Part 10: Operational Report: 16/12/41
Between Luzon and Formosa, SS S-37 hits a Jap transport, the hit causes massive internal explosions, hours later the sub returns and puts two more torpedoes into the target, both of which explode.
Nearby, the S-36 hits another Japanese freighter twice leaving it listing badly.
The SS Porpoise has less luck, running into another one of our defective torpedoes.
Later of he manages to get a hit that explodes, but surfaces to use her main gun, which is more reliable.
It is at this point that the crew discover that the freighter is armed.
While up near Port Arthur, the SS Shark has even less luck.
The sub survives with two hits, but that was a close call.
Over Manilla the few remaining planes take to the air, but all it manages to do is loose a Major Jenkins, killed when his plane is shot down by the huge wave of white planes.
Fed up with always bing on the defensive, the commanders of Clark field order an attack with B-17 bombers, this is a large force, and they even scrape some planes together to escort it, but it fails to hit its targets, and one of the escorting fighters is shot down.
In Lingayen, right next to the main airfield of Clark field, the Japanese attack. The defenders are not ready to hold up against the mechanized and armoured force that comes at them, and although they take out some of the vehicles attacking them, thousands are killed or captured and the Japanese end the day in control of the base
Wake is Today hit by the largest Nell raid yet twice the size of the previous days raids. This says to us that another squadron has arrived to support the Japanese attack on the island.
The CAP above Singapore claims another seven planes today during the raids on the city, nothing in port was damaged.
In Rabaul the enemy attack once more, the make little ground with around a hundred casualties on both sides.
In Finschhafen, near Port Moresby, another Japanese landing force takes another undefended base.
In China, the biplanes of the Chinese air force go up, but they have trouble catching the more modern bombers, and cannot hope to shoot any down.
A fairly good day today, no ships lost, two more Jap ships confirmed sunk and we fairly hammered them in the sky. Fourteen of our own planes went down for 47 of theirs, if we can keep that rate up then we can win this war.
we now have a grand total of nine aces, and Captain Wirth is looking close to becoming a double ace. The fact that Snowdon and Grace can get five kills each in a plane that is ten years out of date says something about the men's skills.
Intelligence have removed one one of the cruisers from the kill report, they have heard rumours that she has made it back home, this may be Japanese propaganda, but until its confirmed, off the list she goes. We still have two cruisers and a sub on there though, as well as numerous freighters.
The Chiyoda sunk by TF308 was a modern heavy cruiser, and was worth quite a bit to the enemies morale.
There are reports of many enemy units moving toward Malaya and the Philippines. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about this, unless we get lucky and hit the convoy with our surface raiders.
I have ordered the evacuation of Clark field, the enemy is now less than 40 miles from the airbase, and it is mainly ruins, so I am spreding the fighters out to try and give better coverage of the area.
I've also ordered all ships capable of sailing to get the hell out of Manilla, although there are five destroyers that I have ordered out on a raid before they retreat, hopefully they can cause some damage.
The last Convoy out of Singapore should also be leaving tommorow, I've loaded up all the bombers I can and ordered them moved south. Only the fighters and the Torpedo bombers will remain, after that they will try and make their way back to Soerabaja via bases in Sumatra.
Out if Soerabaja TF308 is ordered out once more, hopefully with two raiding taskforces we can cause more trouble for the enemy. The Prince of Wales has arrived, and has been dispatched to Cape Town for repairs.
Out of Port Moresby, I now have a good collection of Cruisers, so I'm going to send them around to raid the enemy on the other side of the peninsula.
This is another opportunity to cause some damage to unloading transports that I feel we have to take. When the attack of Moresby itself comes, you can bet that the enemies main carrier force will be nearby we've lost track of them for now, but they will be out there somewhere.
The Lexington and Enterprise are both back at Pearl now. They will undergo some minor repairs and then we can think about sending them out once more.
The Saratoga will be in dock for nineteen days for repairs, then three days of shakedown, so we will not be seeing her until the new year. This could have been a lot worse.
I send five refuelling ships out to Pearl, they should help us support any long range operations we may plan.