From: Middletown, NJ
December 17, 1942
Highlights: Naval engagements around Nanomea; Luganville invaded
- The Allies enter the waters around Nanomea Atoll with the CA Indianapolis, CA Northampton, CA Pensacola, CA Quincy, CLAA Juneau, CL Concord, CL Honolulu and 6 DD, looking for the Japanese.
- Starting off poorly, the CL Condord hits a Japanese-laid mine.
- They find the CA Kumano and her escorts, The CA Kumano is pounded by shells and is sunk, along with the DD Hayabusa. The Allies take very little damage.
- Then, three Japanese DD's are pounded, with the DD Satsuki and DD Kiji sunk; but these DD's put up a decent fight and CA Northampton and DD Laffey are hit with torpedoes.
- The CA Takao and its' escorts are located and the CA is pounded, but was not reported sunk. The CA Quincy suffers a torpedo hit.
- The CL Kashii and two DD are found and the CL Kashii is reduced to a charred heap and sunk. The DD Laffey takes a second torpedo hit.
- The DD Inazuma was found alone and easily sunk.
- Two of four Japanese MSW were quickly sunk as the other two fled.
- The Allies then bombard the Japanese beachhead and retire back towards Funafuti. No Allied ship is sunk, but some suffer heavy damage.
- Allies make a few attempts to attack Japanese ships by air around Nanomea, but the CAP is too effective and no aircraft can penetrate the defenses.
- Allied air forces continue their non-stop bombardment of Japanese troops at Luganville. Then the invasion fleet arrived at the shores. Betty's from Lunga attack, putting a torpedo into the AK Coquina and AK Waimea, but this speed bump is brushed off. Troops begin to unload, the AK John Hart hits a mine, and the transports and escorts suffer varying coastal gun damage, but the troops make it to shore and establish a beachhead. Initial reports show very few Japanese combat troops remain on the island.
- Japanese attack at Lanchow, but are beaten back by the Chinese, who are well-emplaced with fortifications.
- Americans clear some of the remaining Japanese from Amchitka Island.
- Allied engineers expand the airfield at Perth to level 6, Wallis Island to level 5; and the ports at Umnak Island to 5 and Adak Island to 2.
Analysis: My engagements around Nanomea went very well. Of course, my ships got banged up quite a bit and this will put a dent in my CV escorts, but I think this was necessary to scare him away from Nanomea. None of my ships were sunk, but some are in bad shape (DD Laffey) and will be out of action for a while.
Lots of ships spotted just west of Funafuti, so this must be his second wave. I'll divert some of my airlifted forces to Funafuti now and shuffle some PT boats back there. I don't have decent AV, so my level 9 forts will be all my defenses will hinge on.
I hit the beaches at Luganville with two divisions, only to find it lightly defended by base foces and engineers (AV 60?) compared to my AV over 500. Talk about over-kill... But at least I should secure the base quickly now.
And in Burma, my mess continues, as he now has over 60 fighters back on CAP over Mandalay and I'm still rebuilding my decimated air groups.