Battle of the Coral Sea!

The very first air-sea battle in history!

The Battle of the Coral Sea was fought in Southeast New Guinea over Port Moresby. The battle started on May 3rd of 1942 and lasted until May 8th, making the skirmish a relatively short one at 4 days long. The Allied country that fought was the United States of America and the Axis country that they fought against was Japan.
The Japanese wanted to take control of Port Moresby because from there, they would easily be able to bomb Australia and force it to submit to the Axis powers. Unfortunately for the Japanese, American codebreakers intercepted and translated a message of theirs that explained that there would be an invasion, which was named Operation MO and how it would play out. Australia was neutral in the war at this time, and the Allied powers wanted to keep it that way.
Japanese forces first successfully invaded Tulagi, a city that was close to Port Moresby. They soon realized that Allied troops were there at the port and flew out there with the intention of taking the American naval forces down. On May 3rd, and upon the landing of the Japanese force in Port Moresby, the two countries started fighting. Both sides had two large aircraft carriers and many other ships, but neither side used them in the battles. The war planes did all of the fighting, and they did it while flying ver the ocean. For a while, neither side could locate or hit their enemies with air strikes, but the U.S. eventually sank a Japanese light carrier, the Shoho and damaged their Shokaku. In return, the U.S. lost their carrier named the Lexington because of the Japanese and their Yorktown was also damaged.
Eventually, the Japanese realized that they no longer had war planes to cover and protect their carriers and they retreated, leading to an Allied victory and the continuous neutrality of Australia. The total of American lives lost was 543, which was a lot better of a loss compared to the 2,000 to 5,000 Japanese lives lost.

The Men in Charge:

Vice Admiral Takagi Takao: Takao was born in 1892 and was a native of Iwaki City. He attended the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy and then graduated from the Naval Staff College. Throughout his middle-aged life, he served on many ships and cruisers and rose through ranks quickly until he was promoted to Vice Admiral in 1942. When the Pacific war started, Takao was commanding the forces in charge of the invasion of the Philippine islands.

Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher: Fletcher was born in 1885. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy and he also spent a good portion of his early naval career on various battleships. During the Mexican Revolution, Fletcher was awarded a Medal of Honor for his great conduct during the Battle of Veracruz in 1914. He later then served in World War 1 and the post-war period as a Flag Lieutenant or Gunnery Officer.