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RE: May 19, 1942

 
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RE: May 19, 1942 - 10/28/2011 7:31:34 PM   
nashvillen


Posts: 2664
Joined: 7/3/2006
From: Christiana, TN
Status: online
ROTFLMAO! Good one CF!

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Post #: 301
RE: May 19, 1942 - 10/28/2011 7:58:36 PM   
Mike Solli


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Joined: 10/18/2000
From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
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That's great, CF!

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Created by the amazing Dixie

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Post #: 302
RE: May 19, 1942 - 10/28/2011 8:09:33 PM   
PaxMondo


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Status: offline
reminds of the commercial that my 2yo loves where she says"Unicorns and glitter" and everyone has a blank look.



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Pax

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Post #: 303
RE: May 19, 1942 - 10/28/2011 8:36:59 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4175
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
quote:

“Borneo blood pythons?” he asked. Cameron looked puzzled.

“I don’t know where that came from, sir,” he said. “I really don’t.”


Oh, I might have an inkling . . .

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Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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Post #: 304
RE: May 20, 1942 - 10/30/2011 1:43:51 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
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May 20, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 115 miles southwest of Wallis Island
Course: East-northeast
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 2
Fuel: 465 (88%)


“What’s up, sir?” asked Lieutenant Steubens after he saluted Captain Stickney as the captain finished climbing the steel ladder that hung over the ship’s side and stepped on deck. “What did the Admiral say?” Below them a petty officer bawled orders to get the ship’s boat winched back aboard.

“He said that the next mission is very sensitive,” growled Stickney. “He said that anyone who asks too many questions should be clapped in irons.” Steubens grinned. Stickney’s sense of humor displayed itself only occasionally and was usually acerbic.

“Yes sir,” he said. Twilight lay over the harbor at Suva. The surface of the harbor was like glass, broken only by the tracks of half a dozen ship’s boats still making their way out to their vessels. Stickney headed forward and Steubens fell into step beside him.

“We’re directed to a rendezvous off Canton Island,” said Stickney. “The task force is to depart immediately.”

“A rendezvous?” asked Steubens. “With who, sir?”

“I don’t know,” said Stickney. “The Admiral doesn’t know. We’re going to go there and see who shows up. Make ready to get underway.”

“Yes sir,” said Steubens. They paused at the door to the galley passageway. “Anything else, sir?”

“Some Jap carriers hit us up in the Aleutians yesterday,” said Stickney. “Caught a small convoy at Umnak, raised hell with it.” Steubens frowned.

“Damn,” he said. “Maybe we’re headed back up there?”

“Doubt it,” grunted the captain. “By the time we got there the Japs could have walked home. Sorry, Fred, I don’t know what’s up. We’ll find out when we get there.”

“Yes sir,” said Steubens. “I’ll get us ready to sail, sir.”

“Good,” said Stickney. “I’ll be in my cabin. Let me know when we’re ready.” He ducked into the passageway and Steubens headed off to carry out his orders.


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Post #: 305
RE: May 23, 1942 - 10/31/2011 8:52:23 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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May 21 - 23, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 65 miles east-northeast of Canton Island
Course: West
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 399 (76%)


Three days later Admiral Shafroth’s ships were at the designated rendezvous off Canton Island. It had been an uneventful voyage. Radar showed nothing but empty sea so the task force held its position to await developments. The cruisers launched a few Kingfishers to scout the area. They were expecting friends, but the Japanese had raided into these waters several times and there was no point in taking chances.

The skies were clear and the sea fairly calm. Early in the afternoon radar picked up a bogey coming in from the northeast. It was quickly identified as friendly and when it appeared it proved to be a Dauntless from Scouting Six. It circled the task force with a friendly waggle of its wings and then departed again.

Soon radar showed a large task force approaching from the northeast, then another. And then a third. Superstructures and masts began to pepper the horizon. Before long Gridley and the rest of the task force found themselves in the middle of the most powerful force the US Navy had put to sea so far during the war. Three carrier task forces, comprising five flattops and a huge assortment of cruisers and destroyers, were all around them. Though separated by as much as twenty miles they still made an impressive sight.

