1st January 1943
Day two of the Japanese attack on the American enclaves in the Marshalls. Japanese carrier planes unleashed their fury on the airfield at Nauru Island. 70 odd Zeroes escorted over 100 B5N2s carrying bombs that were dropped all over the airfield and its installations. Supply dumps were hit and the small fuel cache on Nauru was destroyed. A damaged Libeartor and one Catalina patrol plane were also destroyed on the ground. What few planes that took off were able to discern that the Japanese main body had sailed SSE during the night and thus missing the vectored submarines that were circling it like a shark around its prey.
Simultaneously two small minesweepers were sunk off Ocean Island 180 miles to the East. A swarm of D3A’s mercilessly bombed the almost defenceless targets and sunk them in a veritable shower of bombs and ordinance. Japanese ships were sure to now turn their direction on Tarawa and its surrounding island bases.