18 Feb 42
Denpasar (Bali) is invaded. At least several carriers are in that hex. No Dutch planes decided to attack there this turn. A bunch of PT boats were sent in to interfere with the landing, but are unsuccessful, with 2 lost for no gain. 2 PT boats did launch torpedoes at xAK's, but missed.
Now for the excitement.
15 Nells flying from Singawak attack the Allied carriers southwest of Palembang. They are unescorted, and all are shot down, with a CAP of 6 Sea Hurri's, 22 F4F-3A's, and 14 F4F-3's.
Then 9 Betty's escorted by 15 Zeros, all originating at Singawak, arrive. Most of the Betty's are shot down, along with a couple of Zeros, but about 6 F4F-3's are lost. The few Betty's that survived did not drop.
As for the Allied response, the Japanese carrier group and the combat task force that were spotted on the previous turn were not spotted this turn. Ships at Palembang were spotted, and there were more there than spotted previously.
The first strike was 9 Dutch bombers flying unescorted. 23 Oscars intercepted, and most of the bombers were lost. No bombs dropped.
The first carrier raid consisted of 18 SBD-2's, 54 SBD-3's, and 15 TBD-1's, escorted by 9 Fulmars, 27 F2A-3 Buffalo's, and 27 F4F-3's. The Oscars were not up to the challenge, with about 8 destroyed, with no losses to the strike package.
Bomb results were excellent. Most of the xAK's had fuel loaded, so lots of bomb hits were overkill. Significant number of noncombat troops were lost. I was amazed to see a TBD get a torpedo hit too!
xAK Yodogawa Maru, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires
xAK Kosin Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Kirishima Maru, Bomb hits 6, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Toa Maru, Bomb hits 10, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Kagu Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires
xAK Nitisan Maru, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires
xAK Tacoma Maru, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
PB Eiko Maru #2, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
PB Kamitsu Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
Japanese ground losses:
819 casualties reported
Squads: 3 destroyed, 4 disabled
Non Combat: 30 destroyed, 45 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 8 disabled
Guns lost 8 (5 destroyed, 3 disabled)
An afternoon follow-up raid had some success. 18 SBD-3's were escorted by 20 Buffalo's and 23 F4F-3's. They were intercepted by 18 Oscars. The Oscars faired better this time, with about 5 US fighters lost.
A couple of the nice AK's were hit, as well as destroyer Asagiri.
AK Tosan Maru, Bomb hits 2, on fire
AK Kinka Maru, Bomb hits 5, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Asagiri, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
The 3 Allied task forces each consisted of 2 carriers each. Not all of the bombers flew missions. About half did not fly. All carriers are now proceeding generally west at full speed. An AO task force is positioning way out in the Indian Ocean for refueling. US carriers start upgrading in March 1942, so I'm considering just going off-map to Capetown and take the long way home. I wanted to hit back somewhere, and that is accomplished. I showed the fleet at Sumatra. Once they disappear, the Japanese will have to be more cautious with any Ceylon/India activity, or at least bring all of KB for it.
Time to go hide for awhile.
With little air to air action so far in the war, I now have 3 pilots with 3 kills leading the list. One is the famous Thach. Another is a Canadian pilot flying a Sea Hurri. The last is a Dutch pilot.