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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/27/2013 1:56:09 AM   
1275psi

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Smoky Stoker

The pages of Battleship Yamato: Anatomy of the Ship are familiar friends.


Oh yes, I have that book!

(in reply to Smoky Stoker)
Post #: 2431
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2013 8:46:38 AM   
1275psi

 

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18th August 44

Fuchida sits in the circle with the others under the bleached canvas, shirtless, oblivious to the bugs that crawl on sweat streaked skin
He stares at the radio sitting on the crude bench, every sense attuned to the histling, crackling voices of the 22nd.

They are running out of servicable planes, is the 22nd.
The enemy, apparently, are not.

Over Salarjar, the 38's are dancing the dance with the Franks. dancing the dance, and dieing.
There are the occasional murmers in the circle, an audience pleased with the play, exchanging quick glances, smiles, as the toll of kills climbs

6, 7, maybe an eigth.........

"Above us!, T bolts!"

Uneasy shuffling of feet, quiet murmers. Cigerrettes light up nervously.

Groans...........someone has fallen
Silence, as another's screams fills the air

Nods of satisfaction, two more down...but chutes seen

The radio crackles, again

"Bombers.B-29!"

Fuchida shifts uneasily.......they could, he knows, be coming for them........


The sun beats, the men sweat, the canvas flaps listlessly. The hum of insects rises and rises in the silence.
A 100 miles away, men fight, men die.


They return, the survivors of the 22nd, trailing clouds of dust down the strip. The men emerge, grim, drawn.
No smiles.

22nd has 160 kills now, but just 15 planes available.
11th air fleet accept the inevitable, and order them to retire.


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2432
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2013 9:04:11 AM   
1275psi

 

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11th airfleet is evacuated by fast transport to Balikapapan. Salarjar abandoned by the airforce.
Burma army is in full retreat towards bangkok, bombed and straffed nearly on the hour.

Suzuki pokes his head down from the turret, eyes seeking in the gloom Okano and Hirate.
'hey, sleepy heads, wake up!.......report to the gunnery officer..........he is on the quarterdeck!"
Startled the two stokers clamber through the innards of the turret, down the ladder, down the passageway, through the heavy, heavy doors, and out to the base of the rear tower.
The great mass of the aft 18 inch turret is at their shoulder, ahead a veritable desert of timber deck, leading eventually to the concrete and steel of the pete floatplane launching and handling area.

The spy the Gunnery officer, no missing that short stubby shape, and double to him

They are no idiots, the salute, the stiff coming to attention is militarily perfect.

"Sir!, reporting as requested sir!"

The gunnery officer eyes them in silence.

behind him, Yamato's sister towers, behind her, Nagato, Mutsu, on the flank, low down, a carrier.
Destroyers seemingly everywhere complete the picture

"tell me men", he begins "do you remember that bar just down the road from gunnery school in Nagasaki, the one with the 10 yen tuna?"
For a moment, both men cannot answer, confused by the unexpected question
"Sir???"
"Surely you remember", smiles the gunnery officer, "Nagasaki gunnery school, third shop on the left?"

"I may sir............"

The smile vanishes.
"Okano, there is no gunnery school in nagasaki. never was, never will be"

Silence

"You are not gunners, ney?, stokers perhaps?"

Two faces turn various shades, one white, one red.

The gunnery officer's smile returns.........'I hear you are Zuiho refugees, how you got on here is beyond me.......but for your fine work in the turret, i would have you severly disciplined. "
He turns, points to the horizon

'There is a carrier out there, short, apparently, two stokers. pack your kit, you join Hiyo in an hour"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2433
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2013 9:09:54 AM   
1275psi

 

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Okano is ecstatic 'A carrier!, stokering!, no more bloody paint brushes or upper deck bullpassings!" No more.........
he stops abruptly, shaken by the paleness of Hirates face

"Brother in law, what is wrong?'

'Its Hiyo.........the fire Okano, the fire..........."

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2434
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2013 9:10:41 AM   
1275psi

 

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Regret to say, until I get another turn, thats it............

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Post #: 2435
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2013 4:09:59 PM   
John 3rd


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Caught up once again and, as always, very enjoyable. Am happy with how you have tried to pick-up the pieces from Zuiho's sinking to keep the story moving.

