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stugumby
02-12-2012, 12:27 AM
Greetings all, i am currently making a mission about the feb 1942 carrier raid on Wake island. My problem is i dont know what type of IJN aircraft to place on the island. Being navy im thinking 11 air fleet? and the types should be val,betty, kate and zero and maybe a claude?? or maybe an earlier type bomber such as nell etc. Ive done a basic wikipedia and google but the orders off battle have what was surrendered in 1945 not from the early days. US side should be USS Enterprise air group? VB-6 and VT-6? Found a dive bomber pilots after action report on the web that gives weather and other in depth details, says no enemey aircraft encountered except a 4 engine flying boat which was shot down. Rufe should be later in year like the aug time frame in the solomons so a ar 196 as a jake stand in? Any help appreciated, tonight is the insertion of dive bombers and finalization of left over construction eqiupment etc. Hope to send in by 18th of feb.

WTE_Galway
02-14-2012, 04:57 AM
Seems the early garrison was at most 55 planes (probably far less).

Your guess at 11th Air Fleet (Koko Kantai) is correct but more specifically the early garrison planes were from 22nd Koku Sentai which in December 1941 comprised the following ...
http://world.std.com/~Ted7/minorafp.htm (http://world.std.com/%7ETed7/minorafp.htm)
36 G3M2 Nell mdm bombers
36 G3M2 Nell mdm bombers
27 G4M1 Betty mdm bombers
6 C5M2 Reconnaissance aircraft
25 A6M2 Zero fighters
12 A5M4 Claude fighters

Hence you are limited on Wake Island to less than 55 aircraft chosen from those 6 aircraft types and your numbers of any one aircraft type must be less than those above.

In addition there were seaplanes based on nearby islands you might want to include.

Some references to Wake here as well
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/units/ijn/index.html


This might be a good one to talk to Ms LEBillfish about :D

'42 Photo
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/TBD_VT-6_over_Wake_Island_1942.jpg


Potentially useful link ...
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-C-Wake.html

VMF211 Wildcats after the capture ...
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/img/USMC-C-Wake-16.gif




Garrison eventually was 55 aircraft ...


http://www.goldtel.net/ddxa/war.html
Japan's fortification of Wake island was extensive. Approximately 65 artillery pieces ranging from 3 inch anti- aircraft guns to 8 inch coastal guns were deployed around the island. Numerous concrete pillboxes and a series of tank traps were constructed along the shoreline. The airfield was upgraded and several aircraft revetments were built. A power plant, water desalination plant and several bombproof blockhouses were also constructed. The Japanese garrison consisted of over 4,400 army and navy personnel and included 24 light tanks and 55 aircraft (fighters and bombers) .




Air defenses were "parts of the 22nd and later the 24thAir Flotilla (Koku Sentai)" , note captured 3" and 5" US guns which probably were the source of the flak in the report below.



Japanese installations on Wake (http://marshall.csu.edu.au/Marshalls/html/Wake_WWII/Wake_WWII-Text.html#Top)

On December 22nd, 1941, a day before the landing, the Japanese renamed Wake Island into Ottori Jima. According to Scott Cunningham, Commander of the U.S. Forces on Wake until surrender in December 1941, the Japanese were busy installing new guns soon after they had landed, and several guns were in position, emplaced and tested even before the U.S. prisoners of war had been taken off the island on January 12th, 1942. In the following months the Japanese heavily fortified Wake island, the main development taking part after August 1942. Since the Japanese feared a retaliatory landing on Wake, the defense system of the atoll had been excessively developed, more so than on most of the Marshall Islands bases.
Coastal defenses: With the help of the captured American heavy earthmoving machinery the Japanese continued the development of the Wake Air base. To prevent armoured landings the degree possible, all islands were provided on their entire oceanward periphery with huge anti-tank ditches, the fill being heaped on the landward side of the ditch in a manner resembling prehistoric fortifications. A similar ditch was dug on the lagoonward side of Peale island, and several other tank traps were dug transversely across the main islets, destined to impeded the progress of any enemy successfully landed.
Seaward of the tank traps was a system of personnel trenches, rifle pits and concrete, coral and steel pillboxes. The beaches had been liberally covered with barbed-wire entanglements and land mines. At a later point when the barbed wire had rusted away pointed ends of shrubs were set into the sand at an angle pointing seawards.
Inland defenses: Inshore of the tank traps was a network of defensive systems, consisting of over 200 coral and concrete pillboxes, blockhouses, 2 concrete fire control centres for the AA searchlights, 8 concrete magazines, seven of which were of American origin, 25 bombproof shelters and 15 command posts.
Guns: The guns available for the defense of Wake consisted of an odd assortment of weaponry from a number of sources. Emplaced on the three islets were in total 120 guns and heavy machine guns (table 9), ranging from 8" coastal defense guns taken from old World War I vintage warships to 36 Army field artillery pieces (75mm and 37 mm) and 24 light tanks with 37mm cannons.
All gun emplacements had been set in proper revetments of coral boulders and sand. The mobile artillery had been emplaced individually in revetments.


