1 Jan 42
xAKL Dai Lee headed east from the Philippines recently, one of the last ships to leave. It passed north of Babeldaop unseen, went southeast to near Ulithi, still unseen, and headed south toward safety. Today near Woleai, west of Truk, it ran into a cargo TF, with 4 xAKs and a PB escort. Both sides evaded combat. But Dai Lee has been spotted where it shouldn't be. It's a slow ship, moving just 4 hexes a day, and it isn't hard to guess which direction it is going. Since fuel is tight for it to make it to the Milne Bay area, it can't go off in some unexpected direction, so I can expect an intercept in a couple of days.
Oscars from the Legaspi area swept Manila for the first time. 20 P-35A were on CAP, but they did very poorly. 12 P-35s were lost, with just 1 Oscar downed. The planes are garbage, but the pilots are US and relatively good, so I disband the unit. The unit did have a nice bomber intercept earlier in the fight.
Also for the first time, Bettys escorted by Zeros bomb Malaybalay on Mindanao. Malaybalay is the inland mountain base. P-26As are based there, but they have been assigned to low level naval strike (even though they haven't been flying). Several are destroyed on the ground. This is a Philippine unit, and will be used until it doesn't exist.
Unescorted Sonias have continued to bomb Pakhoi, so I moved fighters nearby and will LRCAP it tomorrow.
Samarinda, next to Palembang, is lost. Mergui is also lost.
SigInt says that the 15th Army is planning for Rangoon, and that the Southern Army HQ is at Saigon.
Allied activity centers around getting troops, supply, and fuel to Pago Pago, Suva, Noumea, Auckland, and Australia. Troop reinforcements are just trickling in, so most of the transport is supply and fuel. It will be awhile until the troops start rolling in.