How many CVEs have you now sunk? Must be a fair-sized number!

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Post #: 2436
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/30/2013 8:06:20 PM   
Lecivius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Regret to say, until I get another turn, thats it............



NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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Post #: 2437
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2013 5:38:41 PM   
british exil


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What do you mean "Regret to say, until I get another turn, thats it............ "

You can't be serious?
Doesn't Cantona realize there's a war going on?

Mat

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Post #: 2438
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2013 7:56:33 PM   
CaptDave

 

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Well, during the hiatus I'll take the opportunity to say thank you for this AAR. Mandrake may have the most amusing, but this one is certainly the most entertaining. Your writing style definitely brings the readers into the action and makes us feel as though we're getting live reports from a real live war.

Now let's hope the time passes quickly. I can't wait to read the next installment in the story of Long Pig Graham!

(in reply to british exil)
Post #: 2439
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2013 4:14:46 AM   
PaxMondo


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This reminds me of the old radio serials ... you got 15 mins every day ... and the stories spanned years ... used to listen to them every day as a kid.

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Post #: 2440
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2013 5:28:56 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

This reminds me of the old radio serials ... you got 15 mins every day ... and the stories spanned years ... used to listen to them every day as a kid.


Ditto. We were pretty slow to respond to mom's call to come home, but we hurried home for the start of "Journey Into Space". A few broadcast words + own imagination was far more captivating than TV programs. Maybe it was just the stage of life I was at.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2013 6:29:35 AM   
CaptDave

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

This reminds me of the old radio serials ... you got 15 mins every day ... and the stories spanned years ... used to listen to them every day as a kid.


Ditto. We were pretty slow to respond to mom's call to come home, but we hurried home for the start of "Journey Into Space". A few broadcast words + own imagination was far more captivating than TV programs. Maybe it was just the stage of life I was at.


I'm involved now in a radio theater group. We don't do many serials (although we are doing a licensed production of "Zorro"), but we'd all agree with the "Theater of the Mind" concept. None of our stuff is actually broadcast, but it is used on various Internet radio programs. Check out some of our podcasts at www.americanradiotheater.org if you're interested!

Okay, end of commercial. It is a lot of fun, and I've always enjoyed listening to recordings of the old-time shows (sorry, but I wasn't born quite that long ago!).

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 2442
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/3/2013 3:07:38 PM   
John 3rd


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Am seriously Jonesing for this AAR...


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Post #: 2443
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2013 9:40:37 AM   
1275psi

 

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20th of the 8th, 1944

In our modern times, personal transfers at sea are easy, call up a chopper.

There are no Choppers in 1944, and only madness would cause a captain to halt a Capital ship in these waters to effect a boat transfer.
Okano and hirate will transfer via light line to a tanker first, yamato sucking hungrily for fuel one way, a stream of men, of orders, of 25 mm ammunition going the other.

From the tanker, to a destroyer.
And finally, from the destroyer to Hiyo, again the wet and wild journey across the gap between the ships.
It is near dusk when they finally arrive

Okano instantly realises something, zuiho was a toy to this ship. Sure, only 7000 tons or so heavier, but they have made a real difference.This ship has a proper tower, for a start.

They stand, a little lost, near the base of the tower, waiting for their kit bags to follow.
A petty officer finally comes to them

Okano views him, not with a little alarm. For a stoker, his clothing is frightingly clean and neat. His boots are polished for heavens sake!
He catches Hirates eys, indicates discreetly at the poster perfect man leading them across the flightdeck
"Whats the story?" he whispers

Hirate smiles, there is no humour in it, none at all. "Welcome to the Hiyo" he whispers back " Nothing, I see, has changed"

They go below.

There is no surprise for Hirate, this he has almost expected.
The shock, for Okano, is deep.


There are all sorts of ships in the Navy. And for those of us who have served on many, this is a truth.
You can take a dozen identical ships, and none, none, after a time, will be the same
And for those, with experience, the difference can be seen, and digested, in moments

Okano see's it immediately.
There are ships that go

There are ships that show, but don't go

And rarely, very rarely (even though all should) there are those ships that manage both.

