From: Middletown, NJ
May 18, 1942
Highlights: CV Yorktown sunk; third attempt to take Lunga fails.
- Japanese troops continue to disembark at the beaches of Attu Island.
- Japanese troops also continue unloading at the beaches outside Port Moresby. Coastal guns get some hits on an escorting MSW and DD
- Outside Pearl Harbor, an ASW TF of DD attack and sink the SS I-1 with depth charges.
- Allied ASW TF’s at Kodiak and outside Columbo also score some hits on subs.
- A Japanese surface combat TF containing 2xBB, 4xCA, CL and 4xDD pay a night-time visit to Thursday Island. There, they catch an AK and 2xAP unloading and supporting operations. The three merchantmen are quickly sunk, however, it was reported that the CA Mikuma took a small arms hit.
- 50xSally bomb Kunming. 12xI-16c attempt to get to the bombers, but 36xOscar keep them back.
- 21xAnn, 33xSally, 18xLily escorted by 15xOscar attack Kohima. Only 3xMohawkIV are available to counter the attack, all of which are destroyed.
- The CV Yorktown spots the CV Kaga and CV Akagi by Ndini. A strike of 17xSBD escorted by 7xF4F-4 is launched. All SBD are shot down by 34xZero. The Japanese counter-attack in two waves. The first wave blows thru the 15 fighters on CAP and scores numerous hits on the CV Yorktown and the CA Portland. AA does do some damage, however, and more than 2/3 of the attacking planes are shot down or damaged. The second wave finishes off the CV Yorktown and puts on bomb in the CA New Orleans.
- B-26B from Dutch Harbor attack the Japanese TF in the area. One attack goes after the CV Soryu and the second against the BB Ise. Neither scores a hit.
- 11xBlenheim attack a transport TF at Akyab escorted by 15xOscar. One Blenheim scores a hit on the AP Seiwa Maru.
- An Australian/American SC TF is spotted west of Port Moresby and 17xBetty from Rabaul attack. The CL Hobart takes a torpedo hit.
- The Japanese troops SE of Honan make another attack, now that they feel the odds are favorable to them and they now number over 120,000 men. However, the 30,000 Chinese hold their ground and almost 1000 Japanese casualties are reported to under 300 Chinese.
- The Japanese 88th Naval Guard attacks the Americal Division at Lunga. It appears that they were not well-prepared and 282 casualties are reported. The Americal division (secretly reinforced overnight by a Fast Transport TF) suffers two wounded as their mortar exploded due to a malfunction. Major Hamilton orders an attack and the 88th Naval Guard retreats to Tassaforonga.
Analysis: I got lulled into a false sense of security that the CV Shokaku and Zuikaku were gone from the Solomons and I could move the Yorktown up to hit his Lunga invasion forces again. I didn't think the CV Kaga and Akagi were in the area and got caught flat-footed. My first (and only) strike on his carriers didn't even make it past the CAP, which just added to the injury. But at least I was able to sneak in and get some more troops to Lunga, which really burnt up Coach Z, since his carriers were there waiting and never saw me sneak in and out of Lunga. Of course, now these Fast Transport ships are in range of the two carriers.