- ,'.'''.' - .

•• r ••• · ..... _______ .. __________ .. ___ .. _________ . ___ • _ ___ ..... ___ , ,
AD/A-003 053
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA t MA Y 1 TO
MAY 11 INCLUSIVE, 1942. STRATEGICAL
AND TACTICAL ANALYSIS
Richard W. Bates
Naval War College
Prepared for:
Bureau of N-..val Personnel
1947
DISTRIBUTED BY:
Nlttollli TechnlClllnfo...uon Service
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
f


f
I
,.
"


l
t:
l
f'
I
i
i
I
t
I
I
i
.

-.,..-... ............. , - •• , ... _- +,........ '- . .. ·'"' ......... a I".
C'las!llfication
BD/ A - (/J/J3
DOCUM'ENT CONTROL l'AT A . oR & 0
,
{Sf'c:"ur'ty (",.,,0'''.''0" ot ""0, bod,v of Itb!l(tr.C" ltnd Itnnot,Hinn nlll.", llf.' etlfCHftd w/lftn over.1I r.-p"" " ("a •• llled)
I ORIGINATING ACTIVITV (Corpora,. author) la. RFY "IT !ECUAITV CLA''''''CATION
tJNCWSIrllD
N.yal War Coll ... 2b, GROUP
Newport, Rhocla I.lalld
3. RIE"'ORT TITLIE
Th. ..ttl. of the Cor.l s ••. May 1 to May 11 Illcluely •• 1942. Str.t •• laal and
Tactlcal Analy.l ••
-
4, OIESCRI"'TIVIE NOTIES (Typ. 01 r.porland Indu.ivlf d., •• )
lattl. lYaluatlO1l
8, AU THON,., ('1,., nam., middle Initial, I •• , nam.)
Hchard W. Bat ••

II, "'IE"'ORT OATil: 7a. TOTA ... NO. OF PAGES
1947 17g
._1'GUa
••• CONTRACT OR GRANT NO, lIa, ORIGIN"'TOR'S REPO"l NUM!lI!:A.1I
b. PAOJI!:C T NO
c.
lib. OTHIER REPORT NO'S' (Any oth., numbe,. Ihal ma" b. a •• '",ed
th,. ,.po,t)
d.
, '0. OIlTAt!lUTION ITATIE"'ENT
Diltribution of this document is tln11m1ted.
.,. SUPPLIEMI!:NT ........ NOTES !PONSOR'NG MIL'T"'''Y AC,'VITY
Nav.l W.r Coll •••
Newport. Rhode hlalld
" .... !I.T ..... CT
attina • pr.c.d.llt in naval hi.tory, th. Battl. of th. Coral S.a va. the fir.t .. jor
DAyal &DS.I .. ant ill ¥bieh the outcome wa. d.terwin.d by air only; there
... no gun actiOll b.tween .uffae •• hip •• Th. J.pana.e and Alli.d forc.. tc
destro, aaeh other simultaneoualy by lIleana of earri.r-baa.d air att.ea. Allied and
Japan... data ar. the baai. of thia r.cord vb.rein th. and diapo.it1on.
of th. for c ••• Ild the import.nt weather faetora are .ddr •••• d and tha three pba ...
of th. battle op.ration. ar. r.counted. Plat.. and diaar'" clarify th. cour.. of
th •• ctiOll, .nd battle 1 •• 8011 •• r. dr.wn fro. the eneoUDter. Whil. the 10.. of the
carri.r Laxin.tOIl r.preaent.d a •• rioua blow to the u.s. Na.,. ... thi.
batUe va. an Allied .uce ••• and laid tha aroUlldvork for miaappr.henaioll. by th.
J.pan ••• commalld, r •• ultinl in th.ir thorou.h d.feat .t Midway.
Hl'Pf Udll' I,d hy
NATIONAl iTCllNletli
IN rORMI\ T ION
SF.NI( I
u . n,"p,Htr1\"rd ,d Cn'!,!] ."\ t '
v/\ . ;-'1
1
.1
I
(PAGE 1)
SIN Security Classification
.. '
J
,T, .
.
I
'.
"
"
j
<.

1,}
,:.'
.
j

I
"
':
;
I !
f.
."
:\

.,
':1

i
1
"
'.',

"
J
1
j
-
. ·· .. ,'(!,_._ ....... UIIII .... _n1 ........ "", .,. ... , ........ O!llI.II_lll ........ ,
I
.1-_-


!



C1 •• tl
_ _ _ __ Oft ehal\,I. ,.
Auth· '" , •. , '-_
0: • -- -- ........... --. ••
11'--- __ 1;,; --- _
CoIl," -
por.word
Introduction
'lb. strat .. to Area - Coral Sea
Weathor in the Coral Sea
Japane.. Relation.
Intormation Available to Japaneae Ca.aandera
Japane.. Diapoetion.
Japane.e Search Area.
Deployment,ot Naval Force.
Japanese Plan
Allied Relation.
Ayailable to Allied Commanders
Allied Disposition.
Allied Land and Tender Baled Aircraft
Allied Search and Reconn.i8sAnce
Allied Deployment ot Naval Forces
Allied Plan
General SUMary
at TULAGI
SulDmary of the Japane.e Situation
Sumaar,y of the Allied Situation
Weather-Cl'Ola Section ot Atmo8ohere Pbte I
TF 17 Strike. TULAGI
-_ .. - .
1
8
8
"
S
7
9
11
......,...
18
18
19-20
21
22
24
28
31
81
32

