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Japans last air success of WW 2?

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  • Japans last air success of WW 2?

    when the Royal Navy
    attacked Indonesian oil fields in Jan, 1945, when the Japanese Army Air Force
    was a mere shadow of its former self, the British force of 48 TBFs escorted by
    70 F4Us and 2 photo recon F6Fs was savaged, losing 17 TBFs, 8 F4Us and one of
    the Hellcats to the intercepting Nicks, Oscars, Zeros and Tojos. Fourteen more
    made it back to their carriers but were pushed over the side as unrepairable.

    Or were Kamikazi missions later then Jan 45 their last hurrah.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
    when the Royal Navy
    attacked Indonesian oil fields in Jan, 1945, when the Japanese Army Air Force
    was a mere shadow of its former self, the British force of 48 TBFs escorted by
    70 F4Us and 2 photo recon F6Fs was savaged, losing 17 TBFs, 8 F4Us and one of
    the Hellcats to the intercepting Nicks, Oscars, Zeros and Tojos. Fourteen more
    made it back to their carriers but were pushed over the side as unrepairable.

    Wait a minute....



    • #3
      Okinawa was in 1945.
      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.


      • #4

        Imperial Japan occupied Indonesia during World War II from March 1942 until after the end of War in 1945.


        • #5
          You should probably take a little care in using a post from a news group as your source for operating data and not verifying the information yourself. Unless you know the poster and his/her track record for accuracy, you are taking a chance that something has been lost in translation. I read your quote and then read the newsgroup post and both times came away scratching my head. So, I looked at some other sources. For example there is the Supplement to the London Gazette of Thursday 5 April 1951 entitled “The Carrier-Borne Aircraft Attacks On Oil Refineries In The Palembang (Sumatra) Area In January, 1945” which is a nice Admiralty write up. You can find it at

          Sydney Waters’ “The Royal New Zealand Navy” portion of the “Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–45” has a good discussion of these operations in Chapter 24 and the Appendix V covers the execution by the Japanese of several of the pilots captured in the Meridian operations on or about 18-20 August 1945.

          The most in-depth detail I have available is in John Winton’s “The Forgotten Fleet – The British Navy in the Pacific 1944-1945”

          For what it is worth:

          Meridian I – 24 January 1945
          Strike Losses:
          1 1833 Squadron F4U shot down by a Ki-44
          1 857 Squadron TBM shot down by a Ki-44
          1 1839 Squadron F6F seen going down near strike target area, probably enemy aircraft
          1 820 Squadron TBM lost at sea, pilot disoriented
          2 1830 Squadron F4Us shot down by AA fire
          2 1833 Squadron F4Us shot down by AA fire
          1 1834 Squadron F4U lost in a mid-air collision
          1 1833 Squadron F4U crashed on final approach

          Meridian II – 29 January 1945
          Strike Losses:
          2 854 Squadron TBM crashed after striking barrage balloon cables
          2 849 Squadron TBM shot down by unspecified Japanese fighter, either Ki-43 or Ki-44
          1 1770 Squadron Firefly shot down by a Ki-43
          1 1834 Squadron F4U engine seizure from AA caused oil loss, pilot bailed out
          6 TBMs, various squadrons, ditched in the area of the task force
          1 894 Squadron Seafire on CAP shot down by the Ki-51 it shot down itself
          1 CAP F4U failed to return from a no-contact vector.

          So, we know that over the two strike days 5, for sure, and probably, 6, planes in the actual strikes were shot down by Japanese aircraft, this out of some 250 strike sorties. Plus the one CAP Seafire makes 7 lost to Japanese aircraft. We know that 7 were lost for sure to AA fire or balloons and another 1 in an air to air collision (although who collided with whom I cannot fathom). That gets us to 15. The official loss count in the London Gazette Supplement is 16, so it would appear that at least one of the ditched TBMs was from battle damage of some kind. There were, besides the other 5 TBMs and the 1833 F4U, 5 other aircraft that ditched over these two strike days for what ever reason and another 14 lost in deck crashes (it would appear that most of these were CAP Seafires, RAdm Vian came away from these operations with “. . . my most particular impression from this operation is that Seafire aircraft are unsuitable for sustained ocean warfare.”)