Table 9. The Japanese defense system. Field artillery and guns.



Type
Purpose
N
Emplaced on/at
Origin


200mm
Coastal Defense
4
Wake & Peale
old Japanese Naval guns


150mm
Coastal Defense
4
Wake & Peale
old Japanese Naval guns


127mm
Dual Purpose twin mount
8
Wake & Wilkes
new Japanese Naval gun


80mm
Anti aircraft
4
Pea**** Point
new Japanese Naval guns


80mm
Dual purpose
1
Peale



5inch
Dual Purpose
6
Wake
Captured U.S. guns


3inch
Anti-aircraft
9
Wake, Peale & Wilkes
Captured U.S. guns


25mm
Machine guns twin mount
24
Wake & Peale
new Japanese Naval guns


37mm
Field artillery
12?
mobile
new Japanese Army guns


75mm
Field artillery
24?
mobile
new Japanese Army guns


37mm
Light Tanks
24
mobile
new Japanese Army tanks




Command buildings: All buildings were heaped with coral and sand to eliminate shadows and provide concealment, which was greatly enhanced by shrubs planted on them (figure 16). The hospital was also set up under ground.

Air establishment: Large-scale aircraft revetments were build at the intersection of the runways and smaller ones were constructed along the southern margin of the E-W running main strip. Despite these, a number of aircraft was destroyed on the ground.
The airfield, when completed, had three runways, the main runway ("A"), running East-West with a length of 5,500 feet, another bomber strip ("B") running northeast-southwest for 4,870 feet, and shorter fighter strip ("C") running north-south for 1,680 feet.

Barracks: The main barracks area was located there where the Americans had theirs, in the northwestern part of Wake and on the southwestern arm of Wake and on adjacent Wilkes.
All buildings were placed just above the water table in revetments, guarding them against attack save for direct hits.

Supplies and machinery: The petroleum products had been placed in blockhouses or buried in sand, 10 to 16 drums to a heap. Trucks, jeeps and tanks had their own little revetments.
The base also operated two radar sets, one on top of the old PAA station and one on the ruins of the US contractors Camp. The Japanese had erected a multiple RDF facility on the northern arm of Wake Island. The facility consisted of three wooden three-storey buildings, similar to those observed elsewhere.

Base Facilities: As had been mentioned earlier on, the U.S. had intended to utilise Wake also as a submarine base. To that end the U.S. engineers and civilian contractors had begun to dredge a completely new channel through the centre of Wilkes. The dredging of the channel continued under Japanese supervision using the U.S. civilian prisoners of war. It finally came to a halt when the dredge Columbia was hit in Wake lagoon by naval gunfire from the cruisers U.S.S.Northampton and U.S.S. Salt Lake City during the U.S. carrier raid of 24 February 1942.

Strength of the Garrison: The build-up of the Japanese defense system on Wake occurred gradually as far as deployment of troops was concerned. The Japanese defense forces stationed on Wake were the 65th Naval Guard Unit, supplemented by the 2nd Battalion of the170th Infantry Brigade, which had seen action in New Guinea. In addition, there was part of the 4th Naval Pioneer Battalion of about 1000 men and parts of the 22nd and later the 24thAir Flotilla (Koku Sentai). The troop strength of the Wake Atoll garrison was approximately 2700 men by December 1942 and 3100 men in early 1943.

