From: Toledo, Ohio
12 May 1942
Less important things first:
* CV Lexington sorties for SoPac with 14 TBF (one short of a full complement)
* CV Enterprise arrives Hiva Oa
* Sabang falls - troops retreat towards Sibolga
* Oosthaven is occupied as predicted.
* 8th PG arrives Sydney
Now for the important stuff:
For the third time IJN carriers raid Colombo. I only lost a small number of AMc, ML, and HDML. The Japanese Air Groups are trashed by the RAF. Cursor intel is once again useless as to the composition of the CVTF. I watched the combat replay twice and only detected Akagi and Kaga air groups in the attack, but I suspect that is not very reliable. The RAF scrambled far more fighters in the second attack than the first. Again, the raid is heavily weighted with TB.
A6M2 Zero x 34
B5N2 Kate x 13
D3A1 Val x 9
Hurricane IIa Trop x 6
Hurricane IIb Trop x 12
A6M2 Zero x 32
B5N2 Kate x 27
Hurricane IIa Trop x 12
Hurricane IIb Trop x 24
The RN CVs are at Madras. I ordered them to sea to take up a position just SE of Ceylon. I suspect the IJN will withdraw, but if they don't, the RN may be able to penetrat the CAP. If there are indeed two IJN carriers, air losses indicate half of their fighters are gone as well as the bulk of two TB squadrons. Assuming an extra TB squadron is aboard (based on the raid composition), I figure the IJN has at best 30 Zeroes, 18 Vals, and 25 Kates. Still a formidible force to be sure, but I am willing to scarifice a RN carrier or two for a chance at crippling one or two IJN carriers in return.
"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry