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The Battle of Makassar Strait

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#1 W. Clark

W. Clark


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Posted 30 May 2017 - 12:58 AM

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.

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