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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 11/2/2012 7:57:57 AM   
1275psi

 

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It is a quiet day in the war

The Bukas attempt to strike Palua, but merely kill a few fish.
A few bombs are dropped on Japanese troops in PNG, and the small struggle for Aitape becomes bloody.
Over Burma, 2 Hurricanes encounter 20 plus oscars as they cover the advance down the trail from Taung gyi.
One goes down inflames, killing pilot officer Bartlett.

The world, of course, will never hear of pilot officer Bartlett, other than the widow, his family he leaves behind.
Its a pity, you know.
Top of his class, a brilliant passage through Oxford, a science degree, then the damn war............
In an alternative future, where he does not get killed, ..........he cures at age 72 cancer.
But that, I suppose, is the tragedy of war...........so much that will now never occur...........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1621
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/2/2012 8:16:48 AM   
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Zuiho moves from the wharf to the roads, joining the heavy carriers swinging in the clear waters.
It is a move that has come none too soon.
Its a paradox, ships generally try to keep the water out, but for many things, they must let it in.
For condensors, coolers, sea water is the medium used to cool. In ports like Sembrang, this has become a critical issue.
Tons upon tons of vegetation is swept into the sea every day in this stinking port, and far too much of it has dammed up against her flanks, and pushed downwards, thourghly blocked her intakes and suction strainers.

For the Charge and his gang, the last 48 hours has been a hidden war. Start this Turbo generator, shut down the other one. Rip open the strainer, pull out the crap -crap that has ranged from vegetation to a dead dog.
Box it up again, get her going, for now something else is cooking...........
They work around the clock.
Now, however, out in the roads, this battle is almost won.

Charge is in the CPOs mess, changing into fresh coveralls, when Lurch finds him
"Problems Lurch?"
"yes Chief!"
Charge rolls his eyes, "Oh come on Lurch, surely you can handle it, or a Petty officer?".....(the lights are still on, surely it cannot be that bad?)

""Ahhhhhh, CPO..I regret to report that, that, this one has us beaten"
"Oh very well, show me"

Starboard engine room, and the usual canopy of sound greats his ears, sounds that seem perfectly normal........
"Whats the problem Okano"
His Engineering Officer of the watch grins.'Ask Hirate!, hes downstairs.........no way i am going down there!"
This of course, sounds not quite right......Charge heads down the ladder, and aft, where the shadows are dark amongst the tangle of machinery and pipes.
The bilges, he notes, are somewhat higher than they need to be.
"Problem Hirate?"
Hirate, around those vivid red patches on his face, is pale, very pale
'A SNAKE!, a truking great sea snake came out of the strainer........and its down here some truking where!"

Sea snakes, are of course, lethal..........

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Post #: 1622
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/2/2012 3:49:04 PM   
kaleun

 

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_____________________________

Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 1623
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/3/2012 2:40:55 PM   
Gridley380


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Is sending someone to get rid of a sea snake like sending them to get a bucket of prop-wash or a left-handed dial caliper?

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Post #: 1624
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/3/2012 10:32:33 PM   
1275psi

 

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Hi Guys

The sea snake incident did actually happen to my ship once................

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Post #: 1625
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/3/2012 10:35:39 PM   
1275psi

 

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9/1/44

Zuiho continues to swing on here anchor.
Two days have passed with out incident for her. Although rumours have it that a certain japanese destroyer has a snake onboard, and that it is considered a lucky charm (as well as an excellent rat remover), Zuihos latest addition to her crew has a short lived life. Oil filled bilges are not healthy, the poor beast is found expired today.
But only then will Hirate go downstairs.......


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Post #: 1626
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/3/2012 10:57:05 PM   
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Major Gushi is just a small cog in the wheel of war. An important cog to be sure, but one that will recieve little or no attaention for the bulk of the war, a situation that actually suits him, he is far past the shenanigans of combat, almost too old to be flying at all.
Today is day though, he usually looks forward to, taking the latest class of a dozen trainees in their little nates over the skies of Naha, and spending ammunition against a towed streamer.
This is the second last day of his 7th training class, next week they graduate, and take their place in the meat grinder cue.
Major Gushi will then turn to the next lot of sorry recruits, and try to turn them into pilots.

Its cold today, cold but clear, and the world beneath is a pretty picture indeed as they circle waiting for the towing bomber.
Soon a bomber turns up, but not the one expected.



When he sees them, coming in from the west, it takes more than a moment to process the shock......planes, five planes, big, 4 engines,.......twin tails!!.Liberators!. Liberators here!, over here!
My gods........the rumours are true..............