Zuiho, was a ship that went. Never pretty, her rusty flanks, her stained innards spelt work

Hiyo, inside, gleams.
Yes, she has just finished a long repair time alongside, but, well, that was a week ago. More than enough time to take her back to the standard her Executive officer expects...............

The petty officer leads them deep inside, down a trunk, down again, down again, the stairway seemingly endless.
then, unerringly, through a door.
A long passageway, gleaming. Okano's eyes, not a little panic showing, flick for a compartment identification tag.
On zuiho, one always knew where one was............already, he is lost again.

They stop.

Engineers cabin.

The petty officer knocks, enters.

"Our replacement crew, sir"

A salute.............look out Okano, this is looking like a tight one.

They enter.

The engineer, busy, writing, barely glances at them.........no time to judge him..........nor him them...........
"You are both assigned port boiler room, doubled up, middles watch, you have one week to get yourselves to speed, that is all"

They are led out again.

Disorientated, not a little worried, the petty officer leads them forward, deeper into the bowels of Hiyo.



< Message edited by 1275psi -- 8/5/2013 9:44:16 AM >

(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 2444
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2013 9:49:04 AM   
1275psi

 

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Takeji watches the destroyer peel away, only her creaming bow wacve really visible in the deepening dusk

Not before time, he thinks, the passage south of Densapar to be negotiated in the hour.
A barsted of an idea, trying to squeeze this lot through there..........

Line ahead, Hiyo leads yamato, Musashi, nagato, Mutsu, these last, lost now in the mists behind

Tonight, they must punch through,turn south, and head, yet again, towards waingapoe.

The waters, of waingapoe, again


Maybe, if they are lucky, the sound of battle will not disturb Zuihos dead.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2445
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2013 10:33:02 AM   
1275psi

 

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There are still 40 miles to march to Bangkok, 40 more miles towards the column of smoke that has marked the city for three days now.

Few , if any of the men of 55th division would know of the column of smoke by day, the fire by night, that led Moses and the Israelites.

But like them, this road sign remained, enerringly, day, in, day out.
Today, though, a new signpost.

Hosho wrinkles his nose.
The acrid stink, the stink of burning
And under the bitterness, something even less pleasant.
The smell of burnt flesh.

Hosho turns to the man beside him
"We retreat my friend, defeated for now. But I cannot imagine the british will be any more welcome than we were".


Hosho is right.
For five days the superforts have bombed bangkok.
For five days, it, its remains, its people, have burned

It will take them longer than five days to forget. A lot, lot, longer.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2446
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2013 10:34:02 AM   
1275psi

 

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cantona sent a turn

he hopes normal service to recommence by Wednesday Aussie time.

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Post #: 2447
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/7/2013 7:22:00 AM   
John 3rd


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Cannot WAIT!


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Post #: 2448
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/7/2013 10:26:05 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hi Guys
war again back on track

And the first turn back see's all characters involved..............

I have enough for a week to write about just todays action. The encouragement is very much appreciated.


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Post #: 2449
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/7/2013 10:37:36 AM   
1275psi

 

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21/8/44

0005 hrs.
Port fwd boiler room, Hiyo.

Hirate stands under the blower, just for a moment, taking it back in. There is no sign, no sign at all of the fire that killed so many of his friends, that set Minobe and himself on such a rocky path.
The fuel pump is hammering away, the pipe gleams under fresh paint.
It is all coming back to him, he turns his head this way, and that.
The boiler, the pumps, the blower, the vap...........

He has traced the systems down here, once, years before, as an able seaman. Hiyo, he remembers, is a simple ship, almost the same layout down here as Zuiho...........
The Steamer of the watch leans over, a face he once knew. War has advanced this career as well.
'Remember your stuff?"
Hirate smiles. Its not going to be so bad after all. "Its steam isn't it?. And steam is good"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2450
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/7/2013 10:52:22 AM   
1275psi

 

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Okano too, looks about. Stbd fwd boiler room

He casts a critical eye about........the plant, it appears, is tight.
No hissing of steam leaks, no dripping leaks. Just the fuel pump hammering, the blowers whining. Much he recongnises, Japanese Machinery is Japanese machinery.........
The boiler, however:

Kawasaki LA Mont water tube boiler, one of 6 Hiyo carries.
Admiralty three drum in any other nations language.........

