If you want to escort, just add a fighter to the strike. I find it better to use my fighters to strike the enemies bases behind his lines. Usually I fly two squadrons of fighters, pick a possible airbase near the front and hit it. If it has planes on it, they have to fly up, otherwise you get possible interceptors only. After I chew them up, I repeat at another base, until all my fighters are used up.
If it appears he still has interceptors in reserve after you have flown all your fighters...do not fly any bombers.
Otherwise, feel free to bomb what you want in that area....For fun, you can hit the cities to damage them (which reduces airplane readiness if they want to base there)
I usually find that by about three turns, the Russians are so hurt in fighters, that you can switch to using single fighter squadrons. This is when the Russians usually back all their air up to the Urals to wait until winter...if not, you can get more and more aggressive....fighter sweeps on every city near the front, bomb all the cities afterwards with KG bombers. Leave the stukas at home.
Finally you will either gain air superiority by destroying the Russian airforce, or he will hide it. Then your stuka's and bombers can do what they like, while your fighters run recon.
“My logisticians are a humorless lot … they know if my campaign fails, they are the first ones I will slay.” – Alexander the Great