PT boat skipper
11 jan 1942
The 3rd Air Division reports that the morning strike (54 Ki-21s escorted by 32 Ki-43-Ib/c) towards Palembang airfield was intercepted by more than 40 enemy fighters. About ten of those were H81-A3 (AVG/1) while more than 30 were Buffalos. Since the allies had most of their fighters patrolling at 25000 feet, they had difficulties to effectively intercept the strike. During the return flight, when all enemy fighters attacked in force, only two Ki-21s were lost thanks to the furious and excellent defense manouvers by the Ki-43s. About ten Ki-43s were lost, while the enemy lost at least ten Buffalos. However, the airfield (level 4, and slightly damaged from yesterdays strike) was packed full of allied aircraft and at least 30 aircraft were destroyed on the ground, including 16 B-339D fighters lined up for take off.
Those dutch B-339D fighters were probably tasked to escort several allied strikes against the Southern Fleet shipping at Muntok, just three hexes to the east of Palembang.
The 11th Air Fleet provided LRCAP over Muntok when the first allied strike approached. 19 Swordfish and 12 Wildebeest III torpedo bombers attacked the protecting suiraisentai (torpedo squadron) and sank TB Otori - however, navy fighters intercepted the unescorted enemy bombers and shot down every single one. One pilot, PO2 Kurihara, became the first japanese ace when he managed, in less than 60 seconds, to shoot down four Swordfish torpedo bombers before they had reached an attack position.
PO2 Kurihara U. of Yamada Det S-1, with six confirmed kills, is ordered by Fleet Command to report to Tokyo as his success will be celebrated around the country. PO2 Kurihara will, after a brief victory tour, be put in charge of training new naval fighter pilots.
In several other strikes, many more unescorted allied bombers (139WH-3) were shot down. No less than five navy pilots became aces when the day was over. In total, more than 90 enemy aircraft were destroyed, while own losses (3rd Air Div) are about ten aircraft.
In a further note, a missing navy fighter pilot, Kawamoto, K. was found by 14th Army in a remote part on Luzon. He will be able to rejoin his unit on Borneo shortly.
14th Army launched the attack on Clark Field. Unfortunately, 5th Air Division was unable to provide air support due to bad weather.
Attacking force 68883 troops, 808 guns, 761 vehicles, Assault Value = 2303
Defending force 38354 troops, 547 guns, 530 vehicles, Assault Value = 1113
Japanese adjusted assault: 851
Allied adjusted defense: 1699
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 2 (fort level 3)
Defender: terrain(+), leaders(+), preparation(-), experience(-)
Japanese ground losses:
6005 casualties reported
Squads: 23 destroyed, 431 disabled
Non Combat: 4 destroyed, 71 disabled
Engineers: 3 destroyed, 23 disabled
Guns lost 39 (5 destroyed, 34 disabled)
Vehicles lost 25 (1 destroyed, 24 disabled)
Allied ground losses:
2261 casualties reported
Squads: 14 destroyed, 257 disabled
Non Combat: 3 destroyed, 87 disabled
Engineers: 6 destroyed, 79 disabled
Guns lost 49 (8 destroyed, 41 disabled)
Vehicles lost 33 (1 destroyed, 32 disabled)
The attack will resume in 1-2 days.
2nd Fleet has been reorganized and will command all naval warships to the east of Borneo.
I-10 torpedoes and sinks CL Achilles southeast of Horn Island (in the strait between Australia and the Territory of Papua).
Southeast Fleet has requested support by naval units in the area south of Rabaul since the allies will probably try and contest some of the planned landings in the next few days.
Wewak is captured.
4th Fleet is ordered by Fleet Command to provide a TF (incl BB Ise) to Southeast Fleet for the next ten days.
< Message edited by PT boat skipper -- 9/3/2012 9:06:02 PM >