The Battle of the Coral Sea was fought between the Japanese and Allied navies from May 4 through May 8, 1942 in the Coral Sea, about 500 miles northeast of Australia. Occurring only six months after the surprise Japanese attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and a month before the decisive battle at Midway, it was one of the first naval battles fought in the Pacific during World War II. The battle, roughly a draw, was an important turning point in the Pacific campaign.
In the spring of 1942, a few months after their surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces planned to invade southern New Guinea, a move designed to knock Australia and New Zealand out of the war. The Allies, including the U.S. and Australia, gathered a large fleet in the Coral Sea to thwart the invasion. After several days of searching and skirmishing, the Japanese and Allied fleets found each other on May 8 and each sent aircraft to attack the other. Both air attacks occurred at about the same time approximately 200 miles apart with both sides suffering moderate losses. The most significant Allied loss during the battle was the sinking of the American aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Lexington. That evening, with the battle roughly a draw, both sides retreated but would meet again a month later at the decisive Battle of Midway, 3,000 miles away in the Hawaiian Islands.
The Battle of the Coral Sea was important for several reasons. It was the first pure carrier-versus-carrier battle in history as neither surface fleet sighted the other. Though a draw, it was an important turning point in the war in the Pacific because, for the first time, the Allies had stopped the Japanese advance. Before the battle, the Japanese had enjoyed a continual string of victories while afterwards, it suffered an almost continual series of defeats, including at Midway one month later, a major American victory.
Shortly after the Battle of the Coral Sea, many called it one of the most important naval battles in world history and, at the time, it probably was. Seventy years later, the battle is still widely known throughout Australia with many Aussies referring to it as, "The battle that saved Australia." For most Americans, however, the Battle of the Coral Sea has faded into obscurity.
- Task Group 17.2 (Attack Group)
Cruisers Minneapolis, New Orleans, Astoria, Chester and Portland. Destroyers Phelps, Dewey, Farragut,Alywin and Monaghan.
- Task Group 17.5 (Carrier Group)
Carriers Yorktown and Lexington. Destroyers Morris, Anderson, Hammann and Russell.
- Task Group 17.3 (Support Group)
Cruisers Australia (Australian Navy), Hobart (Australian Navy) and Chicago. Destroyers Perkins andWalke.
- Task Group 17.6 (Fueling Group)
Oilers Neosho and Tippecanoe. Destroyers Sims and Worden.
Carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku. Heavy cruisers Myoko and Haguro. Destroyers Ariake, Yugure, Shigure,Shiratsuyu, Ushio and Akebono. Tanker Toho Maru.
- Port Moresby Landing Force / Covering Force
Light carrier Shoho. Heavy cruisers Aoba, Kako, Kinugasa and Furutaka. Light cruisers Yubari, Tenryuand Tatsuta. Destroyers Sazanami, Oite, Uzuki, Asamagi, Mutsuki, Yunagi and Yayoi. MinelayerTsugaru. Gunboats Keijo Maru, Seikai Maru and Nikkai Maru. Twelve transports and auxiliary craft. One patrol boat.
Destroyers Kaikuzuki and Yuzuki. Minelayers Okinoshima and Koei Maru. Transport Asuman Maru. Auxiliary craft.
This is the story of that important battle... (see more at: http://www.delsjourney.com/)