The Stallion of the Cimarron class by Briney ()
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After enduring long uncomfortable hours in a cockpit, most pilots and observers in the opening months of the Pacific war swore that anything afloat was a carrier and anything nearby was most likely a battleship.
Of all the miss-steps committed by both sides during the Battle of the Coral Sea, near to eighty years ago today, consider the throw of the dice that sent the entire airpower of the Japanese carrier force against an American ‘force’ that parting clouds revealed to be one tanker and a destroyer.
The oiler USS Neosho survived the Pearl Harbor attack, so please imagine the deja vu spreading that morning, May 7th 1942, amongst the Neosho's crew standing at action stations. A mass of 36 Val dive bombers swirled overhead, each no doubt loaded for capital ship 'bear.' Three 250kg bombs broke the destroyer USS Sims in half and she sank quickly. The Neosho was hit by bombs and a burning Val and drifted lost and ablaze while the world's first carrier battle raged somewhere far away. On May 11th, in a postscript to the battle, 109 USS Neosho crew and 14 Sims survivors were rescued before the oiler's hulk was sent to the bottom by friendly torpedoes.
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Cimarron-civil Oskar a lucky find once at Sketchfab
Val dive bomber- my model
USS Sims my model
M4 and Motokamishi pilots uniform apparently no longer avail at Rendo