Part 8: Operational Report: 14/12/41
The night sees several Submarine actions off Luzon. S-38 and S-39 attack several ships, but their torpedoes either miss or fail to explode.
The Japanese have no such problem as the Bundaleer takes three hits.
Over Davao, there are reports of more Japanese Battleships, this time, a B-17 reports hitting the Hyuga with a 500lb bomb. Weather this is enough to damage the ship is unkown, we can only hope that we have forced her to withdraw for repairs.
The Japs respond by striking at one of the convoys fleeing the area, sinking three ships.
In the afternoon, more B-17's go ship hunting, this time they get their sights on a much more important target.
The carrier Ryujo takes no damage, but that must have been a scary moments for the captains of the Japanese carrier, her Claude fighters had no real chance of getting enough altitude to properly engage the high level bombers.
The aircraft from the Ryujo make themselves known later that day, hammering the ships that have been harried all the way from Hong Kong. It looks like these poor bastards, who have been under attack now for days, are destined not to reach the safety of a friendly port.
George Town sees heavy bombing, and its port and airfield is hammered by exploding bombs. The remains of the RAF are to worn down to put even a single plane up into the air. And several are blown up in their hangers.
The fresher forces over Singapore have more luck, shooting down three planes without loss.
In Rabaul, the Japanese attack comes up against stiff opposition, but another wave of ships has arrived to offload fresh troops and supplies.
Losses are still fairly even, we are slowly beginning to match their losses in aircraft, even though our confirmed ship losses are much higher.
Again, Intelligence can provide us nothing of any use.
Our top pilots are wounded and missing, but we have three aces who are still in the fight.
Kliewer is based at wake, and constant bombing has reduced the airfields here to ruins.
There are only 3 active planes left, with 6 being repaired. I'm now not willing to send an aircraft carrier into the area any more, as we would have to deal with waves of land based bombers, all of which could be mounted with torpedoes.
Supplies are also low here, but there is a convoy on its way. If the Jap's land an attack on the area soon, we cannot hold them, in fact, it was only the timely appearance of the Lexington that saved the island last time.
Supplies are also on their way out to Johnston Island, as well as more Catalina search planes to help provide a early warning system for Pearl Harbour.
The Prince of Wales is not taking on any water, so should make it to Sorabaja intact, from there she will be detached and sent to a larger shipyard, the one at Sorabaja is nowhere near big enough to deal with a ship the size of the PoW.
TF 308 is now nearing the Japanese landing forces at the north of Borneo, tonight or tommorow should see them begin their attack on the shipping there. We need to cross our fingers and hope there are no battleships in the area. The Boise is a formidable ship, but she is still a cruiser.
We have a new Regiment available in San Diego.
Marines should be perfect for this war, which is already promising to be one of numerous amphibious assaults. The 8th are already experienced and well lead. I'm loading them up and sending them down to Pago Pago, from there I can send them to Port Moresby if needed, or use them for attacks if I can get other forces to defend the key port. The 2nd Marine defence battalion is going with them, and I'll have to start manoeuvring to get the 2nd Marine Regiment released to my command.
The Saratoga should reach port tomorrow, she has in fact managed to pump some of the water out herself, but there is still damage that needs a spell in the shipyard to fix.
I have to be truthful, I have one more Daughter, whereas I have described the Lexington, Saratoga and Enterprise as my beautiful daughter, I have to say theta the HMS Hermes is very much my ugly daughter
To be fair, its not her fault, she was built for a different war in a different theatre. She was designed to operate in the Mediterranean sea, where land bombers would be a much greater threat, so her designers have opted to cover her in armour, he decks are steel rather than the wood of the American carriers.
While this makes her much tougher, it does reduce her carrying capacity, she currently has 12 swordfish biplane torpedo bombers on board, and 6 more should arrive tomorrow. At that point I plan to move her down to the fleet in Sorabaja, where hopefully even her modest compliment of fighters can be of use.