From: Brisbane, Australia
06 August 1944
China gets some action with 63 Mitchell escorted by 66 Warhawk taking on 3 Nick and 7 Tony in the skies over Ichang. All the Nicks are lost and 3 Tony go down. 8 of the Warhawk are claimed as destroyed and some of the bombers also damaged. Clearly not enough CAP to deter the bombers and the airbase takes 8 hits, airbase supply 1 hit and the runway 44 hits. Interestingly by the end of the turn the all damage has been repaired.
An air supremacy mission over Ichang by 44 Lightning against 4 Tony sees all Tony destroyed and 1 Lightning downed.
WO Emura I of 21st Sentai is credited with 4 kills to take him to 9 before he is wounded, bails out and is rescued. CPT Higashiyama W is credited with 3 kills to take him to 11 kills before he too has to bail out and is rescued. We need a new plane now for the 83 experience veteran. Finally WO Koga P, also of 21st Sentai is credited with a kill to take him to 11 but sadly, given his experience rating of 81, he is KIA. Emura, now with a skill level of 82 will be a welcome return when he recovers from his injuries. All of these pilots were flying in the venerable Tony.
Tavoy is on the agenda again after a visit by 109 B-29. The airbase takes 16 hits, airbase supply 5 hits and the runway 115 hits as well as 96 casualties and 5 guns lost. At the end of the day port damage stands at 19, airfield service damage at 38 and runway damage at 19. It looks like a single bomber was lost to flak. The building of forts will be stalled for a while at 83% on the way to level 3 until this damage is repaired. Has Todd taken his eye off of Bangkok for a bit or has he enough airpower at hand to suppress Tavoy, Krung Thep and Bangkok at the same time?
Krung Thep receives attention from 137 Liberators and 34 B-29s escorted by 13 Thunderbolt II. 10 airbase hits, 10 airbase supply hits and 240 runway hits later and the place should be a ruin. I’m not sure what is going on here but at the end of the day the only damage showing is 73 on airfield service runway damage. Very strange that it should only go up by 4 after this pounding. Perhaps the jungle makes it difficult to get those bombs on target.
South of Palau one of my regular transport convoys that I have been using to ferry troops out of Truk and the like finally comes to complete grief. It is my own personal Bismarck Sea. An Allied CV task force jumps it and 7 transports are hit by bombs and torpedoes. The convoy was transporting the last sections of 18th Division and a couple of base forces so probably not a huge loss in manpower.
Around the same time a group of 6 Betty operating out of Amboina locates an Allied surface action group and claim a single torpedo hit on North Carolina. She is reported to be on fire. 3 Betty are reported lost in this action…. All to flak.
The convoy is then set upon by an Allied surface action task force centred on Indiana escorted by cruisers and destroyers. At least 6 of the transports are finally accounted for by the surface ships.
I am surprised that this has not happened months ago. I have managed to withdraw at least 3 divisions and a number of other lesser units through this route; some of which are now doing sterling duty in Burma. Todd likes to be sure about making sure he deploys his fleet in a manner that should ensure he had local superiority. Therefore I am hoping that the strike on North Carolina did some meaningful damage and will curb his desire to operate surface action groups without the benefit of air cover. Of course all it will do is draw his carriers to my airfields for some heavy duty pounding and that may well be the end of my ability to sting him.
The air snoops return at Morotai. 6 PB4Y Liberator bomb some of the shipping here without success. 1 of the raiders is claimed by the CAP of 27 fighters. The fighter presence is bumped up here in expectation of the visit from that carrier task force that messed up the convoy.
A rare achievement for this time of the war. Today the Japanese air loses were better than the Allied. Japan lost 16 aircraft form all means against the Allies 27. Air to air was 11 each with the Allies also losing 11 to operational reasons.
Kido Butai, although powerful, was a raiding force, and this is exactly how the Japanese understood its usage. 'Shattered Sword'