Saturday, April 27, 2024

Torpedo and Dive Bomber Missions


Truk Lagoon continues under assault by the USN, first by Avenger Torpedo Planes followed by celebrated Dauntless Dive Bombers. So strap in and let's go.

Japanese shipping swings on their anchors pointing bows.... 

Into the East wind. Captains have ordered their ships underway to escape through the North Gap. A D6 needing 2-6 was thrown for each of four merchantmen and four warships. All got underway except one Sub Chaser. The latter succeeded next turn.

As Grumman TBD Avenger Torpedo Planes arrived at Altitude 2 from the East.
These are actually Raiden I-94 1/285 Devastators. We use what we have.

Using these activation cards. Japanese Zeros are unavailable due to the Fighter Sweep Mission you perhaps read by now. They are repairing, rearming and refueling at this time. Only anti-aircraft batteries ashore and afloat will defend Truk Lagoon.

See this link for the Fighter Sweep:

That 1/300 Cruel Seas Japanese Sub Chaser and medium fuel tank (lid from a can of spray paint) are not good targets for torpedoes.

The Avengers fly past ignoring the docked freighter; a target also too hard to hit.

The Avengers swing into a "Line Astern" formation. Only the leader is required to obey movement distances/rules. The rest swing into position conforming to him.

Anti-aircraft batteries begin throwing up lots of flak. Two hit Pickett. Green simulates loss of maneuverability while Yellow reduces speed. The two White pipe cleaners indicate enough damage requiring a return to his carrier.

Bragg and Knox reduce to Altitude 1 dropping torpedoes aimed at the Maru. Then....

Both turn for home. However, the fourth Avenger piloted by Zachery believes some insurance is needed to strike the cargo ship. The latter has been holding back in case the other torpedoes miss or are insufficient.

Historical Note: Early in the Pacific War, USA torpedoes failed to detonate with prodigious frequency. Here in 1944, that problem has been solved. Remember the scene in the newest Midway motion picture showing an American torpedo bouncing off a Japanese hull failing to detonate?

This is how things look closer in.

Zachery's torpedo will probably hit adding machine gun fire into the target too.
Litko Accessories manufactures the torpedoes.

The Maru luckily received a movement card to avoid the first two torpedoes.
Later Zachery did not miss and added pilot operated machine gun fire.

The Maru begins listing to starboard before plunging to the bottom of Truk lagoon.

Knox is subjected to furious anti-aircraft fire on the way home.

Somehow he avoids damage. Flak hits with 2D6 = 11-12 at Altitude 2 or higher. (10-12 at Altitude 1) All Avengers returned to their carrier including Pickett. They will pass underneath escorted Dauntless Dive Bombers and escorts as the story continues.


Four Dauntless Dive Bombers protected by two Hellcat Fighters cross into the Lagoon. These are painted in early war paint schemes and the Hellcats are actually Wildcats. Again, we use what we have. Aircraft are 1/285 GHQ models.

All head inland with the fighters now leading.

Spotting a cargo ship, the leader orders the Dauntlessness' to trail him.

Fatal explosions ruin the cargo ship. She will sink.

Leaving the burning ship behind three remaining Dauntlessness' fly off to engage different targets when a Zero appears out of nowhere and fires pursued by a Hellcat. The Dauntless somehow survived Zero fire. (Poor dice!)

And drops a bomb on a Sub Chaser which erupts in flames and later sinks.

The last two Dauntlessness' peel off to engage targets fleeing toward the North Gap.

The bomb dropped on the cargo ship barely missed.
However, the minesweeper was fatally struck.

What About Anti-Aircraft Fire and Fighter Combat?
AA fire D6s were abysmal. Sometimes dice don't obey, don't you know?
Swirling fighter plane maneuvers were too complicated to describe here.

Suffice to say Emoto's Zero was  damaged requiring a return to base.

Jr. Ace Seto critically damaged Lacey and then ran out of ammunition.

Lacey ditched and luckily was....

Rescued by a Catalina Flying Boat.
AA fire continued to be dreadful.


(A) Later at night, surviving Japanese aircraft will attack the USN Fleet offshore. The plan is to present this story soon for your interest.

(B) As a result of multiple torpedo plane tests, the following guidelines are offered.


1. Suggest: Two aircraft/target.

2. At first fly at Alt. 2.

3. Descend to Alt. 1 to launch torpedoes.

4. Torpedoes dropped within 20cm of a target will swim under the target missing it.

5. Put torpedo in front of aircraft. It moves next turn.

6. Try to drop the torpedo so it strikes the next turn.

7. Rise to at least Alt. 2 after dropping the torpedo.

8. AA hits Alt. 1 Torpedo aircraft on 2D6 = 10, 11 or 12.

9. AA hits Alt. 2 or higher Torpedo aircraft on 2D6 = 11 or 12.

10. If dropping torpedoes at a long range use 3x Aircraft.
          2 up front drop first. 1 in back course corrects and drops next turn, if needed.

11. If close enough use MG strafing into the target.

(C) Thank you for looking in. Your comments are welcome below at Remarks.

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1 comment:

  1. Once again, I'm indebted to you for your narratives. A good read and something completely different to anything I game.
    all the best,