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 HQ Batallón) October 05, 2014

B-25 Mitchell, nicknamed “Ruthless Ruth”, pulls up after making a skip-bombing run on Japanese coastal defense vessel No. 134. The plane was flown by USAAF Lieutenant Louie A. Mikell of the 499th Bomb Squadron (“Bats Outa Hell”), part of 5th Air Force. Japanese convoy HOMO-03 left Hong Kong enroute to Shanghai, consisting of subchasers CH-9 and CH-20, destroyer Amatsukaze, Kaibokan (escort destroyers) Coastal Defense Vessels No. 1 and No. 134, Tokai Maru Number 2 and Kine Maru on April 4, 1945.

Attacks by US Air Force B-24 Liberators on April 5 sink the two transports, and the convoy breaks up. The subchasers return to Hong Kong while the destroyers head for Amoy, China. Enroute, CH-9, CH-20 and No. 1 are damaged by another wave of B-24s. The next day, the three destroyers are found by twenty-four B-25s of the 345th; the Americans volunteered for the long over-water flight from their base at San Marcelino, Luzon to the Japanese ships off the China coast. Lt. Mikell scored a near-miss with his delayed fuse bomb; Lieutenant Francis Thompson strafed the ship; the flight leader scored a hit amidships. No. 134 rolled over to starboard and sank, her surviving crew abandoning ship to the shark-infested waters. No. 1 was also skip-bombed and sank. Amatsukaze destroyer was also heavy damaged. Her crew beached the ship a mile away on a reef, at the entrance to Amoy harbor, but slipped stern-first into the sea and sank with the loss of 44 of her crew... (more information at: http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/b-25-skip-bombs-japanese-kaibokan-escort-ship-1945/)



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