From: USA now in Brasil
December 26, 1944 Off Of Pinrang
5th Army is located at Tsitsihar.
4861 men are based at Wonsan.
27684 men are based at Changchun.
101 aircraft are based at Mutanchiang.
6656 men are based at Saigon.
72536 men are based at Tori Shima.
40th Division is located at Nanning.
1st Mortar Battalion is planning for an attack on Chungking.
6th Field Artillery Regiment is located at Sian.
62nd Division is located at Nanning.
28th NLF is located at Bangkok.
140th IJA Base Force is located at Ominato.
Southern Area Army is located at Naga.
Iki Fortress is located at Ikitsuki.
F-5C Lightning takes recon photos of Bangkok 34 LCUs
Mosquito PR.IX takes recon photos of Singapore many ships, 25 fighters, 40 bombers, 48 aux, 19 LCUs 34920/207/121
PBM Mariner takes recon photos of Balikpapan 6 LCUs 16120/163/0
Mosquito PR.IX takes recon photos of Amboina 30 bombers, 30 aux, 5 LCUs 16380/41/0
F-5C Lightning takes recon photos of Cagayan 25 LCUs
PBM Mariner takes recon photos of Bataan vacant
PB2Y Coronado takes recon photos of Roxas 1 X CA, 1 X DE
PB2Y Coronado takes recon photos of Marcus Island 16 fighters, 14 aux, 7 LCUs 14420/45/0
F-5C Lightning takes recon photos of Truk 1 X SS, 15 LCUs 46200/28/0
F-5A Lightning takes recon photos of Rabaul 11 LCUs 47200/102/0
PBY Catalina takes recon photos of Buin 7 LCUs 1320/0/0
The SS Lamprey, 99 miles E Taipei, scored a torpedo hit on a lone AP.
A night time surface combat occurred about 74 miles NW of Pinrang. It was a totally lopsided affair that the Allies never saw coming. The Japanese struck with 3 X BB, 2 X CA and 6 X DD catching a CVTF totally unprepared. The Allied ships were 2 X CV, 1 X CVL, 1 X BB, 1 X CA, 1 X CL, 1 X CLAA and 6 X DD. The following were the results.
BB 2 shell hits, on fire
CA 2 shell
DD 11 X hell hits, on fire, heavy damage
DD H1 shell hits, 2 torpedo hits, sunk
DD 1 shell hit
DD 9 shell hits, 1 torpedo hit, sunk
DD 1 shell hit, on fire
CV Bunker Hill 21 shell hits,on fire, heavy damage
BB Iowa 63 shell hits, sunk
CA Boston 16 shell hits, on fire, heavy damage
CLAA Juneau 4 shell hits, 2 torpedo hits, sunk
CL Columbia 19 shell hits, 2 torpedo hits, on fire
DD Fullam 3 shell hits, 2 torpedo hits, sunk
DD Gatling 17 Shell hits 17, on fire, heavy damage
DD Hutchins 26 shell hits, 3 torpedo hits, on fire, heavy damage
DD Knapp 32 shell hits, 3 torpedo hits, sunk
DD McDermut 6 shell hits, on fire
DD Miller 4 shell hits, 1 torpedo hit, sunk
The Japanese ships 121 W of Pinrang were attacked by 6 X SB2C (3 destroyed), 9 X TBF (2 downed, 5 damaged) and 25 X F6F (10 downed, 3 damaged). The Japanese CAP of 75 X Zeke lost 28 planes and had another damaged. A CV was struck by a bomb and was burning and a CVL suffered a bomb hit.
The Allied ships 98 miles W of Pinrang were under a CAP of 38 X F6F and the Japanese struck with 62 X Grace, 12 X Jill, 68 X Judy and 55 X Zeke. The Allies lost 8 Hellcats and 2 damaged while the fighters and flak accounted for 13 Graces (22 damaged), 3 Jills (3 damaged), 3 Judys (4 damaged) and 39 Zekes destroyed. The following damage was done to the Allied force.
