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This article is about an in-universe event. For the in-game mission, see Narrow Margin.
"...this is worse than even I imagined."
Alvin H. Davenport

The bombing of St. Hewlett was a surprise air attack on St. Hewlett by the Yuktobanian Air Force. It was the first official battle of the Circum-Pacific War.

Background

Since September 23, aircraft believed to be Yuktobanian had been performing surveillance and surprise attacks on Osean aircraft from Sand Island Air Force Base. The cause of the attacks was unclear, but by the St. Hewlett bombing, multiple Yuktobanian and Osean pilots had been killed.[1][2]

A Yuktobanian spy vessel supported by escort fighters approached Sand Island on September 27, prompting Wardog Squadron, the main squadron stationed at Sand Island, to shoot down the escort fighters and the UAVs launched by the ship. The ship fired on the squadron, shooting down Jack Bartlett; Wardog was pulled from the area before a rescue helicopter could be dispatched, due to Yuktobania's sudden declaration of war and intrusion of St. Hewlett airspace.[2]

Bombing raid

Multiple Yuktobanian attack aircraft approached St. Hewlett with the intent of destroying the city's port facilities and the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet, which the Osean flagship aircraft carrier, the OFS Kestrel, was leading.[3]

Despite the Kestrel launching its VFA-206 air squadron, the port and fleet sustained heavy losses until Wardog's arrival at the area. After rearranging their formations, Wardog joined the fight against the Yuktobanian aircraft, shooting down multiple aircraft and defending the Kestrel.[3]

The Osean forces continued to sustain losses, however; the military hospital in St. Hewlett was admitting patients at a fast pace, and naval personnel were jumping overboard to escape their burning ships. The sudden bombing also lead to widespread confusion, including one Osean ship mistakenly firing its CIWS guns at friendly docks.[3] 

The Kestrel was given priority by both Wardog and the St. Hewlett port captain, escaping the port first with its support ships. A provisional battle group was formed, with Wardog and VFA-206 supporting; the battle group fought through a blockade of Yuktobanian ships and more attack planes. Eventually, the battle group broke through the blockade and successfully escaped the area.[3]

Aftermath

The survival of the Kestrel and some of the VFA-206 was considered a victory by the Osean military, who planned to use the Kestrel as a springboard for attacks into Yuktobania alongside the OFS Buzzard and Vulture. These plans were interrupted by the Scinfaxi three days later.[4]

Wardog Squadron, having lost Captain Bartlett the same day (who later turned out to be MIA), was proud of their survival without a proper flight lead.[3] Blaze, who led the flight during this battle, would become the de facto leader of Wardog Squadron following the bombing of Sand Island.[5]

Trivia

  • The attack on St. Hewlett's naval port is similar to the real-life Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II; both countries declared war through an attack on naval forces, and both attacks failed to destroy the target aircraft carriers.

References

  1. Shorebirds and its prior cutscenes, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Open War, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Narrow Margin, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
  4. Rendezvous, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
  5. First Flight, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
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