Planned withdrawal of units of the IJN occur while the remainder scatter throughout the seas around the Phillipines to prevent a recurrance of the previous week’s USN transport operations. Troops from Okinawa arrive at Digos while the victorious units from Hong Kong arrive at Formosa. A Task Force based on the Mizuho with CA and DD escorts remains at Subic Bay. IJN units repaired at Formosa.
The IJN sends numerous torpedo and anti shipping aircraft out to find the USN stationed off Corregidor – they are succesful and the USN is gutted in a series of precise stikes. The USS Marblehead and Pensacola successfully avoid the IJN bombers but the Boise and Houston are sunk with all hands for two hits each.
Ashore the airfields remaining to the US are subjected to airstrikes from IJA bombers and IJN Zeros – it seems that the USAAF is learning and several Japanese units are aborted in dogfights or AA. The balance however is in the Japanese favour with more US units aborted or killed. Most US airstrips are now damaged. Several ground attacks are launched by the army but the only noticable victory is north of Tarlac where the F 11th XX and attached IIIs are forced back (DR).
In the Visayan Sea B-18As and mixed Filipino bombers attack a DME, DMC and DC – the Filipino planes are returned to base while the B-18 misses its target completely.
Merchant flotilla 4 trys to run a Res Pt into Cebu City but blunders into a minefield and half the ships and all the supplies are lost. MacArthur is peeved.
From Del Monte two B-17 squadrons attack the DD Kami group and DC Sendai off Mindanao. AA fire aborts one B-17 back to Zamboanga but the remaining squadron drops her payload across the DDs and Kami suffers a hit.
Trying to scatter the remaining fleet southwards, the USN DG IP-1 is intercepted off Mindoro at night by IJN units. The vessels sight each other at Torpedo range. The last message received at Cavite from the flotilla is “Am engaging a target rich environment. Hey, is that a torpedo heading…..squark, zzzz, squark”. (DG sunk for no IJN losses.)
At Luzon, Clarke and Tarlac are abandoned to shorten the defence line.