Part 23: Operational Report: 29/12/41
The Enemy try to move two mine layers into Singapore harbour, they run into our lone mine layer, and even though they have a destroyer escort, they flee the scene.
As soon as it is light, the torpedo bombers stationed in Singapore pay them a visit.
South of Singapore, over Linga, two Betty bombers are shot down attempting to bomb the island.
Port Moresby also comes under attack for the first time, the attacking bombers manage to sink a light freighter unloading in the harbour.
The enemy also launch a large scale attack on the ships in Soerabaja, this time catching our raiding forces in harbour.
Despite sending in over a hundred planes, ninety of them bombers, the enemy were unable to hit a single ship, and lost three of their planes, with over a score more damaged by the concentrated flack being put up by the harbour defences and the ships anchored there.
The Carrier also sends out two squadrons to Balikpapan to raid the destroyers there. This is a waste of planes in my opinion, given the richer targets in Soerabaja, but I am not complaining.
Their return attack in the afternoon however, is much more successful.
Our own attack on their carriers is met with a massed wall of Zeros, and all but one plane is shot down before being able to make a single attack run. A second run of Vildebeest loses half its number to the same wall, without fighter cover, the slow bombers have no hope of reaching the enemy ships.
Rangoon undergoes some heavy bombing today, one of the defending fighters is blown up on the field, but we get a Nell in return.
In the air over Luzon, the desperate battle to stop the bombers continues, today having some luck.
That bloody sub is still hanging off the coast of Australia.
That was a brutal day, one more the strength of the enemy's torpedo and dive bombers has been proven, while our own have proven inadequate.
The enemy may have lost more planes than us today, but the ship losses have been decidedly one sided.
Intelligence gives us nothing useful.
We do have a piece of good news though today.
Another of my Daughters has arrived, the Yorktown is now in San Diego and ready for orders, I will wait the six days until the Saratoga has finished her repairs then send both ships out with a seizable escort.
In Soerabaja the Hermes is damaged, but still operational. She may be small, but she's tough as boots.
The two cruisers hit are going to be in dock for a while, but they should survive, as long as they don't take any more damage.
But we have one more problem.
Those carriers are still sitting off the coast, we cannot hit them using our planes, their CAP is to strong for our obsolete bombers to get through, so we have one option.
Task Force Z has been assembled out of every remaining ship that can sail and shoot in Soerabaja harbour. Lead by the Repulse, this force will sail at the enemy carriers, and attempt to engage them at night.
This is a risk, as they will not have the protection of the harbour flack guns, but sitting still will only allow the enemy to pound us with no chance of response. This is a risk to break the enemies back in the area.
The Hermes is also putting to sea to further split up the enemies attacks.
Now we can just wait.