Two water drums, bottom corners of the triangle, steam drum at top. A genuine economiser, not a preheater, a proper economiser. And superheated steam as well.
But still a three drum. And this, he knows, is good, a kapon has nothing on these beasts.

The steamer hands him tea. "Opinion Okano?"
Okano nods.'Clean, its very clean. Looks simple enough......."

'That it is..........finish your tea, then, i think, we learn the fuel system"


Hiyo ploughs due east now, at nearly 22 knots, through the night. None aboard sleep. They are too busy for that.
her signal office in particular, is frantic with activity.

The signals are rushing in
All speak the same message, in one form or another.

The enemy are rushing west.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2451
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/7/2013 11:08:04 AM   
1275psi

 

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0300 hours

Two men dress into flight suits, carefully pulling on worn boots, stained jackets. They sit, a small invisible bubble it seems, seperating them from the rest of the pilots in the room.
It has taken a few days to discover, and now, as battle looms, Ogowa wonders if ignorance was not a better alternative.

The hard fact.......between himself and Diogowa, more flying hours, more missions, more bloody kills than all of these other fighter pilots put together..............

A disturbing thought

Diogowa leans close......"I thought our fellow orphans were re assigned, these guys look green to me"
"maybe there are not so many of us veterans left Diogowa..............what ever happens, stick close ney?"

There is no time for further talk. Alarm bells are ringing, and the tanoy is speaking.
"Offensive air operations will commence, 0400 hours, make all preparations, and report same completed to the bridge"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2452
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/7/2013 11:19:39 AM   
1275psi

 

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Salarjar.
Fuchida lies under his fighter, lies on the dirt, peers again at the left wheel.
The light is poor, the shadows dark.
It would not matter if it was brilliant daylight, not the middle of the night, he would not be able to see the bloody thing anyway

Too many tears, eyes too blurred.

Word has come
Zuiho, and his Father, are gone.

Fuchida lies under his plane, spanner in hand, hoping that today, today, for gods sake, they will get his plane away

The left wheel comes down, does not go up. And there are few enough mechanics .
Thus the midnight work, .

The dirty man he assists grunts.'Spanner"
Fuchida hands it too him

The darkness sits heavily over the field. It hides a crop of broken planes, a broken field, a broken man.

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Post #: 2453
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/8/2013 10:28:40 AM   
1275psi

 

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The enemy are rushing west..........

Extract from shattering the sword a cantona production.

...............and at 0215 hours precisely, the Japanese open fire.
Incredibly, against all odds, they have gained surprise, have opened fire at the incredible range of just 2000 yards

In line ahead, parrallel to the line of 6 fletchers, 2 cruisers, 5 dd's erupt into flame
In the 6, mere 6 minutes of this madness, its as if two men have lashed themselves together, face to face, and gone at it

Furatuka staggers away, torpedoed, an allied DD is split into two, 25 mm, 5 inch 6 inch gun fire.......the rate of fire between calibres almost indistinguishable.

6 minutes, the modern fletchers, who have a fearsome reputation, stagger away. Japanese experience today tips the scales. But three of the japanese destroyers, two Akitsukis amongst them, stagger away too.
Furatuka crawls, listing, burning.

But against all common sense, Kinugasa, 2 dds press on...............................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2454
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/8/2013 10:48:21 AM   
1275psi

 

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Tanaka wipes the blood from his face.
The hit has shattered the port side of the bridge, smashing through, failing to explode, but lethal enough as is.
Now, in the ringing silence of post battle, the wind whips through the gash, and glass crushes beneath his feet.

"Navigator!...position!"
The reply, swift sure. As it should be..
Koepang, 30 miles due south sir!"

30 miles. Less than an hour to the hornets nest. A nest I must, must kill. Our troops coming ashore at Waingapoe are depending on this.
No matter what it costs

he reaches fo the broadcast
"men of the Kinugasa...........we have won a victory.....but the battle is not yet won. Expedite all repairs, we will bombard the field in under an hour........."

But on the flank, one of his destroyers is firing, firing towards an enemy unseen.
"Starshell, to port, open fire!"