Around him, his students fly, and every single one of them is looking his way............
It takes a moment.
Do they want me too..........?
yes you old fool...........what else!
Almost in a dream, he raises his hand into the slip stream, swings it around, points it hard at the growing shapes sweping in.......ATTACK!

Safety off!??, yes........gods, get a grip, full throttle, go for the lead buke, go for the lead Buka........ turning in, turning in......they are so fast!, so fast!..........its slipping past!, alright, the second one then, stick over!, full boot, sun, world swinging, wind howling.......I am actually going to fire, gods, unbelievable, I am actually going to fire.........
The guns hameer, he's shooting back!, TRUK!, close, rolling away, world above, below, pull her up under the barsted, too fast!, godes, too fast, now there is one behind me.............overtaken by a bomber...........
he laughs, a manical mixture of insane disbelief and abandon, its too absurb, a fighter overtaken by a bomber..but he swings into it nevertheless,............

The pilot of the buka, plain as day, face, cap, moustache, cocky hat, upper turrett swinging his way, flashing under him, sun, shadow, the roar of his mighty engines, peeling away and down, flicking back up, Nate so manouverable, so toothless, and the last bomber streams past 200 feet overhead, tracer hosing down his way.............

Breath again

The bombers, still five strong, but two he sees , trailing dead engines, simply leave them behind.
But the chicken, he notes, still has his hens, they gather about him, some, he sees, have been hit.


Welcome to the war my friends. Welcome to the war.
But gods.........they are attacking japans sacred soil itself!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1627
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/3/2012 11:03:30 PM   
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herbiesan reads the report

"Five liberators you say?"
"yes sir, operating from somewhere in China, we are not sure from where."
'But they were intercepted by 12 fighters, of, let me see, the ## training unit, a Major Gushi...........and let me get this right, none were shot down?'


...................."Sir................they were flying Nates..........hardly our front line fighter"

herbiesan stares coldly at his aide. 'The emperor is displeased, a temple of sacred Japan was damaged today. Major Gushi still lives, he should have used his fighter as a weapon, and rammed the enemy other than let them bomb!"
'But sir!"
'But nothing!. Disband that unit today!, NOW!, and post this Major Gushi to the front immediately, preferrrably one where the fighting is bloodiest!"

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Post #: 1628
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/3/2012 11:05:14 PM   
pws1225

 

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This last passage, my friend, is one of your best. Very nicely done.

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Post #: 1629
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/4/2012 3:33:24 AM   
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Again, there are things many in this world will never experience, that are nearly impossible to pass on in mere words
A tropical sea, calm as a mirror, under a brilliant full moon, a glimmering sheet of silver from horizon to horizon.. Captain Ishiko of light cruiser Oyodo takes a moment to suck in the sheer beauty of the world about him, taking strength from it before the ugliness begins.

He steps up to his bridge coaming, stares into the brilliant night ahead. Visibility is outstanding, 6000 yards ahead, he can see his lead destroyer, 6000 yards astern, CL Noshiro following.
The wind is cool and sweat upon his face, the water hisses past, his ship vibrates beneath his feet.
He , his ship, the world, alive.

Quietly, as if reluctant to break the magic, he speaks into the tube in front of him
"radar, bridge"
'radar!'
"report please"
Three contacts sir, 24000 yards, bearing 30 degrees on our port flank, they are closing sir"
'Anything else?"
'I believe I am picking up other contacts astern of the enemy, hard to tell yet sir"
"Very good"
Very good. Always, always, the command says very good. We sail towards death, and it is very good...................

He steps up against the coaming, calculating, 18000 yards to Hahikaze, closing at a total of 60 knots..............
Now the first order of the night.........."Stand to guns, prepare for action, port side. Fire only when ordered"

Ammunition. He must preserve his powder, his shot. A crazy thought surfaces in his head..........from a book on Drake against the Armada......"we were won't of shot to inflict more damage.........."

Three destroyers.
But the real prize is over the horizon yet, nestled at Hollandia.
He means to take it.

"Hahikaze reports enemy in sight sir!"
"radar!"
'Bearing 050 now sir, port bearing increasing!", range to our lead ship 11000 yards!"

"Come right 10 degrees, full ahead Flank!. Signal destroyers Hahikaze, Ikazuchi to engage,............we must press on!"

How many tons, how many men, how many horsepower..........Oyodo creams through the seas, her guns swinging now to Port, seeking, seeking.......
He must keep them muzzled.
Must.

And now, ahead , but on his port flank, the night is lit by gunfire, the crack, crack , crack of 5 and 4 inch guns sweep the beauty away.
Mans ugliness returns.
"Starshell!......SHOOT!"
Crash!, the guns bark, tongues of fire turning night to day..............and the world does become day to port.........and there they are, Fletcher class, 3 of them, boring in.