Enterprise, Yorktown, Saratoga, Lexington, and Hornet were all present. The carriers sported new radars and all had had their anti-aircraft batteries updated. Even their planes were better. Gone were the lumbering Buffaloes and Vindicators, replaced by Wildcats and Dauntlesses.

Shafroth’s surface combat force was to accompany and screen the carrier groups. The first mission of the combined task force was to cover several battleships while they bombarded Baker Island.

After that there was talk of a raid against Japanese-held islands in the Marshalls or Gilberts. So far this was only rumor, but except for a few raids by small carrier groups the Japanese had been very quiet lately in the Pacific. Perhaps it was time to test their defenses and show them that the US Navy wasn’t going to sit quietly at Pearl while the Japanese consolidated their new empire.

If only the main Japanese carrier force could be located. No major operation could be planned without taking it into account. But it and the Combined Fleet seemed to have vanished. For all anyone knew they could be anywhere in the vast reaches of the Pacific, anywhere at all.


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Post #: 306
RE: May 23, 1942 - 11/1/2011 6:45:41 AM   
Ron Saueracker


Posts: 12108
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From: Ottawa, Canada OR Zakynthos Island, Greece
Status: offline
Lovin' it Calamari, lovin' it.

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Yammas from The Apo-Tiki Lounge. Future site of WITP AE benders! And then the s--t hit the fan

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Post #: 307
RE: May 23, 1942 - 11/1/2011 7:11:45 AM   
Andrew Brown


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From: Hex 82,170
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ron Saueracker

Lovin' it Calamari, lovin' it.


Ron!!!!!!!!!!!

Where you been??

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Post #: 308
RE: May 23, 1942 - 11/1/2011 7:27:37 AM   
Ron Saueracker


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From: Ottawa, Canada OR Zakynthos Island, Greece
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Heyho Andrew. How goes? Been awhile for sure. Nothing like trying to keep a small business afloat during what must be the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Greece is seriously in the poop, tourisms taking a beating, blah, blah,blah. Good thing the joint is licensed! Off tonight back to Canada for the winter ( I know, got it wrong but O was born there). I'll be online all winter for sure....might even start a PBEM!!!!

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Yammas from The Apo-Tiki Lounge. Future site of WITP AE benders! And then the s--t hit the fan

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Post #: 309
RE: May 23, 1942 - 11/1/2011 8:32:45 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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quote:

The carriers sported new radars and all had had their anti-aircraft batteries updated. Even their planes were better. Gone were the lumbering Buffaloes and Vindicators, replaced by Wildcats and Dauntlesses.


Well and good as far as it goes, but how long will it take to get the Avengers? (Which unlike the Devastators, have decent scouting range.)

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Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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Post #: 310
RE: May 23, 1942 - 11/1/2011 9:54:16 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ron Saueracker

Lovin' it Calamari, lovin' it.


Hey Ron, it's good to see you back. Glad you're enjoying the tale so far.



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Post #: 311
RE: May 23, 1942 - 11/1/2011 9:56:33 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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From: Oregon, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

quote:

The carriers sported new radars and all had had their anti-aircraft batteries updated. Even their planes were better. Gone were the lumbering Buffaloes and Vindicators, replaced by Wildcats and Dauntlesses.


Well and good as far as it goes, but how long will it take to get the Avengers? (Which unlike the Devastators, have decent scouting range.)


Yeah, the Devastators are still around and will be for some months yet. We're going to get a good look at their limitations in at entry very soon now.


