Turn 5 to 7 – Guam Airfield Leveled, Heavy Jap Sub Activity Near Saipan, No Jap Carriers – Over turns 5-7 US Scout Planes reached their range limit (end of the board) with no Jap Carriers spotted. Scouts will patrol the Eastern Horizon to find the Jap Carriers. Waves of Jap Carrier Planes continue to come from the East. Guam Airfield and land-based aircraft were destroyed by the end of Turn 7. The strike force is returning to the two carrier detachment. Task Force UFO continues steaming East.
Jap Subs had eight total torpedo hits on the US Destroyer and Cruiser detached for shore bombardment. Six of the torpedo hits caused damage. About four Jap subs have been located and sunk.
Turn 9 & 10 – Turkey Shoots and Sub Wars – The vicious submarine war continues on the approaches to Saipan. A US destroyer squadron with an accompanying Cruiser have taken a total of seven damage points on long-range torpedo strikes. Additional long range hits caused no damage. Jap Sub losses are mounting as the combination of ASW efforts and surface gunfire is thinning the submarine herd.
The US Navy is triumphant in the air! More than nineteen squadrons of Japanese Carrier aircraft have been destroyed. With no US air squadrons destroyed! My scout planes have not even taken fire! I hit the secondary victory condition for massacring the Jap Airforce and gain another squadron commander who adds attack points in air combat for his assigned squadron. Weirdly, the crack squadron commander resembles one of my former employees (I retired). Is this your Dad David?
The Guam strike force is nearing their carriers which have started steaming NE to rendezvous with TF-UFO. TF-UFO has launched several squadrons of dive bombers to sink approaching Japanese Destroyer squadrons. But all torpedo planes and most dive bombers of TF-UFO are in the hangers hoping the scout planes spot the Jap Carriers. On turn ten US dive bombers sink one Jap destroyer squadron and heavily damage another.
Turn 11 to 14 – Jap Torpedo Plane Severely Damages US Carrier! – The advantage of splitting my carriers is getting most of my airpower close to the Eastern edge of the map. The disadvantage is splitting up my combat air patrol and escort vessels. I paid the price for my choice.
Two Jap Torpedo squadrons located and attacked the two carrier Guam/Rota strike group. One torpedo plane was severely damaged but the other got through and did 40% damage to a carrier with one blow! Both Jap torpedo squadrons were destroyed but not without landing a single massive blow.
Most Jap Submarines around Saipan have probably been sunk. Screenshots capture a surfaced Jap sub sinking on Turn 11 and two Jap subs sunk on Turn 14. A US Destroyer Squadron and a Cruiser took very heavy damage but remained afloat.
Turn 14 Big Picture. The four fleet carriers and large cruiser escort force of Task Force UFO is well past the mid-point of the map. There are short flight times to the East edge of the map. Dive Bombers have eradicated Jap screening ships in the middle of the map. Most fighters have been recovered, repaired and refueled. Almost all dive bombers have been refueled and rearmed. The two fleet carriers of the Guam/Rota strike force are close to rejoining TF-UFO.