32-33
33-A
33-38
36-37

,) 8-1..
l ... ,.. . -.'
iI. __ ,""m 1
r'fflet,,,,,,'d 'W1 *; ·'t'"t",ttW*I*z+*Nf+ .. h'4&b." •• S+"" ·,)1rtno:d' • ...-w·t., nt" ...
'.
I
1
r ;;;;:""";:
f
r
«¥.4 ,,;: ¥+,C g,
I
r
rw.
ot ..... ______
eo;.lIlt on the Strike A,a1nat !ULJGI I
aft.eUOD. at the Japan •• e Ta. rore ••
}
EYente htnen 'l'UL.AQI and IIISDIA
A • Ho.
a.tir __ t ot T.r. 17. . Ila.
W.ath.r su-ar;r '
li
L""':,v-:-"''(--'C1-8-,-.J
Allied Ta,t JPorees Rendeavou., a.organi •• aDd Rap111d1h
Op.ration Ord.r 2-42
Allied Moy"eot. and.Initial Oontaat.
Allied IntelUgence and ReconnaJ.saanc.
Operation, or the Japaneee Striking rorce, _., 5th
and 8th
Operation. or the Japan ••• Oov.ring rore., Iq 5th
and 6th
COIIIIIander Fourth rl.et-Eet1aate, the S1 tuaUon
The 8&81c Japanese Plan is
OperationB or Other JapaneBe Force, M8¥ Sth " 8th
The Action orf MISIMA
Weath.r and Plat. II Showing Cros. section or
A·...:Jospher.
Tr 11 Air 7
Suport Group Sent to Cover JCIIARD PAS, SAGE
Initial Contacte on En-.y Planes and Shipe
T.'. 17 Launch.a Air Strike to .ISDlA Area
RlOSHO Reports Bein, Attacked
The Attack on JapaneBe Force. off MISIIIA
42
41-45
4S
46-48
48-m
51
51-S2
52-68 "
SIS
SIS-A
SIS
54
55
58
58-59
1
j
"1
. .f , _ d
n.aa.e elataed, Inflioted and aeoeived
Di.cu •• lon or I.S. l'l.hter Plane Dellcl.OJ
T.r. 17 Eltimatol the
Analylta of CTf 17 'a Decll10n
Ur Coabat Between U.S. CAP and Jap Carder ..
Plane Strike, nulk, 7
C.T.r. 17 Decide. to Retire Durin. Nllbt
Attack on the SUP?Ort Group
The Attaok on NEOSHO and SIMS
Operationa of the Japane.. Strlk1nl Force, 7 .a7
NEOSHO and StKS li,taken tor U.S. Carrler. and
Attacked
Afternoon Air Search and OperatJ:on.
Operations ot tbe Japane'. Carering Foroe, 7 la7
Search Operationl -nd Contact.
Attack on the SHOHO
Retlr_ent ceoillonl ot CaaFourtta Fleet
Operation, ot Other Japane.e TalK force., 7 I.,
25th Air Flotilla-Attack on Support Qraup
Tbe Main Carrier J.otion, 8 lay
aelatty. fl.t1U Str_sth
W .. th.....cb'o •• "ot.1cm of AtAolpbere Plate III
OpeI'&tJ.QD of f.r. 17, 111' 8tb
-II 1-
m mE m
88
t:1-72
12
72-74
74
75
18-78
78
18
11-81
81
It
....
II
. ,
."
.. J n_
I ,
'WLl (Cont'd)
( ,
Deaa,. Intlicted and aeceived
Diacul.ion or 1.5. ?ilhter Plane Detlcleac"
T.F. 11 I.timatol the Situation
Al\&lyaie or aTF 11' a t>eoil1on
Air Caabat Between U.S. CAP and Jap CarrIer.
PIKne Strike, OU,k, 1
C.T.r. 17 DecIde, to aetire Duriol HIibt
Attack oil the SUp?Qrt Group
The Attack oil NEOSHO and SIMS
O?eratione ot the Japaneae Strik1nl rorce, 7 I.,
RtOSHO and SDIS 11Itaken tor U. S. Carrier. omd
Attacked
Att6rDOoQ Air Search and Attack Operation.
operations ot the Japane.e CoyerinS 7 "7
;Searcb OperatIon, and Contacts
on the SHOHO
Retirement Oecisions ot eo-Pourth ,leet
CoaFourtb fteet •• the Plenned Actioo
Operation. ot Other Japane.e T_1k rOrC.I, 1 .ay
PORT MORESBY Invallon
26th Air on Suppvrt Group
The laiD Action, 8
We.ther-QrO.8 Seotion or .ltao.phere Plate 111
86
87-72
12
14
15
18-18
78
'/8

81
Operation ot T.r. 11, lay 8th
-111-
• __ .. ...... .. ____ .. __
__ 'ttJr mrs" $ 'n ''Me *',. Me ,. 1 _n" . *. M t' 10 .• '*1 0
l
i
t
I
I

.. ----.-
tp,. ; iten
Allild Air Slarohi. and R'lUltlnl Contaot.
T.'. 17 Strikes Jap Strikinl Foro. by Air
Japanl.e Di.posltion - Platl IV
[)Mall Intlictld by T.r .. 17
Attaok by Str1kinl 'orol
ADalT.i. ot Allied Dirlotion
Plot ot YORKTO .... Rad.r Contaot., Plat. V
A.rial Attaok on YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON
DIIIIall to LEXINGTON eau .. d by Torp.do ••
D! v, Boebinl At tack Oil l,.nINGTOH
Ba.b Daaaa' to LEXINlTON
Div. Bambini Attaok OD YORKTOWN
Bomb Damase to TORKTOWN
Analysi, ot Allied neten.iv. TaotiO',
laneuver., and Soreening
Reoonstructed Track Chart.-Al11ed Sh1p.-
Platl VI
TF 17 Track Chart tro. to 1215, Plate VII
The Scr.enlnc V •••• l. a. Slcoodar,r Tarc.te
Evaluation ot Japane •• Plan. Lo ••••
Analysls ot A.rial Tact10'
CTF 17 R.-eetiaatea the Situation
Gro.e lor. S.r10ue
Operation of Alli.d Shore Ba.ad Plan ••
Withdrawal ot OT' and Operat1on. Incident
Th.reto
-IV-
. '0 h.' -, - 5 M NM , " ) • t rn Ns"»drD 3"7
tw.
88-86
85-89
09
90
91
92-A
98
94
96
ge
96
96
97
97-A
98-A
98
100
100
10£
lOS
101
lOS
Ii i('OP' III
1

j
11
.,
1
1
I
j
,

i
It

I'
t
i:'
\
------_ .... _-"" .................. _ ......
WI&. Ql (Contld)
Operation. of Strikina force 161 8th
Japan.ee Version of Camage Inflicted Plane.
Loat by th.
Striking Force Comea Under U.S. Air Attack
SltOI(UU Damased and Ordered t.o I'RUK
Comm&nder Striking Force Retiree a8 Victor
C<':'I::.WldfIJII" Fourth Fleet .:lu:>ervisell the Action AiMir
Commander Combined FIllet. Steos In
The Striking Force Seeka to Re-engage, and Finally
Retires from Are. 11th
of Other Japineee Forcea May 8th,
9th, 10th Md 11th
The Effect of the Battle
Buttle lessons
2. Command va Divided Command
3. Planning-Importunee of Adc.c,unte and Thorou6h
Plana
5. Planning va
6. Taetieul & StrlltegicEl.l Ulle c'f Weather
7. NeCCG8ti;y for Ade4uate fiell-Coordlnatfld ::Jetrch
OpEll'ution
8. Un\;eslrability of Rigid ::Jet,reh Artla Border Linea
'M Y'.ll .... lf·. \
-v-_
f!a
106
105
108
107
107
109 •
.Loa
109
l09-1U
114
115
115
115
116
116
117
117
--.-.... --................ ---------.........
,
?
"
(
I
r At (1$ $U. +4+'4#"·4 $'
..... !4W4 4 ., "Q4Ioo;
__ ................ ....... "'_ .. _.." .............._P7" __ ........-;: .. ,+F_ .. • _____ ....----..-.-.-

