BATTLE OF CORAL SEA
WWII Battle & General poster
It was the first aircraft carrier battle ever fought, and the first naval battle in which the opposing forces of surface ships at no stage sighted or fired at each other. All attacks were carried out by aeroplanes.It is also the largest naval battle that has ever been fought off Australia’s shores.
The battle was significant for two main reasons:
it was the first time in World War 2 that the Japanese experienced failure in a major operation; and
the battle stopped the Japanese sea-borne invasion of Port Moresby.
The main target of the Allied carriers was the Japanese Carrier Striking Force, with the aircraft carriers Zuikaku and Shokaku, and protecting cruisers and destroyers, commanded by Admiral Takagi.
The battle involved Allied forces trying to stop Japan’s continued expansion into and control of the Pacific Ocean area, which had been established between December 1941 and May 1942.
The US fleet suffered greater losses in the battle. US losses:
One carrier destroyed, one damaged, one oiler and one destroyer sunk, 66 aircraft lost, and 543 men killed or wounded.
One small carrier destroyed, one carrier severely damaged, one destroyer and three small naval ships sunk, 77 carrier aircraft lost, and 1074 men killed or wounded.