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Post #: 312
RE: May 24, 1942 - 11/1/2011 9:58:08 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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From: Oregon, USA
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May 24, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 130 miles northwest of Canton Island
Course: West
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 384 (73%)


Jack Cameron stood in the hatch atop the main battery gun director, peering through his binoculars at Enterprise and Hornet, steaming with their escorts several miles to the southeast. They were an impressive sight, and the pair of Wildcats circling lazily nearby was reassuring. They were beyond Canton Island now and into what Gridley’s gunnery officer thought of as Indian country – over the frontier and into waters in which the Japanese might be lurking.

There was a clatter on the ladder below Cameron and he looked down to see a thatch of red hair emerge into the sunshine. That hair readily identified the man coming up the ladder as Dexter Sherwood, the torpedo officer. He was inevitably known as “Red” to his fellow officers.

Sherwood gave him a cheery greeting and looked around. After a moment he gestured out towards the nearby carriers. “It’s nice to have some friends around, isn’t it?” Cameron agreed.

“Wish we had some battlewagons along, though,” said Sherwood. “Be nice to have them if we get into a shooting match.”

Cameron lowered his binoculars. He’s been thinking about that, too. It was the kind of thing Steubens had been getting him to do lately, to think about things. To think like an officer.

“They’re too slow, Red,” he said. “There’s a reason we’re out here and they’re waddling up Baker to blast the place.” His Indian country analogy came back to him. “It’s like…it’s like we’re on horseback and they’re infantry. The Japs have it right. They’re using their ships like cavalry, dashing in, hitting hard, and then wheeling around and disappearing before we can get a shot at them. We need to do the same thing. Strike hard and fast, then move.”

“That’s a lot of Army talk for a Navy man,” said Sherwood.

“Yeah, but it fits,” said Cameron, warming to his thesis. “Think of the battleships as infantry brigades, lining up all nice and neat and blasting away at each other like it was Waterloo or Antietam or something. That’s what they had in the last war, at Jutland. Try that today, sailing around slowly, and you’ll get cut to pieces. Speed is what you need now. That’s why they used cavalry to fight the redskins. ” Sherwood seemed to think about it for a moment.

“Seems to me, Jack,” he said, “that I remember that Custer had a chance to take some cannons along when he went after Sitting Bull. He turned them down, and look what happened to him.”

“That’s different,” said Cameron. “He had the getting in and hitting hard part down okay, but he forgot about getting out again.”

“Well, maybe,” acknowledged Sherwood. “But what about the Dakota-class battleships? They’re pretty fast, it might be handy to have some of them along. In case, you know, we run into the whole Sioux Nation – I mean the whole Jap fleet.”

“It might,” Cameron agreed. “But the last I heard they’re all in the Atlantic.”

“They should send them here,” said Sherwood. “We could use them.”

“Next time you see Admiral Nimitz, you be sure and tell him so,” Cameron told him.


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Post #: 313
RE: May 26, 1942 - 11/3/2011 1:03:35 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
May 25-26, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 120 miles northeast of Baker Island
Course: North
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 357 (68%)


Gridley cruised slowly in the darkness, her radar showing dozens of friendly ships around her. To the southwest, far out of radar range, American battleships were pounding Baker Island. The crew knew it was happening, though they had no idea how the attack was going. But as they went about their business, lying in their bunks, keeping lookout, or tending the engines, they could imagine the flashes from the big guns and the crash of 14” shells as they landed on the small coral island.

Captain Stickney, sitting in his cabin, could picture it too. He hoped the attack went well, though he knew the situation was much the same as during their bombardment of Tulagi. No one knew how many Japs were there, or if there were actually any there at all. The actual destruction caused wasn’t as important as the fact that the US Navy was attacking.

Stickney’s only real concern was the men under his command. He liked these attacks because he could feel the difference they made. The men were more on their toes these days and had more confidence. Morale is an intangible thing but like many good commanders Stickney had a sixth sense for how his crew was feeling. It was almost as if his nerves were twined through the ship’s steel, bringing him faint messages.

Right now the crew was ready, even eager, to take on whatever the enemy could throw at them.