          Last edited by RLeonard; 17 Oct 07, 20:21.
          hmmm . . . I wonder what THIS button does . . . uh oh


          • #6
            MM, well. ok, I would say you as well should be just as careful, as a British newspaper circa 1951 could just as well be innacurrate & censor uncomfortable information which the British have been known to do regarding sensitive or embarrasing war related info. Raider Atlantis capturing SE Asia military data from a cargo ship for one example, Credit to the Polish for Enigma another.


            • #7
              To this day even WW 1 data is often incorrectly reported by respected British authors. RLT Bickers for example still reports Mannocks score as 73, despite it being corrected to 61 & well known by most.

              Dunno about Winton, but again, if one is to be as careful as you have advised, then one must research the accuracy of any particular given author before posting data from said author, Winton no exception. In a chatroom such as this, I doubt most have the time for such thorough investigative work, rather we come home from work & spend leisure time here & do the best we can without overburdening ourselves with a load of investigative inspection as you have advised. So with that in mind, I think I'll pass on the overcarefulness. There are some bad researchers out there, the Arch Whitehouses & Greens & RLT Bickers of the world, but sorry, haven't got the time to do intensive investigative research on each newssite, or each & every researcher on a given subject. I do the best I can to be accurrate & present decent info, but if one has to analyze microscopically any & all data and or researcher before posting, it becomes pedantic. & even the best can & do get it wrong. Mike Spick for example, great author, but even he makes mistakes. He told me in a letter that in his Luftwaffe book he mentioned Rollwage as being the top 4 engined killer with 44. It was a typo, 14 the actual number.


              • #8
                Nice dodging, bobbing, and weaving. When you can research beyond newsgroup squibs, let me know.
                hmmm . . . I wonder what THIS button does . . . uh oh


                • #9
                  I think one has to consider that the pilots in these airbases were a bit better than most of the pilots left in the Japanese air services. The area also had lots of fuel available so there was no lack of opportunity for the Japanese here to fly and train. Most veteran Japanese squadrons fought until they died after reaching far off bases. This area was an important strategic area and a staging area for aircraft shuttled to New Guinea and Lae.

                  In my mind that means up to date air defense and better trained pilots.

                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"


                  • #10
                    Most of the losses seemed to be from AA or mechanical causes. Only about seven or eight were from enemy aircraft. Nothing extraordinary here considering the size of the strikes and the relatively untouched nature of the defences. Indonesia was largely left untouched by Allied offensives until that point in the war.


                    • #11
                      Nice dodging, bobbing, and weaving. When you can research beyond newsgroup squibs, let me know.

                      OK, that'll be never. Let me know when you become familiar with the word "history" & how different reports are found even by the participants pertaining to the same event. & how governments often give whitewashed or censured reports. During Viet Nam Swedish news gave different casualty reports than what appeared on US tv. Let me know when you have come to grips with these realities.

                      I do appreciate the 2nd link by the way, as it does add to the subject at hand.


                      • #12
                        And what a marvelous ability to come up with really attractive strawmen. Maybe you could take them down to your local craft shop and sell them.

                        Let's see, you posted that a total of 26 FAA aircraft were shot down by Japanese aircraft. You fail to note (oops, there's history, again) that the strikes in question occurred on two separate occasions, separated by four days. You also failed to ascertain the causes of those losses, but seem to want to make the great leap that since there were Japanese aircraft in the area all the losses were attributable to those Japanese aircraft and no other cause. And you call that “history”?

