Matrix Games Forums

Deal of the Week Battle Academy Battle Academy 2 Out now!Legions of Steel ready for betaBattle Academy 2 gets trailers and Steam page!Deal of the Week Germany at WarSlitherine Group acquires Shenandoah StudioNew information and screenshots for Pike & ShotDeal of the Week Pride of NationsTo End All Wars Releasing on Steam! Slitherine is recruiting: Programmers required
Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

RE: August 22, 1942

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> After Action Reports >> RE: August 22, 1942 Page: <<   < prev  11 12 13 [14] 15   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
RE: August 22, 1942 - 5/2/2012 4:45:41 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
August 22, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Sydney
Course: None
Attached to: TF 154
Mission: Surface Combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 525 (100%)


Captain Stickney strode briskly down Manning Street. Though in no particular hurry, he was not the type to stroll. He walked everywhere quickly, as though late for an appointment. He was tall and lean and swung his arms from the shoulder as he went along, still reminiscent, despite the grey in his hair, of the runner he had been at Annapolis years ago.

He turned into an old building, an ornate building that had begun life 110 years ago as an example of Georgian Regency architecture. It was then the residence of Bishop Broughton, the first Anglican Bishop of Australia. It had since then been both a hospital and a hotel, acquiring columns and a Victorian-style second floor veranda along the way. Now the building, vacant the last several years, had been converted into a club for U.S. officers.

The polished teak bar had once been a reception desk, welcoming variously patients or guests, depending on the period of the building’s history. The dark wooden floor was covered with tables and chairs. Many were occupied, but as he peered through the haze of smoke Stickney caught sight of a waving arm. He headed in that direction.

At the table was Captain Lewis, an old friend from Stickney’s Annapolis days. These days he was a member of Admiral Shafroth’s staff.

“Hey there, Stick, glad you could make it,” Lewis said, standing and shaking Stickney’s hand. Only old friends called Gridley’s captain “Stick”.

“Good to see you, Lew,” said Stickney. Both men sat and Stickney ordered a gin and tonic. The two men exchanged family news for a bit, then the talk turned to matters of war.

“What do you hear?” Stickney asked his friend. “You’re a lot better placed to get news than I am.”

“Not a lot,” Lewis confessed. “The carriers are well on their way to Auckland, no problems since North Carolina stopped that torpedo. The admiral got a briefing from the Army yesterday. Apparently some Jap armor is scuffling with the Aussies out in the desert, at Tennant Creek. Otherwise the Japs are being damned quiet almost everywhere.”

“I’m surprised we haven’t pushed them out of the desert yet,” said Stickney.

“Oh, there are enough troops out there to roll them all the way back to Darwin,” Lewis said. “The US army has hundreds of tanks and tank destroyers in the desert. But it’s rather odd. The Aussies haven’t been able to get enough supplies out there to support an attack. There’s a damned lot of nothing out there, you know, and one road. Most of the trucks they send break down along the way. It’s gotten to be such a problem that they’re beginning to suspect sabotage. One Australian brigadier was ranting that the Japanese must have enrolled the natives as a sixth column and they’re sabotaging all the trucks. Putting sugar in the gas tanks or something, I guess.”

“I hear there’s a lot of pressure to get something done out there,” said Stickney.

“Oh yes. It’s ‘sacred Australian soil’ and all that,” said Lewis. “Word is that there’s a lot of politicking going on, our guys trying to convince the Aussies that the best way to get their territory back is to attack the Japs somewhere else.”

“It’s easy to want to help them,” commented Stickney. “They’ve been nothing but friendly since we’ve been here. Very generous.”

“They have,” agreed Lewis. “I hear that from all over. And I couldn’t blame them if they were otherwise. The military’s been spreading across the waterfront like crabgrass. Us, the Australians, the British, even some French and Dutch. And it’s caused problems. Black market activity, whores, crime, all that.”

“It doesn’t hurt that we spend a lot of money,” Stickney said.

“So cynical,” said Lewis. “Though true, to an extent. But they really are generous people. That’s why I hate to get reports like the one from last night. Pawnshop got knocked over, owner badly beaten when he heard a noise and came out to investigate. But he was able to tell the police that the attackers had American accents.” Stickney frowned.

“It only takes a few bad apples,” he said, “to give all of us a bad reputation.”

“Yeah, but there are always bad apples,” said Lewis. “We both know that sailors aren’t usually candidates for sainthood.”

“Tough men for a tough job,” said Stickney. “Sure. But there’s a difference between knocking back a few too many beers and getting in a fight and doing something like that.” His features, which had relaxed, became for a moment even more stern than usual. “If any of my men tried something like that I would be tempted to give keelhauling a try. I truly would.”


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 391
RE: August 22, 1942 - 5/2/2012 8:25:57 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4235
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
quote:

“If any of my men tried something like that”


I have a bad feeling we just found out what that unlogged three-man shore party was doing . . .

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 5/2/2012 8:27:06 PM >


_____________________________

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

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 392
RE: August 26, 1942 - 5/4/2012 1:01:03 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
August 23-26, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Sydney
Course: None
Attached to: TF 154
Mission: Surface Combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 525 (100%)


It was a pleasantly mild, almost cool, evening in Sydney. Gridley was now anchored out in the bay off Clarke Island. In the officer’s wardroom dinner was being served. Stewards Scott and Moxen, immaculate in their dress whites, moved silently back and forth between the pantry scuttle and the table, setting the officer’s plates in front of them.

As always, the other officers waited for Captain Stickney to begin before digging into their own food. For a time conversation was light and the main sound was the rattle of cutlery. After the meal was cleared and coffee served, however, the talk at the table turned to more serious matters.

“I don’t understand why we aren’t taking the war to the Japs yet,” said Lieutenant JG Sherwood. “We’ve got almost the whole damned Navy down here in the South Pacific now. What are we waiting for?”

“I think a better question,” Lieutenant JG Cameron said slowly, “is ‘what are the Japs waiting for?’” Captain Stickney had leaned back in his chair but was following the conversation with interest. He liked to encourage his officers to think strategically.