Stickney set aside the book he was holding and turned out the light. He lay down in his bunk and closed his eyes. He thought that tomorrow they would either be ordered back to Pearl or west, deeper into Japanese waters.

He hoped it would be west. But that was not a decision over which he had any control. Like his crew, however, he was eager to come to grips with the enemy. As the distant battleships finished their attack and turned away from the smoldering island Gridley's captain fell asleep.


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Post #: 314
RE: May 27, 1942 - 11/3/2011 1:05:41 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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From: Oregon, USA
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May 27, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 300 miles northeast of Baker Island
Course: North-northwest
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 342 (65%)


Message from CINCPAC to Admiral Halsey, commander of US carrier force:

Main Jap carrier force off Ceylon. You are ordered to attack Japanese shipping in and around Marshall Islands. Good hunting.


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Post #: 315
RE: May 27, 1942 - 11/3/2011 3:04:02 AM   
Crackaces


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That was my repsonse exactly.. except I invaded

But if the IJN wants to act stupid hundreds of miles away .. then its time to raise some hell in his backyard ..

OK .. back to the Gridley

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Post #: 316
RE: May 30, 1942 - 11/3/2011 9:45:06 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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From: Oregon, USA
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May 28-30, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 75 miles southeast of Mili
Course: North-northwest
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 279 (53%)


The morning of May 30 found the US carriers and their escorts in choppy seas under a thick, leaden cover of clouds. This was good in that there was no sign that the Japanese knew they were there, right under their noses. But it was bad in that they had come to hunt Japanese ships, not simply skulk around.

The weather did not prevent Halsey from ordering search planes sent out. And it did not prevent the scouts from quickly finding a suitable target – three Japanese heavy cruisers and three destroyers anchored less than 80 miles away in the sheltered ring of Mili Atoll. The admiral did not hesitate to order a full strike launched. This was better prey than he had hoped to find and he did not intend to let a few clouds rob him of his prize.

For their part the Japanese must have spotted the Dauntless as it broke through the clouds and skimmed over the atoll, and they obviously had no illusions about what its presence meant. By the time the US strike arrived they were under full steam and exiting the atoll via a passage on the northeast side of the encircling coral.

Tally ho and all that. Conditions were poor but that did not stop the planes from carrying out their attack with enthusiasm. Wave after wave of dive bombers struck and the frantically maneuvering ships while the Devastators tried to get a clean drop in the heavy seas. The Japanese displayed fantastic skill in handling their ships but by the time the attack was over two of the cruisers were stricken and engulfed in smoke and flame.

Admiral Shafroth asked to take his ships in and finish the job close up, but was refused. There were too many Japanese air bases in these islands and Halsey saw no need to risk ships. Instead, despite the deteriorating weather, he ordered a second strike.

Thunderstorms were rolling through the area by the time the second strike arrived. Not all of the Japanese ships could be located this time. The two stricken cruisers were treated to some more bombs and that was that.

Later analysis back at the carriers convinced the Admiral that the cruisers sunk were not heavy cruisers, but rather light cruisers – small ones of their type, at that. One was almost certainly the distinctive Yubari, the other probably one of the 3500-ton Tenryu-class. It wasn’t a bad day’s work, but Halsey was not happy. Four of six Japanese ships had escaped the biggest punch he could throw. He made no allowances for the weather.

It was lucky, he commented acerbically to his subordinates, that they had not gone up against the Japanese carriers this time around. “They would have kicked us in the ass,” he growled. No one argued with him. You didn’t argue with the Admiral when he was in that kind of mood. Besides, he was right.

There was little talk of remaining in the area. The weather was still poor and any worthwhile targets would be scurrying away. It wasn’t worth the risk of being found by submarines or land-based bombers. Instead, after all planes had been recovered, the US ships set course due east. That would put them out of Japanese air range by the following morning. And with the main Japanese carrier force assaulting the British in the Indian Ocean any other enemy ships that wished to pursue them were more than welcome to try.


