Part 114: Operational Report: 30/03/42
The Tuna gets an exploding torpedo on its second hit.
While the enemy sail a force into Noumea, and find a supply convoy unloading there. In the light of a full moon, they lay into the tree ships and sink them all.
I really shouldn't have mentioned that we hadn't lost any ships in a while during yesterdays briefing.
The destroyer Yanagi has somehow managed to get through all our search planes and to Midway, there it sinks a tanker that was topping up the emergency fuel supply I am keeping there.
More raids on Wake, and more defensive flack fire as we see off another couple of squadrons of Japanese bombers.
While the troops on Kwajalein continue to try and break through the defenders and take the isalnd.
Those level 4 forts are causing us a nightmare, we would have taken this island ages ago but for them.
The Japanese forces have landed across the peninsula from Port Moresby. This phase of the assault seems to coincide with our own attack on Guadalcanal.
It seems both Tojo and I have both decided to start our offensives in the area at the same time, but in our case, the Revenge and Co. sank a large part of their forces before they could be landed.
Our dive bombers go out to try and interrupt this invasion, but they are unable to get any hits into the unloading transports.
But the second wave in the afternoon is more successful.
This does not stop the Imperial Army capturing the base at Salamaua, the 169 defenders retreat after a fairly spirited defence when you consider they were attacked by 1,500 men!
And in a further escalation of the conflict, the first bombing raid in a month appears over the city.
It looks like its finally kicking off in this area.
A large raid on Soerabaja comes in, targeting the runway. Our Aircobras manage to get into the air and account for two of the attacking planes for one loss of our own, as well as another 15 damaged planes.
While the ground troops add their fire to this attempt.
The enemy bomb Chunching once more, and today manage to blow up one of the transport planes on the ground.
The troops advancing north from Hankow drive back the former defenders of the city and secure a supply line to the men in Sinyang.
To the south of Hankow, Wuchang is finally captured, and two of our units also pursue the enemy as they fall back. Over a third of the enemy force is killed or captured in this attack.
Our score rose by 200 points today, and has been rising steadily now for two weeks. We are also downing a good number of enemy planes once more, while our own losses have slowed.
The enemy strike ships are an annoyance.
The loss of the Mobilgas is painful, she was only there for one run.
A look at our top pilots shows no return of Wagner, who is still in the reserves, but also shows something interesting on that list are nine pilots of the 35th PG/39th PS. This is the Aircobra unit that is defending the besieged Soerabaja.
As I cannot afford to let all these experienced pilots get captured, I have now withdrawn the group. We should see them again in 60 days. Once more, I'm giving my brave pilots a well earned rest.
I've also moved the three upgrading cruisers out of the shipyards, so they are now below capacity!
Not that it helps the Saratoga by more than a couple of days.