RE: The little ship that could. (Full Version)

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1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/17/2012 11:58:06 PM)

The chain of islands is bombed, all of them
Recons die like flies in a mortien spray factory
CVL Independence is positevly identified.

And if it can move, japan moves it towards the Arafu sea.

We take a breath, and prepare for the plunge.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/19/2012 9:08:07 AM)

It is a long, long day.
Action stations are called at 0400 hours, and at action stations Zuiho shall remain for the entire day.
The menace about her, below the surface, and potentially above it, is too extreme.
Takeji will have her buttoned up today, and buttoned up she shall remain.

For the men below decks, in this tropical heat, its hell.
Every door and hatch is dogged down, every scuttle screwed down, every access hatch tightened down to maximum.
For Lurch, and his companions, to get from one end of Zuiho to another is a physical marathon.

For the men in the spaces, the galley, the dozens of tucked away corners, the minutes drag by, excruitiating minute after minute.
How many expect a fish to gut them this moment?
All, at some time or another, I suspect.

The fleet enters the Banda sea, and marks time, fuelling from her fleet train............

Out on the far flank of this fleet, with only destroyers to his right, the majority of the fleet to his port,
Takeji takes Zuiho alngside the tanker for his turn with the usual aplomb, and watches with satisfaction how much easier it goes in these glassy seas.

He moves to the bridge wing, and bends over it to shout to the men below
"How goes it Engines?"
Minobe winces visibly as he looks up. face pale, small beard distinctly greying, hair receeding.
"They will only give me 700 tons!"
"Little wonder! - THAT has to fuel yet"
Minobe merely nods, shrugs, returns to his work'

Takeji takes in THAT for a moment.
Yamato makes an impressive ship yes, but what risk to bring her into here!. And the fuel, the fuel she must need.

And that, of course, is once again the problem.
There are but three tankers here, and they will be sucked dry. A sorry picture indeed, when Combined fleet must lend its AO's to General command merely to cart oil. A sorry picture indeed.

'Sir!, aircraft bearing 090!, range 15 kilometres!"

Quick steps into the bridge, hand to the siren.
Blast1, blast 2, blast 3, blast 4, blast 5.....Emergency breakaway!
"Gunners report!, standby to launch ready fighters!...........Engineroom bridge, stadby for full revolutions, heavy manouvering!"
The words, the actions flow automatically.
Zuiho responds about him.......
'Lookouts!, report!"

'Single aircraft sir!, 4 engined!, coming straight in, 10 kilometres!, CAP intercepting!'

4 engines..........BUKA!, Liberator coming to smack my arse...........

"Bridge, Focastle!, fuelling gear clear sir!"

Good!............. 'Full ahead Flank!, Starboard 15!, , Action port guns!
The bells tinkle, beneath his feet, the wail of the fans rises to the familiar scream. The uptakes bang, the funnel belches black, the deck vibrates, she begins to lean, picking up speed

A fighter rumbles of the deck, flying a crazy crabwise flight, for a brief moment he thinks it must go in,............
she straightens
Another roar, another, his birds are away.........

Where the hell is the buggar?
Bearing 090!...........5000 metres sir, 2000 feet.......our CAP is on it!"

Swiftly Our captain moves to the bridge wing, expecting to see the liberator thundering in.
Float plane..........four engined!...........on fire..........going, going, going................IN!!

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/19/2012 9:14:58 AM)


Takeji rests on his bunk, shirtless, pantless.
He too is human. below decks is just so hot................

He rests , back against the wall, legs a spread, a small glas of scotch in hand
Hidaka sits opposite, his glass also filled with golden whiskey.

"Too a kill" Hidaka raises his glass
'Too a entire fleet with CAP, and yet............."
"A Zuiho flyer brings her down.............he has seven now"
"Not that we count"
A laugh..."no, not that we count"

They sip drinks in silence, zuiho alive around them.
"The Situation captain?"

"The Bukas are gathered here, south Arafu sea, some island called Wessel.............just sitting there."
"Waiting for what?"
"Gods know.................but I can guess.........."

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/19/2012 9:19:29 AM)

...but I can guess............