a. .eee.aity for COllb1ned Trdnllle of Shol'tl 117
Ba.ed Aircraft and rleet Un1h.
10. Reee •• ity for Faat, Recon-
naUaance Land Plane. for Dn'eloping and
Track1nl Contacta
118
11.
T.-ain1n, Value of Early Action in War
119
U. A Strike i. Esr.entia1 1n Air Strlkoe 119
IS. Iaportance of superior Technology Deaonutrated
106 • Changing Areas During FUe11ng lfO
16. Tecbno1011cal Device. lU.t be Fully Exploited 120
16. M.eelelt, for Tlaely and Effective Recog-
n! tiOD 121
I
17. Rap1ae .. ent of Pilote and Planee 121
15. LOiletiel
1"" ......
19. CryptographIc
122
1
I
20. Anti-alrcratt Formations 12S
21. 'Clalal ot o..a,a Intl1ctQd b,y Aircraft 1£06
OaIbat Appra1.al, carrier Taak Pore. Caamuderc:
R .. r AdIIIlr&l 'fadaichi Hara, I.J .1.
125-1:28
Japan.,. Task I F0110W8 Coahut Apprbisal
Organisatlon of !aak roree Seventaen - AppElndlx II
,
&1mm817 CJf ,Japanese D6IIIage)
) Follows Appendix II
SWaaar,y of Alliod Damage )
-VI-
'". . .. ..- . .;.;,."
., ._--., __ ___ -""""-;4"'''''''.'''';-'''',
--
.... '" _., -.---
Plate I
Croll section oJ.' the 1100 ( -11),
• May Follows
Plat. l!
erolil seotl.)n of the AtAAoaphere, !.lOO( -11),
7 Nuy Follows
Plate III
Cros. Seotion of the 1100(-11),
8 May FolloW8
?lute IV
Schematio Diagram! of Attack 0"
8 May. Foltows P.SS.
?luta V
Plot of YORJ(TO"'N'e RadRr ContBcte, 8 May
191:-':, FOl\.ow3
Plata VI
Cha.rt from 11lS-1l:2.J,
a Muy. Follows P.:37.
Pluta VII
Task Forct! 17 Tr(&ck Chart frOID FOll.ow8 P.98.
Dlagrll/ll A
Action Area, May 4-0, SMck of book.
8-1 Allied Air Search Areae.
&ck or bocik.
B-2 Baslc Air Search Plan.
Dlagr.m C Battle of the CORAL April 1942
to S MUY
D1RgrkID D Batt.1o of the CORAL tiEA, lI_y \1942
to 2400, 4 May 1942.
Diagram E
Diugrlllll F
Diagram G
Battle or the CORAL SEA, 4 lay
to 2400, 6 lay 1942.
Battlo of the CORAL SEA, 240l), 6 Illy
to 2400, 7 May 194k.
Battle of the CORAL SEA 7 1942
to 2400 11 lay
SMcle of book.
B .. ck of book.
Back bf book.
Back of book.
Back of book.
Back of book •
.. . • .... -VII-
-
I
1
J
1
j
1
1
I

t
1. This analY.i. of the of the Coral Sea ... prepar.d by the
Naval "ar College. It 18 bued on information, trca both Allied and
Japane .. "auree., which i. wider, mora complete mel more up to date
than that to of a1milar material puhllahed during
the war.
2. All information from all .OurC8S wAS not avail.ble to the NAval
Jar Collflge. For that rea Bon, oe,,' facts and oircwlltance& mo.)' come
t.o l1r.ht, from time t.o tim. whlch !Day change &Jome of the analys ••
produced herein.
S. Th. Battl. of thIS Cord :;ea Wflt> th" fil'8t real war teet of the
tlLcticd fOl"lllation. of the Fleet as w .. ll 8.8 the tactted ability of
tha principal Comrrumders. The pages of hhtory halve invllr,t,ably re-
vealed defer.h and it would have beCin nothing ahort of mirllculou15 hnd
such d.fecte not beon in thie actIon.
4. As a result of battle leaeons learned, and as quickly applied, the
abUi ty of the Navy to conduct warf.re Shadily improved. h t1nle went
on, the lesson 110 often forgotten, thut the teat of battle h only
test "hich proves the combat ubility of W8S relearned. The
ability or the lack of ability of tha vlU'ious in the art. of
war became apparent.. V"lor alone was shown to be insufficiwt, for
valor ia not an attribute of only one race but is an attribute end a
heritage of many racas. The indi.penl&ble for
was to be the ability in combat to apply the scifnce of war to
active !Dilittiry situations.
5. The pl'811f1nt Benior officers of the Nllvy are well aware of til ..
reaeone tor changee in eetablished doctrines and in the development'
of new onel5. But this CMlUlot nf'cesBurlly be aaid of the COIIlIIIunders
of the futura, who very prob8.bl)' Wlll be inexporiencad in COIDII\&nd in
war.
6. all ca.menta and critici8IDs are designed to be constructive.
17 indicating what appear to he Bound and unsound dec1elontl, and the ap-
parent rea.one for arriving at th .. , it i. hoped to provoke earnest
thought .. ong prospective ca.manders and thus to improve profeSSional
jud.ent in coaaand.
-VIII-
.. ...... '
. "
I
__ ... ; _-...= ___ m- ___ - SIiIoI' ..... ____ ,_, __ ____ ....-.II<_S' .. ........
I
j
1
r .. ' .. ,... ........ " ...... 1" ....... __ .... -----. "!!IS.""P.... AO_A .... - ... ..... ..... __ .. ... -

i'
t
CCllMMDiRS

Commander Task Force 17 (OTF 17) Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, u.e.N.
COIIIlIander Tull roree 11 11) Rear Admiral Aubrey". ritch, U.S.N.
Coauaander T __ " Force 44 (CTr 44) Rear A duliral J. G. Cuee, R.N.
Commander Southwest Paciflc Ar ••
General Douglas MacArthur, U.S.A.
Commander 1n Pacific
flut (CINCPAC)
Commander Allied Naval 'orce8
SOnSPAC
Al11eo All' Force a
SOWESPAC
CommMder 4th Fleet
Commander Striking Force
Commander 11th At r Fleet
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, •

Vice Admiral H. Fairfax Leary,
Lt. General H. Brett, U.S.A.
Rear Admiral T. Hura, I.J.N.
Vice AdmiNl T. SUkahura, I.J .N.
-IX-
-
n $ $) Mtsttw ..
~ \ _ " - l , ~ • •• f _____ ~ _ .••. , __ .. ___ .. ____ " ...... _, ... ", ..
..•. _l ....uu....::._
Ail. tan !!l thb _&J.l.l8
JJZ!! Ha...t. _ ~ (-11.).
-XI-