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Post #: 317
RE: May 31, 1942 - 11/4/2011 2:04:44 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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From: Oregon, USA
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May 31, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 400 miles east of Mili
Course: East
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 369 (70%)


The withdrawal from the Marshalls had been a leisurely one. The various task forces had taken time to refuel their destroyers and there was no sense of urgency. The only enemy that might pursue them, after all, was thousands of miles away.

This changed around mid-afternoon. The TBS circuit crackled and from Enterprise came the message that they had been ordered to expedite their return to Pearl. All ships were to increase speed to 28 knots. Enterprise and the rest of her task force led the way, surging forward through the choppy seas.

“What do you suppose that’s all about?” asked Lieutenant Steubens. Gridley, with her tendency to roll, was not a pleasant ride in rough seas and now the destroyer shuddered as she crashed through the waves, green water pouring over her bow.

“I don’t know,” said Captain Stickney. “Someone has a bee in their bonnet about something, though. But we’re not going to learn anything until we get back to Pearl.”

***

Lieutenant Howard Conright of the Signals Intelligence Service bent over his desk in the Presidio, running the calculations again. Information from Hawaii confirmed the location: 24 degrees north latitude, 130 degrees west longitude. That put the point of origin of the Japanese signal as somewhat south of a line drawn between Hawaii and Los Angeles.

It was the call sign that bothered him. It made sense that a Japanese sub might be out there, hoping for a shot at something coming up from Panama. But the call sign was that of a Jap destroyer, Yuzuki. He checked it against his reference book for a third time, and got the same answer.

He took off his cap and ran his fingers through his hair. What the hell would a Jap destroyer be doing all the way down there? But he was going to have to report it. If the one in a hundred chance there really was some kind of Jap raiding force that deep in friendly waters came true and he didn’t report it, his head would be on the chopping block.

If, as was likely, this was some sort of error, then he was going to be accused of wasting the Navy’s time and resources. They’d have to send ships to check it out. They couldn’t afford not to.

Conright sighed. He was just the messenger, but he was going to be shot anyway. So much for that promotion he wanted. He wondered what the facilities were like at the weather station at Dutch Harbor.

Unless there really were Jap ships there. Then he’d be a hero. Fat chance, he thought, and went to report to the Colonel.



< Message edited by Cuttlefish -- 11/4/2011 4:27:34 AM >

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Post #: 318
RE: May 31, 1942 - 11/4/2011 4:23:43 AM   
princep01

 

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From: Texas
Status: offline
small thing......400 miles east of Mili, no? Or is Halsey trying to steer the fleet into another typhoon?

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Post #: 319
RE: May 31, 1942 - 11/4/2011 4:28:31 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: princep01

small thing......400 miles east of Mili, no? Or is Halsey trying to steer the fleet into another typhoon?


Fixed that, thanks!



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Post #: 320
RE: June 1, 1942 - 11/4/2011 11:29:34 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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From: Oregon, USA
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June 1, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 535 miles southwest of Johnson Island
Course: Northeast
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 387 (73%)


The weather had moderated a bit but the seas were still on the heavy side. Gerald Scott, “Jer” to his friends, had his work cut out for him as he served the soup at the beginning of dinner in the officer’s wardroom. He moved around the table with the grace of a dancer, ladling just the right amount of steaming soup into the deep bowls. He carefully timed every pitch and roll so that he was pouring during the brief interval when the ship was stationary. So far the steward’s white mess jacket was still spotless, as was the white linen tablecloth.

The other steward, Moxen, was serving the officer’s the drinks they had ordered, juice, milk, or coffee. The officer’s orders for dinner had already been taken and when the food was ready it would be passed to the wardroom via a scuttle from the pantry. In the meanwhile, they got soup. Cream of tomato soup, tonight.

Captain Stickney, at the starboard end of the table, was talking to Lieutenant Steubens, who was seated on his right. Gunnery officer Cameron, the next most senior officer present, was seated on the captain’s left. Down along the table the other officers were talking among themselves, though all were keeping an eye on their glasses and bowls in case they decided to slide away.

During rough weather not only would the table service slide away, sometimes the officers did too. The table was bolted to the deck but the officer’s chairs were not and sometimes they all fetched up against a bulkhead in a tangle, dragging tablecloths and everything else with them. But despite these challenges Captain Stickney insisted that all the formalities be followed at mealtime. He took seriously the notion that they were gentlemen and would behave like it while they ate.

So Scott proceeded to feed them with swift, quiet efficiency. He had been a clerk in a hardware store prior to joining the Navy, and his action station was in one of the lower ammunition handling rooms. But though he was not aware of it, thanks to his experience aboard Gridley any fine restaurant in New York would be now pleased to hire him as a waiter or maitre d’.

The soup was successfully served, and so far all of it was still on the table. In conditions like this the officers usually poured a little water on the tablecloth and set their bowls and plates on the damp spot. The water kept the tablecloth stuck to the table and the bowls stuck to the tablecloth.

Before the war the wardroom table had been fitted with a clever arrangement of wooden baffles and partitions which kept every officer’s place setting where it belonged. But the “gold-platers,” as old destroyer men referred to the treaty-class tin cans such as Gridely, had been stripped of those and similar luxuries back in November. The overstuffed furniture, rugs, wood paneling, mahogany gangway, and other fittings had all been removed in anticipation of war.

As the soup was finished Scott and Moxen removed the bowls and began serving the main course, now arriving from the pantry. Scott got Captain Stickney’s food in front of him without incident, despite a sudden plunge of the bow as Gridley hit a trough. Scott simply went with the motion, dipping with the plate as he staggered slightly, then sliding the plate in front of the captain before the bow began to rise again. Fred Astaire couldn’t have done it better.

Stickney turned his attention from his executive officer for just a second and gave Scott the slightest of nods. The steward felt good as he stepped back to survey the table and see if anything else was needed. A slight nod from the captain was high praise.

Serving dinner to Gridley’s officers wasn’t going to win the war or anything like that. But it was his job and he liked to do it well.

***

Far to the east Lieutenant Conright was also trying to do his job well. But the Japs weren’t cooperating and the looks he was getting from his own boss were not pleasant nods. The Colonel had listened to Conright and agreed they couldn’t afford not to pass the information along, but he had also made it clear that it was Conright’s head in the noose if it all turned out to be a wild goose chase.

So far half a dozen submarines had been dispatched or re-routed to cover the possibility that a Jap raiding force was somehow in their sea lanes. All five carriers in the Pacific were hurrying back to Pearl Harbor just in case they found something. People were not going to be happy if there was nothing there.

So Conright scanned the list of intercepts. Come on, you yellow devils, he thought. Do something, make some more noise. But that area of the Pacific remained stubbornly silent.

Conright could picture a Jap force getting all the way there undetected, if they really wanted to and were maintaining tight radio silence. He’d stared at the maps and seen how it could be done, though if they really had swung down from the north it was a miracle that they hadn’t found any targets between California and Pearl. That corridor was always filled with ships, long convoys carrying troops, fuel, planes, and supplies west and then heading back east for more. Conright could also picture someone aboard a Jap destroyer making a mistake and inadvertently starting to broadcast something, then cutting it off.

He could also picture the whole thing being an error on his part. It wasn’t a pretty picture, though.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 321
RE: June 3, 1942 - 11/6/2011 8:04:30 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
June 2-3, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 75 miles east-southeast of Johnson Island
Course: Northeast
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 345 (65%)


“Hey, Al…” began Ranker.

“Shut up, Ranker,” said Al Tanner, “I’m thinking.”

“Yeah, sure,” said Ranker diffidently. “But you said to watch for Odell, and here he…”

“Christ, why didn’t you say so!” snapped Tanner. He turned away from the rail and back to the bulkhead, where he began an industrious show of chipping paint. Petty Officer Odell came strolling around the uptake and stopped to survey the work that he, Ranker, and Vick were supposed to be doing. He said nothing for a moment. Tanner admired the timing. Odell was letting them sweat a little before he said anything.

