1130 local time
16 May 1942
Greetings all, having just wrapped up the Coral Sea battles, I figured it’s time to head back to my U.S. Army Air Corps fighter squadron, the 565th Tactical Fighter Squadron, better known as the “Chickenhawks.” The last we saw of the Chickenhawks was back in February of 1942; they’d started out fighting the Japanese over the Dutch East Indies before falling back to Australia and becoming embroiled in the fighting over Darwin. After things quieted down there, they ended up moving over to Brisbane, where they had a quiet period of daily patrolling to bring in replacements and get them trained up. But they got word at the end of April that they’d be moving soon, and immediately after the Battle of Coral Sea they packed up and shipped out, heading up to Port Moresby on New Guinea, making Kila Kila Airfield, AKA “3 Mile Drome,” their new home on 11 May 1942. They only had a couple days before they were called to action.
On 13 May, Captain Cotton led six P-40s against four Zeros and six Bettys. One Zero and one Betty were downed at the cost of three P-40s and 25/30 damage points on the New Guinea Harbor Facilities.
On 14 May, Captain Goode led a depleted flight of only four P-40s up against four Zeros and six Bettys, and it was an unmitigated disaster. All four US fighters were shot down, with Captain Goode and Lt O’Brien killed in action, while the enemy didn’t lose a single aircraft! The Japanese bombers quickly finished off the Harbor Facilities, and pounded the Marshalling Area (22/30 damage points).
Now, it’s 16 May. The weather was bad yesterday so the Chickenhawks had a bit of a reprieve, but this morning the skies were clear and the Japanese were at it again, filling the skies with twin-engine bombers. Major Jordan, the Squadron Leader, leads six P-40s aloft to face six Bettys escorted by four Zeros.
This is my arena for aerial combat; simple, yet durable and, to me, beautiful (in a simple, durable way). I’m using tiny aircraft designed by my buddy Thomaston; not sure what size they are, just that they are much smaller than 1/600. They’re 3D printed models that I mounted on cut-down bases from Litko, and I’m using a very simple rules system called “Battle of Britain,” which I found for free over on The Miniatures Page (I’ve already played a good 20 or so fights with them). Left is north, with the Japanese strike group there, and the American interceptors at right.
The US Army Air Corps pilots are being much more aggressive in this fight.
And the foxes get in amongst the chickens quick.
Gotta tip the hat to Thomaston and Kyote, not 100%, but a bit more focus on getting to the bombers, along with a little luck with the shootin’ dice, paid off.
And it’s a straight up melee in the sky, with one of the Chickenhawks winning the Distinguished Flying Cross!
To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
The Americans, feeling their oats, have something a bit more offensive in mind. Coming right up.