Part 313: Operational Report: 15/10/42
Its the afternoon before any combat occurs in the Solomons, and the Japanese are the ones that get the first attack in.
Ninety enemy planes make it trough our CAP, and I shift to the edge of my command chair, at this points, hits are inevitable. Plan after plan comes in and makes its attacks, and the Yorktown takes a hit from a torpedo, while the Indianpolis takes two.
As the Japanese planes come up from their attack run, our fighters are on them again, and we take down a good number of them. The air clears, and we have taken only one serious hit.
Then our planes go in, they have to get through a CAP of about fifty Zero's. Eighty of our bombers get through this screen and make their attacks on the enemy ships.
Their strikes hit the Hiyo with two torpedoes and bombs hit the Shoho and the battleship Kongo
22 planes are lost, but we leave two of their carriers burning, one of them a fleet carrier. I'd also like to point out that the bombers have reported Three Fleet Carriers in this fleet, although we have to take that with a pinch of salt.
Some of the dive bombers ignore the carriers and go after what they report to be a lone battleship.
I would rather you concentrate on the carriers, guys, but at least your trying. A second wave of 12 follows, but still cannot land any hits on her.
Wagner avoidance continues at Tarawa, I may try swapping the squadron to night fighting, to see if we can catch them out.
The Cox's Bazar raids continue.
We continue to take our toll on the attackers of Darwin, this height increase has been spectacularly effective.
In the south the Japanese make another attack on one of the roads.
They also open up one of the roads to Sinyang by retaking Suchow with a full division.
Near Shanghai, we push the Japanese even further back, again with heavy losses. At this point this important city is pretty much secure from anything barring an amphibious assault.
We also beat back the Imperial 104th division for what feels like the fifth time, less than half their number escape this time. This is now a division in name only.
The general retreat continues near Canton, as we break yet another Japanese force.
Heart rate slowly dropping. We made it, and no ships have been reported sunk, at least not on our side.
Intelligence are claiming the Hiyo, not without cause. But there are no massed ditches to confirm this. However, a large number of Japanese planes failed to return home, so it may be that the remainder of her complement may have been spread over the other ships.
The damage to the Yorktown is serious, but not life threatening. I could keep her in action for another day, and we know that the Japanese have lost a good number of their planes today in comparison to our losses.
The Indianapolis is in more trouble, and is heading back to Sydney for repairs.
Good lord, I have to do this all over again tomorrow, do I take the kill, or push on Risking the Yorktown?