From: garfield hts ohio usa
88 planes ? what the heck attacked you ?
as Swifty says, move your planes around, don't overstack the fields (I have tried to find and add in more fields all across the map, to give the play/AI a chance)
as for "real" life, don't forget in 43, they didn't have many planes, or all that much range, and the focus was on defending the bombers first, also, they were under orders to not leave the bombers, so all a LW fighter had to do was dive for the deck and they were safe (for the most part) (different war in the MED then in the north, in the MED that was a standard tactic, as soon as they spotted a new field)
when Dolittle took over, the "rules' changed, the fighters goal was to knock down the LW, anywhere they could be found, they had the planes, and the range, and most times, once the "protection" part was over, they were free to drop to the deck and going hunting, after a bit, each FG ended up with "zones" they were free to fly though, some were better hunting grounds then others
from the other side, it is easy to have a Sweep miss the target, it is easy to get distacted, get tied up in a fight, and what nots, if you got a sweep coming, there are things you can do, some times they work, other times they don't
Harley has posted before, that the AI does not know where you planes are, they have to find them the same as the player does (in the old game, they did)
(if the AI has a reason to hit a field, being wrong the number of times looks about right, as it has a reason to go after those fields)