I
(
I

l
'.
I
Ii
,
I:
..
i


t;

!z'"

"/'

"
I
f
"
I
f
INTRODUCTION
The Battle o.f the 'CORAL SEA was the tir8t major engagllllent in naval
history in which the i.sue was decided entirely by air operations. 10
gun actione between surface ships occurred. The fInal battle was unusual
in that both Allied and Japanese torces sought to destroy each other by
air operations at the same time. The resultant overlapping found the Am-
erican air groups attacking the anemy carr1er3 and ships
at virtually the same instant that the Japanese carrier air groups were
attaCking the American carriers and supporting ships. Throughout this
action, weather played an important role and seriously affected its out-
come.
, The battle consisted of three phases. The first phase, trom lay 1
to Yay 4, embraoed the operations of the Japanese in TUL-
AGI, and of the Allles in endeavoring to disrupt that operation through
air attack, wherein the Japanese lost the destrcJdr KIKUZUKI, as well as
some smaller craft. The second phase, from Yay 4th to 2200 May 7th,
embraced the operations between the above Allied alr attack on and
the recovery of the Japanese flyers trom the dusk air attack on the Allied
carrier force southeast of IISIMA. Among these operations were the Allied
carrier based air attack on the SHOHO wherein the SHOSO was sunk; the Jap-
anese carrier based air attack Oll the NEOSHO and SIllS wherein the SIIS was
sunk and the NEOSHO damaged; the abortive Japanese land bal8d rir attack
on the Support Group, and the abortive Japanese carrier based air attack
on the carrier task group. The third pha8e, fraa 2200 lay 7th to
0600 lay nth, _braced the final action referred to in the prtlceding
partlg.r-aph between the JapaneCie carrier taflk force on the one hand, and
the Allied carrier task forc9 cn the other, as well a8 the Japanese search
for additional Allied torces After the battle. In this phase the LEXINO-
TON was sunk; the SHOKAKU. and YORKTOWN damaged, all by air atta:k.
Thla t1(. was the inni table reeul t of the desi!'e on the part of
Jap&n to ext. end bel" frontiers ever more to the south in order to ensure
the safety of RABAUL* and to the lines of communication between the
United States md Australia,** and, on the other hand, to the desire on
the part of the United StateR to deny this further expansion in order to
obtain time for building up her strength in Australia, end in the islands
lying beheen Pearl lIe.rbor and Australia, and to obtain time for the COll-
p1etion of her traJning and production programs.***
Japaa was influenced greatly in her deCisions oy the eaae with whioh
her Army aud Havy had completed their operations. In four months
*Interrogation of Vice rutudome, I.J.N.9-12 Deceaber"l945 USSBS
Voluae II, p.fi24·
**SUMroary Report (Pacitic War) USSBS July p.S
***SulUllary Report. (Pacific War) JSSBS Jul)" 1946, p.4
-1-
...... t5 •. .• ..... __ ___
'J ........ 17.*5: ..... · .,_,._, ...... ,,,.
,

1
....
Ibe bad CODQ.uered vast areas lncludinl WAD, GUAII, RABAUL. and bad driven
Allied forc.. out of BURIA. She was allo strongly influenced bytbe Dool-
ittle raid of 18 April 1942 on TOKYO, whicb attack took place during the
vorr ttae tbat ber planners were discussin, new operations tor their suc-
torces. Tbe ettect on tbese planners, at this sporadic attack,
wa. profound. A. a result ot these in TOKYO, Japan initiated
a ne. plan, ot which lIlany at the objectives had been plannad previously,
which proYided, a. the initial 1Il0ve, an advance into the SOLOMONS and
PORT IIORESBY, lEW GUiNEA, to be tollowed, it IUcce8sM, by a further ,ad-
vance in'l;o NEW CALEOONIA, SAIIOA and the FIJI Islande and 0: let.er lIloves
to capture MIDWAY and to temporarilr occupy the ALEUTIARS.* It should be
quite evident that Ihould these 1Il0ve, be accomplished, thd
line ot between the United states Australia would be
definitely cut and all advanced staging areas west of Pearl H81'bor would
be errectlve17 denied. Thi. the States could not and, there-
fore, it b.came necessary tor her to •• deavor 1:.0 tum back rony laovement
. into the SOLCIIONS and PORT MORESBY long buforp her training and production
progr ..... r. adequate to support such an operat,10n.
Japanese information received, since the surrender of Japan
that it is quite possible that the strongest pressure for the movements
above r.ferred to cam. trom the Doo11ttle raid. Coabat Harrative "The
Batt,le of the Cor&! Sea""" states--quotea "Air bombing or TOIlO and the
other cent.rs ot war industr.r on April 18th while cheering was
only a nuisance raid." Fleet Admiral ling Itatel, "Whatever the deaage
intlicted by the.e bombers, the attack was stimulating to 1Il0rale, which
at that ttae, consid.ring the surrender of BATAAN and the situation in
general in the Far Ealt, ftS a low ebb."**'*' There .e.8 to have be\tll
no serious .trategical rEason tor tbis raid, other than that it was a
"nuisance" raid and that tb. public aorale needed st1l!ulatUg.
In addition, tbe deciaion to lIake the Tokyo raid had the etfect
ot reducing the .er1tan lIean. available tor service iD the Coral Sea
Area. A. will b. shown latClr, Japan had three carriers in that area
at the time ot the Battle; the United State. was only able to ooncentr-
ate two. Had the Tokyora1d not occurred, tour carriers would probably
bave been available to the United States, to combat Japan in the Coral
Sea. Theae carriers were the LEXINGTON, IORKT01lB, HORNET and mTER-
PRISE. The LEXIBGTOIf and YOmOllR were ill the &rea; the HORRET cnd
Pln'ERPRISE which conducted the Tokyo ra1c., were en route fro. Pearl
Harbor, having departed tor the Coral Seu A.r$a OD SO AWil.**** Stu-
dent. ot wartare will probabl1 wonder Il1gbt haTe OCcurl·ed to the
Japanese forces had all of thes. bean in this action.
*SUllllla17 Repc!rt (Pacific War) USSBS Ju17 1948,
**Ottice ot laval Intelligence Publication 19415, "The Battle of the
Coral Sea", p.l
"*0.& lavy at War 1S.1-194&, Otficial aeports by Fleet Adlliral
Ernest J. liDl, U.S ••• , p.'S
****CIlICPAC Operation Order 2s-42, Para.S(a), p.S

,-2- _
_ .. IIIIiIiaii ...... ___ ..... c ';0'.' ",;, ....... •. _ .. _ .. ,._ ..
1
J
'1
,j

