From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
20 May 43
Lots happened, and none of it was good. First of all, the Mississippi disappeared. I hope she sank but I donít see the escort either. *Sigh*
I had the AV Kiyokawa Maru doing naval search at Shortlands Islands for months. I finally had her skedaddle a day or two ago, and she got clean away. Unfortunately, there was no escort available for her trek to Truk. The Dutch O19 put a torpedo into her. She didnít sink, yet, but her damage is at 32-98(68)-4-1. Weíll see if her skipper and crew are worth their pay. On the bright side, if she sinks, I wonít have to pay them anymore.
Off the coast of Japan, the US subs had a field day. In addition to a xAK and a PB sunk today, the Permit sank the TK Takekun Maru, a Type-1 TM 8150 capacity tanker. And she was loaded with fuel for Etorofu. You may recall me getting a brand new tanker two days ago. Yep, that was her.
On the flip side, my subs did absolutely nothing.
A new reinforcement TF arrived carrying the 71 Division and a 15 cm medium artillery regiment. Over half the stuff offloaded, but none of it was guns. Weíll see how long it takes for the heavy stuff to unload. Also enroute are the 19 Division and an additional medium artillery regiment, still several days out. I finally have more AV than Ted, 695 to 519. Ted still has supply available, because each turn some disabled troops of his are repaired, but my guns and bombers promptly wear them back down.
MKB is still hovering in the area and has been detected (1/3). He knows something is there and probably thinks itís my carriers but doesnít know for sure. They keep moving around to stay away from any subs that might be in the area.
Today, he sent 4x B24s, who did nothing and lost 1 of their number to my fighters.
Adak currently has 18.8k supply and has the fort up to 5.12.
Iíve noticed that Ted doesnít seem to have any troops on Baker Island. Iíve been prepping an SNLF for that and have loaded them up to possibly invade. Iím moving them from Truk to Kwajalein with surface support. I also have an airborne regiment available and may try using them. Just harassment really. If it works, I may fly out some AS and put a few floatplanes out there for extended search.
Gasmata was the focus today. It began with a sweep of 24x P-38Gs vs about 74 Japanese fighters (Tojos and Zeros). For a cost of 1 Tojo and 2 Zeros, 13x P-38 were shot down and a couple more were op losses. Then came a huge raid consisting of 30x 4E and 42x 2E bombers. The bombers eventually got through, but not before 17 various B-25s were shot down. Then there were 3 small raids totaling 20 sorties where we traded a tojo for a couple of B-25s. Apparently, 4 B-24s and 5 B-25s crashed on the way home. We had 4 op losses as well. So, total losses for this raid was 8 Japanese fighters (4 pilots) for 28 Allied bombers. Damage to Gasmata was 0-24-18. The Japanese fighters will not do as well tomorrow because almost half are damaged. Keeping fingers crossed for bad weather or Ted to rest his bombers.
Ted usually sends a partial squadron of 2E or 4E bombers after Lunga or Tulagi to bomb the troops or airfield, and usually escorted by Wildcats. I have 2 chutai of Zeros stationed there. Today he hit both. First, 6x B25Cs escorted by 9 Wildcats hit Lunga with 1 Wildcat shot down for no damage. Second, 12x B-24Ds hit Tulagi hit Tulagi with 1 bomber shot down and no damage.
Rabaul was not hit today. Damage there is down to 0-87-50. Yeah, the airfield is still out of commission but it is getting better.
I did notice something that I had totally forgotten about. This month, production began on the Tojo IIc. I actually had pulled a sentai out of Rabaul to Truk to upgrade. Itís is almost completely repaired and sitting at Truk. Assuming Rabaul is repaired enough to allow the return of fighters, itíll head down there so I can test this new model against Allied bombers. I have almost enough in the pool to upgrade another sentai, this time in Burma.
Iíve actually begun looking at my current defenses and whatís available (very little right now) to beef up those defenses.
Very little happened today. Tomorrow, Iím going to rest most of my fighters (and bombers) to decrease fatigue and save a bit of supply. One Tojo sentai will sweep Akyab to knock down the odd Allied fighter.
Not much happening. The Chengtu attack will happen in 2-3 days depending on when the 13 Army arrives.
The first of 2 G4M2a factories completed repair. Now the estimated time for the G4M2a to become operational is probably December 1943. Not sure it will help by then. My Nell and Betty losses have been surprisingly low. They havenít done much either, to be honest. Here are the current pools:
G3M2: 113, no production
G3M3: 133, production off
G4M1: 82, production on
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