“What do you mean, Lieutenant?” he now asked Cameron.

“Well, sir,” said Cameron “I just mean that what I think the Japs are waiting for, is us. If I was them I’d be sitting back and waiting for us to try something. They know we have to, sooner or later. When we do they’ll hit back, hard.”

“And our brass knows that,” added Lieutenant Steubens. “So they aren’t going to move until they think we can win.”

“It would be nice,” said Lieutenant Coszyk, “if the Japanese would come out and give us a shot at them.”

“They’ve been too smart for that,” said Steubens. “The Nips aren’t stupid. They got their oil, their tin, their rubber, everything they wanted. Now they’re going to make us go in and take it back.”

“Too bad success didn’t go to their heads,” Cameron said. “It would have been nice if all that victory had made them overconfident, if they’d just kept pushing until they stuck their necks out too far somewhere.”

“What,” asked Steubens, “like trying to invade Fiji or Midway or something?”

“Yeah,” said Cameron. “Exactly. Then we could hurt them. As it is, we’re going to have to go dig them out of somewhere. And it isn’t going to be easy.”

“I don’t expect it to be easy,” said Ensign Puhls. “But I sure am ready to give it a try.”

“I wonder where it will be?” Sherwood asked. Captain Stickney cleared his throat.

“As to that,” he said, “I don’t have any idea. And I am pretty certain that the Navy isn’t going to tell us in advance. One day we’ll be ordered out and pretty soon people will start shooting at us.”

“That’s okay, sir,” replied Steubens. “We’ll be ready. I just hope it will be as much of a surprise to the Japs as it is to us.”


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 393
RE: September 1, 1942 - 5/5/2012 8:51:54 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
August 27 – September 1, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Sydney
Course: None
Attached to: TF 154
Mission: Surface Combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 525 (100%)


From the log of Dr. Albert Corwin, ship’s medical officer:


August 22: Treated SC1 Thomas Ranker for slight fracture of right forearm. Patient said he injured arm when he slipped on wet deck plates. Applied splint, advised ten days light duty.

August 23: Treated TM Samual Carovich for cut on forehead. Three stitches. Patient said he fell while drinking ashore and broke a chair with his forehead.

August 23: SC2 Andrew Gray came to dispensary complaining of tooth pain. After examination referred patient to shore facility for extraction of upper left molar.

August 25: RM Rudy Bronkhorst fell into ship’s boat after falling off pier. Re-socketed dislocated left shoulder. Advised one week light duty.

August 26: Treated SC1 Matthew Hobart for infestation of pthirus pubis. MYL powder prescribed. Advised patient to remain celibate until treatment complete.

August 26: Treated CPO Marcus Helguist for first-degree steam burns on right hand and forearm.

August 28: Treated SC2 Phillip Manning for injured right hand. Injury sustained while ashore, knuckles cut and bruised, hand swollen. Advised patient that striking someone in the abdomen causes less injury to hands than striking them on the jaw.

August 29: Treated SF Antonio Garibaldi for infestation of pthirus pubis. MYL powder prescribed. Advised patient to remain celibate until treatment complete.

August 29: GM Lester Dahlgren came into dispensary complaining of weakness and chills. Fever 102, lymph nodes slightly swollen. Advised hydration and bed rest. Placed patient on sick roll.

August 30: SC1 complained of painful itching on left arm. On examination arm was found to be covered by a severe rash. Patient said he had reached into water and encountered small purple jellyfish. Species tentatively identified as pelagica noctiluca. Applied cold compress, told patient to return for further treatment if symptoms persist.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 394
RE: September 1, 1942 - 5/6/2012 12:35:53 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4235
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
Shore leave is causing even more casualties than combat!

_____________________________

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

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 395
RE: RE: March 30, 1942 - 5/8/2012 1:46:15 PM   
VSWG


Posts: 3432
Joined: 5/31/2006
From: Germany
Status: offline
Just caught up on this AAR, now I have to wait for the next update... Thanks for this amazing AAR, Cuttlefish!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish

On the subcontinent itself the Australians reported that nearly one hundred tanks, Matildas and Stuarts, were on the road heading west across the sparsely inhabited interior.

Post #250

What, no backlash from Down Under? Must be true, then...

_____________________________


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 396
RE: September 1, 1942 - 5/9/2012 1:08:16 AM   
Onime No Kyo


Posts: 16628
Joined: 4/28/2004
Status: offline
quote:

August 28: Treated SC2 Phillip Manning for injured right hand. Injury sustained while ashore, knuckles cut and bruised, hand swollen. Advised patient that striking someone in the abdomen causes less injury to hands than striking them on the jaw.


Hey, thanks for the tip, Doc!

_____________________________

"Mighty is the Thread! Great are its works and insane are its inhabitants!" -Brother Mynok

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 397
RE: September 5, 1942 - 5/12/2012 5:47:43 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
September 2 - 5, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Sydney
Course: None
Attached to: TF 154
Mission: Surface Combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 525 (100%)


“Hey, Rudy. How’s the shoulder?” Bill Bonderman asks Rudy Bronkhorst, who has just entered the radio room. Bronkhorst maneuvers his large frame through the cramped room and into the second chair.

“It’s pretty good,” he says. “Don’t hurt no more. There been much traffic?”

“Nope, pretty light,” says Bonderman. “Glad to hear it about the shoulder, you could have been hurt a lot worse, falling into the boat like that.” Bronkhorst pauses while reaching for his headphones, then turns his head to face Bonderman.

“If I tell you something,” he says, “can you keep it to yourself?” The big man’s face is unusually serious. Bonderman just nods.

“I wouldn’t even ask,” says Rudy. “You ain’t no chatterbox, that’s for sure. But this…well, I dunno…”

“What is it, Rudy?” asks Bonderman.

“Thing is,” says Bronkhorst, “I didn’t fall into that boat. I was pushed.” Bonderman raises an eyebrow. “Yeah, I know, that isn’t what I told ya the first time. But I got a feeling that things ain’t over, and…well, I trust ya.”

“Go on,” says Bill quietly.

“There was maybe six of us on the pier waiting for the boat,” says Bronkhorst.”One of ‘em was Vick. We kind of bunched up by the ladder as it came alongside and just when I was stepping forward I got kinda nudged. Just enough to lose my balance. No one saw anything and I can’t prove it, but it was Vick. I know it was.”

“Because you aren’t part of Tanner’s little gang anymore,” says Bonderman. Rudy nods.

“You got it,” he says. “Tanner, he don’t like that much. And he’s mean as a snake. I bet told Vick to do it. Vick, he’s pretty good at the rough stuff, but he doesn’t change his shorts unless Tanner tells him to.”

Bonderman’s long, lean face takes on a grim look and his gray eyes go flat. Any number of the Texan’s old acquaintances would have recognized that look and very quickly found somewhere else to be. But to Bronkhorst this look is new.

“You can’t tell anyone,” he says hastily. “I got no proof.”

“I said I wouldn’t tell, and I won’t,” says Bill. His drawl is now more pronounced. “But I am gettin’ just a little bit tired of Mr. Al Tanner, I surely am.”

“I don’t want you to get in any trouble on my account,” says Bronkhorst. “I can take care of myself.”

“I know you can, Rudy,” Bonderman says. “And doesn’t the Bible tells us to turn the other cheek, and that a soft answer will turneth away wrath?”

“Maybe so,” says Bronkhorst, “but I don’t think that bunch spends too much time reading the Bible.”

“Well, there you go,” Bonderman says. “Maybe someone should educate them. Maybe someone should read them a few lessons out of the Good Book.”


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 398
RE: September 1, 1942 - 5/12/2012 7:58:58 PM   
Blackhorse


Posts: 1926
Joined: 8/20/2000
From: Eastern US
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish
August 23: Treated TM Samual Carovich for cut on forehead. Three stitches. Patient said he fell while drinking ashore and broke a chair with his forehead.





_____________________________

WitP-AE -- US LCU & AI Stuff

Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
Moriarty: Crap!

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 399
RE: September 1, 1942 - 5/13/2012 7:25:33 PM   
princep01

 

Posts: 937
Joined: 8/7/2006
From: Texas
Status: offline
Something Hurtful this way comes, Mr Tanner......along with a new Bible study class.

(in reply to Blackhorse)
Post #: 400
RE: September 1, 1942 - 5/13/2012 7:35:31 PM   
Crackaces


Posts: 2619
Joined: 7/9/2011
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: princep01

Something Hurtful this way comes, Mr Tanner......along with a new Bible study class.



I suspect this story is going to go more like the Rush song "The Trees" The Oaks and the Maples argue about little stuff then the hatchets come ..in this case in the form of 500 pound ship penatrating bombs and 18" torps

(in reply to princep01)
Post #: 401
RE: September 8, 1942 - 5/14/2012 8:22:48 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
September 6 - 8, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Sydney
Course: None
Attached to: TF 154
Mission: Surface Combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 525 (100%)


Fred Steubens sat in his cabin, working on the never-ending piles of paperwork that were an executive officer’s lot in life. It was a small cabin, but Steubens didn’t mind. He and the captain were the only ones aboard who rated a cabin to themselves. There was also a commodore’s cabin, but it was rarely occupied.

A firm rap sounded at his cabin door. Steubens would ordinarily have been glad of the interruption but this time he grimaced. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly before calling “Come in!” The door opened to reveal gunnery officer Jack Cameron.

“You wanted to see me, sir?” said Cameron. In the ordinary course of ship’s business it was “Fred” and “Jack” between them, but Cameron could obviously see by the set of Steuben’s face that this was something more formal. Something unpleasant. Steubens could see the other officer's mind race as he tried to figure out what was up.

“Yes, Jack, come in,” said Steubens. “Close the door. Have a seat” He waved Cameron to the bunk, the only other place to sit down in the cramped cabin. Cameron did so, sitting upright on the edge of the bunk. Steubens looked at him for a moment, then lifted a paper off his desk.

“We’ve received an ALNAV,” he began, “and you’re on the list. Congratulations, Jack, you’ve been promoted to lieutenant.” Cameron smiled.

“That’s great, sir, thank you,” he said.

“It’s a blanket promotion,” said Steubens. “but you deserve it. Even if the biggest difference it makes right now is the $186 bucks a month you’ll start getting.”

“Hey, that isn’t chicken feed,” said Cameron. He would have spoken further but something in Steuben’s face stopped him.

“Yeah,” said Steubens. The executive officer hesitated. “Jack, we’ve received a message for you. It isn’t good news. I’m sorry.” He handed a message flimsy to Cameron. Cameron took it and began to read.

Your father was killed in a car accident on September 3. The rest of the family is okay. He was very proud of you. Be strong and stay safe. Love, Mom.

Cameron expelled a huff of air, and Steubens watched him seem to shrink before his very eyes.

“What?” Cameron said. He looked bewildered “I…aw, Christ.” He crumpled the flimsy in his hand and bowed his head. Steubens sat still for a moment.

“You okay, Jack?” he finally asked. Cameron took a deep, shuddering breath and raised his head. His face was haggard.

“Yes sir,” said Cameron. “I mean…yeah, I guess so. It’s just that…” His voice broke for a moment. “The last time I saw him, he told me to give them hell and keep myself alive. And now here, he’s…he’s dead, and I’m sitting here safe and sound. What kind of sense does that make, sir?” His tone was plaintive.

“It doesn’t make any sense at all,” said Steubens quietly. “I guess that sometimes things just don’t. I’m sorry as hell, Jack. You need some time?” Cameron took a deep breath.