Carrier Strikes

The first carrier strike was carried out on 24 February 1942 by a task force centered on U.S.S. Enterprise, commanded by Rear Admiral "Bull" Halsey. While this strike was largely for exercise as well as for a show of force towards the Japanese Navy, the next strike was destined to cripple Wake as a forward Japanese base. In preparation of the U.S. landing in the Gilberts, to provide the carrier groups with combat training and in order to create a diversionary scene of battle, carrier raids were executed on Japanese bases in the Gilberts and Wake. The carrier strike on Wake was particularly heavy and carried out on 5 and 6 October 1943 by aircraft of Task Force 14, Rear Admiral A. E. Montgomery, flying a total of 738 combat sorties in six strikes. This task force, the largest ever assembled until then, comprised six aircraft carriers and a defensive screen of cruisers and destroyers, which also shelled the island.
22 Japanese planes, out of 65 claimed, were destroyed in the air and on the ground and shore installations were heavily damaged, with a U.S. losses totalling 12 aircraft in combat and another 14 operationally.
In a reaction to this prolonged strike the Japanese command assumed that an all-out U.S. attack on Wake was in preparation and moved its combined 4th Fleet from Truk to Enewetak to be in striking distance intercepting any U.S. landing force. This anticipated naval battle, however, never eventuated as the U.S. attacked Tarawa and Makin in the Gilberts.


Land Based Strikes
On 23 December 1942 the first land-based night-bombing bombing mission flown by 26 B-24D planes of the 307th Bombardment Group (VIIth Bomber Command) from base on Midway documenting the feasibility of such missions.





Action report from CV6 (Enterprise), February 1942



http://www.cv6.org/ship/logs/action19420224-vb6.htm


VB-6/A16/nhn
U. S. S. ENTERPRISE (CV6)



( 08 )

BOMBING SQUADRON SIX,
At Sea,
February 25, 1942.


CONFIDENTIAL








From:
Commander Bombing Squadron SIX.


To:
Commander ENTERPRISE Air Group.





Subject:
Attack on Wake Island, February 24, 1942.





Reference:
(a) U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920, Art. 874(6).
(b) BuAer Conf. Mailgram 192115 of February 1942.




Between 0750 and 0805, 24 February 1942, Bombing Squadron Six attacked the enemy air field and surrounding installations on Wake Island. The weather was clear, ceiling unlimited, surface wind 24 knots from 090 T., winds aloft strong southwesterly, with cumulus clouds beginning to form over the island, base at 1500 feet and rising in places to 6,000 feet.
Tactical organization of the flight was as follows:




FIRST DIVISION


6-B-1
Lt-Cdr. W.R. Hollingsworth
MURRAY, J.F., ACRM(PA)


6-B-2
Lt. H.P. Lanham
GARAUDY, E.J., ARM2c


6-B-3
Lt. L.A. Smith
CARUTHERS, H.H., AMM2c





6-B-7
Lt. J.W. McCauley
JOHNSON, P.S., ARM2c


6-B-8
Lt(jg) J.J. Van Buren
GEORGIOU, A.A., RM3c, V-3


6-B-9
Ensign A.L. Rausch
HALTERMAN, G.W., RM3c





SECOND DIVISION


6-B-10
Lt. R.H. Best
NELSON, H.W., ARM1c


6-B-11
Lt(jg) E.L. Anderson
JENKINS, J.W., RM3c


6-B-12
Ensign W.E. Roberts
SHEA, J.H., AMM1c





6-B-16
Lt(jg) L.J. Check
MASON, S.J., ARM2c


6-B-17
Ensign K.H. Holcomb
WELCH, L.E., AMM2c


6-B-18
Ensign T.W. Ramsay
DUNCAN, S.L., AMM3c





THIRD DIVISION


6-B-4
Lt. J.D. Blitch
STEINMAN, W.B., AMM2c


6-B-5
Ensign N.F. Vandivier
KEANEY, L.E.J., Sea1c


6-B-6
Ensign T.F. Schneider
HOLDEN, G.L., RM3c





6-B-13
Lt. J.R. Penland
HEARD, H.F., ARM2c


6-B-14
Ensign C.R. Walters
THOMPSON, W.T., AMM2c


6-S-18
Ensign D.W. Halsey
ALFORD, A.T., AOM2c


GC
Cdr. H.L. Young
O'BRIEN, M., CRM(PA)


