West of the Jomard Passage, Japanese and American search craft criss cross the sky. Suddenly p39’s appear seeking to engage the search craft . Carrier launch!
Catalina’s close in on the Shoho [50%-200% accuracy of ship numbers reported to USN].
Over Port Mo. Zeros drop 2 steps of the interceptors for one loss of their own. The Nell’s begin their high altitude bomb run. The bombs fall wide of the mark. Shells burst on and around the airfield. No damage is done, they resolve to return at low altitude next time.
IJN Mavis long range craft sense two groups of ships.
Numbers are not accurate, and they dare not close yet to ascertain exact details. In fact as one Mavis circled back it spotted a 2nd Naval force apparently smaller group of ships. Excited chatter breaks out over the radio net. Could this be the two groups of CV’s?
Shoho is spotted however the AP carriers have indeed managed to avoid detection for now. The USAAF units all held position in 0500 turn and then moved during daylight @ 0600.
On the Eastern half of the map two Catalinas are making a bee line pattern across likely areas where the IJN forces could be.
Intercepts must happen with in 2 hexes of a naval unit, so air to air won’t be a problem until they close in on the CV’s.
- Carry out a 2nd wave attack on PMO.
- Try to shadow the two task forces found.
- Prepare the Shoho to be attacked by the Vessels found. Continue to stall for the AP ships until the IJN CV’s can close and engage the USN.
- Plan Orange will rely on arriving with the AP’s at dark in Port Moresby and unloading for as many turns as possible.
Opportunity to chime in here and adjust the plan if you have solid alternatives that still permit Plan Orange to be the focus.
Submit in Comments section, please leave a BGG name, so I can reward useful tips with some GG!
Note I am travelling Wed thru Sunday so not much will be happening during the next week to ten days.