Henderson Field is a relatively straightforward mission, as you won't be controlling anything more than F4F Wildcats and Elco PT Boats. Your job is to protect a convoy of seven friendly transport ships which are coming to Henderson Field to drop off their supplies. The Japanese will be sending wave after wave of attack aircraft towards both your airfield and shipyard, as well as the transport convoy. Don't let them through!
- Intercept the bombers threatening Henderson Field.
- Protect the convoy. Make sure at least four transport ships unload their cargo.
- All transports must survive.
- Eliminate the destroyers Ikachuki and Inazuma.
Defending Henderson Field
At the start of the scenario, you're given control of a single airfield, which has the ability to launch nothing but Wildcats. You already have three squads in the sky. Put up a fourth, and you're ready to fight.
You'll notice your supply convoy coming in toward the island from the far northeast. To achieve a gold medal on this map, each and every one of those transports must get to the base and unload their cargo. Protect them with everything you have.
Direct three of your Wildcat squadrons toward the centre of the map, in a general area between the Japanese carrier flotilla and your airbase. The fourth squad should be placed just to the west of your supply convoy. Now it's time to put your dogfighting skills to the test. You'll be seeing Zeros, Kates, Vals, and even recon plane or two – get in the cockpit and knock the enemy out of the skies. Always ensure that you have a full compliment of fighters in the air, and this part of the mission should not present much of a challenge.
About halfway through the mission you'll get a radio message from the USS Northampton. She's coming to join the fight, but is under attack by a swarm of Japanese PT boats. The Ikachuki and Inazuma also break formation and come toward the friendly heavy cruiser.
Rather than being able to use the Northampton herself, you'll be given control over the two shipyards on the island, in addition to the airfield which you already have. Launch the full amount of Elco PTs, and start powering towards the Northampton and the Japanese ships that she's fighting. Unfortunately, chances are that by the time you can get there, she'll already be sunk.
Take one of your four Wildcat squadrons that are protecting the transport convoy which is getting ever closer to your base, and send them after the Gyoraiteis. Strafing them will take a lot of pressure off of your friendly PTs, so they can focus more on torpedoing the two Japanese DDs. Continue onward with your Elcos, and prepare your attack on the two Fubuki-class destroyers. It doesn't take many torpedoes to send each of them beneath the waves.
The best way to approach a destroyer in a PT boat is to go after them head-on. This way the least amount of AA fire possible is hitting you. However, coming in at this angle gives your torpedoes an extremely small target, and lets the destroyer have a much better chance at avoiding them. So instead of launching your fish when the destroyer is directly in front of you, make a slight turn outward away from the destroyer, then turn back in. This will present much more of the broadside of the ship, and makes it easier for you to ensure that all four of your torpedoes hit.
Once the Ikachuki and Inazuma are sunk and your transport ships have unloaded their supplies, your base will come under attack from several small waves of level-bombing G3M Nells. Once again, use your Wildcats to fend off this final attack on your base. This shouldn't prove to be too difficult for you, even on Veteran difficulty. Clear the skies, and you're done with the mission.
Congratulations. You have successfully defended Henderson Field.