However, the percentage of total planes attacking which intended to suicide increased from 24 percent in the Philippines to 31 percent in the succeeding three months, establishing a trend which is expected to continue at an accelerated rate. effectiveness is indicated in the tabulations in table I.
Following are the numbers of planes shot down and the percentages of the total taken under fire in the period October-April: Table II 1. Ships' practice of opening fire at long range, using a high percentage of VT fuzes, thus increasing the percentage of 5-inch kills.
Hits and damaging near misses were scored in 45 percent of the crash attempts, as compared with 54 percent for the earlier period.
Even more startling is the fact that 27 suicide tries were required to sink a ship in February-May as compared with 14 in October-January.
--4-- In the light of information obtained from ships' descriptions of enemy attacks since the occupation of the Philippines, Japanese suicide tactics are summarized here: The first attacks were made in the daytime exclusively.
These attacks were directed chiefly at carrier task groups, and were concentrated around the noon hour when carriers were engaged in launching new strikes or receiving returning planes.
During the period February-May the enemy devoted 38 percent of his suicidal effort to destroyers and 45 percent to even smaller types.
Comparative lack of surprise attacks as a result of (a) greater ship alertness, and (b) early warning by DD pickets. Enemy use of obsolete aircraft, which were vulnerable to AA. * April and May figures are based on data taken from action reports, and are incomplete.
Dispatches, which give a reasonably accurate record of damage but not of misses, indicate that the following numbers of suicide planes scored hits and damaging near misses, and sank ships as follows: The foregoing table shows that although the scale of the enemy's suicidal effort increased more than 50 percent for February-May over October-January, his efficiency dropped.
Because attrition as a result of air cover made daytime attacks too costly, the enemy changed to twilight attacks, with emphasis being placed on those at dusk.
There were no suicide attacks in the Philippines between 21.