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    Indispensable Reef Rennell and Bellona Province Solomon Islands

Location
Indispensable Reef is an uninhabited coral reef located in the Indispensable Strait. To the north is Rennell Island and Bellona Island to the northwest. Indispensable Reef is divided into three areas: Indispensable Reef North, Indispensable Reef Middle and Indispensable Reef South.

Wartime History
After the Battle of the Coral Sea two Japanese aircraft B5N Kate EI-306 and B5N Kate EI-302 ditched onto Indispensable Reef. Both crews survived and were later rescued.

During late 1942 used by the Japanese as a temporary base for seaplanes to harass. E13A Jake seaplanes refueled by submarine operated from Indispensable Reef for two or three days at a time to search "Torpedo Alley" south-east of San Cristobal used by Allied shipping bound for Guadalcanal. Quickly the US Navy caught on, and sent aircraft and ships to patrol the area to deprive it from the Japanese.

October 1942
I-15 is refueling floatplanes at the Indispensable Reef.

October 18, 1942
The I-26 arrives at the Indispensable Reef. Early in the morning, two Aichi E13A1 "Jakes" arrive. After one E13A1 departs, an enemy patrol aircraft flies over the reef. The second Jake takes off immediately. The I-26 crash-dives. She damages her three lower torpedo tubes on a reef, but manages to float free.

October 22, 1942
Indispensable Reef. Early in the morning, the I-26 refuels three E13A1 "Jakes". One of the planes later sights the USS WASHINGTON (BB-56) heading north.

October 23, 1942
Indispensable Reef. Early in the morning the I-26 refuels another "Jake" which manages to locate an enemy convoy.

October 25, 1942
Indispensable Reef. A Boeing B-17 bomber arrives over the reef. The I-26 dives and cannot refuel aircraft that day.

October 26, 1942
The I-26 departs the area. She is to be replaced by the I-122.

Early September 1942
I-122 refuels seaplanes at Indispensable Reef

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018

 

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