“Thank you, sir, but no,” he said. His voice grew more firm, and his face became expressionless. “We’ve got a gunnery exercise at 1400 and I need…he would have wanted me to do my duty, sir. ”

“Very well,” said Steubens. He stood, and Cameron followed suit. “Carry on, Lieutenant.” Cameron saluted and Steubens gravely returned it. Cameron paused a moment to smooth the flimsy and put it in his pocket, then he left, closing the door behind him. Steubens gazed at the door for a moment, then sighed and sat back down in the chair. He reached for the next form in the stack and returned to work.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 402
RE: September 8, 1942 - 5/16/2012 12:51:33 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
I just wanted to mention that I have given my opponent, Cribtop, permission to view the first several pages of this AAR. So if you happen to see him here, it's okay.



(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 403
RE: September 8, 1942 - 5/16/2012 2:42:54 AM   
princep01

 

Posts: 937
Joined: 8/7/2006
From: Texas
Status: offline
I'd be careful with that, Cuttlefish. He has that Al Tanner look about him....him being a lawyer and all.

Actually, having met your opponent on a couple of occasions, I can assure you that he is a trustworthy soul. He is, in fact, much more the Bonderman than the Tanner.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 404
RE: September 15, 1942 - 5/22/2012 9:49:08 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
September 9-15, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Sydney
Course: None
Attached to: TF 154
Mission: Surface Combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 525 (100%)


Gus Becken watched the sea slide by as Gridley returned to Sydney harbor. “When my kids ask me what I did in the war,” he commented, “I’ll be able to tell them that me and my buddy Jake were the terror of target sleeves across the Pacific.” The destroyers in Admiral Shafroth’s task force had just finished another round of anti-aircraft drills. Shafroth was keeping his ships busy. Almost every day there were exercises of some kind; anti-aircraft drills, anti-submarine drills, torpedo attack drills, and more.

“Yep,” said Jake Reedy, leaning back in the harness of the Oerlikon. “And don’t forget to tell them about the vast quantities of Australian beer you consumed. Not to mention some of your other activities. Why, you should probably mention that if they ever find themselves in Sydney and spot someone who looks a lot like them, only a few years older, they should go up and introduce themselves. ‘Cause it will probably be their half-brother or sister.”

“I’ve been careful!” protested Becken. “Besides, you’re just jealous, sitting in your bunk reading those letters from Cathy while I’m out having a good time.”

“Anyway,” said Reedy, quickly changing the subject, “it’s going to be a long war. You’ll have some tales to tell your kids before it’s all over.”

“I hope so,” said Becken. “I like Sydney, it’s a great town, but sitting in the harbor here isn’t doing a lot to end the war. I’d like to go home some day.”

“And start having those kids you’re going to tell all about your adventures?” said Jake.

“You bet,” said Gus. “Meet the right girl, settle down, have a nice little house with a yard and maybe a cherry tree or something.”

“And then you can tell them all about Uncle Jake,” said Reedy with a grin. “The hero who grabbed your belt and saved you from falling into the harbor while you puked your guts out. The hero who helped you escape from the large, angry husband who wanted to bash your head in with a shovel. The hero who…”

“Ah, maybe not,” said Becken. “I don’t think I’m going to tell them everything I did in the war. Just the stories that make me look good.”

“And what stories are those, exactly?” asked Reedy.

“Well,” said his friend, “they haven’t happened yet. But they will. You’ll see.”

“I’m sure I will,” said Reedy with a smile.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 405
RE: September 16, 1942 - 5/23/2012 9:50:28 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
September 16, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Sydney
Course: None
Attached to: TF 154
Mission: Surface Combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 525 (100%)


All good things come to an end. Gridley’s pleasant interlude at Sydney is done when reports come in of increased Japanese air and naval activity in the Solomons and the Coral Sea. The Japanese have apparently been stirred to some kind of action by the Allied buildup at places like Luganville, Ndeni, and Efate. The enemy activity may be only a reconnaissance, or it may be the prelude to something larger. Either way, Admiral Shafroth’s force is ordered into the Coral Sea.

All leaves are cancelled and crew ashore are ordered to report back aboard ship. A few stragglers are rousted out of bars and beds and sent back to the destroyer. Gridley’s fuel and fresh water tanks are topped off, some supplies of fresh food are hastily loaded aboard, and by the end of the day the destroyer is ready to depart. Chains rattle as the anchors are raised and Gridley maneuvers through the harbor to join the departing column, swinging smoothly into her assigned station as the middle ship in the trailing trio of destroyers.

Night is falling as the ten warships depart the harbor and put out to sea. It would be romantic to say that some of the sailors wave a fond farewell to the lights of Sydney, but this does not happen, largely because the city is under blackout. Instead everyone is all business as the task force turns towards the northeast, towards the Coral Sea and the war.

***

A US destroyer (Whipple, DD-217) in Sydney Harbor, 1942.






Attachment (1)

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 406
RE: October 3, 1942 - 6/8/2012 8:11:40 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
September 17 – October 3, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Brisbane
Course: None
Attached to: TF 154
Mission: Surface Combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 4, engine damage 2
Fuel: 525 (100%)


More than two weeks cruising in the Coral Sea and along the northern Australian coast produces nothing more exciting than a brush with a tropical storm. After almost a month in port the crew gets used to having nothing around them again but water, water and the lean gray shapes of the other ships in the task force.

Though Gridley encounters no foe other than wind and sea the Japanese are out there. An American sub sinks a Japanese light cruiser in the northern reaches of the Coral Sea. Japanese bombers raid the growing air and naval base at Ndeni. Scout planes report Japanese picket ships all along the northern reaches of their patrol lanes, pickets that vanish like ghosts whenever Allied warships try to find them. Most ominous of all are signs that Japanese carriers are patrolling north of the Santa Cruz islands. These reports are little better than rumors – sightings of carrier planes by submarines and stray radio signals – but they make Gridley’s crew jumpy, and the air-search radar is always supplemented by binoculars trained on the skies to the north.

With their fuel stocks growing low Admiral Shafroth’s task force is ordered to put into Brisbane to refuel. This time there will be no extended period of rest and relaxation in an Australian city. The task force is to turn around immediately and head for Luganville, the main Allied base at Espiritu Santo. The rumor mill says something is up, maybe something big. There is talk of invasion convoys gathering, although no one knows what the objective might be.

