Part 359: Operational Report: 30/11/42
The Plunger makes an attack on a Japanese freighter, she is low on torpedoes, so makes a surface attack, and is amazed when the ship starts burning from bow to stern the target is assumed to have been carrying fuel oil, which caught alight after the first shell struck.
That's another trips worth of fuel that's not getting to its destination.
The Japanese Air Force continues to use Tarawa as a punching back.
Our carriers announce that they have arrived in the Solomon Sea area. Two squadrons are unable to find any targets, but a third makes an unsuccessful attack on a Japanese cruisers.
This is followed by a wave of Avengers, but they miss with all their attacks. They do report the presence of two destroyers, and take no damage in their attack.
The Japanese then launch air raids against our troops loading at Terapo. We lose a plane, but the ships take no damage.
The Dauntless's make another attack on the Japanese cruiser in the afternoon, and this time are rewarded with a bomb strike.
A second wave goes in, and report the ship burning, they add another bombs worth of damage and return to their carrier.
The enemy come in for Darwin again, and we once again drive them off without loss.
I must say I'm getting very annoyed with the Japanese and their ability to find every undefended tanker I have in the area around Sydney.
In the south of China the Japanese assault some of our troops, and take the perquisite casualties.
Tsingtao is going much more slowly than I'd expected, as the Japanese continue to throw up fresh layers of fortifications to stop our men advancing. But we're getting there.
We do strip Foochow from them, taking their last naval base in southern China.
Another chunk of China is ours, and the Japanese supply lines in the south are now in tatters. In Burma, Akyab has just been reinforced with two more Divisions, so will be making a deliberate attack on the enemy tomorrow.
We have 30,000 front line troops and 65,000 support units, while the enemy numbers a total of 62,000 men. So Victory, while likely bloody until we break through their front lines, should be assured. - After that, its on to Rangoon.
The carriers will be making their strike on Rabaul tomorrow, I want them back at Pearl Harbor for the new year and the assaults on the Marshall Islands, so this is the only crack at the port and the expected 50 or so ships there for a time.