,J
,


j
I
\
1
I
r.
' ... , ........ ,_ .. , ..... -.. "-,. ...... -.. .. ,," ..... , ..
j'-(". t',. "" •.. ,.,. _________ .". ,,' ..... _.+

f

'I,'
Th. Are. - CORAL SEA
Tbe CORAL SEA 1 •• n u:t.D.1w body ot ... bOUlld.d OIl the wl1l by
Worth.a.t A"STRALTA .nd 1t. r.et. on the north by South-
... t M!W rmIll'!A. the T.mISUD! the SOt OVON ISlANDS .Dd
SANtA CRUZ ISLANDS, on the ea.t by the NEW HEBRIDES _Dd LOIlLTY ISLAND
Il'ouP' and MEW CALEDONIA, and OD •• outh by the l.titud. 2&0 Sou,h.
It 1 •• n .Dvil .hap.d .re •• xtending 1860 .ile. tro. TORRES STRAIT
to ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND ADd 950 aUe. trOll GUADALClNAL to 25
0
South ••
Thu. th.re 18 .mple 1'00" tor. t .. t-oarr1er t •• k 1'01'0. op8r.tlObi bu\. lD
oert.ln .1' •••• o.utlon MU.t be exeroi.ed b.o.u.e 01' hal.rd.
iDoldent to .oattel'ed •• Dd .mall i.l.Dd ••
Th. Sou',,1\ Equatorial current entel'iDS thie .e. in the .re. north ot
ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND divide. into two br.nohe'f one. the ROSSEL CURRENT.
p ••••• northwestward .lonl the northern bound.I'Y 01' the CORAL SEA .Dd in-
to TORRES STRAI'I', the ,.thel'. the AUSTRALIA CURRENT, tlow •• outmreltnrd
through the o.ntral portion 01' the CORAL SEA and then .outhward .long the
ooa.t ot AUSTRALIA.
When the Sattl. ot the CORAL SEA ooourred th.re were no Allled har-
bor. in the ba.dlate .re •• uiably equipped to ett.ot ... jor repair. to
• d .... ;ed .hlp. Th. ne.r •• t in Allied o.pable 01' dookin, •
o.rri.r .... t PEARL HARBOR. At SYDNEY there were rep.ir r.oilitie. tor
orul.el" .nd .maller or.ft. There w.re. haw.ver, .... 11.1' harbor. in the
ar •• whioh, while .quipp.d with little or no ,uP?ort .otiviti •• , might
b. u •• d in an .mergenoy. •• re PORT MORESBY, NEW GUINEA, ST. JAMES
BAY, ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND. NEW HEBRIDES, and NOUMEA. NEW CALEDONIA. It
.... 110 pOllible to b.aoh a • hip' in • nub.r ot .1· ••• under w.ak Allied
oontrol. beo.u.. of the taot that the CORAL SEA was an ar.a not
und.r oommand or the Amerioan foroes nor or the Japane •• but ....
instead, fln ar ... under IiOl-!("IS 'the' ot any ot the
hftrbor. oth.r than .nd SYDNEY was v.ry probl.m.tio.l.
We.ther in the CORAL SEA
Th. we.-ther in the CORAL SEA .rea i. dominated by the s.mi-permanent
high pres.ure ar.a cf the South'rn H.mi.pher •• Ciroulation .round thi.
high produoe. the louthe •• t trade. whioh blow over the CORAL 3EA with
great yon.t.ncr tor or the year. The trade wind 1. 00-
oa.ion.lly interru.pted by the pa.sage or • tront whloh ha. moved ott
the Auatralian oontinent.
W.ather assooiated with suoh a front the olassio pat-
tern--towering oumulus type oloud., ahower., and aquAlls,
-3-
!
t
I
t
,lvlnl to rapid olear1Dc behind the tront. A. tront grad-
ualll 110w. 60ft ad H.che. it. northemIDoet Hait 1D the vicinlt, ot sO
8 to 12
0
S, the related we.tber no longer follow. the ueual cold
!be band ot bad .. atber 1. no longer oontined to a narrow Al .. a
alone the front, but .&1 coYer a sone troll 50 to 160 milea wid.. Then it
otten bappen. that the !d:!!!!. w1.ndl !lll ,!8uen ad the tront will lIIove back
to tbe lIOuth un.jer the intluence ot a stronger Circulation north or t,h.
tront.
In its movement to tb •• outh, tbis tront has lIIost of the charact-
Grietic. ot a wara tront-altocumulus and altostratus clouds,
lowering vi.ibility, and a wide.pread area of precipitation. Towering
tyy)e clouds, accompanied by .bowers and markeci gustiness may al.o
be pre.ent in the region of aax1aNa activity along the l:iul'face
front.*
Tbe direction ot the wind i. of iaportance in *D1 naval operation but
1 t i8 particularly iIIportant in operll.t!oDs wherev.r airoraft are used as
a major weapon and whet. aircratt carriers are part of the force. This is
beeau.. a carrier or carrier task force on offensive operations may advance
towards the eneay freely, provided that the wind is blowing from the .n-.y.
Tbis gives tb. uarrier task force nommander increased freedom of action in
tbe b.st ttae tor .ction. However, should the wind be blowing
towar.js tbe en.." the carrier or carrier task force will find its freedom
of .ction •• riously curtailed and its expenditure of 1\:'81 and t1iDe operat-
ing 1D the direction ot the wind excessively high, thus neceasitating fre-
quftllt retuel.1tlg.
Tbe prev.iling winds, strategically .peaking, were from the .outheast
in the Coral Se.. Thi. was gener.lly adV'antagvou. to the Japane.e as their
carri6ri atAaaad into the wind, it waD diDaavantag.ous to the Allles attack
because ther b.d to turn into tb •• ind to launch and recover, and
from the att.ck course. Ho • .,er, on retirement it was favorable to the Allie.
and unfavorable to the J.panese if tbey both retired at the ... e tta.. A.
will be .hown later, ruel coneuaption ... of serious concern to the Alliel;
of lomewhat leiS concern to tb. J.pan ••••
.I!P!Qete C'!Qd Btlation,.
Allot the .J.pane.e Fl.etl a. well &eI the naval air neet., with tb-.
exceptiQn ot the Chin. Area neet, were und.r the ccamand of the
in-Chier ot the Ca.bined Fleet. The Ca.bined neet cona1lted of the aoblle
fleet and the 1st and 11th .lr fleets, .11 ot which could operate anywhere
in &n7 areaJ and of certain ar.a fleete which were tor and wer.
restricted to ,eOgraPhical areas. Tho aobile fleete con.tituted the aain
*'I'be Battle 0.1' the Coral Sea, AerololY Section, Otfice of Chief ot Ifaval
April 1944.