Rumors are one thing, ship’s business another. Gridley refuels and quickly replenishes her stocks of food and water, then clears the dock for the next destroyer in line. By morning they will be sailing east again, to the New Hebrides and their next assignment.

They have no way of knowing yet that it will take them straight into the jaws of hell.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 407
RE: October 3, 1942 - 6/8/2012 10:10:40 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4235
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
quote:

They have no way of knowing yet that it will take them straight into the jaws of hell.


Unfortunately, those of us following Cribtop's AAR do have a way . . .

_____________________________

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

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 408
RE: October 3, 1942 - 6/8/2012 10:13:08 PM   
DOCUP


Posts: 2363
Joined: 7/7/2010
Status: offline
The breaks between posts just add to the suspense of this drama.

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 409
RE: October 3, 1942 - 6/9/2012 2:13:50 AM   
John 3rd


Posts: 11122
Joined: 9/8/2005
From: La Salle, Colorado
Status: offline
PLEASE Post more Sir! Pretty Please...


_____________________________



Member: Reluctant Admiral and Perfect War Mod Team.

Reluctant Admiral Mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/


(in reply to DOCUP)
Post #: 410
RE: October 8, 1942 - 6/9/2012 5:21:29 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
October 4 - 8, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Luganville
Course: East - southeast
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 5
Fuel: 445 (84%)


The Navy facilities at Luganville had grown impressively in recent months. The harbor facilities had at least tripled in size, as had the facilities ashore, which were now the size of a small town. There were many new buildings, among them a hospital which was still having the finishing touches put on it but which was ready to receive patients. In one of these buildings, a naval headquarters which still smelled of new lumber and fresh paint, Admiral Shafroth met with two of his captains, Lieutenant Commander Stickney of Gridley and Commander Martinez of the Mahan-class destroyer Cummings.

“A lot of what I’m about to tell you is need-to-know stuff,” said the burly admiral. “I figure you two now need to know it. I don’t figure anyone else aboard your ships does, so keep it to yourselves. Clear?” Both captains answered yes.

“Very well, then,” continued the admiral. “There’s a big operation on, code-named Bootlace, aimed at the Solomon Islands. We’re going to be invading, and we’re going to stay. It kicks off in a couple of weeks. To that end there are going to be a lot ships here soon. Carriers, battlewagons, transports, the works.

“The problem is, there’s a bunch of Jap subs around, especially between here and Fiji, and we don’t have a lot of ASW ships in the area yet. I’m detaching you two to do a sweep. You will head to the eastern tip of Fiji, that’s where the biggest concentration of subs seems to be. Once you’re there you’ll begin receiving info on sub sightings. Find them and sink them, gentlemen.”

“Yes sir,” said Martinez, who as the senior of the two destroyer captains would be in overall command. “I hope this doesn’t mean that we’ll miss out on all the fun when the operation kicks off, sir.”

“Miss out, hell,” said Shafroth. “You two are probably going to be the tip of the spear. Good luck and good hunting.”


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 411
RE: October 12, 1942 - 6/9/2012 10:33:57 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
October 9 - 12, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 120 miles east of Luganville
Course: Southwest
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 5
Fuel: 383 (72%)


“Me and a buddy went hunting once, up in the Poconos,” said Dan Rucker. “We’d been told about a spot where there were so many deer, all you had to do was shoot into the brush and you’d probably bag one. Well, we wasted an entire weekend there and all we saw was an old cow and some poison oak. This little jaunt reminds me of that weekend.” The fuse setter for turret 54 grimaced. He and the rest of the gun crew were at stations, gazing off Gridley’s stern at the ship’s long, gently curving wake. The mid-morning weather was fine, with a brisk breeze coming up from the southeast to cool things off a bit.

“Swap cows and poison oak for a log and some dolphins, yeah,” said Harry Starkweather, the gun captain. “That’s about right. Either we missed them or the Japs have sent their subs somewhere else.” Gridley and Cummings had cruised to within sight of Nadi, at the western tip of Fiji, and back without even a hint of a submarine contact.

“It takes patience, hunting,” said Joe Beaumont. “You wait and wait, and soon as you look away, that’s when a buck goes by.”

“You do much hunting up there in Michigan, Joe?” Rucker asked. Beaumont shrugged his wide shoulders.

“For food, sometimes,” he said. “When we needed it. Never had time for much else.”

“This isn’t like hunting deer, you guys,” Starkweather reminded them. “Or it is, if the deer all had carbines and knew how to use them.”

“I don’t think deer could use carbines, Mr. Starkweather,” said Joe respectfully. “Them having hooves and all, not fingers.”

“It’s an analogy, Joe,” said Starkweather.

“A what?”

“An analogy. It’s when…hell, didn’t you ever go to school?”

“When I could,” admitted Joe. “But I never had time for much of that, neither.”


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 412
RE: October 15, 1942 - 6/9/2012 10:36:42 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
October 13 - 15, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Noumea
Course: North
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 4
Fuel: 525 (100%)


If Luganville was a small town, Noumea was almost a city. Construction was visible all along the harbor and on Ile Nou, a sizable island offshore. Pre-fabricated huts sprouted everywhere, along with warehouses and other facilities. A tank farm was under construction. The harbor held tenders and auxiliary vessels of every description.

Gridley and Cummings joined a throng of warships and cargo vessels already present. Not long after Gridley dropped anchor the runabout was lowered into the water and soon Captain Stickney was heading towards land. A signal had come in directing he and Commander Martinez to report ashore as soon as possible.

Something was clearly in the wind. It was not only the urgent summons ashore. The activity around the harbor had a purposeful intensity to it, something beyond the normal hubbub of day to day activities. But for the moment Gridley’s crew could only wait. It was something you got good at in the Navy, waiting.

