|1. Disaster in the Truk Atoll|
Desperate War of Japan in the Pacific|
This page contains Japanese characters.
|Air raid at the Marsharl Islands on 1 February 1942|
|Signal intelligence of IJN at Truk warned an enemy action on 31 January 1942. The 4th fleet in Truk did not response and did a drinking party then. USS Enterprise and Yorktown attacked the Martial Islands on 1 February. A few hevy crusiers were bombarded. Port master of Truk reported in and out warships every day as usual on peace. So HYPO knew when X in and out Truk.|
|Japanese merchant ships sunk in Truk Atoll|
Where did the large aircraft fly from? US ground force landed at Kwajalein Atoll on 2 February. The distance from Truk to Finschhafen, Kwajalein, Port Moresby and Guadalcanal are 1,610km, 1,780km, 1,920km, 2,080km each. A PB4Y-1 of VMD-254 did a photo-reconnaissance mission from Mono Island to Truk on 2 February 1944. The distance and azimuth are 1,690km and 345°. The PB4Y-1 returned to Bougainville Island. The return distance and azimuth are 1,560km and 166° The round distance is 3,250km. Average cruise speed was 271 km/h, as it took 12 hours. The average speed is 16% slower than nominal speed 322 km/h (B-24D). VMD-254 completed 300 photo-reconnaissance sorties before it returned to the US at the start of 1944. Was the PB4Y-1 was PBY-1P, considering the mission and the long flight?
Signal intelligence caught a signal of USN aircraft carrier at noon on 15th. 4th Fleet ordered alert at 0230 on 16th, and flew 11 aircraft to patrol. They did not find any sign of enemy TF, 4th Fleet erased the alert at 1030.
USN TG58 attacked Truk during 2 days on 17 to 18 February 1944, when IJN aircraft carrier Zuikaku was in Singapore. USN torpedo planes attacked before dawn of 18th. They would be able to use airborne radars.
I list up lost transports, oilers and submarine tenders. Although Aikokumaru, Akagimaru and Kiyozumimaru were auxiliary cruisers, IJN had changed their warship kind into auxiliary transport in October 1943. Auxiliary cruiser could not combat like WWI. Akagimaru sank just running out of Truk, 512 personnel were KIA in the ships. Japan lost 9 warships and 34 merchant ships. The 9 warships were 2 submarine chasers and 4 destroyers (Maikaze, Oikaze, Tachikaze and Fumidzuki) and light cruisers (Naka, Katori). Light cruiser Agano was sunk out of the atoll. 600 personnel were KIA or wounded on land. IJN lost 17,000t of oil and 2,000t of stored food.
The 3rd Tonammaru was the largest merchant ship in Japan. It engaged in whale catching before. IJN used it as oiler. It was salvaged after the war, and engaged in whale catching again to supply Japanese people with protein.
|IJN air defense force over Truk|
Bei Kido Butai no Truk Kusyu
Though IJN offical checked how the disaster occurred, Commander Kobayashi Masami was not responsible at all. In the replace of him, Minister of Transportaion Hatta Yoshiaki was fired. I do not know the reason. In fact, IJN oustered Commander of 4th fleet Kobayashi Masami. He was one of a few flag officers who were responsible for the defeat or mistake. But the same disaster occurred in Palau again on 30 May 1944.|
|2. Palau raid|
Mariana Islands no shikkan
 Chihaya ge, p53
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