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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/8/2013 11:44:30 AM   


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Its a quieter day in the air, this day
The allies lose 31 planes, Japan 23

On Waingapoe, fighting has stalemated. The allied fleet appears to have withdrawn (South dakato is hit by a 100 lb fire cracker) to Koepang
There are now 5 japanese battlewagons in this area.

I think we stated the day of the battlewagon is done

Maybe, maybe we are wrong.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2371
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/9/2013 11:36:47 AM   


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3rd August

On the road to Moulmien.
55th division still march north, winding through the jungles, over the road that they now know so well. The weather, as always, is a barsted, hot humid, the mornings always clear, the day slowly clouding over, thundering up, the late afternoons almost like clockwork delivering the pounding showers, the thunder, the storms.
Then, for a blessed hour or so, the coolness, before the humidity begins to climb brutally again

Hosho climbs this latest rise steadily, how many bloody crests and rises to conquer today?
He marches/climbs, scrambles at the head of his long column of men, struggles to this ridges peak, and stops, stunned

The thunder had been heavy, yesterday, rumbling from the north towards them.
Except, it wasn't thunder.

In a strip, at least 5 miles wide, stretching for miles too many to see, the jungle has been destroyed.
Blasted, torn, ripped up, thousands of shattered trunks, stripped branches, a nightmare of craters, tree roots, stinking puddles of muddy water.

And death

The B29's have been, have harvested. yesterday, somehow they have missed the 33rd division on the road ahead of 55th, but not by much...............

Hosho stares, dumbfounded.

And a terrible fear passes through him.
How can one fight that?

And then he straightens, and begins to march down the hill, down into this strange and terrible landscape. he is Japanese, no?,
They will fight whatever comes, whether by sea, by land, by air.
They will fight them.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2372
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/9/2013 11:44:45 AM   


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Pilot Officer Graham T (long pig) is posted to London, he has earnt a rest.

His Commanding officer sends a signal, sending him to the general pool of reserve officers
On the same day, pilot officer graham, R, is also posted, to the front, mosquito squadron.

Signals are processed, clerks busy at the deadly work of paperwork.

Note, I am afraid, the letter R's position , Oh so close to the Letter T on the keyboard...........

Crap happens.

Two men are posted, one, confused, Graham R, to London, the other, with almost equal bafflement, back yet again, to the war.............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2373
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/9/2013 11:51:43 AM   


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Cv Zuikaku departs Japan, repaired at last
So does BB Mutsu

Combined Fleet consists of Zuikaku, Shokaku, Taiho, a damaged kaga, Shoho
Junyo joins in 12 days

The rest?...2 cvls, a CV.......90 days.......if we are lucky.
how quickly the winds of war have changed.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2374
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/9/2013 3:49:10 PM   

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ORIGINAL: 1275psi
Crap happens.

Two men are posted, one, confused, Graham R, to London, the other, with almost equal bafflement, back yet again, to the war.............

Perfect description of a SNAFU!
Is there any part of military life you are not familiar with?!


No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2375
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/10/2013 11:28:57 AM   


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It will be a long day on yamato
She is called to action stations well before dawn, her guns loaded, her decks clewared for action.
Hirate and Okanotake their positions.
Hirate looks around him. What was it?, three, four days ago that they joined?, it was more than that. The wonder of this great ship has faded now, replaced, he feels, with something more important.
Stoker he may be, but now he is here, part of this gun, part of this team.
He winks at Okano. Besides. He is here with him.

They have been bombed on Zuiho, They have been sunk. He has raced those waters. Fate took Minobe, spared him, spared his closest friend.
Now here they are, on a floating armoured giant.
Life is strange, yes?

Breakfast arrives, sweat boiled rice, fish, rolls, and heavens!, 3 bottles of sake.

They eat, they share.

