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Old 15th September 2023, 18:42
keith A keith A is offline
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IJN escort sunk by Hellcats 9 September 1944

Initially I believed that a report in a newspaper (identified by one of our excellent members of the forum) that four aircraft of VF-15 (Duncan, Twelves, Henning and Self) had sunk an armed escort in addition to a Sugar Charlie AK and a (Toku Daihatsu?) landing barge in the Sulu Sea was a conflation of Duncan's earlier sinking of an escort vessel in June 1944 but the ACA definitely credits these pilots with sinking an armed escort vessel (type not specified).

I have not been able to locate a Japanese warship sunk on this date that would fit. However it occurred to me that an "armed escort" could be a flak ship, or barge, a gunboat or any vessel carrying a battery of AA weapons. Can anyone contribute to the identification of this vessel?

best regards

Keith
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Old 15th September 2023, 21:13
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: IJN escort sunk by Hellcats 9 September 1944

Neither the Official US Navy Chronology nor the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee report show any Japanese warship losses on 9 September 1944. Fighter pilots were prone to exaggerate the results of their attacks on ships--a bomb splash in the vicinity would often be claimed as a hit.
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Old 16th September 2023, 09:24
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: IJN escort sunk by Hellcats 9 September 1944

Cheers George. All I can reply is that the ACA states they sank an armed escort, and Duncan himself claims they did in his newspaper interview a few weeks later. They were clear that they saw it sink. I'm going to try and identify it in the VF-15 Tallies. An armed trawler?

K
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Old 16th September 2023, 10:08
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: IJN escort sunk by Hellcats 9 September 1944

AG-15 claim two armed escorts destroyed in these strikes.
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Old 16th September 2023, 11:04
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: IJN escort sunk by Hellcats 9 September 1944

https://www.fold3.com/image/29225175...ii-war-diaries

The other armed escort may be the "picket" (no other details) on an earlier strike.

K
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Old 16th September 2023, 14:08
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: IJN escort sunk by Hellcats 9 September 1944

In Monograph #116 “The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II” the only Japanese vessel I see as lost to aircraft on 9 September 1944 is Kuniyaha Maru, 2871 tons, a B-AG (miscellaneous naval auxiliary), noted as sinking “S of Zamboanga.” I see nine other Japanese vessels, combatants and non-combatants, lost on the 9th, in various places, but all are noted as lost to submarines (5) or mines (4). Pages 246-248.
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Old 16th September 2023, 17:09
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: IJN escort sunk by Hellcats 9 September 1944

JANAC shows a total of 10 sinkings on 9 September but all are described as passenger/cargo, no warships. Kuniyama Maru (a 2700 ton cargo steamer) is the only sinking at 0630N 12150E or vicinity.
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Old 16th September 2023, 21:22
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: IJN escort sunk by Hellcats 9 September 1944

A fair point chaps. My argument is that the USN claimed not ten but over thirty ships (of various types) damaged or sunk. Most are small cargo vessels, probably unnamed. AG-15 does however claim several ships. Perhaps several aircraft attacked the same vessel at different times and observed different results, but surely we are not arguing that AG-15 aircraft all attacked the same ship, describing it differently each time? Even the "Fog of war" would argue that is unlikely, and that the photographs taken after the attack cannot be dismissed? USN/Japanese claims of damage to their opponents in the Pacific are frequently ridiculous, but in this case there must be some doubt about Japanese records.

Without facing enemy air attack the USN aircraft were able to bomb and strafe without real opposition. Duncan of VF-15 must have made a least two low-level strafes on Japanese soldiers in the water after he sank a landing craft containing a company of infantry (he fired twelve rounds from his revolver i.e. he unloaded a full cylinder of .38, reloaded and attacked again).

A later attack by surface vessels claimed to have sunk all the survivors.

K
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