Vice Admiral Takahashi was not pleased with GT2 results and changed tactics, sheltering his convoys behind the strongest patrol he could mount. We fought this at Enfilade.
The Battle of Makassar Strait
Time: 2000 hours Wind Force: 5 Wind Speed: 20 knots
Wind Direction: East Moon State: New Squalls: 5 Sea Haze: No
Max Visibility: 8,000 yards Squall Visibility: 4,000 yards
Relative Bearing: 4 points to starboard & crossing at 90 degrees
EAF Center Axis Patrol: Vice Admiral Ozawa (IJN)
Heading: 180 degrees Speed: 25 knots
CS4: Vice Admiral Kondo (IJN) CS5: Rear Admiral Takagi (IJN)
IJNS Chokai CA flag IJNS Haguro CA flag
IJNS Atago CA flag IJNS Myoko CA
IJNS Takao CA IJNS Nachi CA
DesDiv 16 DesDiv 9
IJNS Hayashio DD IJNS Asagumo DD
IJNS Kuroshio DD IJNS Minegumo DD
IJNS Natsushio DD IJNS Natsugumo DD
IJNS Oyashio DD IJNS Yamagumo DD
Task Force 5: Rear Admiral Glassford (USN)
Cruiser Division DesDiv 57 DesDiv 58
USS Boise CL flag USS John D. Edwards DD USS Stewart DD
USS Houston CA USS Alden DD USS Parrott DD
USS Marblehead CL USS Edsall DD USS Barker DD
DesRon 29 USS Whipple DD USS Bulmer DD
USS Paul Jones DD
It was a dark and stormy night when Task Force 5 steamed out to fight. The ships were dogged down and water tight. The sky was black, not a star in sight.
The mastheads were manned and looking hard for an enemy they could not see.
The Boise steamed into a squall on course niner zero with the Admiral on the bridge all seamed well. But all hell broke loose when she cleared the squall. Asagumo leading DesDiv 9 as well as Minegumo opened on Houston at 6,000 yards and hit her knocking out her fore turret and damaging her hull slowing her to 26 knots.
The Asagumo and Minegumo fired torpedoes missing Houston astern, but striking Marblehead, Paul Jones and Edward D. Ford, sinking all three. Natsushio and Minegumo fired on Houston knocking out her last fore turret, damaging her hull and inflicting a hit on her engines. Houston slowed to 14 knots. Houston fired at Natsugumo knocking out all her guns, a torpedo mount setting her afire and damaging her engines, slowing her to 23 knots. Asagumo bounced a shell off Boise’s fore turret. Boise returned the favor by hitting Asagumo four times in the hull, knocked out her fore gun, a torpedo mount, a DC mount setting her afire and slowing her to 16 knots.
Glassford at this point having only seen three destroyers and dreading to see more ordered a withdrawal under smoke. Task 5 steamed home with LBA having struck it coming and going without effect. Glassford ruefully considered that all three reported Japanese convoys would succeed. In the event, his prediction proved to be true as Tarakan, Bajermasin and Bali all fell to the Japanese.