By Mark Stille

Osprey's examine of the conflict of the Coral Sea of global conflict II (1939-1945), that is designated within the annals of naval heritage. it's the first conflict within which enemy fleets by no means got here close by of each other. in its place, plane introduced from service decks have been despatched out to assault the enemy with bombs and torpedoes.

In may well of 1942, the japanese fleet moved on Port Moresby, the final Allied base among Australia and Japan. pressured to reply, the american citizens despatched airplane companies to guard the bottom. within the resulting conflict, one American provider used to be destroyed and the opposite critically broken. notwithstanding, the japanese additionally misplaced a service and made up our minds to withdraw. even if bloody, it proved to be an enormous strategic victory for the Allies because the jap have been pressured to try destiny assaults on Port Moresby over land. utilizing the newest examine and diverse interval images, retired USN Commander Mark O. Stille tells the tale of this significant and particular conflict within the Pacific War.

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Extra info for The Coral Sea 1942: The first carrier battle (Campaign, Volume 214)

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Ships of the World Magazine) 55 USS Sims in May 1940. Completed in 1938, she was the lead ship of her class, which was often used for carrier-screening duties early in the war. Main armament was five 5in. guns and 12 21in. torpedo tubes. During the battle, she was caught alone and quickly overwhelmed by Japanese dive-bombers. (US Naval Historical Center) USS Neosho refueling Yorktown on May 1. Neosho was bombed by Japanese carrier aircraft on May 7 and was finally scuttled on May 11. Throughout the battle, Fletcher devoted considerable attention to maintaining proper fuel levels for his forces.

If those carriers were lost or damaged, they would be unable to participate in Yamamoto’s decisive Midway operation. In fact, the two carriers of Carrier Division 5 constituted the decisive edge the IJN’s carrier force held over the US Navy’s carrier force. Thus, in essence, Yamamoto was making his decisive Midway operation hostage to the outcome of the subsidiary MO Operation. THE AMERICAN PLAN The IJN operated a number of seaplane tenders that had no counterpart in the US Navy. Ten fast merchant ships were converted before the war to carry as many as 12 seaplanes, which could be launched with an onboard catapult and recovered by use of the ship’s cranes.

4. 1118hrs: VB-3 starts dive from 12,000ft, just as Shoho completes her second full circle. Attacked by an A5M on the way down, the squadron commander, LCDR Hamilton, scores a 1,000-pound bomb hit just forward of the elevator. One additional hit is scored further forward. Massive fires break out on Shoho’s hangar deck fed by fueled aircraft. No Dauntlesses are lost. 5. 1115–1119hrs: VT-2 descends from 4,000ft to 100ft to release torpedoes. Shoho sights aircraft off starboard quarter and turns to starboard to avoid.

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