From: La Salle, Colorado
March 10, 1944
A much busier day of fighting in the Pacific! The action stayed in Malaya--Sumatra so I will save that for the end of this report. Let me touch on other areas first:
This base is nailed by a strong raid of 55 Bettys. I lose 1 bomber but do 176 Cas, 2 G, 1 V, and hit the AF 34 times. I send a CL and 4 DD from Suva to raid Rarotonga. My CVEs spotted a small TF heading east towards Rarotonga and I want to catch it with this small STF.
The northern island is PASTED by a raid of 90 4EB! I lose 27 planes on the ground, 485 Cas, 8 G, and the AF takes 84 hits. I evac the remaining strike planes but leave the recon assets in place.
An Allied attack continues to yield the 49-1 mark against the troops that have been driven out of their base. The Japanese lose 1,900 troops and the Allies drop nearly 3,000. Bleak situation here...
I LR CAP this base as per FK's suggestion and Dan STILL knows what is coming. A Fighter Sweep sees 35 of 40 Japanese Fighters shot down while the Japanese claim 12 of the 65 Allied planes. GRRRR...
Order all Fighters to concentrate at Singapore and Palembang.
LBA hits 1 Allied SS and another is seriously damaged by an ASW TF.
My STF of 3 CA, 2 CL, and 7 DD sweep into the area to encounter two seperate Allied STF. Tanaka fights two short engagements against a force of 2 CL and 10 DD. The Japanese have a CA hit by a Torp and 4 DDs slightly damaged. In exchange the Japanese hit 1 CL with a Torp and strongly damage 5 Allied DD. The second Allied STF spooks me when I see that it is led by the damaged BB Queen Elizabeth, 2 CL, and 5 DD. Two rounds of battle see the Japanese hit 1 CL and 3 DD hard while taking very little damage in return.
The days sees a Japanese CA limping home (Sys 39/Flot 58) and DD in sinking condition. All other ships make it back to Singapore. No Allied attacks against the seriously damaged ships should allow them to make Singapore tomorrow. This was a frustrating raid that could have done better but I did continue to seriously damage about 2 enemy ships for everyone of mine.
The Ise-Hyuga STF hits this base without difficulty doing 415 Cas and 8 G damage. The Allies Bombard that evening doing 129 Cas, 2 G, and 1 V. Forts rise to 1/68.
A small air raid of 22 F, 24 DB, and 24 TB do 54 Cas and 1 G. Japanese Bombardment yields another 44 Cas. I order a full bomber strike of over 100 bombers, BB Bombardment, and a land attack for the next turn. We shall see if I have chance of eliminating the two Allied ground units her.
My 4 CV and 6 DD depart Batavia and head SW into the Indian Ocean. They will move far enough away to not be spotted and move towards a position between Ceylon and Sabang.