of my planes flying training missions while others are active. For 12 plane squadrons, I will have about 40% on ASW, with 20% training. Three or four Catalinas can cover a lot of territory if you cut their limit to five or six hexes. For the 18 plane squadrons, it's more like 50 - 20. And by the end of September 1942, my planes are now starting to attack subs.
But what has really proved effective, is more aggressive use of ASW TF's made up of anything with a ASW rating of 4 or better. Those guys chase down the subs that have been spotted. So for all of those people wondering what do with those mine sweepers and Fairmile craft . . . If I were to start over, I would definitely work the air/surface cooperation angle a lot harder from the beginning -- where possible. Spotting subs was not the issue in the early months.
BTW, I also pick aggressive commanders for the surface ASW TF's and high naval rating commanders for the ASW plane squadrons. I have never concluded what to make of all the arguments about leaders over the years, but it feels right to pick the best leader for the story in my head that accompanies the game I am playing.
USS St. Louis firing on Guam, July 1944. The Cardinals and Browns faced each other in the World Series that year