It is February 1944. The USN Battleship USS New York, designated BB-34, is commissioned from the Atlantic to the Pacific. After a patrol mission, escorted by three destroyers Cooper, Callaghan, and Lansdale, the ship goes missing. Not wanting to lose a battleship, most likely to the Japanese navy, Admiral Nimitz sends out the cruisers Louisville, Houston, San Francisco, and Northampton, along with a large destroyer escort, on a mission to find and rescue the New York at its last known coordinates. However, the recovery fleet is warned- a Japanese hunting force, including two battleships and several carriers, is nearby, and are to evade once contact is made. The mission is high-priority, and if the ship isn't found, the US' position in the central Pacific would be dire - with almost no ships against a mighty, powerful carrier-battleship force.
Bouncing on the waters, the Houston, leader of the Retrieval and Rescue Cruiser Task Force, ran a three-quarters, at about twenty-four knots. Following behind it in a randomized, loose formation were many ships- two other Northampton-class cruisers, the Northampton and Louisville, and a New Orleans-class cruiser, the San Francisco. There were other ships, too- two Clemson-class destroyers, the Simpson and Parrot. Both fine naval vessels serving since World War One, they were recommissioned specially for this mission. Then there were six Fletcher-class destroyers, the Bennett, Hudson, Stevens, Brown, Boyd, and Hunt. All part of the new Fletcher destroyer line, they had five five-inch artillery guns, and their best capacities were mobile anti-aircraft platforms and sub-hunting.
All in all, the entire fleet could take on the entire aerial armament of a carrier strike force, or able to take on several enemy battleships at once- but not both at the same time.
Off on the horizon, four dark silhouettes appeared.
Bringing his binoculars down to his chest, Admiral Raymond Spruance asked in amusement, "Now, what do we have here?"
His assistant approached him, and looked through his pair of binoculars. After continuing to look for several moments, he replied. "They look like four Akizuki-class destroyers. They're Japan's latest counter to the Fletcher-class. They're pretty formidable, and if they can single out the Houston or another Northampton, they could take her out, easy."
"I see." Spruance regarded the ships easily. "So then, that's it. Send Bennett, Stevens and Brown out to intercept. And... tell the San Francisco to assist.