There is a wealth of information on intercepting transports in the old Obvert vs Jocke AARs, with I believe Alfred chiming in and also perhaps in one of my AARs.
I would search for posts by Alfred about it...surely you will find some. I found this tidbit very quickly, interesting, but doesn't answer Michael's question (but I only did one search and selected one post):
IIRC I thought the manual says that if you are flying transport supply missions from base A to base B, then you can only protect the transport planes by flying LRCAP from base A (or base C, D etc) over base B. Fighters at base B itself will not provide protection for the incoming transport planes.
Long and short of it is that you need to be close, with lots of fighters, and I am unsure if you need to match altitudes. Anything beyond 3 hexes if very is rough. My bad memory seems to think a rough guide is divide the range by 3 to have any chance of intercepting. Other factors come into play too....
The Oscar IIIa if available, has great range and is perhaps the best Japanese fighter relatively early for the task.
Transports and bombers can drop supplies at a base even with the runways destroyed, they just air drop, and suffer a penalty in capacity...pretty sure that this is clear in the manual somewhere.
The 8/24 transport and flak report in the ops report would show up in the replay, the map will center over the location, perhaps get a red line showing direction of the transports, and the text shows up in the bottom left. You can pause and cycle thru the messages...perhaps you still have that save around and can watch the replay again?
I have had this happen notably where I was air transporting supplies to my own base and lost the base but forgot to stand down the transports and or a paratroop landing.
You are at the point where Allied Flak, if present, can absolutely negate your bombers.
< Message edited by Lowpe -- 1/17/2019 3:50:38 PM >