                        Truth be known, over those two strikes, there were a total of 41 (note a bigger number than your 18) aircraft were lost, 16 by enemy action, 11 by ditching, and 14 in deck crashes. How come you did not get that number correct? 41, not 18, aircraft. And, specifically, 16 by enemy action, you might want to go back and peruse my count, indeed I have 15 losses by enemy action, to include AAA fire and that does not include any of the TBMs that ditched. And since we know that one pilot of a TBM which ditched died of his wounds, I would suspect that was the 16th. Sorry, if that does not meet your historical expectations.

                        Your cleaving to the misstatements in a newsgroup squib as fact shows that you are the one with a problem with history (I suppose in your world that my degree in history means I’ve never been exposed to same). Your regurgitation of this or that event, and in truth, non-event, and not related to the subject at hand only serves to highlight your own vacuousness on these particular strikes.

                        Being unsure of your background in military reporting (and if you ever had a responsibility for reporting personnel and equipment status in a military environment you have apparently forgotten any and all precepts for same in exchange for a constant checking for conspirators and conspiracies lurking under your bed or trash can) you would know that military organizations are positively anal about reporting losses.

                        Tell me, just how do you suppose a given squadron is to receive replacement aircraft or pilots? How does one explain what happened to the three pilots who were on your roster yesterday, but not today? And where did those three airplanes that were in your inventory yesterday, but not today, go?

                        Are you not aware that military organizations, from the basic command of a squadron or company are required to submit daily reports of personnel and their status – gains, losses, present for duty, in hospital, temporarily assigned to other commands, the entire gamut of who is where or what happened to them?

                        Are you not aware that commanders must report changes, gains and losses of equipment and the disposition of any discrepancy from the previous report?

                        Are you not aware that individual pilots are required to file written reports of actions, that the unit is required to consolidate those individual reports, and those consolidated reports are further consolidated by each command up the line to get a total picture of the event?

                        In the USN in WW2, for example there were required reports on a weekly basis for aviation units to report their aircraft inventory, every week; there were required reports of aircraft operating time on a monthly basis, every month, by bureau; there were, beyond just ships muster rolls (you know, lists of everyone on a given ship), required monthly reports of officers assigned to a ship, including air groups, showing billets (primary plus secondary assignments), length of time aboard, and right on down to their cabin assignments and phone numbers; not to mention any changes, losses for any reason, gains and so on.

                        Individual unit morning reports do the same in terms of personnel gains, losses, promotions, disciplinary actions, temporary duties, and events of the preceding 24 hours. I can assure you that preparing the daily morning report can range from a simple “no changes, plug in the numbers from yesterday” to some very long, tedious documents. And woe be to the commander who fails to file the report. I’ve filed MRs on a daily basis, I’ve consolidated MRs at the battalion level. If it was not on my desk by 1300, someone was on the other end of the phone stammering through their, usually unacceptable, excuse.

                        This is the way military units operate. It is the administrative glue that holds it all together. It is not the gee whiz cool of someone’s internet squib. It is the down in the weeds, everyday, mundane reporting that, if you know how to read them actually give you more information than you can ever use, and that you seem to want to disregard or make accusations of falsification.

                        Or do you just like to make things up or throw out distracters when the facts don’t meet your preconceived, and frankly, overly simplistic and superficial notions?

                        “Gee sir, I kind of need six new airplanes and four pilots . . . can you send them along?”
                        “Well, why?”
                        “If you can keep a secret, we lost six planes and four pilots, but we don’t want to tell anyone. I’m hiding the lost pilots in my morning report and not reporting any change in my inventory.”
                        “So, how do we account for the missing pilots? What happens to their pay and allowances? What do we say to their NOK? How do you plan on billeting the new pilots when their billets are, on the basis of your reports, still filled? Where are you planning to store six more aircraft than you should have in your inventory?”

                        Tell you what, you tell us what you KNOW of reporting systems of the FAA in January 1945. Don’t write of governmental dissembling over the last 2000 years, all governments do it and we all know it. Tell us where, in your historical research, you have found the reporting of losses in these missions are lies, where the reports were falsified, and, then, prove it. That would be history.