The alarms ring.
Hirate takes his place........the shell rises, he takes it from the hoist, swings it up, around, passes it to okano, turns back, waits for the next.
About him the whine of the hydraulics, the shouts of Suzuki,
"target!, twin engined bomber........4000 metres!, engage!"

The gun barks, the turret begins to swing, and comes to shuddering halt
"Buka!", screams Suzuki..'failure!, get the maintainer!"
The turret captain swings across the gun."Engage manual!"

Okano sees it though........."Buggar this!".....Hirate........shut that valve!, and that one!, its got to be the DCV!.....the spanners, quick!"

About them, yamato is a volcano of fire, but this turret is quiet, a terrible, terrible thing...........

8 bombers attack, coming in hard and low...........and, amazingly, a pete takes one down.
The bombers miss, yamato shuddering too the near misses, her deck rivers of water from the great white fountains.
Men grimace through out the battlewagon.

The turret springs to life again
And two men, covered in oil, hands dirty again, job done, laugh.

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 2376
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/10/2013 11:33:26 AM   


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Liberators attack macassar.
22 nd sentai springs into life

Their kills spring to 141

Fuchida flies, but does not engage.
Word has reached them, his fathers ship, Zuiho, is reported sunk.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2377
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/10/2013 11:34:50 AM   


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78 B29's pound Hong Kong harbour.

The net is closing

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Post #: 2378
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/11/2013 11:17:03 AM   


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Wearily Takeji climbs the island on Hiyo.
Her captain is still enroute from Japan, war or not, the routines of Staff School, of promotion courses, continues

Yet Hiyo must soon go to sea.
Still deep in dockyard hands, she is covered in a million cables, an endless number of hoses. Here rust smears her flanks, but there, new metal, only primed, waits for new paint

her two gangways seem like highways, men climbing up, nearly everyone carrying something that has to be installed or fixed yet.
the other, men going down, mostly empty handed.

This, of course, worries takeji, worries him very much.
In ten days, they must go to sea, this is the schedule. Soon, that ant line of men going down must be carrying all the crap that does not belong on this ship off it.
he sighs, tomorrow, hopefully.

he reaches the bridge. Something new, something different.
And today, somewhere quiet.
Its a good bridge, this one of Hiyo's.

But its not his.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2379
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/12/2013 11:51:37 AM   


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Ogowa and Diogawa fly into Singapore.
Its been a strange journey, manilla, Jolo, siagon, some dusty bowl of a field in thialand, then Vic point, now finally, here.

A long journey

Diogawa sums it up grimly

"Some one, somewhere, does not have a clue"

The sentai settles into the field, the planes swarmed by the mechanics. They have been here before, of course, Singapore is a "good run"

'care to?" asks ogowa
'care to what?"
"get pissed of course"
Diogawa grins."Woof!, don't mind if i do, old chap, don't mind if we do"

(in reply to 1275psi)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/12/2013 12:11:52 PM   


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herbiesan moves to the maps edge, his two body guards silent shadows behind him.
The naval and air staff shift uneasily before him.
None will meet his eye, well not for long.

herbiesan regrets now, that "incident'.
Not that he has lost staff, no, he does not give a rats arse for that, its the bloody reverbrations from it.
Now, now he needs these goons with him every moment of the day.
But worse.......

"salajar first, yes gentlemen?"
Papers shuffle....a throat clears
'We are doing well sir..........12 t bolts killed today, for about equal losses, and our MTBs sunk a destroyer"
And this, of course was the problem...........a true result?.........or a fantasy that they hoped he wanted to hear, or, damnation, fog of war?

"But we hold?"
"we hold sir"

Good then, the tar pit sucks still.

'The enemy carriers?"

And to that, there is nothing but silence
And that, is the greatest worry of all.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2381
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/12/2013 12:16:55 PM   


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There is an allied attack at waingapoe

It fails

They are going to need more troops, reinforcements must be forced in.

5 japanese battlewagons to the west refuel, ready to stop just that.

