From: USA now in Brasil
January 26, 1944 The Marianas
2840 men are based at Matsue.
1st Heavy AA Battalion is located at Tokyo.
6186 men are based at Taipei.
54th Division is located at Okayama.
1st Mixed Regiment is located at Amoy.
3925 men are based at Nagato.
2839 men are based at Matsue.
3rd Reserve AA Regiment is located at Matsue.
43rd Construction Battalion is located at Soerabaja.
F-5C Lightning takes recon photos of Luang Prabang vacant
Mosquito PR.IX takes recon photos of Tavoy 12 fighters, 4 bombers, 19 aux, 4 LCUs 13080/46/0
F-5A Lightning takes recon photos of Port Moresby 44 fighters, 29 aux, 24 LCUs
PBY Catalina takes recon photos of Kwajalein 1 X AP, 19 LCUs 6740/62/0
PBY Catalina takes recon photos of Lunga 18 LCUs 18260/125/0
The SS Flounder, 72 miles SE of Guam, found an IJN CA believed to have been the Furutaka and hit her with 2 torpedoes causing heavy damage and fires.
The IJN lost a DD in a night time surface engagement near Guam. It is thought that this ship was trying to pick up survivors from yesterday's actions as there can be no other explanation for her being there by herself. Ed is pleased with his Old Gals and their performance of late.
The SS Dorado, 81 miles E of Kagoshima, was attacked by 3 Japanese PCs, a PG and an MSW. She was unharmed and easily made good her escape.
The 5th New Chinese Corps was again bombed by 9 Helens and casualties were light.
The IJN TF 231 miles N of Pagan was attacked by 64 SBDs, 15 SB2Cs, 34 TBFs, 30 TBMs and 34 Hellcats drove off the lone Zeke in the area. The AA fire from the ships damaged 4 SBDs, destroyed a SB2C (4 damaged), damaged 14 TBFs and downed 3 TBMs (15 damaged). The American planes did their deadly work and managing to do the following:
CV Unryu 4 bomb hits 4, 3 torpedo hits, on fire, heavy damage
CV Taiho 10 bomb hits 10, 1 torpedo hit, on fire
BB Kongo 2 bomb hits, on fire
CV Akagi 4 torpedo hits, on fire, heavy damage
Then another attack of 12 SBDs (2 damaged), 15 TBFs (1 splashed and 8 damaged) and 6 Hellcats added to the score:
CV Taiho 4 bomb hits, a torpedo hit, on fire, heavy damage
CV Unryu a torpedo hit, on fire, heavy damage
Still not done another strike bored in on the Japanese ships. 19 SBDs, 15 SB2Cs, 44 TBFs, 9 Wildcats and 19 Hellcats went to work at the cost of a SBD and an Avenger downed plus another Avenger damaged. The fighters accounted for the lone Zeke that was still hanging around.
BB Kongo 1 bomb hit, 1 torpedo hit, on fire
CV Akagi 6 bomb hits, a torpedo hit, on fire, heavy damage
CV Unryu 3 bomb hits, on fire, heavy damage
CL Nagara 2 bomb hits, on fire
Then an additional 17 SBDs targeted the BB Kongo and hit her with 2 more bombs.
The Japanese ships near Rangoon were bombed and strafed by 14 X Thunderbolt II. An AK was raked heavily by the strafing runs, though the bombs all missed. Then 26 X B-25J and 2 X Thunderbolt II came in and another AK was hit by about 6 bombs, leaving her heavily damaged and burning. She was later reported to have been sunk. Rangoon's port was bombed by 46 X B-25J (2 damaged), 28 X Thunderbolt II (6 damaged) and 20 X P-38J (3 damaged). The damage to the target was light, there were many secondary explosions and personnel losses were heavy.
An air attack on the Japanese ship 68 miles SE of Guam was made by 58 X SBD, 72 X TBF, 53 X TBM, 16 X F4F-4, 6 X FM-2 and 34 X F6F. The target was believed to have been the CA Furutaka and a lone bomb hit was scored on the already battered vessel. 8 X TBM then tried their hand, but failed to hit the target. Another 9 TBFs and 8 Hellcats attacked and they too failed to get a hit.
The USN TF 29 miles NW of Pagan was attacked by 10 Judys and 6 Jills, but the CAP of 12 F4F-4s and 84 F6Fs downed all of them excepting a lone Judy that hightailed it out of the area after dropping her ordinance harmlessly in the water to lighten herself.
Saipan was attacked by 53 X SBD, 77 X TBF, 58 X TBM and 9 F6F. There were no Japanese planes aloft, but the flak accounted for a downed SBD (10 damaged), 12 TBFs and 8 TBMs were also damaged. The airfield was lightly damaged, the port took moderate damage, there were many secondary explosions and 2 Bettys, a Frances, 3 Judys, a Dinah, a Jack and a George were destroyed on the ground.
The SS Porpoise, 20 miles E of Butung Island, attacked 5 IJN tin cans, but failed to hit them.
Later in the evening reports filtered in that the IJN CVs Akagi and Unryu and the CA Furutaka were no more.
The SS Redfin nears Darwin and the flooding is at the point where any worse and they'll lose the boat.
In Burma the Allied troops are keeping after the retreating Japanese. The problem is that of supply and they will be relying on captured Japanese food to keep their bellies full until a port, such as Rangoon falls.
The Flying Deuces and their brand new F4U-1D Corsairs are on Guam. The mechanics are busily putting the planes into flyable condition. Stick can't wait to get into action. In the meantime they have been ordered to stay at the airfield as it's possible that there could still be stray Japanese soldiers around. Stick watches the Sea Bees turn ruins into a fully functional base as if it was magic. Not only that, but they are expanding the facilities far beyond anything Stick has seen this side of Pearl Harbor.
Ed's notes contain praise for the performance of the ships under his command as they've conducted bombardments, engaged in naval combat and come through it all ready for more. He thinks that an old salt like himself has done well and that all the years he's spent in the Navy served him well in preparing him for this.
No letters today, but Sandy is OK with that even though she'd prefer to get some.
Gil spent some time getting a bit of gunnery training today. “I guess I'm like everybody else and would like to shoot down a Jap plane,” he says to his instructor. The man agrees with that assessment and reminds him to lead his target.
Victory Points Japanese 29703 Allied 21434