Part 65: Operational Report: 09/02/42
The O24 strikes its target three times with dud torpedoes.
The dawn brings a landing force to the shores of Samarinda, and troops storm ashore from the boats of the Japanese fleet.
Landing several thousand troops over the day, the defenders are overwhelmed and quickly surrender.
The defenders of Djambi take some losses today when the enemy bombers pay them another visit, I'm going to have to move them south again, rather than wasting planes in this area.
Planes form the Imperial Navy carriers went hunting for the Indomitable this morning.
They blast their way through the few planes the British carrier has in the air, and make a series of strikes on the ship herself.
The only upside is that the Vals are using 250kg bombs, rather than torpedoes, meaning that the previous days strikes may have used up their reserve of those deadly long lances.
Another strike at the Hermes is less effective.
The flack guns on the carrier have a field day, shooting down three of the attacking planes, with the one Hurricane in the air claiming another, all for no hits. That ship seems to be charmed.
But the main carrier group has moved north, and strikes at Batavia.
In a continuing good day for our pilots, we lose one plane for two of our enemies valuable carrier capable planes and pilots.
Unfortunately we confirm the survival of the Chitose. I didn't think she had gone down, but the attacking pilots confirm she is low in the water.
The Exeter takes a 250kg bomb in the afternoon, and is left burning.
The Snapper is hunting off the south of the Philippines with some success
You know the story of the skies over the battered bastards of Bataan.
The only difference is that today we manage to down one of the attacking planes.
Rather than attacking the defenders of Manila head on today, the enemy opt to give their troops a rest, and hammer our boys with a merciless artillery bombardment.
The Captain of the Swordfish must be cursing his luck, he lines up a large enemy tanker transporting fuel or oil to mainland Japan, he fires his fish, and gets a hit.
But no explosion.
I'm surprised no one has found the guy who designed these torpedoes dead in an alleyway somewhere, - he must have a whole load of angry Submarine captains angry at him.
I hate to admit it, but the enemy are mopping up the once attackers of Luganville, and it will only be a few days before our troops surrender. There is no point in sending in reinforcements now.
A day that was not a disaster is a good day in my books, we lost another couple of squadrons in shipping it seems, but we lost no large ships.
I'm afraid we may lose the Indomitable tomorrow, as she is shipping water from the damage she has received over the last few days.
Planning wise, its the same as yesterday, attempt to engage the carriers in a naval battle while they are out of torpedoes and damaged.