And to the east, battle ship, south dakato, prepares to ensure that it does.

(in reply to 1275psi)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/13/2013 5:28:01 AM   


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Japanese para troopers land at pare, a small island north east of Waingapoe, and engage the stranded allied tank regiment fragment there
Other troops have, for the last three days, been airlifted into Waingapoe.
Yet more are being transported from the Biak area west, a busy little sky net of transports that avoid the swarms of submarines that infect these seas.

Today, however, 100 plus liberators attack Ambon, coming in at 4000 feet.

They bomb, they destroy.
Apart from a few remnants, japan no longer has an airlift capability.................

( 80 transports destroyed on the ground!..................and we are not building any, pools are empty)

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2383
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/13/2013 5:42:41 AM   


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Two very inebriated pilots are wandering around the darkened streets of Singapore, wondering, as you do, where to go next.
Diogowa, of course, is hungry.
Ogowa has other things on his mind

A compromise is reached..........."we will eat sushi of her belly ney?"
Agreement reached, they turn , and run straight into an equally under the weather naval officer.

Ogowa?, Diogowa!"
"Captain Takeji!, Sir!"
They try to straighten, salute

"I thought you were dead men..........."
"Apparently not sir.....'

That awkward silence occurs........
"Do you have a new ship sir?"

Takeji shrugs.........."Posted to Hiyo.........XO...........yourselves?"
Ogowa shrugs too......"genda's unit"

Oh, so the rumours are true.........they will be good men for that unit, no doubt
"A good unit , will be well led"

Diogowa bows slightly, 'Not as well as we were sir......."

Again, the awkward silence

The men, simultanousley bow, and, with so many words unspoken, break apart.

Ogowa and Diogowa continue the stumble down the street.
They think, both of them, the same thought. They fly a fine plane, in a fine unit.
But its not the same as being on a carrier..................

(in reply to 1275psi)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/13/2013 5:52:56 AM   


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japanese air strikes on shipping waingapoe
Air battles again over salarjar
A deliberate allied attack, that fails again
A japanese convoy bombed at Bima, another hot spot to the north of waingapoe, where 65th brigade is coming ashore

And Japanese search aircraft spot what is undoubtably a surface task force departing koepang, positioning for an attack tonight.

Hirate and Okano are in their turret, trying to snooze, when the tannoy breaks the routine of the day.

'This is the Captain speaking. An enemy task force is approaching the area. We will attack it. All men will attend to their duties as Japanese honour demands. Prepare for surface action"

You do not hear the fans on Yamato like you did on Zuiho, they are simply too deep, behind literally too many feet of steel to be heard.
But there is no doubt, even here in this small steel shell, that Yamato is working towards full speed.

Musashi follows.

And 20 miles to the south, Kongo, Kirishima, Hiei, too begin to carve the sea in great white streaks

The day of the battle ship is done

Don't bet on it.

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 7/13/2013 5:54:08 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2385
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/14/2013 9:31:01 AM   


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It is hot and humid in the bowels of the turret, and the sweat runs freely from hirate and Okano.
They are used to this, but this is no boileroom, at least there, there was something to bloody do. Here, here all one can do is wait, and wait, and wonder.

Yet despite themselves, even stokers are not immune to the excitement sweeping through the ship........

Suzuki peers down at them, a smile splitting his face. "Ever heard an 18 inch salvo my stoker friends?..........the term s%$$ your pants is hardly adequate......."

Suzuki is right.
S$%^t your pants is a totally inadequate description for 18 inch salvo fire

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2386
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/14/2013 10:11:40 AM   


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Battleship South Dakato heads north of waigapoe, surprises 3 small AKs at Bima, sinks them.

Yamato and Musashi Hunt for her, and utterly fail to find her.

Battle cruisers Kongo Kirishima and Hiei also hunt for targets, and find one, a fat convoy of LSTs fleeing for Koepang.
They give chase.