***

Gasoline tanks under construction at Noumea:





Attachment (1)

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 413
RE: October 19, 1942 - 6/10/2012 11:33:31 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
October 16 - 19, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: Noumea
Course: North
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 4
Fuel: 525 (100%)


Joe Beaumont looked up from his bunk as Harry Starkweather approached. He started to stand, but Starkweather waved him back down and perched on the bunk opposite. In one of the gun captain’s big hands were a couple of books. Starkweather motioned to the book on Beaumont’s bunk, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

“How do you like that book, Joe?” he asked.

“I’ve liked it fine, Mr. Starkweather,” he said. “There’s a lot of words in there I don’t know, but it’s a great tale. It really makes a man think, too.”

“That it does,” said Starkweather. “Ned Land was always my favorite character, for some reason.” A grin split his neatly trimmed black beard.

“The one I keep thinking about is Captain Nemo,” said Joe. “Where he comes from, how he got to be like he is.”

“He’s a mystery, all right,” said Starkweather. His gaze measured Joe for a moment. “Look, Joe, I’ve been watching you. You’re smarter than most people think, maybe smarter than you think you are. What you lack is education.” Beaumont looked down at the deck.

“I just never had no time for a lot of school,” he said. “And I know I’m no dummy, but I think kind of slow sometimes, so the teachers, they never paid me much mind.” Starkweather nodded.

“Well,” he said, “I figure you’ve got the time now. Or rather, we’re going to make the time. Here.” He lifted the books he had been carrying and handed them to Joe. Beaumont took them and looked them over curiously. One was “The MacMillan Handbook of English” and the other was “Hamilton’s Essentials of Arithmetic – Higher Grades.”

“These are all I could scrape up right now,” he said. “We’ll find more later. As of today, son, you are back in school. One hour a night, minimum. I’ll teach you the math. As for reading and writing…” His expression grew thoughtful and he looked around the gunnery division bunkroom. “Reedy!” he barked.

Jake looked up from the book he was reading. “Yeah, Harry?” he asked.

“You’re a man of letters, right?” Reedy suddenly looked wary.

“I suppose…” he began.

“Good!” said Starkweather. “How would you like to tutor Joe here in reading and writing?”

“Tutor?” said Reedy. He looked at the books on Joe’s bunk. “I’d like to,” he said. “But I…”

“Good,” said Starkweather. “Then it’s settled.” He turned back to Beaumont. Reedy closed his mouth and shrugged.

“I’ll try and learn whatever you want me to learn, Mr. Starkweather,” said Joe. There was a puzzled look on his broad, pleasant features. “But..why? I’m just a farmer. I mean, I’m a loader now, but I don’t see what good learning stuff will do me either way.”

Starkweather leaned forward. “Sure,” he said. “Maybe you’ll go back to farming. So you’ll study soil science, agriculture, how to run a small business. Or maybe you’ll do something else. The point is, if you can do math and know how to read and think you can do damn near anything you want to. Those are keys that can open a lot of doors. This war won’t last forever, you know.”

“Okay, Mr. Starkweather.” said Joe dubiously. Starkweather stood and clapped him on the shoulder.

“You’ll do fine,” he said. “Start looking over the first couple pages of that math book,” he said. “We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 414
RE: October 21, 1942 - 6/10/2012 11:35:15 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
October 20 - 21, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 150 miles west-northwest of Efate
Course: North
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 4
Fuel: 462 (88%)


Gridley and Cummings cruised slowly north. Their crews watched the sea and their sonars probed continuously below the waves. Behind them, they knew, was coming a good portion of the fleet – three carrier task forces and two battleship groups. The carriers and battleships were going to sweep up past Ndeni and then turn northwest, towards the Solomons. Behind them would be coming an invasion force.

A heavy concentration of Jap submarines was known to be in the area. Reports from the carrier force indicated several sightings and at least one unsuccessful torpedo attack against a flattop. Gridley and Cummings were hunting those subs but had yet to find any.

Late in the day word came that the carriers behind them were going to execute a sharp turn to the east to try and break contact with the submarines shadowing them. The battlewagons would be coming straight on, though, and the two destroyers were ordered to continue slowly north on their ASW sweep.

As evening came the sun sank red behind a bank of clouds. Just before reaching the horizon it broke into the clear and cast a long golden trail across the shallow swells coming up from the southeast. It all seemed deceptively peaceful.

The barometer was holding steady. There was no sign that a storm was just over the horizon.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 415
RE: October 23, 1942 - 6/14/2012 7:57:34 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
October 23, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 150 miles north of Luganville
Course: Northeast
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 4
Fuel: 462 (88%)


It was a ringside seat to a disaster.

Some eighty miles east of Gridley’s position American ships were fighting and dying, and all Gridley’s crew could do was listen to the grim tale being told by the radio transmissions they were picking up. And watch, in a way; on the eastern horizon they could see a smudge of smoke high in the air. By the time it was visible every man on board knew it was smoke from burning ships.

Gridley and Cummings were well within range of the Japanese carrier groups that their countrymen were contending with, and this added to the tension. If the Japanese had decided to send even a modest strike their way they would have been in deep trouble. But the two destroyers remained overlooked, prey too small to warrant attention on this grim day.

The tale of the day’s events, as Gridley’s men heard it at the time and reconstructed it later, was an unhappy one. When the American carriers made a sudden move east to try and break contact with the submarines stalking them, they upset the plans of the Japanese carriers, who were moving in from the north and trying to set up an ambush of the American force they knew was coming. When morning came on the 22nd the two groups quickly spotted each other, only some 200 miles apart, closer than the Japanese wished. It was the first and only thing that would go right for the Americans that day.

The American strike met with trouble even before the Japanese were contacted. The US force, organized in three groups of two carriers each, had trouble coordinating their strike; all the dive bombers linked up with the escorting Wildcats but most of the Avenger torpedo planes followed the lead group on the wrong heading and never participated in the battle. Fewer than a dozen accompanied the main strike. Some arrived late to the battle, unescorted, and were quickly massacred. Most never arrived at all.

