From: Sacramento, California
Week 25: May 26th – June 2nd 1942
Base Force reaches Amchitka and begins construction of an airfield. No IJN activity in the region.
Region is quiet.
Region is quiet.
The Japanese keep ratcheting up the pressure in the SW Pacific. This week a Japanese CV TF, and SC TF and a couple transport TFs (totaling 25 ships) rounded the horn at Milne Bay and assaulted Port Moresby by sea. From the first battle report, it looks like they dropped off the 66th Infantry Group (~200 AV). At Port Moresby, I have over 450 AV, and that includes an Australian Calvary Regiment. After a day of fighting, the Japanese must have realized that they underestimated my garrison, because they packed up and left just as quickly as they arrived. I have fighter coverage in the area, but no Dive bombers or surface forces, so I couldn’t strike at the retreating transports. Later in the week, Intel reports that 4 more IJA infantry regiments began planning for Port Moresby….sounds like they may be back. Hornet and Saratoga are just completing repairs @ Sydney, so next time I’ll be able to give the IJN transports a proper reception.
Farther south, the IJN TFs that were spotted heading towards Noumea, turned out to be landing barges and Patrol boats. Not sure what they were doing, but after an allied CA/DD sunk about half of them, the rest tucked tail and headed for Rabaul. I attempted to press home my attack, but the IJN had two powerful surface TFs in the area, one of which had two BBs. Both TFs were probing the area E/NE of Noumea, darting back and forth looking for prey. I detoured all cargo ship traffic to the south to avoid the new threat. My precious few SBD Dauntlesses stationed @ Noumea struck at the TFs, but failed to score any hits.
However, near Lunga, a separate Dauntless squadron has had a field day hitting transports supplying the new Japanese bases at Tassafronga and Tulagi, a target-rich environment. Too many targets, not enough DBs…not a bad problem to have.
In the Philippines, the Allied bases are isolated and low on supplies. Cebu is that last Allied controlled base in the Phillippines. Japanese airstrikes have intensified @ Cebu…possibly signaling an invasion…or possibly because the Japanese have nothing else to bomb in the region.
In the DEI, Allied control in Sumatra is limited to the West coast. All remaining forces are withdrawing to Benkoelen to make one final stand.
The withdrawal from central Burma continues. The immediate danger has passed, but units have not quite reached the bases in India yet.
My Indian reinforcements (5/14th Punjab) land at Diego Garcia…and just in time, as the Japanese launch their first shock attack the following day. Losses were even (about 200 casualties per side), and the rest of the week, the Japanese went back to bombarding.
In China, I am still in defensive/supply conservation mode.
-1-CVL South of Port Moresby. (5/26 thru 5/29)
Notable Base Captures:
-Ruteng [DEI] captured by Japan (5/27)
-Bacolod [Philippines] captured by Japan (5/28)
-Iioilo [Philippines] captured by Japan (5/29)
-Sinabang [Sumatra] captured by Japan (5/31)
Aircraft Losses to date [change]:
Allies: 1,552 [+34]
Biggest Losses (#): Dauntless (162), Buffalo (129), Wildcat (87)
Japanese: 2,487 [+99]
Biggest Losses (#): Betty (559), Zero (407), Kate (276)
Ship Losses to date [change]:
Allies: 268 [+8]
Notables: CV Enterprise, CA Astoria, CA Portland, CA Adelaide, CL Durban, CL Sumatra, CL Java
Japanese: 264 [+14]
Notables: CV Kaga (or Junyo?), CVL Zuiho, CVE Taiyo, CVE Hosho, CA Mogami, CA Mikuma, CA Suzya, CA Adoba.
Army Losses to date [change]:
Allies: 7,718 [+170]
Japanese: 1,717 [+37]
A/J Ratio: 4.50 to 1
VP Totals [change]:
Allies: 15,918 [+393]
Japanese: 17,584 [+410]
A/J Ratio: 0.91 to 1
-With all the fuel heading to the frontline in the SW Pacific, fuel reserves at Pearl Harbor have begun to dwindle to 216K (was 520K in March). To stabilize the situation, I have re-appropriated some AK’s from supply to fuel transport role (I probably should have been doing this earlier), and setting them up in CS convoys from LA to Pearl.
-In the sub war, I finally took the time to manually set all my sub patrols. Up to this point, I was content letting the computer set most of my patrols, but then I noticed it was sending too many to backwater areas (like the southern coast of New Zealand). So I re-evaluated my sub patrols (again, probably should have done this earlier), focusing on areas of highest probable IJN ship traffic, and making sure to stay in deep water.
-One interesting trend: In the last week, I have seen 3 different IJN subs attack my ASW TF’s….and two of the attacks were successful. Normally they shy away from my destroyers…must be some pretty aggressive sub captains.
You say we're surrounded?
That means we can attack in any direction.