-4-
.....,.."., .-

I
q.¥fCi JI!IiiiiL4iiiP.,?"',*t4
1
.... """" ••• , ..............
... -_ ..• __ ,.........'t..., .. __ ......__ ..... . .....
• of the Oombin.d Fleet, fleets wero d.-
fens\.., in chILl'aoter and .')1" gen.ral17 un ... hle to take any offenal ••
aotion without aad.,tance frOll the lIobUe floeta •• ThE: lot :d,r fleet wait
compoead of carrier baaed plan"., wh.rea. the 11th air fleet Da oOlllp06ed
of land ba.ed plan... The COIlUIInnder, 4th Fleot who was also CGUQIlder
South Seaa Force, ueual h .... were at TRUK, but who was t .. -
por"rll, at WAUL, waa in overall or the PORT MORESBY Oper-
ation. A.sisting hla and hie nlLval forc.s, were n •• bl air forc.s and an
arm1 South s ••• Detaoh.d Forc. under the oa.mand of an army Oeneral
for amphibious operations."
"A" ahow. the general area ot oper"t1ons.
All bnd btatied alr torc.s in thls operati.)ft w.re nllvd and were a.-
ailgned to the 25th Alr Flotl11A, which was a lubd1vielon of the 11th Ur
Fleet. The 25th Alr Flotilla was under the operbtion,tiJQntrol 'Jt Coia-
sander 4th Fleet.*" The 11th Air Fl.at oper ... t.d all .bort ba.ed aircrllrt
1n tbe Pacific Ocean Areal. No alr forcea were a!slgned at that
becallse they were trb,ined for work on the Chine.e lainlund, and b.cILuse
they were not tra1nlitd in canduetlns joint operations with the nllval air
rorcea. Aa a result that policy they were generlllly .. ployed on the
Continent and in the HOGleland.****
Uwa11y, ln Japanese joint operlltbns, un!. ty of cOILlland was rue.
Separate command for botb and naval WbS the general practice.
the PORT Y,)RESBY Operation did have direct unity of ca.aand with
a naval officer (V1ce Admiral) in A navlll officer (Rear
was in dlr4lct cOlll;lnnd of all l:lvllsion lind an Ill"ll)' officer (Major
GeneI'd) was in cOIa-:o.nd of anay un! ts for the occupation of MORESBY.M
Th. Japanese CO:II::IWld structure evidently hlld m6.nY overfill weaknesses
aDd room f:>r confusivn, but t.her& app.ars to h.,.ve been DO cootu.al:ln in
in the Sea Action, fQr all forces were nllval force.
and all were under tbe overall of D&val officer.. Thid 18 to be
contralted with the Allied org&niaatlon! whicb will b. discussed Illter,
b\1t wh1ch bad a divided ca.JIand r.spons b1l1':.y.
In.fol'Ju,tloq .!vl,,\lable to
Tbe Ja?8D8Se Ca.mander tn •• the atrength or the land-baled Aaer-
lcan air torc. in the Australian ar.& bad been lncrnsed t.,:.d that it prob-
ably nUilbered 200 tlrlt-llne planea. This infora ... Uon was reasonably
ORGAlIZAiiOM-;-Change No. 11 to aNI 49.
**1\111 Tranalation ot the PORI' Operation, May 1942-Vo1 .. VJ Doc.
18665 P(WDI).
***War Dlary 25th Air Flotilla, BiSDArck Area Baae Air Force, 1 April,
11 la1 woe 161725 Group 7, It .. G, Page 1.
**** U&mS Anawer to IIUltary AnaUysll Div. t.u.stionnalre Ho. 1.
·IIIC'. a 6 I.
-£-

I
I
I
j
i
I
I
4 ¥p4Cqa44Pu;o(;;;iii,'!'!'''''*'''' _fi t "''*'''''* .. '.4 4. """., ..... ......... R (U.
I

..
oorrect inlotar al operational aircraft .ere concern.ed. Hf! alao Ime. that
the Allle! had a.a .. bled oon.lderable air .trength in the PORT MORESBY,
PORT DARWIN and TOWNSVILLE area. and that the aerial aetiyit1 tro. th .. e
wa. conleuquently yiloroul.*
H. found it difficult conceal his plana fram the Aaerlcan recODD-
ai •• plane.. He the low aurpri.e attack .ethod.
of the heaY7 bieh apeed armored "erican plane. to be '0 y.ry effeutiye al
to require hill to provide inere.aed aerial protection for hi. own torce •• *
He waa confident that the American force existing in the CORAL
SEA are. wa. not lar,e. He understood that the British Navy had apparently
toward the AU8tralian area a compolite force of destroyer., a
light eruinr, two or three heaYy crubers and one battle8hip.**
He further believed that only ODe carrier and that, th_ SARATOGA,
wa. in the area and that ahe wal to be the nueleua of • strikins forc ••
H. r.lt that the carrier force could not be larger. than thia beeau.e of
the following facti' (a) the enlllY bad uled carriers in the attack on
the homeland on 18 April, (b) carriera had not been eeen in the louthern
area since 10 March and finally, (c) Allied forcee ware only suppoaed to
a few carriers left.*** The actual task force which did appear,
therefore apparently surprised ftim.
In thll caae, the Japaneae cOllllander alight have run into wen aore
aerious ditficulties than he did, had the four American carriers orieln-
ally designated for this arlM arrived. It was a definite Allied capab-
11ity to have alore carrier8 than the SARATOGA, a8 had bIen shown at SAL-
.-AUA, but the Japanese chose to believe their inforaation whioh we. in
.rror •
Alao the Japaneae were in error in assuming that the Allied force.
would alway. have battleships .tth them. It was a capability and Ihould
ha •• been .0 considered but, instead, it became a fira intention of the
Allied forces. 'or that reason we ahall lee tbe Japanese report in, the
sinkinl of one battleship of the California claas, and the daaagiag of
one battleship of the Warapite cla.s, and one battleship. claaa unknown,
in th1e action.
He believed that one or two Allied sub.krines were operating in the
Bi_vck are.. Th1e lnforaatlon 08 correct excepting that there were
tour Allied submarines there.*
He had noted that the transportation of airplenea and needed supplie.
to Australia waa gredually increasing.
*ru.ll translation of the Port Moreab)- Operation, May 1942 Voluae V -
General Headquarters Supr .. e eo.aander Allied Powers, 1948.
"rull tranalatioD of the Port Moresby Operation, M81' 1942 Voluae V -
General Headquartera SUpr .. e Allied Powers, .ay IDI-Se,p.l
....... Coab.t Report Battle of the Coral Sea, CruDiv 6, WOO p.l
.••• " ..• f'· .
.. "1"":1'" . '.' I' ....
-8--
--
j
l
1

