From: The Coastal Elite
August 26th, 1943
Another day and more frustration as I am so frightfully close to John's beleaguered remnants of KB2. However, as is my luck, I am just out of range: they are 9 hexes away! The interesting thing here is that he has no DL on my carriers, but he most definitely should know they nearby due to his TFs both having DL and he probably got messages of enemy carrier A/C in their area as they conduct naval search. So, if I were John, I'd probably be fueled up at Truk now and would potentially send KB1 flank speed towards the Marshall Islands. That said, Jaluit is 28 hexes away so John shouldn't be able to act immediately. I'm guessing John will try to hide his carriers in port, but the question remains which one. Jaluit is the closest, followed by various other dot hexes nearby. He will probably try a CAP trap as well and hope my a/c goes after nearby TFs as bait, so even if I do double missions of naval/port strike I can run into problems.
What would you do? I can detach a SCTF to flank speed towards Jaluit, but that's risky. That said, John's CVs are damaged and surely low on fuel.
However, not all is boring and mundane, as my bombardment of Rabaul yields some nice results. Not only do I get my BBs and CAs to bombard the place and destroy/damage a decent amount of fighters there, but we find some nice CLs and DDs that were formerly escorts for KB2. An Aoba-class CLAA, a Tokoro-class CL, 2 Kagero-class DDs, and 1 Shimakaze-class DD are sunk in addition to the bombardments. Elsewhere, our DMS's find that John has craftily placed a CD unit, one of his new ones in this mod I think, on the dot hex of Umboi Island, probably to prevent a transit up towards Manus.
I think the prudent thing for now with my transports is to pull back out of range of suddenly appearing enemy CVs from Truk, etc. Then I can conduct a movement on Lae once Death Star comes back. I will probably move east with my CVEs and SCTFs towards Guadalcanal to link up with Death Star eventually.