I did a search and came back with zilch...
Was there ever a consensus on the optimal size of a CV TF? I assume that putting 25 CV/CVL in the same TF incurs some stacking penalty, but is there a recommended formula (CV to BB to escort ratio for example) for making the ideal CV TF size?
In addition to the coordination penalties mentioned, you need to consider, at least, fuel strategy vis a vis how you're going to use them in this op (DDs can eat up your reserves), AA coverage, and for sure collision chances. The more you gots the more you cans bump.
I'm agreeing with what you're saying, smaller TFs are better, but there's only so much escort to go around and by '44 or before you have to break them up into chunks.
And I was disagreeing that 1 CV per TF in 1942 is smart. It's usually fatal. As Lokasenna says, the coordination penalty is a thing, but it's not that big a thing. In 1942 your #1 issue is fleet defense, not striking power. If you can strike, great. But better to keep the hulls for later after upgrades and far better planes.
Me, I usually just keep the CV crews playing baseball until they can defend themselves.