I
l
i
I
...... --........
• •• .•
laP!9." DltpO.
1t1
on'
Tb. Japan .. e .a." iD cooperatioh witb tb. ArIIJ. 1D cVr'1iDl out tb.
dir.ctiv. tro. tb. bllb •• cure a .trat'rio po.itiOD br oocup1-
lnl &Dd .ecur1D1 .tratell0 area. to the .ou tb bad dir.cted the capture
ot RABAUL, In BKIT.&DI KAVIDl, MIW lBELAlDI TSURDIII Air Sa •• , IIW BRIT-
AIM I LAI, SAJ·WAl1l, Nul PORI' MORESBY, In QUIDA, SHORTURD ISLAlfD, tb.
AlIIIRAL'!'! ISLAlIDS. TULAGI &Dd GAWl'U OIl FLORIDA ISLAlD, and BUiA ISLAlD,
all in tb. SOLC*OR ISLAlfDS.* ot tb. above ba ••• , all bad been oaptured
b7 the Japan ••• , prior to tb. Battle ot tb' CORAL SEA witb tb •• XO.ptiOD
ot PORT MORESB!, but TULAGI b.c! onlJ beG oocupied OD a Iq &Dd GAVUTU
on 4 1&7. lev.rtb.l.8., •• aplan •• wer. operat.d rro. botb ot tb ••• lat-
tar ba.e. durin, tb. battl.. Japan •• e lADd-ba •• d aircraft op.rated .. ain.t
AII.ric&D tore •• rro. lWW7L, where W-tD Zero t.Jpe tlgbter. &Dd SO to .0
bomber plan.1 wer. bal.d. LA! tI.lmiab.d f'aciUU .. f'or land-ba •• d f'ilbt-'
ers and bomb.r. b.in, It ... d .. ain.t PORT MORESBY and al.o •• rY.d a. a
ba •• tor patrol •• aplan •• involv.d in •• arob •• to the .outbward.**
Tbe principal Jap&D.a. naval and air ba •• in th. gen.ral ar.a ...
located at TRUI, witb RABAUL a. an iaportant •• oondary ba,,,.
In addition to tb. above ba ••• , additional bas •• had been eaptured
b7 th. ••• in tb. cour •• of' th. ba.l0 th.a. wer. GREEN
ISLANDS, tb'J 1IJ5SELL ISWOS, WA'l't1I, Utu ADd D!AU£, ISLANDS, KIETA and BUlK
on BOUGAIlf/ILL! ISLAND and rAISI ISLAND In the SOLCIIOKS.
On a Iq th. land and air torc.s in th. Cor."l Sea ar •• whioh wer. in
a po.ition to inf'lutnce Alll.d operations were as indicat.d in PiagraB
"B-2-.
fbi. d1acr- indioat •• that th. Japan ••• land and air roree. had a
rather wid. distribution. As the land rore.s did not .nter into the Battlo
ot the Coral Sea .xc.pting insotar a. antI-aircraft batt.ries at TULAG! are
conc.rn.d, th. land f'orc.. will no lon,er b. con.ider.d io this discussion.
Howev.r, tb. location or tbe air torces 1ft 01 laportance.
Land-Baled Aircraft
All land ba.ed aircratt ot the Southern Ar.as were NavY' airplan.s ot
the 26tb Air notl11a" a part ot the llt.h Air rle.t. Thla air tlotllb
was tonaed .. a Ba •• Air roree on 1 April 11M2 with Headquart.rs at IUBAUL.
It oonsisted of' the 4th Air the 10TOYAIA Air Group, the toKOSUIA
Air Oroup, IDd lat.r, in early April, or the TAlMAN Air Group.*** The
locatIon. ot the varioul subdiVisions of' thi. aIr f'lotI11a were Dot p.r-
.anentlY' fix.d but were .oved •• tb. 11tuat1on d_anded. Thla wa. don.
not onl)" t.o insure adequate a.aroh ot tbe .ore lIIportant ar.aa, but alao
to insur. that the and tight.rs miibt be .or •• tt.ctivel)"
*Pull Tran.lation ot the Landini Operations of the StrategiC points of'
tbe BISIARCIC and SOLCIION ISLANDS. SCAP-ATIS Doc. 18665A 5/22/48
"War Di&rJ'ot 25th Air rlotl11a-l April to 11 lay 1942, WDC 161725
***War D!ar,r of' 26th Air Flotilla, WDC 161725, Grp.7-Ita. 7G
-7-'
I
l

1 ___ ...... _._ ... .,lCi4 ..... _____ ... H_.
_, _____ =_. UIUIJUS_.· ...... ·
In addition, di.per.iOD ot toroe. ... prG91ded a. doten.. a,ain.t air
attaok.
!bi. u.e ot laY,J laDd ba •• d aircraft rather than laDd-ba.ed
airoralt 11 "t e.paolll intere.t. Tt. i. bel1M'ed that a ,reat .hare ot
the ored1t tor tbe rapid Japan ••• w!Yanc." 1D the ear17 dq. ot the war
•• due to the la.,. t I u.e ot her om airoratt both 1&Dd aDd .hlp baled
ia .. pb1biou. operation, and in ••• nce, .ir and boablnl
op.rationa. It will he .hlOm later that the Allled laYal, torce. in th.
Coral S.a relied priaarl17 OD !raT land ba.ed .ircraft tor tb... ....
op.ration.. ,. a relUlt, err 17 app.ar. to bay. bad little
a. to the nature ot the air oper.tioD. b.in, conduoted b7 th. u.,.
ID Yl •• ot the eu.pected pre.ence of an etrikinl torc., the
tol1bw1na a •• lan-eDt ot aircratt, at ot 25 April, .... ade,
4th MOTOYAIIA lOEOSUIA
Ba.e TA!IM AIR GROUP Air arp .• Air arp. Air am.
TJpe is Ship-board Zero Ship- TTPe 1 'f7Pe 98 TJpe 9'1
tichter. board Land Att. Land Att. F171Dg
(Clude 14) Plane. Plbe. boat.
(Zeta 11) (Batt7 11) (NELL 11) (UVIS U)
VWluanau 4 8 14 17
(Rabaul)
Rabau1 2 i
Rabaul U
Lae 24
--r ""i2 28
-
14 14
The exact diapo.ltioD ot th.a. land ba.ed aircratt on th. oafs 1Dt.r-
yen1Dl between the 25th, ot April and the 4th ot • .,. ill' ,ot certain, but it
i. knom that on th •• omin, of the 4th of "8.1' th. YOIOSOU AIR GROUP ...
ba.ed .ith at la •• t 12 t17lns boatll at LAE. After Nce!YiD, word ot the
attack OD the.e t11iD, boat. ware dispatched on to the .a.t-
_rd UPOD the ot which, the,y returned to SHORTLAID ISLAlfD.*
Thll, ... ident17, .eant • chance ot operat1Dg hal. and ftl a .ound chance in
y1I. ot the need tor .earch in the are.. eouth ot TULAOI. The nOld tor a
tnans, in rel.tiv, polit10n to aupport the reconnai •• anc. ObJectlYe ...
taaediate17 .pparent to th, J.pan.... The re •• on tor ,oini to SHORT-
LARD I11and aDd later to both SHORTLAND leland and TULAGl ... b.cau., TULAGI
.War DiU7 ot 25th Air Flotilla, 1 April to 11 • .,. 1942, WOO 161725.
-8-
_ ..... _-.....-......... -......._-_._. - ..
-
__ -_·-_-----'" ---_ ...