Then there was the storm. The Japanese carrier force was riding the edge of a swirling tropical depression when they launched their planes. Seas were rough and a driving wind whipped rain almost horizontally above the waves. That they were able to get their planes into the air under those conditions was a small miracle. As the American planes approached the Japanese force tucked itself back even further under the wings of the storm. It was almost impossible to locate the Japanese carriers, much less bomb them. Two small carriers were damaged but overall the attack was a complete failure.

The Japanese strike faced no such difficulties. The weather over the American carriers was fair, with only scattered overcast. The enemy attack did face a lot of Wildcats and heavy AA fire, but despite losing almost 100 planes most of the bombers broke through and the pilots bravely and skillfully executed their attacks.

Saratoga and Yorktown took the worst of it, and both carriers were doomed by multiple bomb and torpedo hits. Enterprise was struck by three bombs. It looked for a time like the “Big E” might be saved, but as the afternoon went on uncontrolled fires spread through the carrier. Abandon ship was ordered. The crew was taken off and Enterprise was sent to the bottom by her own escorts.

Lexington was also hurt, though not fatally. The escorts were hit hard as well. Light cruiser Trenton was sunk and heavy cruiser Portland badly damaged. Destroyers Aaron Ward, Bagley, and Benham were all sunk in the attack and Lardner was mortally wounded. A number of other ships sustained damage, mostly minor. Of the carriers, only Wasp and Hornet, operating together, escaped unscathed.

The Japanese had won a great victory. The broken US task forces were ordered to pull back at the best speed they could make. Ships retired in a broad arc to the south, making for Suva, or Noumea, or Sydney, wherever they thought they could find safety from the pursuit that was bound to follow. The battleship groups in the area, undetected and not attacked, also retired.

Late in the day an urgent signal arrived for Gridley and Cummings. They were to advance and try to screen the damaged and retreating ships from enemy submarine attacks, and also to search for carrier airmen forced to ditch their planes. The weather was deteriorating; the storm that had shielded the Japanese was moving south.

Lightning flickered on the northern horizon as Gridley increased speed and turned towards the site of the day’s battle. Of all the ships in the area, these two destroyers were the only ones advancing towards the enemy as the terrible and fateful day drew to a close.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 416
RE: October 24, 1942 - 6/14/2012 9:56:18 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
October 24, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 140 miles north-northeast of Noumea
Course: Southwest
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 14, engine damage 8
Fuel: 308 (58%)


Dawn was almost lost amid lowering clouds and driving spray. Gridley, moving at 26 knots, shuddered though the rough seas. Green water cascaded over the bow and along the decks. After a run northeast during the night Gridley and Cummings were now retiring to the southwest at the best speed they could manage.

Fred Steubens came up the ladder onto the bridge. The destroyer lurched, throwing him against one side of the ladder well. He timed the roll of the ship and as it came level stepped nimbly off the ladder and onto the deck, where he promptly latched onto a handhold.

“How are we doing?” he asked. Captain Stickney, who had left the bridge for only a couple of hours all night long, turned his head. He sat in his accustomed chair. In his hands he expertly balanced a steaming mug of coffee.

“It’s been quiet,” he said, “except for that.” He waved one hand at the weather. “Not much chance of finding a sub in this.” There was a loud smack as Gridley hit a wave. The ship staggered. Steubens could hear metal groan as the hull flexed.

Ensign Puhls hung up the bridge phone and turned to the captain.

“Sir,” he said, “Lieutenant Black reports that one of the engine room blowers is damaged and that the low-pressure turbine is making a funny noise.”

“A funny noise?” said Stickney.

“Yes sir, that’s what he said. A funny noise.”

“The ship is taking a beating,” said Steubens.

I know,” said Stickney tersely. “But there’s not much choice. If we slow down the Japs might catch us, and that could make the damage we’re taking now seem trivial.” He waited for the ship to come level before taking a drink of coffee. “At least this weather will make us hard to find even if we are in range.”

Steubens nodded agreement, then staggered over to check the barometer. Spray drenched the windows on the bridge as Gridley continued to follow Cummings towards the southwest and safety.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 417
RE: October 26, 1942 - 6/18/2012 9:57:07 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 75 miles north of Noumea
Course: South
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 14, engine damage 7
Fuel: 261 (49%)


Gridley and Cummings cruised back and forth off the eastern coast of New Caledonia, hunting for submarines. They were out there; one had found and finished off Portland, and another had added to Lexington’s woes by putting a torpedo into the carrier. But as far as the men aboard the two destroyers could tell the ocean was devoid of the enemy. They had not had even a whiff of a contact during their patrol.

But everyone knew that the peace and quiet was illusory. There were submarines out there, a lot of them. Condition II was set aboard Gridley.

Jake Reedy and Gus Becken manned one of the starboard 20mm guns. As the ship moved slowly south they talked, though they seldom took their eyes off the sea as they did so.

“At least the weather’s gotten better,” observed Reedy.

“Yeah,” said Becken. “I was getting tired of sandwiches. But it means the Japs can find us, if they come looking.” He scanned the horizon with his binoculars.

“They won’t,” said Reedy. “They’ve gone back to Truk or Rabaul or wherever to drink sake and celebrate their big victory.” His tone was bitter.

“Yeah?” said Becken. “How do you figure that?”

Reedy shrugged. “We’ve got too many planes at Noumea and Espiritu Santo. Even if they wanted to tangle with them again, someone would see them coming.” The day after the big carrier battle the Japanese carriers had moved south, seeking further prey. They had caught a small convoy pulling back from Ndeni and wiped it out. They had also chased a damaged cruiser into Segond Channel off Luganville. Some 40 enemy carrier planes had attacked but the American fighters based there had destroyed nearly all of them. The cruiser escaped. After that the Japanese had withdrawn to the north.

“We might see them coming,” said Becken, “but could we do a damn thing about it if we did?”

