From: La Salle, Colorado
June 2, 1942
The hits just keep on coming for this day. All eight CVs get into the fray and many Allied warships are hit and seriously damaged. They have nowhere to run.
The Battleline (Yamato, Nagato, Ise, Hyuga) appears at Benkoelen and runs into BB Idaho, CAs Vincennes and New Orleans, CLs Caledon and Danae. The 8 round battle sees Idaho sunk by Yamato and Nagato while Danae is crushed under the weight of a 4 14" hit broadside from Hyuga. DD Conyngham goes down as well. Idaho hits Nagato and Ise once each before being smothered by 16" and 18" shells. All Allied ships take hits and most are in bad shape as the sun rises.
The BBs don't find the transports but certainly serve to whittle down the remaining escorting protection of the shipping. Time to ship to smaller TF of CA--CL--DD.
Some Martlets try to provide CAP over Benkoelen and a Squadron of SNDs now appears at the base. All of it is swept away by the deluge that falls upon the Benkoelen area. EVERYTHING flies this day. There are 500 morning sorties alone in the morning. Here are the results near Benkoelen:
Ships hit: CAs New Orleans and Vincennes, CLs Emerald, Raleigh, CLAA Van Heemskerck, Ceres, Caledon, and Nashville, DD MacDonough is sunk, 3 DDs, 6 AK, and 6 AP
The army Lilys and Sallys strike at Benkoelen's AF and Port as well as troops trying to move out from the beachhead.
CV Hornet: KB-2 spots a moderately damaged Hornet roughly 200 miles away. A strike of 16 Zero, 10 Val, and 18 Kate attack. The carrier staggers under the weight of 4 more bomb hits. She is afloat but certainly crippled. Aboard Hiryu the very last TWO torpedos are loaded aboard a pair of Kates and they are sent (literally) by themselves to attack the carrier. At 180 miles away they find their flaming target. Hiryu carries the best air crews in the Fleet and these pilots show it as BOTH fish hit the carrier and they watch as Hornet rolls over taking 69 planes to her grave: BANZAI!
Another 500+ sorties fly in the afternoon. The massacre truly is well underway at this point team:
SUNK: CL Dauntless, DDs Isaac Sweers and Grayson, 5 AP, 3 AK, and an AVP.
DAMAGED: CA New Orleans (Vincennes sunk?), CLs Van Heemskerck, Hobart, and Caledon, 6 AP, 6 AK, and 2 DD.
Over 2,000 men are killed and LOTS of vehicles and guns are lost.
CVL Shoho worsens her condition so she is sent to Padang to disband and immediately get the attention of an AR that is arriving this turn also. Zuiho and Soryu also head for Port but will not disband. They will fly CAP and limited sorties from there. Hiryu is sent to link-up with Kaga, Sho, Zui, and Ryujo coming up from the south.
Send the BBs back in to use their remaining ammo against the base. Add 2 BC and escorts from the Hiryu TF to really bring some firepower to the event.
CL Sendai is the only loss this turn. Her damage from the day before was simply too much. Nothing else is in sinking condition.
Vector my SS into the path it appears Yorktown and Formidable are taking towards Ceylon. My remaining CVs shall attempt to catch-up and finish off those two carriers.
PS: Lew wrote all depressed telling me how this invasion had miscarried and complained that 36 DB sat out the fight yesterday (Thank Goodness!). They did not sit out the fight. They were those old Helldiver DB and they didn't have the range to fly. I was honest with Lew saying that his timing was terrible as I was gathering the Fleet for a 'major IO Operation' and if he came in even a few days later that his TFs might NEVER have even landed.
< Message edited by John 3rd -- 9/5/2012 5:51:02 PM >