Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What if a US Carrier load of planes makes it to Mindanao in January-February 42?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What if a US Carrier load of planes makes it to Mindanao in January-February 42?

    Okay, another interminable "what if" for you. The timeline is January-February 1942. General MacArthur's USAFFE Airforce on Luzon, Philippine Islands is down to it's last dozen aircraft. The US has promised further military aid and actually makes good on its promise.

    While Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher's Task Force is making diversionary hit and run raiding attacks on Japanese island bases throughout the Central Pacific with the Carriers Yorktown and Saratoga, Admiral's Halsey and Newton aboard the Carriers USS Enterprise and Lexington are making a secret resupply run of 40 US Army P-40 fighterplanes to Mindanao, PI via the southerly route and then north from Darwin, Australia. This is done in the same manner that the USS Wasp did while resupplying Malta with Spitfire fighterplanes on two occasions at about the same time.

    100 miles south of Mindanao, the US Carriers launch their aircraft that will land at the USAFFE Airbase at Del Monte before being refueled, serviced and sent through to the two USAFFE Airfields on Bataan. With their Army Aircraft launched and on their way, the two carriers get the hell out of Dodge at 30+ knots and with their normal combat air patrols aloft providing security.

    What effect would the welcome infusion of 40 fresh fighterplanes and pilots have on the defenders of Bataan? Sure, I know. The end results are inevitable and would only prolong the same, but what say you guys and gals?.

    Would Halsey and Newton's Task Force get away scot clean?. Remember, the situation throughout the whole Southwest Pacific area was fluid to say the least during this time and the Japanese would not be expecting two US Carriers to be in their back yards either.
    Last edited by johnbryan; 13 Dec 08, 22:36.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

  • #2
    I believe the Japanese Battle fleet was in the Indian Ocean sinking British Navy vessels. So the carriers should get out clean.

    I think the defenders on Bataan would have welcomed any reinforcement from the outside. Who cares if these pilots will end up as riflemen?

    Pruitt
    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"

    Comment


    • #3
      At that time weren't the Japanese planes far superior to the Americans. If that was the case it wouldn't have made much difference.

      Comment


      • #4
        These would have been the same P-40s that were being used to such shattering effect by the Flying Tigers in China. If properly used, they could have done a great deal of damage.

        I would have prefered Wildcats, but there would not have been even the smallest amount of spare parts or trained ground crews to service them.

        Hoever, would such an operation have compromised the success of the Dolittle raid on Tokyo two months later? Fool me once...
        "Why is the Rum gone?"

        -Captain Jack

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by apteryx View Post
          At that time weren't the Japanese planes far superior to the Americans. If that was the case it wouldn't have made much difference.
          The aircraft were not particularly superior. The Allied tactics were definitly inferior, the pilots had little knowledge of the Japanese aircraft vulnerablitites, and often they were only partially trained. Attempts to climb or turn to gain advantage over the lighter Japanese fighter planes usually ended badly. It tooks months for the Alied pilots to consistetly avoid 'dogfighting' and to use their faster dive speed to break contact.

          From after action reports of the Japanese fighter pilots it is evident they were frustrated when Allied pilots used the dive speed of the P38, P39, P40 or the F4F. They also noticed the Allied planes when hit did not imeadiatly fall apart in flames like theirs.

          Saburo Saki the survivng Japanese super ace wrote a lot about his experince and most of it has been translated into English. Definitly worth a read if you wish to understand air combat of the pacific in 1942.

          Originally posted by exorcist View Post
          These would have been the same P-40s that were being used to such shattering effect by the Flying Tigers in China. If properly used, they could have done a great deal of damage.

          I would have prefered Wildcats, but there would not have been even the smallest amount of spare parts or trained ground crews to service them.
          Flying P40s off a carrier for a reinforcement mission is possible. It would be tricky as the P40s would not be much use for defending the carrier group. Could they even be taken below on the elevators? In January there were still Allied airfields in the Dutch East Indies. Thats where the USAAF aircraft withdrew to after the primary Luzon airfields were lost. would the range from Java or Borneo prohibit ferry flight from there?