Another enemy, unseen............but does it matter.?. He is Tanaka, and Tanaka is not for turning.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2455
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/8/2013 10:54:53 AM   
1275psi

 

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Takeji recieves the report

'Our landing ship has anchored at waingapoe .....unloading has commenced'

Agitated, almost angry, he glances at the clock. 0400 hours, almost.
Nearly four hours late.
Dawn, and the bombers only 2 hours, if that, away.

"The koepang bombardment?"

"We have heard nothing sir, a contact report, ..............silence"
Damanation

Special landing ship or not, its going to take hours to get the artillery ashore.
"get me the flight commander"


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2456
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/8/2013 11:10:14 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hiyo steams hard, the horizon a hint of pink
her deck is packed, fighters to the front, Judys behind, the Jills arses swinging in the breeze right at the stern.
Once again, diogowa, ogowa sit, eyeing the short stretch to the bow, engine ticking over, eyes waiting for the flag to fall.
Target, enemy shipping , Koepang area, a mere hours flight away.

Cmdr Matsunaga breaks from the island, climbs up behind Diogowa, places leans into his cockpit.......'Change of plans!", he yells......."Combat air patrol waingapoe!"

"Waingapoe?..........."Where the hell is that?",
'100 miles, due west!, you lead first patrol!"

And such is the planning for today..........

Annoyed, angry, Diogowa slams his canopy shut. There is no drop tank under his belly, nor under any of his companions. CAP?, over waingapoe?
It will be a bloody thin one.

In anger, he leads 10 fighters aloft.

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Post #: 2457
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/9/2013 8:50:10 AM   
1275psi

 

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PT boats.

The starshells reveal them, sharks streaming in at 7000 yards, low sleek, dancing in the dark.
The starshells reveal them starkly, like cockroaches they dive for the shadows. The destroyers engage, Kinugasa saving her ammunition.

Tanaka turns his small task force hard away, the battle turning into stern chase, Pt boats are fast, but so are these japanese ships, .It is not long before guns fall silent again.

A brief pause, then the target, Koepang. The bombardment, by necessity, is brief.
Tanaka can but hope that it has done the job, given the landings at Waingapoe half a chance.

They swing away towards the west.

Dawn is breaking.
Kinugasa leads the way, gun barrells smoking, paint blistered, her fires still being fought.
Ahead, the pursung PT boats...........but there, tantilising , just there........
A convoy, a dozen fat transports.

And no escorts

'Ammunition state!"
Main exhausted sir!"
Secondary?"
Enough sir!

For Tanaka, certainly enough
"Attack!"


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Post #: 2458
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/9/2013 9:02:35 AM   
1275psi

 

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Dawn, waingapoe

Diogowa leads them aloft to 6000 feet, cirles the small task force but once, and then banks them east, waingapoe is 60 miles away
The sun glitters on 10 sets of wings, low, red, huge on the horizon.
The rising sun.

And out of it, snarling, guns hammering the T bolts explode.
Two zeros explode on his right shoulder , he curses, slams his stick instinctively, jumped!, bounced!, how in the hell did he not see...
Cannon shells slam into his plane, everything happening at once
The stick falling slack, the flash of flame from the port wing, the lurching fall to port.........
There is no hesitation, even as she rolls, the straps are loose, the canopy is open, he is out, falling free, the great shining bird roaring past, white pale buka upright and stiff in the cockpit

he falls, but for a moment, rips the chute......

Shot down
Gods
Ogowa is so going to pull the piss out of him

But it is no laughing matter, 8 of the ten zeros Hiyo has dispatched have been shot down in less than a minute........

Only 3 of the pilots, Diogowa amongst them, will return to Hiyo today.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2459
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/9/2013 9:07:25 AM   
1275psi

 

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It is still the 21st

japanese strikes roll in towards Waingapoe, where the allies, too, are landing troops
From Soerabaya, the betties, the Francis attack, the zeros engaging P 38's circling above the fat targets

A AK is sunk

Helens, sallies (yes, Japan is still using sallies) pound the invasion beaches

The allies too, are attacking.
Tanaka, it is obvious, has not closed Koepang.

Hiyo has been spotted

And Hiyo is going to be attacked.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2460
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