Notes


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On the next day, despite deteriorating weather, the carriers sent in 127 close support sorties, to which Fifth Air Force and the Ashiya-based Marines added 201. Ninety-nine of the carrier sorties received positive direction, and the troubles of most of the other 28 were attributable to a morning ground fog over the target area.

          Once the fog lifted things went well. Valley Forge aircraft destroyed 3 tanks, 12 trucks, and 3 barges, and successfully attacked 7 troop concentrations; Philippine Sea strike groups claimed 2 trucks and a tank, and many casualties in attacks on 11 troop concentrations. Communications with control planes were good, the controllers were complimentary about the attacks, the commanding officer of Philippine Sea reported that "the operation was a success," and the pilots were cheered by the thought that they were getting into the war. The last strike of the day was directed against enemy troops retreating across the Nam River south of the bulge, and in this sector at least things seemed to be looking up.