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Old 12-05-2021, 05:22 PM   #352
Molon Labe
Ocean Warrior
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Along the Watchtower
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18 August 1942
Narrowing down coastal convoy routes

Solomons
More tanker activity at the northern atoll, Ontang Java. The S-42 tried to take a shot at a tanker but was spotted by a PB and depth charged for light damage.

Sulu Sea
The KX detected an enemy convoy and torpedoed a cargo ship in it. The cargo ship was transporting fuel and was set ablaze. This convoy was previously detected on 16 August near Brunei, so we have a pretty good idea where the enemy is routing its fuel convoys out of Brunei/Miri. Also helpful was a convoy contact on 17 August that may narrow down which they this convoy is going, as there are two routes through the Philippine Islands:

Sorry about the hexes, but the colors are pretty important here: ships need blue or white hexsides to move through. So, we've been spotting traffic at Bataan Island in the Luzon strait, so it's entirely possible that that's where this shallow-water convoy route terminates, and that corroborates with the Northeast heading of the 2nd convoy. But we can't rule out Legaspi or Leyte just yet.

There is some bad news in this: this route might have been active for months without me ever spotting it. We could only spot these guys near Japan before we started specifically looking for coastal routes. So his fuel situation might not be so bad right now.

Thailand and Bay of Bengal
The enemy task force approaching Port Blair split, the cruisers bombarded the port while the phibs landed adjacent to the base. Our carriers are nearby but did not arrive in time to launch a strike today--maybe tomorrow.

Japan
USS Grayling intercepted troop transport near Aogoshima, more or less in the same spot the Cachalot had an intercept yesterday. It hit it with 1 of 4 torpedoes with a good detonation--and a confirmed kill. The transport appears to have been empty.

China
Despite being outnumbered, our CAP at Chengchow got 2 Zeroes with no losses--plenty of planes headed back to base full of holes, though.


Sumatra
Another day of being pounded by something like 100 bomber sorties. We're losing planes on the ground and facility damage is accumulating. Flak downed 1 Sally--hardly unacceptable losses.

Reinforcements, Refits, and Withdrawals
Some bad news on this front--I have a transport ship, the Tasker H. Bliss, due to withdraw tomorrow. The ship was severely damaged in the KB's raid on Noumea, and the loss of the repair tender there limited my capacity to repair anything there. The base is something of a junkyard of immobile ships right now. I knew about this withdrawal so I've been prioritizing its repair. I managed to get it out of Noumea to Sydney to be serviced by a real shipyard a few weeks ago. But even there, repairs were slow. I put it to sea with partial repairs about 10 days ago, bound for San Fransisco where the withdrawal will be complete. It's barely limped past New Caledonia in that time. So, starting tomorrow, I'm going to start losing political points due to this ship still being in theatre.

BB South Dakota arrives at Balboa
DD Nepal arrives at Cape Town
129th Infantry Regiment arrives at San Francisco
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