20 liberators attack Boela, at 6000 feet...........45 zeros, 6 george fighters intercept
20 A/c damaged on the ground
7 liberators attack Boela, at 8000 feet, there are less fighters.
They miss
9 liberators attack...........Boela
No interception........2 A/C destroyed on the ground
8 liberators..........
28 Liberators.............
More bloody liberators..............

Boela is broken.
7 liberators shot down.
Boela is broken.

....its not a hard guess..........

Gridley380 -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/19/2012 6:09:22 PM)

The great battle at last? After so long? After so many let downs?

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/20/2012 8:58:41 AM)

Gawd I hope so gridley 380, this approach by cantona is just so baffling!

Sorry, no update today, ..........working late.

PaxMondo -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/20/2012 10:52:28 AM)

I think he is trying to bring out, or tie down, the KB ... why though is another question.

whippleofd -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 2:29:48 AM)


ORIGINAL: 1275psi

herbiesan very sad,

failed at writing 101................then again sailors do have our own world and language

I will try to be clarer next time............

I hope you don't.

For me, one of the best parts of this AAR is the Sailor and "hole snipe" lingo because "been there-done that." I like being able to read it and know from your excellent storytelling ability exactly what these men are up against and how they might approach fixing the problem. Only someone who enjoys working in 100% humidity and 110 degree F temp in such a loud environment that you can't hear your shipmate talk will know the joy of stepping onto the deckplate every 4 hours and know exactly what peice of equipment is operating - and able to pick up something not quite right- because of the vibrations you feel in your feet.


1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 8:07:43 AM)

Thanks Whipple.........nicely put!

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 8:14:07 AM)


Combined fleet sails slowly north, Kendari on its port flank

If the days are long, this night is even longer.
The enemy fleet remains at wessel island, , pinned by Japans search aircraft.

Pinned.........but at a cost.
One Betty unit, 36 strong, is vectored to this piece of ocean, in three days, 36 has dwindled to 17.
The reports come in too frequently............I see carriers............! I am under attack!....................then silence

Carriers!!............but what type?/ Independence we know..............but the rest?
These are, to be blunt, trying times.

So combined fleet cruises, eeking out her fuel, waiting, waters crawling with hidden menace.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 8:29:43 AM)


Fuchida cruises at 20000 feet over Biak, canopy open, wind whipping past, sun beating down over a delightful sky, a stunning blue sea, a (from here at least) a tropical vista heaven would envy
Nearly 20 of his Companions are aloft with him, below, at 16000 , a dozen zeros prowl as well.

They have been aloft for nearly 3 hours now, the dawn patrol. But the big bukas have not come.
A glint of sun, low down, several miles away.................over the coast...............lower the wing.................bandits!!
Wiggle stick, arm circling above head, pointing to that hidden flash, crane neck.............yes, yes, they see them too.
That rush of excitement, the drop of adredalin............the wiggle of the bum, the fidget of the fingers around the stick, the grasping of the throttle..........the growing roar.

rudder hard, stick over hard, the joy of the great wing over, nearly inverted, nosing down, levelling the wings, and into the dive.............

The dive.
Diving is no easy the speed, watch the angle!, so bloody easy to go too far, to invert, or to overspeed...........diiving hard now, 370 knots...........75 degrees...........altitude winding off in a blur on the clock, that great screa.........easing into the turn................

'Fighters gain bounce"
This is no bounce, this a stomp..............47th tigers swarm down upon the B-26's......guns firing, pass, after pass...........he takes his plane into sight, wings into him, intercepting ..........the baseball flinging past the bat......speed ball, but this bal sprouts fire and death and lead, a great string of black holes stitching across green paint, aluminium, rivets........
past, and stick hard into belly, speed for hieght, rolling, rolling, ready to come in again................

They are down already........four bombers gone..............the ocean already drinking its daily blood.

Later, men will wonder if these bombers were not lost, or misdirected.
If so, it was a fatal mistake.
And 47th will give no second chances

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 8:34:09 AM)


40 miles north of Hosho, the allies try a recon
Even from here, 55th division can here the drum roll of the artillery, distant thunder over the horizon.

