All of the VT initially had fighter cover to protect them. However, there were not enough fighters to protect both the torpedo bombers and the dive bombers...So, most air groups would have the fighters with the dive bombers - Then when and if the torpedo bombers came under attack, the fighters would dive down to protect them. Waldron, of VT-8, essentially committed "mutiny", when he left the rest of the Hornet Air Group and went off on his own to attack the Japanese - Thus, he abandoned his fighter cover. VF-6 was to protect VT-6, but ran across VT-8. VF-6 thought VT-8 was VT-6, and then flew high cover above them, only to lose VT-8 when they went into clouds just before attacking the Japanese fleet. VF-6 stayed in the area for as long as possible, but had to return for home when fuel became critical. IIRC, they began their return right as, unseen by them, VT-6 was beginning it's attack. VT-3 had two VF-3 fighters as close cover, and four VF-3 fighters as high cover. VF-3 performed quite admirably protecting their charges, but were soon overwhelmed by the Japanese CAP, and they were forced to focus on their own survival in the intense air battle.