Part 27: Operational Report: 02/01/42
Everyone's favourite Dutch sub is back, but this time she has a tense time as the escorts for the convoy she was stalking discovers her and began running depth charge patterns above her.
The sub manages to escape unharmed however, and the KXVIII continues to hunt the enemy. The Argonaut is not so lucky, she hits a mine off Korea and goes down with all hands lost.
Overnight the enemy have landed troops in Manado and Singkawang. The defenders of the latter manage to hold off their attackers.
The bombing of Port Moresby continues today as the ships in the harbour get another pounding.
The single enemy carrier that was hanging around Borneo has moved south towards Soerabaja, if she plans on making the same pass on the harbour as the larger fleet, then we're going to have to see what we can do about it.
The main carrier force has moved up to Manado and away from our main forces. Losing one of their most important ships must have scared them off. They are now right off Celebes and striking at Manado and Balikapapan.
Their strike on Balikapapan manages to sink two destroyers docked there, as well as one of the ships loading the fuel produced there.
Bataan gets heavily bombed today as over 100 planes fly over the area. Manilla is therefore spared any real pasting. But there are signs that there is another carrier force off New Britain, this makes three separate enemy carrier forces in the area.
Another fairly quiet day. We failed to catch up with the enemy carrier fleet, which is a shame, but our losses in planes and ships have been fairly light.
Looking at the top pilots, we have lost a few of the men on the list in the last few days, but we transfer Vanderfeild to training command. We would transfer major Wanger, but he is in command of air operations in the area, and his removal would cause the collapse of the defence in the whole of Luzon.
Normal day to day enemy movements have been reported.
The enemy carrier is now coming into range of our planes. I have ordered the Swordfish off the Hermes and onto the airfields of Soreabaja, where they will hopefully be of some use. Task Force Z is also ordered to return home.
I've ordered the concentration of all spare units in Australia. I can't get the government to let me take them off the continent yet, but at least they will be ready as soon as I can. Its amazing how much panic the phrase Invade Sidney can cause the politicians think I'm bolstering the cities defence.