          Originally posted by exorcist View Post
          Hoever, would such an operation have compromised the success of the Dolittle raid on Tokyo two months later? Fool me once...
          The other carrier raids in January - March did not compromise the Tokyo raid. The air raids on the Marianas (25 Jan), a attack on on a Japanese transport convoy off New Guinea (30 Feb) and let the IJN know our carriers were capable of striking back. To their own embarassment they dismissed the possibilities and failed to warn the government or Army. The IJN also ignored the leassons of the battle in the Sunda Strait and the earlier January action by US destroyers at Balikapan. At four times the USN had caught the IJN by suprise. The reaction by the Japanese naval commanders was suppresss the embarassing news and leave themselves open to even more serious embarassment in April.

          Originally posted by pruitt View Post
          I believe the Japanese Battle fleet was in the Indian Ocean sinking British Navy vessels. So the carriers should get out clean. .
          The IJN carrier raid into the Indian Ocean occured in late March. The fighting was on or around the 28th. That operation was to cover the seaward flank of the IJA advance thru Burma towards India, and lasted only a few weeks. During January-Febuary the IJN carriers spent much of their time anchored in harbors in Japan or Truk conserving fuel and awaitng the last desperate charge of the USN to the Phillpines. Some operations were made in support of Phillipines and Indonesian campaigns. For air support of their Southern offensive the IJA/IJN far prefered land based aircraft. They were very carefull to launch each amphibious offensive only when land based air could cover it. The carriers were used as a supplement when they were not covering the Central Pacific or securing the flanks of the amphibious operations.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wasn't there about this time frame an attempt by the USS Langley to bring P-40's to Java? The ship was caught by Air Attack and sunk. The Japanese did have some serious Cruiser and Destroyer forces in this area at the time. These ships handled the combined British, Dutch and US force handily. The only highlight was when the Allied destroyers found the Japanese Invasion Transports off Borneo and launched a torpedo attack. Trouble was these missed and the transports had already unloaded. Not sure how many Allied Destroyers made it away as it was a night action and the Japanese had superior night capabilities.

            The Langley could not fly off the P-40's because the forward end of the flight deck had been removed and it was now classified an Aircraft Transport. The slow speed of the ex-collier did not help, either. Treaty rules had meant the Langley HAD to be converted. We might have missed out on building the USS Wasp if we had kept the Langley fly off capable.

            Pruitt
            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"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
              Wasn't there about this time frame an attempt by the USS Langley to bring P-40's to Java? The ship was caught by Air Attack and sunk. The Japanese did have some serious Cruiser and Destroyer forces in this area at the time. These ships handled the combined British, Dutch and US force handily. The only highlight was when the Allied destroyers found the Japanese Invasion Transports off Borneo and launched a torpedo attack. Trouble was these missed and the transports had already unloaded. Not sure how many Allied Destroyers made it away as it was a night action and the Japanese had superior night capabilities.

              The Langley could not fly off the P-40's because the forward end of the flight deck had been removed and it was now classified an Aircraft Transport. The slow speed of the ex-collier did not help, either. Treaty rules had meant the Langley HAD to be converted. We might have missed out on building the USS Wasp if we had kept the Langley fly off capable.

              Pruitt
              I was thinking that a fast carrier task force along with accompanying cruisers and destroyers would be better able to deliver the aircraft to Mindanao before withdrawing at 30+ knots.
              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                Wasn't there about this time frame an attempt by the USS Langley to bring P-40's to Java? The ship was caught by Air Attack and sunk. The Japanese did have some serious Cruiser and Destroyer forces in this area at the time. These ships handled the combined British, Dutch and US force handily.
                The Langley was sunk 26 Febuary by land based bombers operating as part of the air cover for the invasion of Sumatra. The Japanese were sending aggresive reconissance flights and bomber missions over the water surrounding Sumatra and Java. The US cruiser Houston lost its after turret and fourty crew to an attack by 30+ Japanese bombers the week before the Langley was lost.

                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                The only highlight was when the Allied destroyers found the Japanese Invasion Transports off Borneo and launched a torpedo attack. Trouble was these missed and the transports had already unloaded. Not sure how many Allied Destroyers made it away as it was a night action and the Japanese had superior night capabilities.
                This was the Balikpapan action I refrered to earlier. On 24 January the US DD John D Ford, Pope, Parrot, and Paul Jones attacked twelve unprotected Japanese cargo ships off loading soldiers near Balikpapan Borneo. The cruiser USN Boise had struck a reef and leaking badly returned to port a day earlier. The cruiser USN Marblehead suffered a engine failure a bit later. The destroyers made a torpedo run, retired, reassembled. The senior officer Commander Talbot ordered a second run where all the remaining torpedos were expended. US and Japanese reports agree that all torpedo hits were made at the time of the second attack. Three Japanese cargo ships and a patrol boat were sunk. None of the US ships suffered noteworthy damage. This action was a considerble embarassment for the Japanese as the escourts had all departed to chase a submarine sighting. A Dutch sub was operating nearby. Information on the action and losses were restricted by the Japanese navy.