South dakato , racing now to save the convoy stumbles upon the Japanese tankers supporting Yamato, and is torn between slaying them, or rescuing the LSTs

She chooses resue.

The waters north of waingapoe, west from Koepang are narrow. Crowded with ships, a clash is inevitable.
At dawn, it comes.

(in reply to 1275psi)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/14/2013 11:00:45 AM   


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Yamato leads Musashi, column ahead. 8 destroyers on the flanks, bow waves creaming.

High in her bridge, Tanaka raises his glasses. There is no sense of movement on this bridge, just the sea sliding past, the bow wave peeling in that impecable vee from the ship..
A roar fills the bridge, fades, as the pete floatplane seemingly crawls past, headed for the horizon, headed for the enemy.

'Target identified sir...battleship. South dakato class, a light cruiser, 6 destroyers."
range 30000 yards ................


The great guns swing, hunt..........the world holds it breath, 2500 men hold their breath.

The mighty roar, the shuddering, slamming jolt.

The wait............

The enemy fire too........the flash on the horizon.

This is battleship warefare, you fire, a minute passes, you fire again, and yet, that first salvo is just arriving.
It seems so slow, this battleship warfare, yet things can happen so fast.

South dakato's first salvo misses, but it lands close, every shell within 50 metres.
her second is even closer.

Musushi hits.............a 6 inch hit, useless.

28000 yards
yamato's third salvo misses.

South Dakato's third does not, a 16 inch hit.

Something Yamato's designers have built strikes aft of the fwd turret, is defeated utterly by the armour.

26000 yards, and in side each great battleship, a million fragile items are being shaken, shocked loose.

Yamato hits with salvo number three.
A great bright flash on Dakato's bridge, brilliant, tinged with blue, a dull red glow remaining.

Smoke pours from South dakato

Salvo four from the american is wide, very wide, as is the fifth.

Tanaka smiles...........the American is having trouble.

'Message from Hiei sir..............have destroyed 8 LST, one escort, am retiring"

Hah!, mission complete then...........

South dakato turns away. Should he pursue?..........Oh, too finish her off.....

But Koepang rests heavily on his shoulders, Koepang with its bombers, it torpedoes..............

'Break action, inform southern command the waters to waigapoe are clear"
He doubts that South dakato will be around for a while.

They will retire.
Hiei, retiring too will be caught by the bombers, she suffers moderate damage, and will have to go home

350 plus vechiles have been destroyed. Dominate the oceans they sail upon, to stand at great range, and throw heavy metal at their foes. This is their job.
Today, maybe for the last time, they have done this.

The allied attack for today at Waigapoe will fail.

And In the vacuum of this battle, japanese reinforcements are rushing in.

(in reply to 1275psi)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/14/2013 5:57:24 PM   


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Great yarn, as usual.


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

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Post #: 2389
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/15/2013 10:46:21 AM   


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22nd sentai protects macassar.

22nd, the best that the army airforce has, flying the best planes it can provide.
Today Fuchida awakens.
He stares at the faded green of the tattered tent for a few minutes, and thanks heavens that it did not rain last night, that , for once, he slept dry.

For amusement, he counts the little tormenting flying hells (mosquito's to you and me) nestled on the canvas, and wonders how many of the little buggar feasted upon him last night.
Too many, it must besurely, only a matter of time before he joins the ranks of the malaria ridden.

He climbs out , or up, out of the sorry excuse of a bed, and reaches for his faded flight jacket. It stinks just a little less today.
Carefully he gathers his boots, tip them upside down, taps them.
No creepy, deadly crawlies today...........

The path to the mess area is a muddy, sloppy mess, the kitchen area, a tarpuline spread between several trees.

Wistfully he gives the remains of the original buildings a glance, shattered hulks, burnt out shells, the field has been patched by the engineers, the buildings will have to wait for happier times.

The food, is, adequate..............
Rice. Rice yesterday, the day before, the one before that, rice tomorrow, always rice.

