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Author Topic: Chickenhawks Over New Guinea  (Read 1476 times)
bigjackmac
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Posts: 1708


« on: 24 October 2019, 01:20:01 AM »

All,

1130 local time
13 May 1942
New Guinea

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, air raid sirens warning of incoming Japanese aircraft called the Army pilots to their planes, with six of them getting aloft to intercept the enemy.

The Americans are facing Japanese fighters of the Tainan Kokutai based at Lae, New Guinea.  I created a table and rolled up the Japanese pilot skills; they have eighteen fighter pilots, ranked as follows:
2 Natural Born Killers
2 Aces
8 Veterans
5 Regulars
1 Rookies

The Americans have:
2 Aces
2 Veterans
7 Regulars
7 Rookies

I plan to play out my (semi-)normal series of seven fights.  I've created a table that I roll on to determine if its a fighter sweep, Americans defend, or Japanese defend.
 

The Americans bravely take their P-40 Warhawks into combat, and the Japanese are their usual, bold selves...


With their usual, bold, results.


But the Yanks are doing what they can to make it interesting.

To see how the Chickenhawks fared, please check the blog at:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/10/chickenhawks-over-new-guinea-1.html

More to come!

V/R,
Jack
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Terry37
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Posts: 1056



« Reply #1 on: 24 October 2019, 04:45:10 AM »

Yep, really love your air battles!!! How big of a board do you play on?

Terry
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Steve J
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« Reply #2 on: 24 October 2019, 08:36:52 AM »

Great AAR Jack and I love the pipe cleaner smoke trails so you can follow the action more easily. I've still no idea on how you can tell which plane relates to which pilot!
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Westmarcher
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Sir Oik of Westmarch


« Reply #3 on: 24 October 2019, 08:21:37 PM »

What a great way to get started in a new war gaming period with minimal miniatures and minimal fuss.
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bigjackmac
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Posts: 1708


« Reply #4 on: 25 October 2019, 03:23:28 AM »

Terry - Great, thanks, and the actual playing surface is about 33" x 14".

Steve - Thanks man, and yeah, I thought the pipe cleaners to ID who I was talking about and show their maneuver was genius Wink  As to how I can tell which plane is which, it's a secret, proprietary method I refer to as "writing a number on the base." Wink  If you look at the pictures above, zoom in on the tail end of the base and you'll see small numbers I wrote on there with permanent marker.

Westmarcher - Yeah man, it certainly has been quick and easy, getting tons of games in.

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
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Posts: 1708


« Reply #5 on: 30 October 2019, 10:15:49 PM »

All,

1130 local time
14 May 1942
New Guinea

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.

Now, Captain Goode is leading a depleted flight of only four P-40s up against four Zeros and six Bettys.


The US interceptor group, from top:

2nd Lt Lageman, a Rookie on his first combat mission
Captain Goode, an Ace with five kills on two sorties
2nd Lt Becht, a Regular with one kill, on his second ever mission
2nd Lt O'Brien, a Regular with no kills, on his second mission, too

Wow, what a pisser!  Talk about bad rolls; I've broken the fighters into pairs, then roll to see which pairs are in the fight, rolling for three pairs.  Well, two of the 'pairs' I rolled up fought yesterday, with the Rookie becoming a Regular, but each having lost his more experienced partner, so I'm down two fighters, and the ones I have are less experienced.


Things are not looking good for Captain Goode, as a Japanese 'Natural Born Killer' swoops in on his starboard side and a Japanese 'Ace' swoops in on his port side.


It's a full on melee as Lt Lageman, looking for revenge, lines up a perfect no deflection shot on the Japanese NBK.

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/10/chickenhawks-over-new-guinea-2.html

More to come!

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
Brigadier
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Posts: 1708


« Reply #6 on: 04 November 2019, 02:31:37 PM »

All,

1130 local time
16 May 1942
New Guinea

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:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/11/chickenhawks-over-new-guinea-3.html

The Americans, feeling their oats, have something a bit more offensive in mind.  Coming right up.

V/R,
Jack
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Raider4
Major
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Posts: 748



« Reply #7 on: 04 November 2019, 06:55:41 PM »

Again, more good stuff. Must get around to sorting out my Battle of Britain stuff.

The Americans, feeling their oats, have something a bit more offensive in mind.

There's probably a good joke to made here . . .  Wink
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bigjackmac
Brigadier
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Posts: 1708


« Reply #8 on: 04 November 2019, 11:02:29 PM »

Thanks Raider, I appreciate it, and I look forward to seeing your Battle of Britain stuff.  Mine is painted up and ready to go, just not sure when I'll have (make?) time to get it on the table.