CVL Bataan 6 bomb hits, 2 torpedo hits, on fire, heavy damage
CV Randolph 8 bomb hits, 4 torpedo hits, on fire, heavy damage
Another strike of 14 X Grace, 14 X Judy and 2 X Zeke appeared and 14 X F6F tried to fend them off. 2 Graces (1 damaged), 3 Judys and 2 Zekes were shot down and the CVL Bataan took a torpedo hit. Another strike of 2 X Betty, 36 X Frances, 8 X Sally, 14 X Helen and 13 X Peggy encountered 30 Hellcats. 1 X Betty, 5 X Frances (2 damaged), 5 X Helen (3 damaged), 4 X Peggy (4 damaged) and 5 X Sally damaged were the Japanese price paid as 4 F6F were damaged. The CV Bunker Hill took 4 bomb hits and a torpedo hit. In the late afternoon 67 X Judy, 6 X Jill, 46 X Grace and 27 X Zeke found the shattered CVL Bataan and sealed her fate with 8 bomb hits and a torpedo hit. More Japanese planes returned to the scene, but failed to find any targets. The CA Boston was scuttled later in the day as there was no hope for her with a broken keel. The fate of the 3 surviving ships is in serious doubt. The CL Columbia has heavy systems damage, moderate flooding and some fires burning. The DD Gatling has heavy systems damage, heavy flooding and moderate fires burning. The DD McDermut has moderate systems damage, light flooding and some fires burning.
Tavoy was hit by 44 X B-25J (6 damaged) and 12 X Spitfire VIII for moderate port damage, some secondary explosions and light casualties. Then 33 X B-24J (1 downed, 4 damaged), 3 X Thunderbolt II and 9 X Spitfire VIII arrived adding light port damage, some more secondary explosions and light personnel losses.
Andaman Island was struck by 43 X B-29 (3 damaged) and 12 X Thunderbolt II for heavy airfield damage, a secondary explosion and very light casualties.
Krung Thep got bashed by 129 X Liberator VI (3 damaged) and 22 X Thunderbolt II. The airstrip took heavy damage, there were a great many secondary explosions and casualties were moderate.
The IJA 65th Brigade, at Lunga, was hit by 50 X SB2C, 36 X TBF and 16 X F6F for moderate losses. An Allied attack resulted in heavy Allied losses and extremely heavy Japanese casualties.
The IJA 18th Division, at Cagayan, was jumped by 12 X TBM (2 downed, 1 damaged), 1 X F6F and 2 X FM-2 for light casualties. The IJA 56th Division was the target of 24 X B-25J (2 damaged), 23 X TBM (3 downed, 5 damaged), 13 X P-47D, 27 X P-38J, 19 X F6 and 3 X FM-2. The unit had moderate losses. Then the IJA 102nd Division was attacked by 24 X TBM (5 damaged), 2 X F6F and 7 X FM-2 for light casualties. Later 18 X SB2C (12 damaged), 16 X P-38J, 11 X P-47D, 26 X F4U-1, and 17 X F6F caused moderate troop losses. The LRCAP intercepted some Topsys.
The 5th New Chinese Corps escaped harm from 8 X Peggy.
The SS Corvina, 109 SE of Taipei, hit a solitary AP with a pair of fish sinking it. This was an already damaged vessel, possibly attacked earlier in the day by the Lamprey.
The SS Trout, 17 miles N of Kragen, was hammered by 5 DDs. She will try for Darwin having heavy systems damage and heavy flooding.
At Tulagi the Allies had light casualties and the Japanese very heavy losses from an Allied assault.
Buka fell to the Allied attack.
The Navy's brass is asking many questions and a full investigation is going to be made as to why a CVTF that had explicit orders blatantly disregarded them and met with utter destruction. The TF had a commander who wasn't aggressive and the the react was set to 0.
Ed is fuming that his Old Gals are just sitting in port with no orders and the IJN is out there and beating up on the USN. That just isn't supposed to happen at this stage of the war. As he sits in his office Phil enters and Ed tells him to “Pull up a seat. Never underestimate the strength of your enemy because he's sure as hell going to sink his fangs into you as soon as you give him the chance.” Phil nods in agreement and hands the new orders to Ed who reads them and literally jumps out of his seat and says, “Time to assemble a TF and protect the flank.”
O'Bannon sets sail as part of the escort for 3 X BB. They are headed for Morotai and then from there anything is possible. Frank marvels at the sight of the huge ships as they plough through the swells that toss his ship. He wouldn't trade the O'Bannon for one of those behemoths as he's a tin can driver through and through.
Stick spotted a Topsy and was just about to dive on it when another flight of Corsairs blasted it from the sky. “Dammit it all to hell,” he mutters to himself, “I'll never get a kill at this rate. Upon returning to base the guys are relating the downing of some helpless transports in great detail and Stick quietly listens with great envy.
Eight French Gestapo leaders were executed in Paris.
Bastogne was relieved today.
Victory Points Allies 48899 Japanese 38047