But before breakfast, tiolet..........

A filthy, stinking pit, a plank, flies, and did we mention stink.?

Finished, he gathers with his companions, grey men, fatigued men. Little is spoken.
yesterday, one man died, today, odds are, more must.
There is no chance of relief in the immediate future...............

Two men are injured, shrapnel wounds.
Medical facilities.............there are none, not now, a 1000 lb bomb two weeks ago blasted them into oblivion.

And no replacements are coming............

They eat, they walk to the planes, where equally tired, tattered men are gathered around the planes.
Fully 15 are unavailable today, nothing new...............

They will fly today, these men of 22nd sentai, unsupported, uncared for, the best of the best, giving their best, giving their lives.
And high command...........
High command gives them maccassar, to fight for and rot in............

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2390
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/15/2013 10:47:20 AM   


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Three DDs attempt to hit Salajar shipping
CA.s Kinsugasa, Furataka, 5 dd counter, cripple one of the Fletchers.
salajar planes sink it at dawn, damage the other

But most importantly, at waigapoe, there is no attack by the allies.
And the japanese bombers encounter no Flak...................

Allied forces on waigapoe are out, it seems, of supplies

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 7/15/2013 10:53:02 AM >

(in reply to kaleun)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/17/2013 11:42:05 AM   


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Pilot officer graham flies once again

Below, the jungles again, but not of Burma now, of Thailand, the Japanese are in full retreat

The mozzie flies low today, skimming the hills and crests, seeking to come upon the enemy by surprise, the green hell flashing below at almost dizzying speeds.
Long pig is co pilot today, 'orientation flight', its called, sure, call it what you like, they will straff and bomb the enemy.

The mozzie zooms over the next rise, and the wings wheel vertical as the wooden wonder peels into attack.

Things, thinks Long Pig, have changed.......the planes, so fast, such a bomb load............
The utter disdain for the sky the men seem to have now.there are no Japanese fighters, have been none for many, many a month.

But the jungle seems the same, dark, green, malevolant..........

The guns hammer, there are men on a trail.........little yellow balls floating up, flashing past.......the men diving, the earth sprouting, past, up, wheel the other way, the crump behind, ..........

"Time for tea, well done everyone"

yes, things have changed, he thinks, but not that much.
People are still trying to kill him.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2392
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/17/2013 11:51:27 AM   


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Yamato refuels at Soerabaya.
Hirate and Okano find themselves in a strange situation, standing high in the superstructure, , watching as the black gang struggle with the fuel hoses.

"you know my friend"
"There's a lot I don't miss about being a stoker"
'You think?.......are you really sure about that?" the sarcasm drips from Okano's tongue.

Both men sigh.......bend, and resume painting before the chief catches them goofing off.

Gunnery was exciting, for a while.............

(in reply to 1275psi)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/17/2013 11:53:49 AM   


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The skies above waingaoe snarl, the bombs whistle down, and 200 japanese reinforcements wade ashore.

Good news, but not nearly enough to replace the dead that hold the front line.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2394
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/17/2013 11:59:25 AM   


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Ogowa and Diogowa fly with S-701 to Ayuthia, north of bangkok. Its a disaster.
They should be 49 strong.............they will be 22 planes ready for tomorrow. They are going to try to fly a CAP trap over 55 th division tomorrow.

Ogowa does the sums, so far, so few planes............

This is a disaster.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2395
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/19/2013 10:14:48 AM   


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for the 3rd time this week, lets write a massive post, and then lose it to that bloody error message..............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2396
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/19/2013 10:41:14 AM   


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Ogowa rises with his compatriots before dawn.
He shares breakfast with Diogowa, listens listlessly to Genda give the mission brief.
Genda is a man long past the point, as many of them are, of caring. Too many missions, to many dawns, to many deaths.
This sentai was not formed for this, was not meant to fight like this.