                        Oh, and lest we forget, from the 41 planes lost to various causes . . .

                        24 January 1945:
                        - 820 Sqn, HMS Indefatigable- TBM - Mitchell, HGC, CPO Pilot; Hemington, A, Sub Lieut, RNVR; Duncan, DH, PO Airman – All killed
                        - 857 Sqn, HMS Indomitable- TBM - Hibburd, REA, Lieut, RNVR; Mason, J, Sub Lieut, RNVR; Harris, CL Leading Airman - All killed
                        - 1830 Sqn, HMS Illustrious- F4U - Brown, AH, Sub Lieut, RNVR - Killed
                        - 1830 Sqn, HMS Illustrious- F4U - Sutton, AW, Lieut, RCNVR - Killed
                        - 1833 Sqn, HMS Illustrious - F4U - Shaw, RJA, Sub Lieut RNVR - Captured, executed by Japanese 18-20 Aug 1945
                        - 1833 Sqn, HMS Illustrious - F4U - Baxter, EJ, Sub Lieut RNZNVR - Captured, executed by Japanese 18-20 Aug 1945
                        - 1834 Sqn, HMS Victorious - F4U - Grave, IL, Sub Lieut, RNVR - Killed
                        - 1836 Sqn, HMS Victorious- F4U - Blair, MT, Sub Lieut, RNVR - Killed
                        - 1839 Sqn, HMS Indomitable - F6F - Haberfield, JK, Sub Lieut RNZNVR - Captured, executed by Japanese 18-20 Aug 1945
                        29 January 1945
                        - 849 Sqn, HMS Victorious - TBM - Gunn, MJ, Sub Lieut, RNVR - Died of wounds after ditching
                        - 849 Sqn, HMS Victorious - TBM - Burrenston, KM, Lieut RNVR; Lintern, WEJ, Sub Lieut RNVR; McRAE, WJS, PO - Captured, all executed by Japanese 18-20 Aug 1945
                        - 854 Sqn, HMS Illustrious - TBM - Armstrong, RS, Sub Lieut, RNVR; Cousins, ST, Sub Lieut, RNVR; Barber, A, NA1c - All killed
                        - 854 Sqn, HMS Illustrious - TBM - Mainprice, WJ, Lieut Comdr RN;, Houldin, PWP, Sub Lieut, RNVR; Stollery, HGC, CPO Airman - All killed
                        - 1770 Sqn, HMS Indefatigable - Firefly - Levitt, D, Lieut, RNVR; Webb, JF, Lieut, RNZNVR – Both killed
                        - 1834 Sqn, HMS Victorious - F4U - Durno, LD, Lieut, RNVR - Lost, bailed out at sea
                        - 1836 Sqn, HMS Victorious - F4U - Maynard, SGF, Sub Lieut, RNVR – Missing on CAP, presumed killed.

                        I presume your research can do better?
                        Last edited by RLeonard; 20 Oct 07, 15:35.
                        hmmm . . . I wonder what THIS button does . . . uh oh


                        • #13
                          And what a marvelous ability to come up with really attractive strawmen.

                          See, here where it gets stupid. I post a harmless post about an event in 45, I even put a question mark on it, & inevitably someone has to step in with a fecal post. Always amazes me how some lurk about like a vulture just waiting for an opening for a jab instead of politely chatting the subject. Have to get personal to satisfy some dark need I suppose. Well, it only makes the attacker look foul. Congrats, you've done it.


                          • #14
                            How come you did not get that number correct?

                            Isn't "my" number, perhaps you didn't comprehend the blip above was not written by I. Basic grammer & reading comprehension not exactly your strong area I surmise.


                            • #15
                              Well... smack a fat baby's butt... mates...

                              While you're pointin them fingers about the place, please to make note of your other 3 pointin back at ya... nK...

                              And, by all means, watch that thumb, too...Wouldn't want anybody in the next thread to get jabbed with it.

                              Thanky...Drive Through!

                              On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

                              ACG History Today



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