From: Lone Star Nation
January 29, 1943
Playing catchup today as it appears a carrier battle off the coast of Oz is imminent. If we win that battle, the entire UK battle line and some very large invasion convoys will be destroyed shortly thereafter. Oh, my!
The cat and mouse with the enemy fleet near Port Hedland and Broome continues. I-35 misses a DD in a big SCTF near Broome. Escorts of an obvious second wave invasion TF harass I-9 near Broome. Over by Ceylon, I-166 misses a DD in a cruiser TF and takes a penetrating hit in return. Is this a sortie by the Royal Navy in the Bay of Bengal? If so, it's too late to interfere with Whirlwind.
A Sally claims a hit on Sawfish near Taihoku. There's a definite uptick in enemy sub ops in the East China Sea lately.
Anchorage goes to airfield 7.
Torokina goes to airfield 3. We have airlifted all of 20th Division that can fit on a plane back to Shortlands. Transport ships will pull this element back to Truk. The rest of the unit, still on Tulagi, will be picked up by small, expendable ships.
No night torpedo attacks today at Broome. A shame as the moon is now waning and this was probably the last real chance.
We sweep Broome from Koepang with 90 Zeros to test the enemy's defenses. We are surprised that only a few P-40Ns rise to meet us, there is no CV LRCAP or CVE CAP. Although the A2A results are a lopsided 8:3, Ops losses on the long way home even the score at 8 apiece per Tracker. Few pilots are lost, but with these crack pilots this is one attritional battle we plan to avoid until it is time to unleash LBA in conjunction with KB.
KB is now a few days out from the NW tip of Oz and has re-fueled from the Fleet Oilers. If CF lets us cut him off, the Decisive Battle could be in the offing.
Today an Allied brigade SAs Tezpur and destroys the element of 1st Raiding Regt present there. The rail line is now open. We will see how much force CF can bring in to the Chittagong region toward which 17th Army is currently marching. If he can bring too much, we will go with plan B and seize Akyab.
As expected, the enemy ceases air attacks at Cox's Bazaar - Japanese air superiority in Burma and India is unchallenged for now.
Ichang makes airfield 6. Daily bombings of Chungking rarely hit supplies now, but it is about the only Chinese base with flak bursts. Cribtop Intel interprets this to mean supplies in China are gone except for the daily allotment at the Capital. The objective of Operation Red Tail, the air offensive here, is thus achieved.