"we will make an appearance over rahaeng, let our army know we still fly, and fight what ever we find"

Genda smiles wanely. No one here knows rahaeng at all. No one knows of the alternatives, the topography, the position, even, of the front. How could they?, they only arrived last night.
Of the enemy, well, this they know..........
Bangkok is devastated
Here, at Ayuthia, the damage is immense. The field a patch work of filled pot holes.

And the front, well, reportedly, it swarms with the enemy.

They are 21 strong.

19 planes depart, depart north, following the only thing they really can depend on, the railroad.
They climb to 15000, for ahead, the clouds are rising into the great mountains, dark, evil underneath, boiling, roiling at the tops.

But 15000 will not be eneough, nor 20000, nor, its seems 25000.
They seek the thunderstorms valeys, seek the gaps, soon, the world beneath their wings but a carpet of white, glistening, blinding, enourmous.
It hides the world, hides the enemy.

genda waggles wings, they turn for home.

And find it blocked.

He swings west, trying to get around the giant, its top touching heaven, they sentai stringing out, nervous now, for they are skimming the grey, the white

A gap, and they dive for it........and abruptly, it closes

Ogawa is flying in the clear, and then, then, the cloud is pressing in from above, and he plunges into the darkness

The giant takes him.
hail hammers, a crashing thundering madness, a giant foot slams him down, the George is tossed as if a toy............
And for the first time, in a long time, he feels fear.

The storm forces him relentlessly down, a nightmare of controls not, or barely responding. Throttle to the wall........and he stalls, as nature tries to kill him.

15000 feet, 10000 feet, he fights her, his plane banging, bucking, the darkness split by the lightning, instruments swinging wildly.
he gets her level, 5000, gods, there are hard decks at 6000 here!
(but then, where the Truk is here!)

The rain eases, and just like that, the sun bursts forth, and there, gods must be smiling, is the railway......

19 went in
15 come out...........

Fuel but exhausted, home looms

B-29's, it seems, can fly over, or maybe even all the way round the storms to the north.
Ayuthia is a smoking moonscape, bangkok a wildfire.

There is nowhere to land

Grimly, he picks a rice paddy, the waters gleaming.
Gear up, he slides her in, bounces, the mud flying, great blade bending, shuddering to a halt, the straps crushing his shoulders.

Gingerly, he climbs outstands on a mud covered wingtip, and watches another George, diogowa!, repeat his trick.

he too, gingerly climbs out of his destroyed plane, but makes the mistake of climbing off it.
he sinks to his waste in the muck

It is the only smile to be had this day.

The Sentai is destroyed, in the air, on the ground
That night its pilots will entrain again for Singapore
Two of them, at least, vaow that on arrival, they will be visiting a certain carrier, a certain XO.

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 7/19/2013 10:46:24 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2397
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/19/2013 10:44:21 AM   


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An Emily flying boat departs Hiroshima, 20 souls aboard.

It will never be heard of again

"From Combined fleet, to CV Hiyo"

Due to Command being reported MIA, Executive Officer Takeji is to assume command CV Hiyo fortwith.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2398
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/19/2013 10:48:15 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Fuchida races towards his plane.

Nothing new here, to get the heart racing, they scramble every day.........

But this time is different

The B-29's are coming for them.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2399
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/19/2013 11:15:26 AM   

Posts: 9448
Joined: 1/10/2005
Status: offline

for the 3rd time this week, lets write a massive post, and then lose it to that bloody error message..............

I've had this happen too many times myself included a recent posting in my AAR. I now use the "Post Reply" for all my replies that can be lengthy or a new one for my AAR. BEFORE selecting "OK" I do a "Ctrl+A" to be followed by double hitting a "Ctrl+C" to copy the message so "IF and when" I get the error message, I can go back and quickly paste (Ctrl+V) in a new "Post Reply" along with any screenshot.

< Message edited by ny59giants -- 7/19/2013 11:16:27 AM >


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2400
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