As the so-called "Battle of the Flores Sea" occurred 71 years ago on these dates--with CSF operational plans via RADM Karel Doorman being distributed the evening of the 3rd, RNN liaison personnel coming aboard American ships later that night, and the CSF sortie beginning soon thereafter--it seems an appropriate time to recall those events.
For USS HOUSTON and USS MARBLEHEAD it was the start of serious, indeed mortal, ordeals.
In spite of expending some 1,000 rds of AA (3" & 5") at the 60 IJNAF planes, only one machine (IIRC) appears to have been downed.
HOUSTON's dud rate was about three to one throughout this engagement, which was in keeping the discovery of the defective allotment of AA shells in 1941 before the war.
Both ships, as all know, received considerable physical damage and a number of personnel casualties.
Properly understood, this was the beginning of the end for HOUSTON, leading to the ship's destruction several weeks later.
The only positive in it all came from CA-30 acquiring most of the 5"/25cal ammo left behind by BOISE [since all of HOUSTON's 5" was from the defective lot]...and apparently some of the 3" left for MARBLEHEAD as well (however inadvertently.)
Question: I have read that DERUYTER was near-missed in the attacks and suffered unspecified damage, but apart from a vague reference to some kind of problem with her Bofors AA battery, I don't know much about it. Do we have info on that?
Thanks in advance,
The photo is an overhead view--not published AFAIK (?)--of CA-30 after her King Board upgrades & Mare Island refit of 1940.
>>>>Question: I have read that DERUYTER was near-missed in the attacks and suffered unspecified damage, but apart from a vague reference to some kind of problem with her Bofors AA battery, I don't know much about it. Do we have info on that?>>>>
Don, I sent your question to one of the authors of the De Ruyter book (H Legemaate) and below was the answer I got.
Hr. Ms. De Ruyter got four near-misses, one disregulating the air-defence-control. It was repaired in short time.