The Japanese were well aware that Kakuta’s Airedales had crippled the ANZAC Squadron for a GT. Their only concern this GT was the Americans (who had hurt them badly on GT2) and the Dutch now assumed to be in Surabaya (No one had seen them during GT2 and the assumption was that they had transferred to Surabaya). But they need not have worried about either. The Dutch decided to sit the GT out in a huff (a theater event) withholding their ships and their CD thus leaving the Americans on their own hook. The Americans not wanting to face at least 5 Japanese CAs with Houston, Boise and Marblehead and with 5 Clemsons damaged decided to transfer their one intact DesDiv to Darwin while they repaired the rest and tried to talk the Dutch back into the war.
The RN finally sortied from Singapore with PoW, Exeter, Mauritus, the three D class cruisers, 4 new DDs and 4 Old smoke pots. They fully intended to knock the WAF into a cocked hat and prevent the fall Endau. But, WAF LBA had something to say about that. They found Force Z in the Karimarta Strait and went at the PoW with 15 flights of Nells and 6 flights of Bettys. The bombers were loaded, half with torpedoes and half with heavy bombs.
The PoW and her escorts knocked down 6 Nells and 2 Bettys as well as damaging several more. But 2 Nells got torpedoes into the PoW. She only ended up with one- and one-half hull damage (aerial torps hull damage is halved) but she also lost the function of both of her quad turrets. So, even though PoW was still able to steam at 26 knots; Adm Phillips considered the show as bollocks and aborted the sweep.
The WAF is now in position to complete its objectives by the end of GT4 so it can transfer everything to the EAF. Singapore will now fall at the end of GT4 and all capital ships will be withdrawn from play. The EAF also took all three objectives it had targeted this GT. But the EAF can not recover the two convoys it had aborted on GT2 and if it has 2 more aborted or it fails to sortie them or a combo thereof will lose. And the WAF will suffer the same fate regardless of how well it has done.