From: Cooksville, MD
Just had a wonderful encounter with a Japanese bombardment task force at Lunga. They brought 2 BB's (Nagato & Mutsu), and 8 Destroyers - while I had one Heavy Cruiser (the Pensecola), one light cruiser and seventeen destroyers (almost my entire surface fleet at the time).
Up to this point, there had been little or no surface combat - lots of air battles (a couple big CV encounters) - almost all of my CA's were back at Pearl, and I was just in the beginning phases of building up Lunga & had three separate convoys ready to off-load.
I didn't have the chance to hit the task force on the way in with airpower (very poor weather that turn) & put my surface task force together. Usually I use Lee in my surface combat groups, but I wanted to see if Scott would use more torpedoes & fight a little differently (given that I lacked big guns for a slug-fest).
Turns out I got a slug-fest anyway. The combat (at night) started at 4000 yards, and we went through five separate encounters, 4000 yards, 6000 yards, back to 4000 yards, 4000 yards, and finally 8000 yards.
Norman lost six destroyers, but he also sank the Nagato, crippled the Mutsu, and also sank seven of the eight Japanese destroyers. Most of the rest of my ships suffered some damage (the CA & CL, along with six destroyers are heading back to Pearl). But Norman kicked some major butt. I have never had a surface encounter last as long, especially when I was completely outgunned by both Japanese battleships.
I will be looking to Norman again - seems to be an excellent fighter.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Small Tactical Nuclear Weapon.....