From: La Salle, Colorado
August 27, 1942
Battle of Hobart: Day ONE
Admiral Yamaguchi Tamon worked for two days to get into best position for an intercept of the remaining American Carrier Fleet. The morning of August 26th dawns bright and clear for aviation purposes.
Within 45 minutes of launching, the Japanese jakes spot the American CVs. USS Saratoga and USS Wasp, escorted by the fast BB North Carolina, are spotted NE of the Japanese position. The Japanese immediately launch a strike of 54 Zero, 41 Val, and 61 Kate. It is not a massive strike but it certainly carries tremendous weight and experience behind it. The American Fleet is caught in the midst of launching its own strike against the Japanese Carriers.
The Japanese easily sweep aside the paltry 12 F4F flying CAP (ONLY 12??!!) and begin their attack runs. Commander Tomonaga sees immediate hits within the first few moment of the attack upon each American CV. He diverts all of Shokaku's Kates to attack the Fast Battleship. Hits are scored everywhere as the Sea Eagles take their toll on the Americans. Calculating carefully Tomonaga tallies the following:
CV Saratoga 3 Bombs and an AMMO Storage Explosion
CV Wasp 4 Bombs and 3 TTs in Sinking Condition
BB North Carolina 6 TT and is SUNK!
CL Detroit takes a Bomb and a TT
DD Sims blows up and DD's McCall, Lardner, and Bancroft are all hit.
The American Strike comes in nearly an hour after the Japanese attack. Indeed, the returning Japanese Strike has to wait to see the results of their enemy's attack before landing. The American attack consists of 36 F4F, 42 SBD, and 21 Avengers. They are met by 96 Sea Eagles! The F4F's valiant attempt to defend their charges but are quickly overwhelmed as more and more Zeros arrive. By the time the Americans begin their final runs, only 25 SBD and 19 Avengers remain. The question remains though: HOW good are they??? Anxious moments pass as 44 planes attack, 7 being shot down by AA. and drop their deadly loads. Results:
CVL Zuiho 1 Bomb
CVL Shoho 1 TT and AMMO Storage Explosion
CVL Ryujo 1 TT
Only Shoho is in serious shape (21 SYS and 41 FLOT). All the BIG BOYS are not hit. BANZAI!
The remaining American planes are swarmed over by 70 Zeros and only 5 SBD and 3 Avengers survive. A second strike by 12 SBD is crushed under 78 Zeros.
The Afternoon begins...
Japanese Strikes continue with the following results:
CV Wasp SUNK under 2 more Bombs
CLAA San Juan SUNK under 6 Bomb hits
A Strike by 7 Zero, 12 Val, and 39 Kates sink an AK, CVE Hammondsport, and CVE Long Island.
Yet another Strike sinks two AK and damages CL Phoenix, an AG, an AP, AV Curtiss, and another AG.
CV Saratoga is not seen...
The day closes with the following US Ship CERTAINLY SUNK: CV Wasp, BB North Carolina, CVE Hammonsport, CVE Long Island, CLAA San Juan, and 3 AK.
1. Shoho is detached and tries to make Port. This is doubtful but the attempt will be made.
2. KB moves SE to cutoff retreat from the area towards NZ.
3. At Sydney and Melbourne orders are opened allowing 81 Kates and 72 Betty to attack under the Cover of 200 Fighters.
4. Two BB TF move in to hit the TF at the beaches...
What a DAY BABY!
BANZAI! BANZAI!! BANZAI!!!
< Message edited by John 3rd -- 4/2/2013 9:54:38 AM >