From: Ya sure, you betcha
HUGE NAVAL VICTORY FOR IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY AS WELL AS A LARGE LAND LOSSES FOR UNITED STATES:
The last month and a half have been relatively quiet in the Eastern Pacific. However, in mid-June, 1942, Japanese submarine I-172 spotted a large United States convoy assembling in the French Frigate Shoals area. The Imperial Navy, sensing an offensive against either Johnston Island or Midway, assembled two carrier groups [consisting of 7 carriers] sending them to a position for interception in either case. The exact position has been classified as "secret".
On June 22, 1942, Rear Admiral Yamaguchi [overall commander of the carrier groups] received a report that the garrison at Laysan Island was under heavy naval and air bombardment. Scout planes from Midway confirmed the report and indicated that a large United State naval force was approaching the small garrison. Moving his carrier groups to a position 120 nautical miles northwest of Laysan Island, RAdm Yamaguchi launched a furious 4 day air assault on the American task force.
RAdm Yamaguchi's own scout planes confirmed that an amphibious assault was taking place against the small Japanese garrison occupying the island [the 42 Naval Guard and 130th Engineers - some 3,000 men total]. Furthermore, the garrison commander radioed that elements of the 1st Marine Divison and 125th RCT had commenced landings directly into the island defenses [see map below showing our defenses and shore battery positions. It also shows the main thrusts of the American landing forces and a feint intended to draw off our valiant defenders]. The garrison commander indicated that losses on both sides were heavy and his shore batteries of 5.5" and 4.7" guns were acquitting themselves quite well.
For four  days, the garrison on Laysan resisted the landings of the marines and soldiers of the United States. In the end, the garrison was wiped out to the man, but last reports of the garrison commander indicated that over 4,000 marines and soldiers littered the island.
During this four day assault, RAdm Yamaguchi's carriers inflicted a very heavy toll on the United States Navy's amphibious task force. Although the island garrison was overwhelmed after four days of heavy fighting, the US Navy lost 3 heavy cruisers [San Francisco, Astoria, Portland], one light cruiser [Raleigh], 10 destroyers [Fanning, Mahan, Drayton, Lamson, Porter, Flusser, Perkins, Balch, MacDonough, Schley], 2 APDs [Manley and Little], 6 APs [Barnett, Fuller, George F. Elliot, President Hayes, Heywood, President Madison] and 5 AKs [Mauna Loa, Aroostock, Canadian, Steel Exporter, Steel Voyager]. RAdm Yamaguchi reported no Japanese ships were damaged or sunk and that American carriers did not present themselves during this four day period. The Americans have reportedly abandoned Laysan Island two days after its capture.
American newspapers have expressed outrage at the volume of the losses, both in men and material, in the taking of this small atoll. They are reminding the American people of the high cost for taking French Frigate Shoals several months previous. It is being reported that Admiral Nimitz is being recalled to Washington D.C. to meet with Administration and Congressional leaders.
< Message edited by grunt6971 -- 9/1/2009 5:52:34 PM >
"Over?! It's not over until we say it's over. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!" John Blutarsky from the Movie "Animal House"