The motorised recon unit is allowed to cross the river, and then, well, then obliterated.
For a while, verdun would have seemed quiet compared to this artillery barrage.

Both sides learn things
We learn, they are probing
He learns.........where most of Japans Artillery is gathered..
And where we will stand.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 8:51:14 AM)

Takeji focusses his glasses on the flag ship. In the soft dusk light, the great carrier is growing fuzzy, her sharp lines soft and indistinct.. he can see the flags fluttering.......
Damnation, getting old has nothing hoing for it.
he will have to wait for younger eyes to tell him what they say. Irritated, he turns to the next officer waiting to make his nightly report
Minobe awaits him
(ah so, finally fully back in action. And still sober I see. Then again, not even he would risk a drink whilst we are so close to action)
"Evening Engines.............anything major today?"
Minobes eyes scuttle about the bridge
"A few minor things sir. But full power is still available. We need to blow soot tonight, especially with this slow speed cruising on all 4 boilers, charge reports many of his burners are very dirty"

Takeji turns away, trys to see the flags again, buying time to consider.
Soot blows..........a relativly simple request, except........except they limit manouvering while occuring, they blow smoke and more importantly sparks like a beacon.............
But they have to be done.
There were no submarine attacks last night.
None today
And the enemy, for what?, the third day now, still remains at wessel island.

Something in his gut tells him, ..........soon , again, I will need every pound of steam Charge can wring from this old lady.
he turns back to Minobe 'Approved."

He stares hard into the mans eyes. "We will need to be in good shape in the days ahead, I think Engines. Don't let me down......"
And then, as almost a final plea, for the man that must surely still be in there somewhere " nor yourself"

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 8:53:08 AM)

The liberators go for Boela again.
Less of them
New fighters

Boela is still in business.

(If he's waiting for the heavies to clear the way, he's whistling dixee!)

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 9:13:14 AM)

The seaman stands beside the charge, patiently waiting.
Charge has a set of carbon gland seals in his hands, and is carefully examinin them for any bloody thing that might explain why that sh#t eating pump gland seal keeps failing.
his face is smeard with oil, and his arms are black to the elbow. A large rag, almost as dirty as he is, hangs from his back pocket.
Casually he takes it out, begins to whipe the seal, bends his ear
"Yes Able seaman?"
The young man yells the sorry news
"Petty Officer Toga reports that there is water in the after diesel sump............and that the header tank is empty"
The whiping never ceases. Nor, its seems, the stream of problems today. A condensate pump down....again. A feed pump needing repacking, the Port TG lost vacuum for some unknown reason............only to find it again (bloody curious that one, and disturbing at the same time), and now this............
'Tell the Petty officer to isolate start air, we will be down shortly"

He hands the ring to the leading seaman working on this pump, turns to the phone box.
His day is ruined, time to share the joy around.

Hirate takes the call in the after repair station. A few nods, a few Hiei's!.
Carefully he hangs up., turns to his runner
"Charge suspects a cracked head aft Diesel, go and shake Okano, and share the good news will you. "

Aft diesel, overlooking the quarterdeck, and with a door to the outside.
A better place than many, to spend a battle.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 9:14:48 AM)

And still he sits gentlemen
I smell a rat...........or something has gone tits up on him
Whatever, I can wait if you can.............the clock still ticks on, and Tokyo is still a long, long, long way to go.

PaxMondo -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2012 11:12:49 AM)


ORIGINAL: 1275psi

I smell a rat........................the clock still ticks on, and Tokyo is still a long, long, long way to go.


1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/22/2012 8:23:21 AM)


This, in their opinion, good work
The door to the quarterdeck is open, and a steady cool breeze blows through it into the Aft emergency diesel space.
Nor is the work particularily technical, "nuts and bolts stuff" Hirate quips.
Good work to get dirty with
Good work to keep them away from watches below, or endless hours at the damage control stations.

Water is coming out the gas cock on number 3 cylinder.
Not really an ideal situation.
No, really.

Now the sump is drained, the coolant dumped, the injector pulled. Intake and exhaust piping to come off.
Nuts and bolts work.
They are betting on a cracked head, but, as with anything mechanical, it may take a while for the real picture to become clear.

