1st May 1943 contd
Enemy carriers have made their presence know in the Battle of the Solomons for the first time. The Royal Navy had bravely charged the massing enemy ships to the south of Ontong Java and had sunk the cruiser Kiso and heavily damaged the Kuma for no loss. Japanese ships were then, inexplicably, spotted later in the day steaming West and North West. Several aerial attacks were intercepted by A6M2 fighter planes with little effect. Just as much of an effect as the B-25’s had over the enemy battlewagons. Two being lost to flak guns over the Mutsu.
Our aircraft, however, do hit something when a light transport was hit by bombs from PB4Y Liberators at Shortlands. Further heavies once again struck Munda getting several G4M’s on the ground. The action was once again bloody in the air as 18 enemy planes were shot down for 3 of our own.
Finally the Japanese carriers were finally spotted to the North of Ontong Java. Several B5N2’s were followed at high altitude by PBY-5’s after sinking the destroyer McCalla at Lunga. These planes approached from the North East rather than the usual north westerly approach raids until then had taken. Two Catalina’s shadowed the Kates back home, several carriers skulking behind the mass of IJN guns seemingly running away from two RN cruisers.