                The second suprise by Allied surface ships also occured at night. After the defeat in the battle of the Java sea the survivng ships were ordered from Java to Australia. The US Houston and Australian Perth headed west towards the Sunda strait. The departing ships did not recieve a Dutch message that a Japanese invasion force had begain operations in the Sunda strait that afternoon. As at Balikpapan the principle escourt, two heavy crusiers and light crusiers had moved away from the cargo ships. Around midnight the two Allied crusiers were spotted by the outer Japanese picket destroyer. Unsure of their identity the picket turned south the shadow the unknown ships and radioed a warning. The Japanese did not open fire until the Allied crusiers ran into the inner picket and were amoung the cargo fleet. Both Allied crusiers were sunk by four Japanese crusiers and six destroyers. About a dozen Japanese ships suffered varying damage and five cargo ships were sunk by torpedos. The Perth and Houston did not carry torpedo launchers, however the Japanese light crusiers and destroyers launched 87 torpedos that night

                Again the Japanese commander was embarassed over being caught by suprise, and for taking such losses. The reports on the action were restricted and the fact of the suprise and poor security remained unkown.

                Comment


                • #9
                  hmm, wasn't that the point of the original war plan orange?

                  sail the fleet to the philipines with extra planes, supplies and troops and fight Japan agression right there.

                  hmm, as I've studied this, it would spell doom for the self-confident pacific fleet on the way and once in the philipines. Adm.Kimmel shoudl be considered a hero for scrapping that plan.
                  "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
                    hmm, wasn't that the point of the original war plan orange?

                    sail the fleet to the philipines with extra planes, supplies and troops and fight Japan agression right there.

                    hmm, as I've studied this, it would spell doom for the self-confident pacific fleet on the way and once in the philipines. Adm.Kimmel shoudl be considered a hero for scrapping that plan.
                    No. None of the accepted versions of WP Orange, or the Rainbow plans contemplated a rush to save the Phillpines by the USN. John Costellos 'The Pacific War 1941-45' has a good discussion of the complexities of the prewar US war plans. 'The Great Pacific War of 1934' is a excellent snapshot of USN expectations in 1928. A description of a USN wargame of 1928 thinly disguised as fiction that book makes clear that the USN leaders recognized the danger in a premature counter offensive. Other wargames in the 1930s also demonstarted the problem as scenarios postulating a imeadiate counter strike got a lot of our ships sunk for little gain.

                    Since the 1920s the Navy leaders recognized that saving the Phillipines was impractical. This was not Kimmels decision. It was and had been a policy decsion from the top. There were those who did not like this and argued for fighting for the Phillpines. Stimson had worked hard to reverse the policy and to provide MacAurther what he asked for, despite the clear endorsement of the arguments against a hasty reinforceemnt and counter attack. Stimson placed Marshall in a awkward position as the CoS understood the reality of the Navys view. He played a balancing game between Stimsons and Roosevelts guidance.

                    Both Stimson and Mac ignored or denied the information on the resources available for reinforcing PI, and for counter attacking. The USN had repeatedly made it clear that under the likely scenarios it would require more than a year to defeat the IJN and up to two for a complete counter offensive. Those likely scenarios included the presence or participation of the British navy to draw off IJN strength, and the completion of a theoretical large scale building program of capitol ships. A large cargo fleet was also a necessity in those plans.

                    The USN war plans considered both nuetralizing the IJN naval bases in the Central Pacific and establishing USN bases as absolutely necessary for restablishing US prescense in PI. Alternative plans proposed ignoring PI entirely to establish forward naval bases closer to Japan for taking the war there. Stimson and Mac were ignoring the reality of the resources and the USNs capabilty in their effort to defend PI.

                    Perhaps if they had another six to ten months the US mobilization might have changed things. But the Japanese guessed better the situation and did not allow that, attacking much sooner.

                    Comment

                    Latest Topics

                    Collapse

                    Working...
                    X