The destroyesr are wheeling to meet them, shadows on the horizon, but the moon is so bright that even from here they can see the curling bow waves, the rooster tails, the ships dance almost, light, dark, light, a mad cartoon revealed by the flash of many guns.

Oyodo does not fire, nor does Noshiro
'We were won't of shot"..........".I will not fire yet..........."

Destroyer Hahikaze is ablaze now, fair admidships, Ikazuchi too, a fire under the bridge, forward turret gone...
But the allies burn too...........and they are now on his AFT port quarter, unable to close, fading, hidden behind Hahikaze's smoke and flame.

She buys us time.
I wiill not waste it.

'radar - bridge!"
Bridge!
'many ships, directly ahead sir, 18000 yards.!"

But for want of shot..............
'Starshell.........bearing 0 degrees, fire !"


The three enemy destroyers are astern now, the crack of guns from there still hammering on.
2CL, 3 DD race on
The star shells burst ahead, the orange, white, drifting down, down, revealing the targets below.
Targets. Worthy of shot. Worthy of plenty of shot.
Gently almost, he bends to the speaking tube again. "Weapons free. AP, engage!"
Beauty is long gone.
Now it truly gets ugly.








(in reply to pws1225)
Post #: 1630
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/4/2012 3:52:20 AM   
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It takes but a moment to see it all.
Four tankers, line astern, fleeing, 3 more destroyers between them and their sheep.
But, but............there!, there on the horizon, 20000 yards away?...............ships, Oh so many ships!!!

He looks astern.
Oh brave warrior!, Hahikaze is still coming on, fire boiling from her guts, falling steadily behind.
Ikazuchi too.........
They will have to care for themselves. have too.
"Fire!, get the tankers!, open fire, all guns!"
The night shatters again, the flames leap out, the shells white and hot streak across the sky, disapear into the black hulls, ........

And soon the fires burn

The enemy ships interceed.
His remaining destroyers race in, attack dogs going for the throat
Madness.

It goes on, and on, the raid banging of the 6 inch guns , pounding senses, thoughts into oblivion.
The tankers are abeam, the tankers are now astern...........they are past them, past those columns of fire , bright pyres that turn the rest of the night dark about them..

'but for won't of shot..............."
'cease fire!, cease fire!.

Oyodo races on.
Noshiro races on
Ikazuki hangs on with them
The others are gone astern, still snarling , fighting, biting in the night.
Dawn is coming.
Ammunition state?

50%

but for wan't of shot............

'new enemy ships in sight sir!, on our starboard flank!, ther, against the shore!
Enemy carrier in sight!

but for want of shot..................


"Attack!".

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Post #: 1631
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/4/2012 4:06:29 AM   
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They are spread before him, asses to him, fleeing
4 columns of merchants.
4 destroyers racing through the columns AT them
And a nice fat CVE nestled at at the end of them.

Noshiro hits it first, the burst blossoming along her flanks, again, and again.
Oyodo takes on the DDs, his destroyer anything else that floats.

Torpedoes, glimmering streaks of death weave a wild web across the waters, he dances her around them, a ballet better than any swan lake, any bull fight.
Nothing touches her, shells fly all around, water piles high, and still she fires, and fires at the fleeing ships.

'Guns empty sir!"
For wan't of shot!

"Bring us about!. Home. Home as hard as we can, for the sun rises, and the eagles will soon seek the revenge.






Rain covers them all day as they flee up the coast.
But not from the SS Flasher.
Oyodo will wear two fish, and is doomed to sink

It was an ugly dance
But it had it beauty too, in its own way.





CVE Corrigedor -8 hits, 2 dd hit, 6 transports struck last engagement
4 ao sunk, 2 dd hurt second engagement
3 dd damaged first engagement

many loadings disrupted
Cost, oyodo, 2 dd crippled.


But the enemy CAN be surprised.
Biak is really going to see the allies hanging in the wind.


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Post #: 1632
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/6/2012 12:22:24 AM   
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Man mated to machine, flying as one
How many times have you read those words?
As if.............
But now, for this brief moment, Fuchida does feel this.
He feels the very wing tips, the slightest movement of the aelerions, his rudder, his elevator, passed instantly through to him , to him, in him, by the stick.
He feels every vibration, every buffett, every inch of every foot pound of loading on his wings.
Time slows.........earth on left shoulder, sun on right, arse pressed hard , so hard into the seat, wings vertical.

he see's his tracer reach, and reach, striking, striking, the P 38's left engine exploding, seperating.........he can see the turbo charger, the wheel, , the bending blades, the wing ripping away...............

