Apologies for lack of posts but family and Easter took priority.
Rusell Island, Coral Sea. With Tulagi and Lunga secured Allied commanders see the setting up of a base here as crucial to further advances North. Port Moresby already dominates the Western Solomon Sea, Rusell is intended to anchor the center and provided aerial support. A small unit of Australian commandos occupied the empty island via submarine insertion and were swiftly followed by Australian support troops redeployed from New Caledonia. The absence of IJN warships had emboldened the RAN that only sent two small minesweepers as escorts. Hindsight is wonderful when one has it and it dictates in this particular event that such a valuable asset as a new LSI ship should have been heavily escorted. The sinking of the HMS Victorious and the damaging of the USS Wasp changed all the well laid plans.
Stealing in from the North four viscous sharks in the guise of Japanese destroyers mercilessly savaged the convoy being unloading the 9th RAAF Support Unit. Torpedoes and shell fire sink all ships at Russell Island drowning over two thousand men, Australia’s largest tragedy in the war to date. Four deadly destroyers that have been the only enemy ships sighted in the theatre for a long while. Nimitz’s warning of complacency still rings in the ears of Allied commanders in the theatre. One Australian Vice Admiral has a lot of blood on his conscience. For the average grunt on the ground it is another two thousand deaths that need to be avenged. Japan will reap her whirlwind!