As it does in many things.

Takeji reads the signal.
"Get me Hidaka"

Zuiho rests at anchor again at kendari, as does 60 % of the fleet. Overhead the CAP prowls.
A reassuring sound..........but only to the ignorant.
But this is the only place with fuel in range. More is coming, but for now, this is where they must base from.

"Ahh might be interested in these.

These, it seems, place more pieces in the puzzle.
Boela has been visited again, but remains open
50 liberators have hit Ambon, 9 have been shot down.
How many do they recieve a month?..............something Hidaka truly would like to know.

But the next piece.
Many Landing ships, and APA's sighted passing horn island, passing into the Gulf of Carpenteria.............

'How many?"
Takeji scratches his head. "Truk knows...........but we must honour this threat yes?.
"yes, we must...............will we stop them sir?"
The older man merely smiles.........

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/22/2012 8:27:02 AM)

Patrol craft 'E" type, Sagi, and Hayatusa add to their list of honours.

They ambush perfectly a convoy of 4 AK/AP and 3 DD departing Rangoon, sink a large AK, hit another, and escape scott free.

May the rest of the fleet draw from them in the days ahead!!!

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/22/2012 8:29:39 AM)

Japan hears of the last, but not of this

CV Hiryu , struggling to Singapore, succumbs to her wounds north of Soerabaya, sliding gently to the bottom.

Sunk by a single Torpedo.
But true.

(left Soerabaya at 63 flood!!!!!)

GreyJoy -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/22/2012 8:31:24 AM)


ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Japan hears of the last, but not of this

CV Hiryu , struggling to Singapore, succumbs to her wounds north of Soerabaya, sliding gently to the bottom.

Sunk by a single Torpedo.
But true.

(left Soerabaya at 63 flood!!!!!)

[:o]... damned damned silent hunters

John 3rd -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/22/2012 3:35:02 PM)


ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Japan hears of the last, but not of this

CV Hiryu , struggling to Singapore, succumbs to her wounds north of Soerabaya, sliding gently to the bottom.

Sunk by a single Torpedo.
But true.

(left Soerabaya at 63 flood!!!!!)

\Why didn't you just leave her there, bring in an AR, and get things in better shape?

BBfanboy -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/22/2012 4:02:30 PM)


ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Japan hears of the last, but not of this

CV Hiryu , struggling to Singapore, succumbs to her wounds north of Soerabaya, sliding gently to the bottom.

Sunk by a single Torpedo.
But true.

(left Soerabaya at 63 flood!!!!!)

Post # 1635 said two fish and subsequent posts say she burned more than 24 hrs. Fuel or Ammo Storage Explosion maybe? That makes the System Damage much higher and the loss much more likely.

Soerabaja drydock is too small to take her but the Shipyard tradesmen and shops should have been able to do much repair alongside. Was Herbisan worried about air attack at Soerabaja already?

John 3rd -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/22/2012 6:45:09 PM)

Man---I would have left in Port until every possible point was repaired and THEN moved her...

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/23/2012 8:31:19 PM)

Hi Guys
re hiryu

BBF fan was correct, 2 fish.
She crawled into port all but sunk
Flood was not going to go any lower than what it was when she sailed
Only 2 ARs in the fleet left

But remember this, using Kaga as an example, Hiryu was for all intents sunk, even if I saved her, she would not be back until nearly wars end

certainly not for when I really need her................right now!
Moving her might have been a mistake, but................

(quite possibly, if losing one CV is painful might want to look away soon, I am about to risk the lot!)

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/23/2012 8:42:27 PM)


CL Natori, and that little old rattling terrier CL Tenryu take their turn at rangoon
Its another smash and grab.
They slot a destroyers with a fish, sink her, sink another 3 AKs, have a good wash down from the hundred near misses, and get away undamaged.
Its another small pin ****, another small successful attack.