The sublime moment
The moment of the kill.

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Post #: 1633
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/6/2012 12:23:13 AM   
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The 38's sweep Biak

two flights, 18 strong.


They have their arses kicked.

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Post #: 1634
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/6/2012 12:28:14 AM   
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A second dawn at sea.

Zuiho and her fellows has just joined with the rest of the carrier fleet, and are now shaping for the Banda sea.
Darwin is reported bulging with ships.

But one of them will not be part of this mission.

In rage, Takeji turns to Hidaka.
"How can this be!!!?"


There is no answer Hidaka can give.
Lady luck must surely have deserted them

CV Hiryu burns, gutted by two SS fish.


Is there no where they can sail in safety?

No where???

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Post #: 1635
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/6/2012 1:49:33 AM   
PaxMondo


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Wow, he is REALLY, REALLY good with his subs.  You've got to completely re-think your ASW, or you won't have a capital ship left.

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Post #: 1636
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/6/2012 3:28:21 AM   
Gridley380


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So? He'll rough 'em up with DD's!

Carriers? We don't need no stinkin' carriers!

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Post #: 1637
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/6/2012 5:12:07 PM   
Borys

 

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PO "Long Pig" Graham - that has a nice ring to it :)
The subs are murder ...
I thought Fuchida was a bomber pilot - that he was to lead a mission in a BN5. Is my memory playing tricks on me or is he that good or is that cameo licencia poetica?
Borys



< Message edited by Borys -- 11/6/2012 5:14:17 PM >

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Post #: 1638
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/7/2012 9:40:35 AM   
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Fuchida is the Charges son, fighting with the 47th sentai at Biak. (yes, its been a long journey)

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Post #: 1639
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/7/2012 9:46:59 AM   
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13 jan 44


24 hrs since Hiryu was hit

Word is, she still burns. Soerabaya may save her

Or not.

Takeji holds the latest flimsy in his hands. He does not know whether to file it, or throw it overboard.

From 1st Fleet.
to
Combined fleet

Intelligence reports

"Number of enemy SS suspected or known to be operating in Sorong, ambon, biak triangle
24
please take appropiate precautions.


It is enough to make a man weep.
But he is Captain. he cannot.
Carefully he hands it back to his communication sailor
'thankyou, very good"

Always. Remember that Takeji. Always. Very good.

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Post #: 1640
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/7/2012 9:57:00 AM   
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Hosho once again looks into the skies above the lines.
It is, as usual , the daily show.
Faintly the snarl and chatter of the dog fight above comes to them, overcoming the ceasless buzz of the insects in this jungle.

The enemy have tried, once or twice, to bomb them.
At cost. Now, it seems, they are going to try to clear the skies of Japans fighters with sweeps of their own.
A show worthy of crawling out of the trenches to see.

The battle above rolls across the sky nearly all morning, high, high above.
Occasionally, a loser falls, but it is too hard to see who's side it is, there is just the streak of smoke, the tearing howling scream, the rising column of death from the jungle ........

Eventually, the men get bored, and seek the shade again. It is hard to see, of course, any connection to the battle above, and their lot in life.
If they are not being bombed, thats good. After that...............



For men hounded all the way from the Indian border, Hosho and his troops have short memories............
It is fighters that keep the bombers away

And the enemy has a new one. Spitfire Mk8
And they kill 11 KI 44's over Moulmien today, for no loss.

Japan gets the Frank in 8 weeks. It cannot come soon enough.

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Post #: 1641
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/7/2012 11:32:35 AM   
GreyJoy


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Another torpedo hit on a CV!?!? Oh, com'on!!!


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Post #: 1642
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/7/2012 3:54:19 PM   
Borys

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Fuchida is the Charges son, fighting with the 47th sentai at Biak. (yes, its been a long journey)

OK - confusion clarified.
I was thinking about the commander of the flying part of the Zuiho :)
Borys

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Post #: 1643
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/8/2012 3:34:22 AM   
Gridley380


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Borys


quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Fuchida is the Charges son, fighting with the 47th sentai at Biak. (yes, its been a long journey)

OK - confusion clarified.
I was thinking about the commander of the flying part of the Zuiho :)
Borys



Arr Japanese names sound arike!

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Post #: 1644
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/8/2012 9:53:45 AM   
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The 14th of January 1944


Diogawa, Ogawa, Uto are gathered on Zuihos flight deck, arses on her wooden planks, backs against the little island, taking what shade can be found here.
The wide expanse of Kendari harbour, if that what you can call this place, sweeps about them, still and silent under the baking tropical sun.
There is no breeze, a 110% humidity, and little prospect of relief from the heat for at least another 6 hours.

