That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
Third Time Lucky (3 Patrol session reports)
(editor’s note): Gameplay elements are italicized. 1t = 1,000 tons
17 September 1943.
I was sipping a margarita in the morning sun on a beach in Oahu when my good friend Cpt. Harder came up to me with a smug smile on his face. After ordering a drink of his own he slouched in the beach chair beside me and shone his grin directly at me.
“Just came back from a 6-week patrol in the Empire Pacific”, he begun. “Sunk 5 ships for 15.2k tons.” He took a sip of his drink and a deep drag on his cigar.
I’ll be damned if that Super Skipper outdoes me. I cordially congratulated him while inwardly steaming at his arrogance. Harder practically flunked out of naval academy and was lucky to get a posting. Now this.
That afternoon I approached command to request a patrol in the Empire Pacific. My SS-238 Gato Class sub was almost prepped and ready for action. Within a few days I was out of Pearl Harbor and on my way.
We made our way to the North Pacific avoiding enemy contact.
We arrived in Empire Pacific, ready to begin our patrol.
We were patrolling in a shipping lane with sparse density when we came across a Large Convoy. There were 5 ships within range and we began to identify them. There were 1 small (1t) merchant ship, 1 juicy 9t Freighter, a 1t Destroyer and a 1t Destroyer Escort. I had my scope set on the large freighter, but I was directly behind it (+3)and would have to maneuver around to it’s side to get a good shot at taking it down. The destroyer and it’s escort would make this a tough approach, so I focused my initial attack on the small merchant ship which I had a good shot (-2) at. Unfortunately I missed it, but the military ships still didn’t have a good idea of my position.
I decided to re-attack and discovered that the 5th ship was another Destroyer Escort! DE 8-2. That would make it tough. I got a bit closer to the 9t Freighter TDC=-1 and let go my torpedoes, which missed by a hair. The counter-attack from the military ships came close and I retreated.
With my torpedoes spent and nothing to show for it, we had to return to base. The trip home was uneventful and I avoided Cpt. Harder like the plague, waiting for my sub to be re-supplied.
Soon I was ready for my second patrol.
This time I approached the Empire Pacific through the Marshall Islands. I was awaken from a fitful sleep by the boson informing me that they found a Task Force in the Sparse Density shipping lane. With luck I’d find a juicy Aircraft Carrier to take down. We began identifying the ships and found three merchant vessels (2t,2t,3t) and a diligent escort (2t). The escort spotted us and began advancing.
We quickly attacked the 3t merchant ship, but to no avail. I choose to swing around for a re-attack, which was my mistake. The Task Force contained a second Diligent Escort and a Destroyer ASW=10! I sounded the command to Dive as the depth charges exploded around us. One blast breached our hull and we began taking on water! I sounded to the crew to Return to Base, but the damage worsened and the sub was lost. After many weeks at sea I eventually found myself back at Pearl Harbor.
Command decided to give me one more chance to redeem myself and I set out on my third patrol.
Week 1& 2:
I again had an uneventful trip through the Marshall Islands to the Empire Pacific.
We encountered a Large Convoy in a Moderate Density shipping lane (220.127.116.11). 14 ships total.
We avoided the front of the convoy and focused on where we thought the merchant ships would be. I didn’t want a repeat of last patrol!
We spotted three merchant ships (3t, 3t, 1t), but an unlikely combat event thwarted my attack due to a pre-emptive counter attack by the Japanese.
I went in for a re-attack, using my radar to avoid the Destroyer Escort and found 3 more merchant ships (1t, 1t, 2t). Some Japanese Aircraft (H6) caused a bit of a problem though. I couldn’t get a good shot at the 3t Merchants and instead let some torpedoes go against a 1t and 2t. I missed the 2t but hit the 1t! Unfortunately I failed to sink the ship and I sounded the call to “DIVE!”.
Without a single ship sunk yet, we stayed in the same area (Mod Density) and encountered a small convoy. Seven Ships.
Our radar helped us avoid a 7t destroyer and we spotted a 3t Merchant, 20t Huge Merchant and a 5t Light Cruiser. I wanted that 20t, but I couldn’t get near it. I let go a barrage at the Light Cruiser when an unknown 2t Destroyer lumbered into the way. Both the Destroyer and Cruiser were hit and both military ships began to sink!!! That’s two ships and 7t in my initial strike, eat my shorts Harder!
With the adrenalin pumping and the 20t looming before me I advanced for a re-attack, I repositioned my sub nearer the 20t and identified a 2t destroyer and H6 Mavis aircraft ASW2 and ASW 1. I was able to get good position on the 20t -2, but was unable to hit it. We dove, as the destroyer and H6 began to hone in on our position.
We moved to a sparse density area and bumped into a task force (18.104.22.168). Seven ships.
We began identifying the boats. A 2t merchant, 5t Oil and 5t refrigerated store ship. No identified ASW should make this easy. We unloaded against the Auxiliary Oiler hitting it in the stern. At the same time a 2t destroyer target lumbered into our way! Another two hits! The destroyer began to sink immediately, but the oiler somehow avoided receiving any significant damage!
Without any escort ships in view we moved in for re-attack. We unleashed our load out again against the oiler, and this time it began taking on water and began to sink. We dove as the rest of the task force began to congregate around our position.
I took inventory of our stock. We didn’t have enough supplies to continue our patrol and we headed on our long voyage back to Pearl Harbor.
In the six weeks at sea I managed to sink 4 ships for 14,000 tons. Harder, in six weeks, sunk 5 ships for 15,200 tons. I had to buy the super skipper a beer.