WWII paratroopers

I’m sitting here watching Band of Brothers, and it got me to wonder… how many paratroopers were killed by allied planes that were flying behind them?

I would assume that the planes had a designed flight pattern, and the planes at the front flew lower than the planes that followed, but after anti-aircraft fire began, and pilots began taking evasive measures and/or were hit, all bets were off.

So, did a number of jumpers get taken out by allied planes before they hit the ground?

Perhaps it would also be helpful if someone who knows how the airborne operates could explain how they do a massive drop like this.

I guess numbers would be impossible to know, but I’m curious as to the possibility.

I’m guessing not many. The USAF had more than enough experience flying bombers in tight formation through flak barrages, though collisions occurred (I’m trying to find a photo series of a B-17 getting a wing cut off by another ship’s bombs). I don’t think the flak took anybody by surprise, in any case.

I’d think that until your chute fully opens, you’d keep moving only slightly slower than the drop plane. I’d think therefore that the only way this would happen would be if the other plane was flying directly behind and slightly below, which seems like a situation that’s easy enough to avoid-- it seems like in the stock footage they fly in tapered formations with each plane a little bit higher than the one in front.

I’'m no expert, but my guess is that the question shouldn’t be about paratoopers, --but about the aircraft.
If a plane made contact with the open chute of a soldier in mid-air, the aerodynamics would change radically, and the plane would probably crash. Or at least the pilot would lose control and not be able to stay in formation.

Unless the 'chute snags a control surface or something it is unlikely to cause serious problems for the plane. When the plane hit a parachute the 'chute would collapse and then slide off.