"There's probably a good joke to made here . . . "
Plenty Wink

Anyway, thanks for the post; I gather these batreps aren't the most popular, but I'm playing them and writing them up, so I figure I might as well post them here.

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
Brigadier
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Posts: 1708


« Reply #9 on: 05 November 2019, 02:49:58 PM »

All,

1130 local time
18 May 1942
New Guinea

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).

On 16 May, Major Jordan led the squadron aloft to intercept six Bettys escorted by four Zeros, but Lt Daniel was the star of the show.  The Americans lost a single P-40, but they knocked down two Zeros and four Bettys, with Lt Daniel knocking down four of those aircraft and winning the Distinguished Flying Cross.  The remaining two Japanese bombers jettisoned their bombs and returned to base, so no bombs fell on the Allied Marshalling Area (still 22/30).

Now it's 18 May, with bad weather yesterday putting a stop to flight operations, but today is sunny and so the Americans are not only flying, but they're playing offense!  1st Lt Pace is leading a flight of four P-40s, which are escorting six B-25 Mitchells.  They're plan is to cross the spine of the island and strike enemy installations on the northern coast of New Guinea.  First up are the Japanese POL storage areas, then the Warehouse Yard, and finally the airfield at Wewak.
 

How 'bout them Mitchells?  First time I've had them on the table.  Let's hope they're a good omen.


"Heads up, Chickenhawks, five Zekes inbound.  Tally Ho!"


A P-40 goes down (bottom left), and the Japanese fighters are swarming into the bomber formation.


And the foxes are definitely in amongst the hens...


But the Yank escorts aren't completely worthless.

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/11/chickenhawks-over-new-guinea-4.html

Next up, a couple two-ship patrols run into each other over No Man's Land, coming right up.

V/R,
Jack
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ianrs54
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« Reply #10 on: 05 November 2019, 04:23:49 PM »

Can I assume that you have let the USS Langley arrive and have her cargo (40 + P40's) be assembled ?

IanS
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bigjackmac
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Posts: 1708


« Reply #11 on: 05 November 2019, 06:22:41 PM »

Ian,

Not really; regarding the Dutch East Indies, those aircraft would have come into Java on 27 Feb 1942.  My (fictional 565th TFS) Chickenhawks arrived in DEI further north (the southern tip of Celebes) on 15 Jan 1942.

In any case, that was awhile back!  With the fall of DEI, the 'Hawks retired to Australia, fought in the defense of Darwin, and now have forward deployed to Port Moresby.

V/R,
Jack
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ianrs54
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« Reply #12 on: 06 November 2019, 07:39:55 AM »

Just demoing my vast historical knowledge Jack  Cheesy
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bigjackmac
Brigadier
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Posts: 1708


« Reply #13 on: 06 November 2019, 01:20:57 PM »

No sweat man, and sorry if I came off harsh, certainly not my intent.  I didnít know much about the very early part of the war in the Pacific until I had to read up for this campaign, guess I was showing off, sorry! Wink

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
Brigadier
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Posts: 1708


« Reply #14 on: 06 November 2019, 01:27:53 PM »

All,

1130 local time
19 May 1942
New Guinea

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).

On 16 May, Major Jordan led the squadron aloft to intercept six Bettys escorted by four Zeros, but Lt Daniel was the star of the show. The Americans lost a single P-40, but they knocked down two Zeros and four Bettys, with Lt Daniel knocking down four of those aircraft and winning the Distinguished Flying Cross. The remaining two Japanese bombers jettisoned their bombs and returned to base, so no bombs fell on the Allied Marshalling Area (st ill 22/30).

On 18 May, 1st Lt Pace led a flight of four P-40s on escort duty for six B-25 Mitchells detailed to pound Wewak's POL storage tanks. They met five Zeros over the target, with all five being shot down, though two of those were actually by the bomber crews, who took heavy losses. While the Chickenhawks only lost one P-40, four of the six bombers were shot down, and they barely scratched the POL target (6/30 damage points).

Now it's 19 May and two patrols have run into each other over No Man's Land. Captain Cotton is leading a two-ship section when a Japanese two-ship section is spotted.
 

The US patrol, from top:
2nd Lt Lageman, a Regular
Captain Cotton, a Veteran

Versus:


The Japanese patrol, from top:
Zero 01, a Veteran
Zero 02, a Regular


A quick and dirty fight.  Swing by the blog and check it out at:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/11/chickenhawks-over-new-guinea-5.html?m=1

Next up on the docket is another US bomber escort mission, coming right up.

V/R,
Jack
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