Sunday, February 17, 2019

Operation HAILSTONE: Task Force 58 Inflicts Massive Damage At Truk

THU 17 FEB 1944
TF 58 (Vice Admiral Raymond A. Spruance), which includes nine carriers and six battleships, strikes Japanese installations and shipping at Truk, in Operation HAILSTONE, inflicting massive damage; enemy air attacks in response succeed in only damaging carrier Intrepid (CV-11) with an aerial torpedo, 07°23'N, 153°32'E.

SB2Cs and TBFs from carrier Bunker Hill (CV-17) and TBFs from small carrier Cowpens (CVL-25) sink Japanese light cruiser Naka 35 miles west of Truk, 07°15'N, 151°15'E, while battleships New Jersey (BB-62) and Iowa (BB-61), heavy cruisers Minneapolis (CA-36) and New Orleans (CA-32) and destroyers Radford (DD-446) and Burns (DD-588) sink training cruiser Katori northwest of Truk, 07°45'N, 151°20'E, after she had been damaged by planes from carriers Yorktown (CV-10), Intrepid (CV- 11) and Bunker Hill (CV-17) and small carrier Cowpens. TG 50.3 gunfire sinks destroyer Maikaze 40 miles northwest of Truk, 07°45'N, 151°20'E. Destroyer Burns (DD-588), detached from TG 50.9, sinks Japanese submarine chaser Ch 24 west of Truk, 07°24'N, 150°30'E.

TF 58 planes sink Japanese destroyer Oite (carrying survivors of light cruiser Agano sunk the day before), 07°40'N, 151°45'E; destroyer Tachikaze, 07°40'N, 151°55'E; armed merchant cruiser Akagi Maru, 07°54'N, 151°25'E; auxiliary submarine depot ship Heian Maru; aircraft transport Fujikawa Maru; transports Rio de Janeiro Maru, Kiyozumi Maru, Aikoku Maru, Gosei Maru, Hanakawa Maru, Hokuyo Maru, Amagisan Maru, andKensho Maru; Matsutani Maru, 07°23'N, 151°05'E; Momokawa Maru, 07°20'N, 151°53'E; Reiyo Maru, 07°25'N, 151°45'E; San Francisco Maru, 07°22'N, 151°54'E; Seiko Maru, 07°22'N, 151°45'E; Taiho Maru, 07°22'N, 151°34'E; Zukai Maru, 07°46'N, 150°27'E; No.6 Unkai Maru; Yamagiri Maru, 07°23'N, 151°51'E; fleet tankers Fujisan Maru, Hoyo Maru (damaged on 4 November 1943 by submarine Scorpion), Shinkoku Maru, and No.3 Tonan Maru; water carrier Nippo Maru, 07°20'N, 151°40'E; auxiliary vessel Yamakisan Maru, 07°25'N, 151°45'E; army cargo ships Nagano Maru and Yubai Maru; merchant cargo ship Taikichi Maru; and motor torpedo boat Gyoraitei No.10, 07°31'N, 151°59'E.

TF 58 aircraft damage Japanese destroyers Shigure and Matsukaze, submarines I 10 and RO 37, target ship Hakachi, repair ship Akashi, ammunition ship Soya, seaplane tender Akitsushima, and auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 20.

Destroyer Nicholas (DD-449) sinks Japanese submarine I-11 northwest of the Marshalls, 10°34'N, 173°31'E.

Submarine Cero (SS-225) sinks Japanese transport Jozan Maru between Truk and New Ireland, 00°53'N, 146°26'E.

Submarine Sargo (SS-188), in attack on Japanese convoy about 150 miles northeast of Palau, sinks ammunition ship Nichiro Maru and damages oiler Sata, 08°50'N, 135°40'E.

Submarine Tang (SS-306) attacks Japanese convoy, sinking army cargo ship Gyoten Maru and merchant tanker Kuniei Maru about 130 miles west-northwest of Truk, 08°00'N, 149°17'E, and survives depth-charging by escorts (escort vessel Amakusa, submarine chaser Ch 31, auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 24 and auxiliary minesweeper Hagoromo Maru are screening the merchantmen).

Navy SBDs and TBFs bomb Japanese shipping in Keravia Bay, near Rabaul, sinking minesweeper W.26 (which had been damaged previously, 2 November 1943, and had been beached at that time to prevent her loss), guardboat No.2 Fuku Maru, and army cargo ship Iwate Maru.

USAAF B-25s attack Japanese ships going to the aid of convoy attacked north of New Hanover the day before (see 16 February), damaging Kashi Maru and forcing her to be run aground to prevent sinking.

USAAF P-40s attack Japanese shipping at Jaluit atoll, damaging cargo ship Chosen Maru.

Japanese merchant tanker Zuih_ [sic] Maru is damaged by mine downstream from Woosung, China.
It's our educated guess that it was the Zuiho Maru.

And you can try your luck w/ the Google Books version of Hailstorm Over TRUK LAGOON for excruciatingly detailed documentation of TF 58's actions. Or the Naval History version.

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