It does however, not escape High Commands notice.
Could this be the way to counter the enemy invasions coming?
Not one smashing blow, but a stream of arrows, streaming in.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/23/2012 8:49:46 PM)

3 Liberators attack Boela, and Japan has 90 plus fighters circling the base
Typically, they escape.
The line of islands in the Arafu sea are all hit, a APD is sunk (the supply run has now become doubly deadly), and the next enemy convoy sighted passing through the gulf arrive to join the fleet gathering at Wessel island.

This information has been gathered at great cost, the betty unit on search is stood down, now only 7 planes strong.
Boela, Ambon remain open, but barely.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/23/2012 9:17:54 PM)

Hirate and Okano remove the head off the Diesel,.

They say it together, the curse ringing loudly enough to be heard on the quarter deck.
Its not the head. The cyllinder liner itself is cracked.
"Do we have a bloody spare?"

The bad news, as all bad news is, is swiftly conveyed to Charge.
"Ok then, get over to Shoho, I am going to owe them more than a favour now"
The men grin. Ship visits are always a great escape from the days routine.
But the mens grins fade as Charges tone of voice hardens. "Do not linger, there is a good chance we might sail tonight, and I am not going to battle with you pair stuck on the wrong ship!"

The signals, the flashing lights work overtime in Kendari harbour. One after another the destrroyers take their turn at the small wharf, refuelling.
There is, of course, not a hope in hell of getting the carriers or Battleships alongside.. They must wait for the tankers,
regrettably, they are still a long, long way away.

At midday, the flags burst forth on Zuikaku. "All Captains to Flagship"
Takeji turns to Hidaka, his eyes twinkling "Our Masters call. The deliberations of wieghty men and matters I suspect"
"Which will?"
""I don't bloody care you know, as long as it brings a battle. This waiting, these near misses.........."
Takeji takes his sword, places his cap firmly on his head. "I for one, will be asking for one thing, and one thing only, attack"

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/25/2012 1:22:20 AM)


Old men
We are all but old men, fighting a young mans war.
Takeji sweeps his gaze around the hanger deck, at the greying faces, the thinning, whiting hair of his fellow captains.
We are old. But we stll can fight.

The enemy have sailed from Wessel island , 4 distinct task forces, the carriers following. Much has been discussed about the enemy fleet, Takeji thinks, personally, that the enemy fleet may not be in the formation desired.
But it doesn't matter. They are coming. And that does.

Four hours have been spent discussing the counter stroke, the formations to be deployed.
The banda sea swarms with ASW assetts, they wait for the word too.

Takeji shifts un easily. Too much talk!. Let us be away!
And then the message arrives
"Gentlemen" Admiral Abe calls them to silence. "A message "
Silence fills the hanger.
Dread fills takeji's heart.
"A sighting report. 10 ships, 320 miles north east Marcus, direction west, speed 20 knots"

The Greying man lowers his head, then raises again..and smiles.
If the Wessel island fleet is a diversion, then what can it consist of yes?............nothing as strong as us. This, this "sighting".Army planes. An island we can do with out. I see an opportunity , not a threat."
He stands, every inch the Japanese warrior.
"To your Ships. We sail, Banda sea, then the Arafu. We attack, and good luck to you all"

Takeji leaves amongst the first.
And his heart is filled with joy. .
1944, and Japan still attacks.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/25/2012 1:35:19 AM)


Banda sea.

0900 hours

Zuiho lays on the southern corner of this fleet, 4 CVLs, two mighty battle wagons in the middle, destroyers fanned ahead.
Overhead, Hidaka and his CAP prowl. Somewhere to the south, 11 of her Jills search.
40 miles ahead, the main 6 carriers. Aead of them, Hiyo.

And seemingly everywhere, small japanese task forces.
The reports flow in, have flowed in, a steady stream of paper, flimsies that so driely tell of death, and blood, and glory.

Before dawn, 4 E class asw ships have engaged a DD and a tanker 120 miles south of the line islands
The tanker burns
The E class ships are crawling home, savaged.

The enemy have kept coming.

Another flimsy.
"From CL Yahagi.
Enemy warships in sight.
Am attacking"

He hands the signal back. His eyes wander the bridge, his men.
His steel helmet.
Silly bloody thing.
But its there. This time, maybe he will really need it.

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