From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
13 Sep 43
The Billfish put a torpedo into an empty TK (Std-A or B, can't remember) a hex off Brunei. She made Brunei but the fires will most likely take her. That area is my biggest threat right now. All of my convoys between Singapore and the Home Islands follow that route. I lose a ship there every few days. I have ships and air headed there to blanket the area with naval search and good ASW. Still, I need to micromanage my routes some more to use waypoints to skirt the most dangerous zones.
I have placed a line of RO class subs a couple hexes south of Manus (3 subs so far with more on the way). The RO-109 found an Allied TF headed to Manus and torpedoed and sank LST-447, which was loaded with fuel.
Nothing to report.
Ted is staging his big comeback here! A slice of the 3 Marine Raider Battalion was air dropped on Canton Island. I have the Maizuru 4 SLNF and a construction company there. In addition, there's a midget sub patrolling the hex. The SNLF is one of those small ones with 24 SNLF squads. They have level 3 forts as well. The ensuing shock attack killed a couple Marine squads and disabled probably most of what had landed, to just a couple Japanese disabled squads. That base is doomed but they're still in great shape with plenty of supply and forts that are building toward level 4.
The last of the Japanese riff raff was cleared out of Manus today. That LST that the RO-109 sank was part of an 10 (now 9) LST TF hauling fuel and supplies to Manus. KB and MKB found them and launched. KB launched 36 Jills and 27 Judies escorted by 61 A6M5 Zeros. They were met by 2 Corsairs and 12 P-47s, all on LRCAP. After shooting down a Corsair and 2 P-47s (for the loss of 2 Zeros), the remaining 6 P-47s took out 4 Judies and a Jill before the bombers broke through. Flak got another Judy and 6 of the LST were sunk leaving 2 damaged and an undamaged LST for MKB.
MKBs attack of 13 Jills escorted by 27 Zeros took out the remaining LSTs for no loss.
I ended up losing 9 planes and 8 pilots (+1 WIA) for the 9 LSTs. I also gained another elite fighter pilot. Was this critical and worth the pilots lost? I say yes, because it tells Ted that I'm going to find a way to fight him in this isolated base and will not give up. He needs to be careful.
I moved KB and MKB back 4 hexes where they will wait for a day. I want to see what Ted does tomorrow. I suspect it'll be nothing. The use of KB/MKB at Manus is drawing to a close though. Once the base is repaired and he gets some AS there, he can station a lot of fighters for CAP. Then, KB/MKB can be used only if he sends TFs north of there, which I doubt he does for a while.
He's already said he wants to bomb Truk. What I can do is visit Manus with BBs and CAs though. That's going to happen soon. I want to delay the stationing of Allied fighters at Manus as long as possible.
I've noticed a handful of small craft at Kavieng. I think it's to prevent me from dropping mines there. I'm sending some DDs there to clear them out. They'll be in position to attack tomorrow so they'll hit on 15 Sep.
Nothing to report.
27 Air Flotilla, 12 Air Fleet, headed to the Marianas.
101 Machine Cannon AA Bn, Home Islands
102 Machine Cannon AA Bn, Home Islands
1 Independent FA Battalion, Southern Army, not sure where it's going yet.
62 Field AA Battalion, Home Islands
The G4M2a Betty R&D advanced to 4/44 (will become operational around 12/43). There's 1x30 factory and a 17(13) factory repairing.
Two xAKs were confirmed sunk from subs in April and July 1943.
Created by the amazing Dixie