“My grandmother could have finished this by now,” Odell finally observed pleasantly. The seas had moderated and the sun was out. It wasn’t terribly warm but Tanner began to sweat a little. Ranker and Vick were already sweating, but that was understandable. They’d been working.

“We’ve almost got it, Chief,” said Tanner. “Don’t we, guys?” Ranker and Vick nodded vigorously.

“That’s good,” said Odell, “because you aren’t stopping until it’s done. Clear?”

“Yes, Chief,” they all chorused. Odell started to walk away, and then turned back. Here it comes, thought Tanner.

“Oh, and Tanner,” Odell said. “It might go faster if you stopped goofing off by the rail and actually did some work, eh?”

“Sorry, Chief,” said Tanner. He tried to assume a mournful, slightly feeble attitude. “I wasn’t goofing off, I was puking. I must have gotten some bad meat at chow or something.”

“I see,” said Odell. “That’s a real shame.” He looked at Ranker and Vick and his voice sharpened. “Is that true? Has Tanner been sick?”

“Oh yeah,” said Ranker.

“Like a dog,” agreed Vick. “Throwing up something terrible. We keep trying to get him to go see the doc but he won’t quit workin’.”

“Crap,” said Odell disgustedly. “If Tanner said ‘frog’ you two would jump. I don’t know why I even bother.” He pointed at the bulkhead. “Scraped down and ready to paint. And you three don’t stop until it’s done.” He turned and stalked off, easily keeping up with the roll of the ship with his straddle-legged walk.

After he was out of sight forward Tanner kept working. Odell was apt to turn around and come back, just to try and catch him slacking again, but Tanner wasn’t going to fall for that one. His thoughts resumed their former course, though.

He really needed to find a way off this ship. And not to another ship, either, but to shore duty, preferably in Pearl or the States. The recent raid against the Marshalls worried him. The Japanese were obviously done expanding and instead were digging in. Everyone said so, and Tanner agreed. That meant they would be going after the Japs more and more. And the Japs would be waiting with all their guns, ships, and planes. It was going to get dangerous out here at sea. And dangerous didn’t sit well with Tanner’s determination to get through this stupid war with a whole skin.

The trouble was that the Navy took a perverse sort of joy in doing exactly the opposite of what you wanted them to do. Even Tanner, for all his cunning, had had no luck in manipulating the bureaucracy. It was too vast and too impersonal.

He could get kicked off the ship easily enough, sure, but he wanted his record clean. Ending up in the stockade wasn’t going to do it. Ma Tanner’s eldest boy needed to be someplace where he could feather his nest in comfort and come through the war with a clean record. He had the future to think of, after all.

He needed a cunning plan. Eventually, he felt confident, he would come up with one. He was good at cunning plans.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 322
RE: June 3, 1942 - 11/21/2011 3:42:49 AM   
adm

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 10/19/2009
Status: offline
Its been 3 weeks, maybe he should go with something less cunning.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 323
RE: June 3, 1942 - 11/30/2011 11:31:39 PM   
adm

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 10/19/2009
Status: offline
I did not intend to offend with my last post.

Is everything all right?

(in reply to adm)
Post #: 324
RE: Ship of Steel, Men of Valor - Cuttlefish (A) vers... - 12/6/2011 11:41:46 PM   
nashvillen


Posts: 2664
Joined: 7/3/2006
From: Christiana, TN
Status: online
+1, don't want it to disappear like the Hibiki appears to have done!

_____________________________


(in reply to BJStone)
Post #: 325
RE: Ship of Steel, Men of Valor - Cuttlefish (A) vers... - 12/7/2011 9:45:07 PM   
kaleun

 

Posts: 4737
Joined: 5/29/2002
From: Colorado
Status: offline
bump?