“I dunno,” said Reedy. “Last week I would have said, let them try, but now…” His voice trailed off. The two men lapsed into silence. Left unspoken was the bitter knowledge that any hope for a quick or easy resolution to the war had gone down with the three carriers lost off the Santa Cruz islands. Everyone aboard knew now that winning the war would be a grim and protracted affair.

And there were those who wondered, in the aftermath of defeat, whether it could be won at all.



< Message edited by Cuttlefish -- 6/21/2012 10:48:04 PM >

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 418
RE: October 27, 1942 - 6/21/2012 10:55:31 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
October 27, 1942

Aboard USS Gridley

Location: 40 miles east of Noumea
Course: West
Attached to: TF 276
Mission: ASW Patrol
Ship's Status: Sys damage 14, engine damage 7
Fuel: 239 (45%)


Gridley and Cummings cruised south. They were making one last sweep along the coast of New Caledonia before turning east and putting into Noumea. The day was clear and the early afternoon sun bathed Gridley’s steel deck in heat.

“I’ve got a contact!” blurted out Schweitzer, the sonar operator. “Contact bearing two six five degrees.” Attention on the bridge sharpened. Captain Stickney, however, merely turned his head to look at Schweitzer.

“How solid?” he asked. There had been several false alarms over the last few days.

“Very firm contact, sir,” replied Schweitzer. “It’s gotta be a sub.”

“Very well,” said Stickney. “Sound General Quarters. Signal Cummings that we have a contact. Helm, bring us around to port.” A flurry of activity erupted on the bridge as the “whang-whang-whang” of the General Quarters klaxon began to blare.

“Sir,” said Ensign Puhls, “we’re getting the same signal from Cummings. They’ve picked it up too and are turning to port.”

“Helm, course one-one-oh degrees. Prepare for depth charge attack,” said Stickney. The captain was planning on crossing behind Cummings, then curving around so that the two destroyers would criss-cross over the contact location.

“Contact depth one hundred twenty five feet,” said the sonarman. “Range four hundred yards. Sir, he’s diving.”

“He saw us first,” said Stickney. “He’s trying to run. Set depth charges to one hundred fifty feet.”

A pennant fluttered aloft on Cummings, indicating the destroyer was launching depth charges. The destroyer charged over the contact location, flinging depth charges to either side. A pause, and then the sea boiled upward astride her wake. Gridley repeated the maneuver a moment later, the destroyer shuddering slightly as the K-guns fired.

“What have you got, sonar?” said Stickney as Gridley began another loop around. Schweitzer was hunched over the sonar panel.

“Sir, he’s still diving. Contact is fading. He’s turning, I think…”

“What heading?” Stickney barked.

“South…I think,” said Schweitzer. There was frustration in his voice. Stickney waited as Schweitzer adjusted his controls The sonarman shook his head. “It’s no good, sir. I’ve lost him.”

Cummings came back around on another pass but did not launch more depth charges. A signal from the other destroyer indicated that they had also lost contact.

The two destroyers searched for a time but could not reacquire the submarine. Commander Martinez ordered the search called off and the two destroyers resumed course, turning west towards Noumea.

***

“I have a contact!” said Schweitzer again about half an hour later. “Bearing seven-five degrees, range 500 yards, depth…depth about one hundred feet.” Again the general quarters klaxon sounded. Both destroyers converged on the spot, but the contact quickly faded. Once again Martinez ordered his ships to conduct a search grid.

“Could it be the same sub?” Steubens asked his captain a while later as they searched. Stickney pursed his lips.

“He might have gotten north of us,” he said, “but I don’t think he could have gotten ahead of us. Not unless he was actually heading northwest when we lost contact, not south.” He glanced at his sonarman.

“I don’t think so, sir,” said Schweitzer, who was listening intently to his headphones. “I mean, I suppose I could have picked up an echo and he was actually on a reciprocal bearing, but…”

“Given your success today, it seems possible,” said Steubens dryly. Schweitzer flushed slightly. The captain narrowed his eyes.

“If there are two submarines,” he said slowly, “and the first one followed us…”

“That would take a lot of guts,” said Steubens, “to trail after two destroyers.”

“It would,” agreed Stickney. He grabbed a pair of binoculars and walked out onto the portside platform off the bridge.

“Sir!” called the sonarman. “I have high-speed screws approaching! Torpedoes, sir! Bearing two three five!” At almost the same moment one of the aft lookouts gave a cry. Gridley at the moment was heading almost due west. A spread of torpedoes was reaching up from the southeast to intercept her.

“Full speed!” said the captain, urgently but calmly. “Helm, emergency turn to port.” The bridge crew leaped into action. In the engine room the annunciators clamored for emergency speed and the engine crew responded at once. Gridley shuddered as her engines roared to full power.

Gridley was one of the fastest ships in the US Navy and she showed it now. The destroyer leaped ahead and then healed over to starboard as she began a tight turn back towards the oncoming torpedoes. Stickney and every crewman on decks on the port side watched the torpedo wakes reaching for their ship, but in the end it was not terribly close. Both torpedoes passed well astern.

“Clever, clever bastard,” muttered Stickney as he came back inside. He issued orders for the destroyer to slow and begin hunting for their attacker. The enemy submarine, though, faded away like a ghost.

“I don’t know who’s driving that I-boat, but he’s good,” Stickney said as Gridley and Cummings abandoned the search and resumed course to Noumea. His gaze strayed out over the water, as if his eyes could pierce the depths and spy the Japanese submarine where it lurked. “You win this round,” he muttered to himself. “But maybe we’ll meet again someday.”

***






Attachment (1)

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 419
RE: October 27, 1942 - 7/3/2012 8:01:07 PM   
Onime No Kyo


Posts: 16628
Joined: 4/28/2004
Status: offline
Bump for 4th of July.

_____________________________

"Mighty is the Thread! Great are its works and insane are its inhabitants!" -Brother Mynok

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 420
Page:   <<   < prev  11 12 13 [14] 15   next >   >>
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> After Action Reports >> RE: August 22, 1942 Page: <<   < prev  11 12 13 [14] 15   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.129