From: Denver, CO
December 13, 1941
Malaya & DEI
On the peninsula, air to ground attacks continue. Unloading at Mersing continues as two heavy cruiser TF's patrol the waters for enemy ships. All task forces that were originally planning to head to Khota Bharu are now being sent to Mersing instead. We may adjust if significant resistance is encountered, but thus far enemy air activity over Mersing has been non-existent.
Army dive bombers attack some motor launches at Medan, but no hits are scored. With air support now in place at Patani and Singora, recon planes are being stationed there and order to search the exits to the north, as well as reconing Sumatra. Nells on ground attack at Johore Bharu are hit by Buffalos and we lose a couple planes there.
In a move that will hopefully make the enemy feel less secure, Nells from Singkawang sink an xAKL in Balikpapan harbor. Our troops from Singkawang also set sail tomorrow for Billiton. KB and Kongo force are covering, and several construction groups are coming right behind. We will build up the bases as quickly as possible and that should cut off Java from the north. Two more days and four infantry regiments will sail from Hanoi to land on Java.
At Brunei, our troops unload against only light resistance. We expect the base will be captured tomorrow and then we will reload to head for Tarakan.
At Ambon, the removal of our empty transports turns out to be a good move. Through the night, our heavy cruisers patrol the base, but are apparently drawn off in the morning hours to the hex one space to the west of the base. The enemy cruiser Marblehead and four destroyers move in during the day and attack the remaining four transports that had been unloading supplies. The transports are sunk easily, but thankfully it is just those four ships. Tomorrow evening, the cruisers have waypoints set to sail the three adjacent hexes of Ambon and then end in the base hex itself. With any luck, we will catch the enemy ships and put them under.
The Allies get one in today
Our newly combined CS/CVL/CVE force launches two strikes at Marblehead and the destroyers, one of Kates and floatplanes and another of just a dozen Kates in the afternoon, but no hits are scored by either strike. The difference between these pilots and our more experienced aviators is in evidence, as just a few hundred miles northwest, a handful of Vals (15) from Kaga and Akagi manage to sink two xAKLs.
Misses near Ambon, but the pros show how it is done farther north
The other bright spot in the theater is that CL Natori and company, getting ready to head to Babeloab to rearm and refuel, continue their winning ways as they put a ton of shells into three enemy ships, two of them quite large. AM Bittern is sunk, and AS Holland takes 26 hits and xAK Cape Fairweather takes 35 hits. While the two big ships aren't reported sunk, it is highly likely they will not make it home.
CL Natori bags another on its tour
A bit of a rough day here.
The night starts bad as two PT Q-Boats find their way into the last few ships still unloading supplies and put two torpedoes into DMS W-10, sinking the ship. They also manage to hit xAK Kumagawa Maru, which sinks later the next day. All our ships are now leaving though as the rest finished unloading through the day.
Our ships will be glad to leave the shark filled waters off Vigan
Apparently the enemy airfield are back in operation as many enemy fighters are found in the air. Our bombers and fighters do a poor job of coordinating and we lose several planes in the air, 26 for the whole day everywhere compared to 7 enemy planes. Now that our ships have left, the need to shut down their airfields has lessened, so our planes have had their ranges cut back to one hex to prevent a repeat of today's losses. Our troops will hopefully be taking most of the airfields on the island shortly, and once the enemy is down to one or two, we can resume heavy airfield attacks.
At San Fernando, our lead elements attacked and although they reduced the forts to zero, they only attained a 1:1 result. More units are now present so the attack tomorrow should take the base with ease. Then it will be onwards to the south.
On the south end of the Luzon, Lucena is occupied ahead of the advancing ground forces. Enemy troops can be seen to be falling back to Manila, so we shouldn't see much resistance until reaching the city.
The AMC Kinryu Maru, hit by the shore guns at Wake is unable to contain flooding and sinks while en route to Saipan. It was a pretty big ship so it is a bummer to lose her, but such is to be expected when taking an atoll with no heavy surface or air support.
Near Changsha, the attack that is closer to the city goes well, hitting 6:1 odds and forcing 2 Chinese Corps to flee to the city. Casualties are 677 to 4211 - over a month's worth of Chinese squads are destroyed in the retreat (452 squads destroyed). The attack one hex east of there comes off at 1:2 but trades even casualties. Our two divisions will move into Changsha along with another that is still on its way.
The assault on Hong Kong continues, but only hits 1:2 odds today. Forts were dropped to zero however, and casualties were 585 for us, and 739 for the British. Our troops will rest for a day and then attack again. Transports have been rounded up in the Home Islands are sent to Pescadores for loading up the 38th division as soon as Hong Kong falls. That division will them go on to help take down Singapore & Ceylon.
SS Shark misses an xAK near Swatow today, but that's it.