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

(in reply to nashvillen)
Post #: 326
RE: Ship of Steel, Men of Valor - Cuttlefish (A) vers... - 12/8/2011 11:36:17 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
My apologies for the hiatus. Real life caught up with me for a bit there and my routine is just getting back to normal. On the minus side, I was pretty sick for a while. On the plus side, my second grandchild was born, a healthy baby boy. But I am at last ready to get back into the AAR.

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(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 327
RE: Ship of Steel, Men of Valor - Cuttlefish (A) vers... - 12/8/2011 11:38:20 PM   
PaxMondo


Posts: 5621
Joined: 6/6/2008
Status: offline
WELCOME BACK!!!!

Congrats on the grandkid!

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Pax

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 328
RE: June 3, 1942 - 12/8/2011 11:39:30 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
June 4-6, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Pearl Harbor
Course: Northeast
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 525 (100%)


Gridley and the rest of the Allied armada finished their journey back to Pearl Harbor without incident. But it was to be a brief visit. No sooner had they arrived when Captain Stickney was informed that there would only be time to take on fuel and supplies before all the ships were sent out again. This time they would be heading northeast. It seemed there was a rumor going around that a Japanese raiding force might have somehow gotten east of Hawaii. No one seemed to think that it was a credible threat, but on the other hand the entire 2nd Marine Division was inbound from the mainland northeast of Pearl and no one wanted to take any chances.

So they were going to sortie, rendezvous with the transports, and give them cover on their way into Pearl. After that, it seemed, there was a vague plan to send the carriers north to prowl around a bit. It seemed like a wild goose chase to Stickney, but orders were orders. He wondered if there was actually any solid intelligence to back up the paranoia that had suddenly seemed to infect the top brass.

***

Lieutenant Conright knocked at the door to the Colonel’s office. It was a warm day in the Bay Area but that wasn’t why Conright was perspiring slightly. He had been able to pick up no further evidence of Japanese raiders off the West Coast and the flurry of activity that his report had triggered was beginning to draw some questions.

“Enter,” said a gruff voice. Conright turned the knob and opened the door. Inside he saw that things were worse than he feared. The Colonel was behind his desk, looking unhappy, and several other chairs were also occupied. The additional occupants wore enough gold braid to satisfy a pharaoh. Conright swallowed hard, stepped inside, and saluted.

“Is this the man?” an admiral asked.

“Lieutenant Conright, yes,” said the Colonel.

“Son,” said another admiral, “we have most of the Pacific Fleet out there chasing after that report you made. Do you have any further information for us?”

“Um, well sir, nothing…that is to say, nothing new…in the latest reports,” Conright managed to answer. “Everything quiet, so to speak.”

“Do you have any information for us at all?” asked a general.

“Well, sir,” stammered Conright, “the latest intercepts…the latest decodes…show some…have some interesting information.”

“Such as?”

“I have detected heavy radio transmissions from Tokyo, sir,” said Conright.

“Really?’ one of the admirals asked. “Regarding what?”

“Well, I don’t know, sir,” said Conright. The admiral’s brows lowered.

“Anything else, Conright?” asked the Colonel. His tone suggested that there damned well better be.

“Sir, I have…have established that the Chichi Jima fortress is located at, um, Chichi Jima,” said Conright, blurting out the first thing he could think of from the morning’s intercepts.

“Is that a fact?” asked one admiral, his voice heavy with sarcasm.

“Never would have guessed that one,” added the general. The Colonel closed his eyes briefly, as if in pain.

“That will be all, Conright,” he said. Conright saluted again and fled. He wondered to what god-forsaken corner of the world they were going to exile him.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 329
RE: June 3, 1942 - 12/8/2011 11:47:06 PM   
princep01

 

Posts: 934
Joined: 8/7/2006
From: Texas
Status: offline
It will most surely be a dark, cold and lonely place after that remarkable performance....unless of course, the CVs find a real menace out there in the Big Blue.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 330
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