30th April 1943
The sparring over the Southern Solomons continue. Japan is suffering a steady attrition rate of aircraft but she has still not committed her carrier arm to the battle. Events however are starting to unfold. Submarines reports attacks on several capital ships, the battleships Ise, Yamashiro and Mutsu have already been identified. Patrol planes report the sightings of many ships around the small island of Ontong Java to the East of the Solomon Islands. Destroyers and cruisers are accompanying the battle wagons but as of yet no sign of enemy carriers.
This conglomeration of Japanese ships is within range of LBA in the Santa Crux Islands. As such several unproductive raids were carried out over the enemy. B-25’s and PB4Y’s targeted a squadron of light cruisers but did not manage to hit any targets. Likewise Navy Liberators bracketed an enemy battleship with bombs, near misses for sure, but to no avail. A maximum effort is being asked of the bomber pilots to support the grunts and marines ashore!
April Submarine Warfare Report
April has not been a good month for the Silent Service. The tonnage sunk or damaged is down from previous months while 5 boats have been lost to enemy action. There has been a marked increase in regularity and performance of enemy ASW action with several new ‘E’ Type Escorts engaging our submarines with increasing success. Likewise a massive increase of aerial ASW patrols has been detected in the Home Islands, particularly in the Western Approaches to the Home Islands. The highest scorer this month is the SS Haddock with nearly 20,000 tons of enemy ships either sunk or damaged.