The operation was a dive bombing attack, with each plane loaded with one five hundred pound and two one hundred pound bombs.
The specific objective was as follows: First Division - Peale Island - radio station, seaplane ramps, beaches, and any planes present, (or oil tank adjacent, in absence of any seaplanes).
Second and Third Division - Mop-up operations on air field to be accomplished a short time after Scouting Six attack. Because of delay, beyond the control of this command, the group did not arrive at the objective until some time after the cruiser bombardment had opened, and it therefore became necessary for the leader of the first division to change his objective and strike the air field, incapacitating any aircraft still on the ground and averting any such threat to the ships of the bombardment group.
No enemy aircraft were encountered aside from one four engine patrol seaplane sighted by Ensign D.W. Halsey, USNR, in 6-S-18. He attacked and reported this contact to planes of Fighting Squadron Six who shot it down.
All attacks were of the dive bombing type.
Launchings of this squadron were commenced at 0545 and when the group rendezvous was completed at 0650 departure was taken. A free cruising formation was taken with Bombing Six next in line astern and above Torpedo Six who led. At 0725 a rapidly expanding AA barrage was sighted dead ahead about twenty or thirty miles. No aircraft were seen. Wake Island was sighted shortly afterward and divisions continued to climb and broke apart to attack separately. The attacks were dive bombing attacks with ripple release of all three bombs. High speed run-ins were started from 18,000 feet twenty miles out with final dive being entered between eight and twelve thousand feet. The first division attacked the air field from the west and was followed by all of Scouting Squadron Six, in turn followed by the second and third divisions of Bombing Squadron Six who came in from the southeast and east respectively. The first division diving toward the east pulled out up sun (about 110 T.), the second division attacked from the east and pulled out to the south, while the third division attacking slightly to the north of the field pulled out to the north and then retired to the east. Since the releases were by ripple drop, dropping was done between four and two thousand feet with pull outs at one thousand feet. In retiring, the second and third division encountered a small patrol type vessel of 120 or 150 feet in length. Two strafing runs were made by all planes. The vessel when abandoned was turning in aimless circles leaving large oil slicks. An approaching destroyer of the bombardment group opened fire and was seen to make at least two direct hits.
The dive bombing attack was made with one five hundred pound bomb and two one hundred pound bombs fitted with instantaneous fuses. The fixed .50 caliber and flexible .30 caliber machine guns were used in strafing the surface vessel. Enemy fire was chiefly from machine guns which, judging by holes in planes of the group and bullets recovered, were .30 and .50 caliber. All bursts, some of which were seen to occur as high as 19,000 feet, were apparently from three inch or five inch guns.
Evasive action used in the approach was limited to high speed, cloud concealment, and approach from the sun. During retirement frequent radical changes of course and altitude were made in addition to the above actions.
Ammunition expended.

500 lb bombs Mk.12 (instantaneous fuse)
18


100 lb bombs Mk.4 ( " " )
36


.50 caliber (70% AP, 30% tracer)
approx. 2200 rds


.30 caliber ( " " )
approx. 1200 rds


Results and damage as are shown on attached sketch.
Damage to own aircraft was as follows:

6-B-3
BuNo.2186
Several bullet holes in right wing and fuselage.


6-B-6
BuNo.2176
.50 caliber bullet hole in belly and floorboards of the rear ****pit, shattered radio transmitter and tore holes in thin metal shelf above transmitter.


6-S-18
BuNo.2170
Several bullet holes in left wing.


No tanks, armored or otherwise, were struck.
The pilot's protective head plate in 6-B-6 deflected a bullet which might well have fatally wounded the pilot.
No deficiencies of aircraft or armament were noted. The anti-aircraft fire was generally erratic and showed no evidence of director control.

(Signed) W.R. HOLLINGSWORTH.

stugumby
02-16-2012, 06:25 AM
Thanks for your help, my search found the vb-6 report and thats what i made my mission off of, it said no enemy air encountered except a flying boat and some flying boats/seaplanes caught on the ground. I saw another post where they hit the island just before an IJN airgroup was flown in. Lots of conflicting things on the web, had read the usn history of the early carrier raids and the first team book. lots of contradictions or innacuracies exist. Thanks for your input.