"This place stinks". Uto sums this "important japanese outpost" sweetly. He is right. It does
But it stinks for reasons other than what wafts across the nose.
Ogawa looks up into the sky, face screwed with anxiety. "How in the hell can we anchor here? Isn't this place in range of darwin?. Are our Admirals mad?"............


Not mad
Desperate

The fuel crises in japan is now critical. If it floats, its being pressed into service carting the precious black oil or fuel back to the homelands, and that includes the fleet train.
Only Kendari has fuel enough for operations near the top of PNG, only here can the carriers hope to linger, and have a chance to dash into battle when the enemy appear.
And appear (it seems) they must soon.
There are enemy SS streming in a great patrol line from Palua to Biak. Literally a dozen or so prowl around sorong. All the passages between Ambon and the north boil with the buggars.

Five fulll squadrons of japanese bombers hunt them, and ASW patrols scour the waters.
The bombers claim hit after hit.All certainly false.....the ASW patrols get sunk............
There can vbe, surely only one reason for this massive concentration. Isolate Biak, starve her before the battle.

Ogawa has every right to worry. If the fleet is discovered here.............
Ogawa would worry more if he knew High Commands thinking now. Carriers are now expendable if expending them can win a victory.
Holding them back is no longer an option.

(in reply to Gridley380)
Post #: 1645
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/8/2012 10:03:19 AM   
1275psi

 

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14/1/44

Fuchida eases his stiff and sore body into his cot, hoping to rest for just a minute.
CAP all day, but with out contact.
His wingman offers a small bowl of rice. It even has some vegetables in it. "Where the hell did you get that from?"
"never you mind, just eat it Ace, there is still enough of it about"
'Enough, but for how long you think?"
"Who knows?. There are a lot of mouths to feed on this piss arse rock though..."

And pitifully few ships getting through, or so it is rumoured........

Fuchida struggles to sit. "The Navy won't abandon us. Not this place, its too important"
'I hope you are right. , I really do"

So do I, thinks Fuchida, Father, i am sure I will see your little ship again.
gods willing.


Wearily, he puts aside the bowl, and oblivious to the heat, humidity, the mosquitos, falls asleep.

The liberators wake him at midnight, the sirens wailing in the dark,.
And at 2 am
and 3
and just before dawn as well, just to put a full stop on it.

Fuchida will fly today sleep depraved.
And not a little peeved off.

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Post #: 1646
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/8/2012 10:08:30 AM   
1275psi

 

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15/1/44

Dawn

Fuchida feels the grains of tiredness behind his eyes. Feels the lethargic wieght settling on his limbs.
The Bukas came again last night.
And again, and again.

Just 2 here, 3 there. Ignoring the Irvings hunting them in the ink of a moonless night, scattering noisy , annoying crud all over the island of Biak.

Fuchida has been shot at, shot down, has missed death from a dozen causes by a dozen hairbreadths through out this long, long bloody war.
But this. This is beyond annoying now.
Heaven help the next Buka that crosses is path!!!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1647
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/8/2012 10:14:37 AM   
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CV Hiryu alongside Soerabaya, finally puts the last fire out.

She sits on the bottom now, a blackened hulk, saved purely by the fact that the water here is too shallow to go any deeper.
But what the water has not reached, the fires have.

Japanese tenacity, stubborness, means that they will try to fix her. Why, some even think (fools they be) that she may be needed in further battles one day, in oceans japan will never sail on again.
But then, I suppose, to not try to repair her means that you are already giving up.
And Japanese never give up...............





Hiryu......71 flood, 59 system, 49 engine, fires out ( they reached 56 before she reached port)

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1648
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/8/2012 10:17:51 AM   
1275psi

 

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7 mozzies of Pilot officer (long pig) Grahams squadron sweep Moulmien
4 get shot down

Returning, faith in his beautiful wooden wonder considerably shaken, he makes a firm decision.
He will never fly without a packed hamper of supplies again.

Just in case..............

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 11/8/2012 10:24:22 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1649
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/8/2012 12:12:12 PM   
PaxMondo


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Joined: 6/6/2008
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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Five fulll squadrons of japanese bombers hunt them, and ASW patrols scour the waters.
The bombers claim hit after hit.All certainly false.....the ASW patrols get sunk............

Well, SC's are a lot cheaper and more common than CV's. Do you have your FP's trained up for NavSearch/ASW? I use them a lot instead of bombers. Jakes and later Norms are really good ASW spotters for me.

_____________________________

Pax

(in reply to 1275psi)
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