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"Dogfights over Midway, Fight #3" Topic


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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2019 8:04 a.m. PST

All,

0645 local time
4 June 1942
Midway

It's 4 June 1942, the dawn of the epic "Battle of Midway," a clash of giants, three US carriers vs four Japanese carriers that proved to be the turning point of the war in the Pacific. For more information, both real-life and how I'm running this campaign, please check here:
link

Yesterday at 0900 a US Navy PBY Catalina spotted Japanese ships 500nm west southwest of Midway; B-17s from the island were dispatched but failed to hit anything. US Navy PBYs continued to shadow the Japanese surface force, and actually attacked at 0100 this morning, scoring a torpedo hit on a Japanese merchant ship. Unbeknownst to US personnel, the Japanese carrier task force, as yet still unspotted, launched its first strike group against Midway at 0430. At 0530, the PBYs spotted the Japanese carriers, and noted their strike group inbound.

At 0610 the VMF-343 "Dirt Divers" scrambled six F4F Wildcats to intercept an inbound group of six D3A "Val" dive bombers escorted by four A6M "Zeros," but were roughly handled, having three Wildcats shot down and the other three damaged, as the Japanese lost one Zero and one Val. The Japanese aerial attack caused 18/30 damage points.

At 0625 Captain Haynes led six Wildcats to intercept an inbound group of six B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers escorted by four A6M "Zeros." Again it was rough: the Marines lost five of six aircraft, with one pilot KIA, one MIA, and two WIA, while the Japanese lost four of their six torpedo bombers, which did light damage to Midway's shore installations (26/30, total).

So it's now 0645 and the Dirt Divers are escorting a flight of six TBF torpedo bombers to attack the Japanese carriers, running right into the Japanese CAP of six Zeros.

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First time Grumman TBFs (not known as Avengers, yet) were used in combat, and first time mine have seen the table.

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With six bogeys inbound!

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Quite out of character, this fight it is the Marines that get in the first licks.

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But don't worry, Thomaston, the Japanese descend on the TBFs like a pack of wolves…

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But overall, the fight is quite the aerial melee.

To see how it turned out, please check the blog at:
link

The Marine escorts are right back in action, because SBD Dauntlesses of VMSB-241 (that's "Marine Scouting and Bombing Squadron 241') are on the way, looking to land some 500-pound bombs on the Japanese carriers. Here's to hoping things get better with them Wildcat shooting dice.

V/R,
Jack

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