Operation Cockpit and Operation Transom
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseOn 19 Apr 1944, American carrier Saratoga and British carrier Illustrious launched an air raid on Japanese port and oil facilities on Sabang Island off the northern tip of Sumatra under the code name Operation Cockpit. The carriers were accompanied by a two task forces of 20 other warships, not counting the carriers. Force 69 was commanded by British Eastern Fleet commander Admiral Sir James Somerville and was consisted of the battleships Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, and Richelieu, supported by an array of other ships; Force 70 contained battlecruiser Renown, carriers Saratoga and Illustrious, and other ships. At 0530 that morning, 46 bombers (17 British, 29 American) and 37 fighters (13 British, 24 American) were launched from the carriers, catching the Japanese by surprise. Sabang harbor was bombing, damaging two merchant ships, two destroyers, and one escort vessel. Lho Nga airfield was also targeted, damaging aircraft, barracks, and communications station, while a large oil tank was set on fire by a direct hit. When British submarine returned to the scene hours later, she reported that fires still raged. Only one Allied aircraft was lost during the raid.
ww2dbaseOn 17 May 1944, another attack under the code name of Operation Transom was launched, again under the command of Somerville. British and American carrier aircraft struck oil refineries at the Wonokromo district of Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies and the nearby Braat Engineering Works. Seven land-based B-24 bombers of US Army Air Forces 380th Bombardment Group from Corunna Downs Airfield, Australia made a follow up raid, destroying stores and small vessels in the Surabaya harbor, at the cost of one bomber lost.
Last Major Update: Apr 2007
Operation Cockpit and Operation Transom Interactive Map
Operation Cockpit and Operation Transom Timeline
|19 Apr 1944||Admiral Sir James Somerville's new Eastern Fleet launched a devastating raid on the oil refinery at Sabang in Sumatra, Dutch East Indies with aircraft flown from the carriers HMS Illustrious and USS Saratoga.|
|17 May 1944||British and American carrier aircraft struck oil refineries at the Wonokromo district of Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies and the nearby Braat Engineering Works.|
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Winston Churchill, 1935