_____ w_= .... , __ ...... 1£'-' """" • .1' ' ..
In addltlon, dllper.lam ot toroe ... I proYided al a dateDS. a,ain.t air
attaok.
!hil ule ot lad ba.ed alrcNt rather thaD Arw7 land-ba.ed
a1rcraft i. ot .epacial lIlteH.t. It 1. beU.'fed that. lI"eat .hue ot
the and1t tor the rapid Japan ••• &\1YAIlC.I in ·!'>h. earl1 dq. ot th. War
.. a due to the la." lUI. ot h.r 0_ aircratt both laDd and .hlp ba.ed
1a _ph1bloul operat1ODI aDd in air oOYer, and bc.bln,
op.raUOIl.. It will be Ihom later that the A1l1ed layal forc.. in the
Coral Sea rel1G4 pr1aarl17 on I.ra7 . md baaed airoraft tor th.... ....
operation.. AI a r.lUlt, err 17 appear. to haY. bad 11ttle intoraatlon
al to ttte nature ot the air operation. ba.1n, oonducted b1 tb. Artq.
III yl •• or the aulpecwd prelenoe of an .nta)'" ,trikinl toroe, the
tollbw1nC a •• lcaaent ot alroratt, ., ot 26 Apr11. WI •• adel
4.th IIOTOYAIIA YOI[OSUIA
Ba,.
TAIIAI AIR QROtlP 611' Grp. Air Qrp. Air Qrp.
TJpe as Ship-board Z.ro Ship- Typ. 1 TJpe 97
ti,hter. board Land itt. Land Att. Fqu,
(Claud. 1.) t1,hters Plan .. PUn •• boat'
(ZO. 11) (Batt7 11) (NELL 11) (IUVIS 11)
VunulD.au 8 1. 11
(Rabaul)
bbaul 2 a
bbaul 14.
IA.. 24.
"8 ar IT 28 "14
Th •• xact 41epoalt1on ot th ... lud ba.ed aircratt on the int.r-
Tan1nC bet ... the 25th, ot Apr1l and the 4.th ot 18 Dot oerta1D, lNt it
11 mom tba\. OIl th •• 0miD, ot th. 4.th of the YOI[OSUU AIR GROUP ft.
ba.tJd with at leut 12 tl71na boat, at LAZ. Atter rec.1y1n, word ot the
attaok on taLAQI th... t171n, boata .. re dlepatched on I.arohe. to the .alt-
.. rd upon th. ca.plet1OD, ot wb1oh. the)" return.d to SHOR'fW[) ISLAlD.*
Thl., ... 1dent17, .eant a chanee or operating ba .. and WI. a .ouod chana' 10
yie. at the Deed tor •• arch in the area. .outh ot TULAGI. Th. ne.d tor a
chan,. in relatl •• poa1tlOD to the reconna1.aance ObJ.ctiy. ft.
apparoot to the J.pan.... r, •• OD tor ,010& tir.t to SHORT-
LAID bland sad lator to both SHORTLAND Ialand and TULAGI •• becau •• TULAGI
*War DiU"J ot 25th Ur Flot1lla, 1 April to 11 -&7 1& .... 2. WOO 181125.
b- .t - '.
*

I
r
i
I

I
i

I
i
.t
f
f
... not .ar. on the 4th, ill new ot tb • .llUed attaok, and freedo. ot
aotion ... obtained at SHORTLAND liland. SOM ... ldenc. teDd. to
.how that all ot the.e •• aplane:J operated troa SHORTLAHD laland tor
tollowiDI ... k, but th1. appear. to b. 1D error, a. 1. 1Dd1oated by th.
tollowina aesian-.nt ot alrcratt a, 01 •
t61IA1,uB itb 12t12tDA.
JOI1lstlK.ua

AIR GRP.
IUlm.
I!!.!.
TJp. Zero T)'pe a8 T1Pe 1 'l)'pe 98 'I'Jpe 91
Shipboard Shipboard Attack Land Ut. rlT1DC
rilhter tlehter Plane PbDe Boat
(ZIjU 11)
(WW2LW (IITTI1U CULL 11) (MAVIS ll)
Rabaul 12
,
11 24 S
La. 8
Sb"rtland S
MAli 8-
la
-
17 U- 12
,
The a •• 1puaent ot 8 MAVIS to TULAQI ... 10110al 1 aa8lUcb a. th1a per-
.1tted •• arch .. or th. y1tal ar.a. to a rad1u. ot (0)-860 .11e. to the
louthw.rd ot that ba... Thll a •• .. t p.ralttec1 an ad."uat. dailJ 'e&rob
ot two 15° •• ctor. and, probabl,y, !Dolud.d the ar.a b.t .. en 11a1 t1Ac bear-
iDI' les
o
and 185° fro. TUUOI. OD. bVIS r.port.dq operatlq out of' RtJS-
S!J..L I.land .. I abot down b7 a IORlTOII co.bat air patrol at 0810 OD 5
Iq 1a Lat. 14°-65 a, LoDe. UD°-01 1.** Another .. eneaeed and d .... ec:t
10 Lat. 15
0
-52' a and LoDe. 181.
0
-25' I. at 1045 OIl 10 Iq b7 11-P-2 011
troa .OUIJA.... Th ••• two aotloD' took plac. b.t ... D tb. tt.1tlDc
be&r1DC' iIldlcated &boy. aod t_d furth.r to •• tabl1.h th. taot that tlT-
1111 boat. wer. op.rat1q fro. th. TOUGI area OD aDt'. aft.r 5 1Iq. OD the
other bud, 1 t i. poal1ble that ca. ot tb •• e plaD •• hay. been operat-
iDe out ot SRORl'LUD, a. th. aboYe aoUoo took pl.ce YW7 el0'. to th. s)()
.11e radiu. rra. that b ••••
... S!vob An ..
Search ar... "re .8tabl1abad CD 1 April A. tollo ...
*War M&rJ ot 21th Air notlU&, 1 April to 11 1M2, WOO 111125.
"AeUOD report USB IORI'l'O., Serial OM, IIa7 11, 1M2 •
....w.r DlaJ"7 usa TdOID (A'S) 10 IIq 1M2

___ .... _____________ __ t_rl ____ __ _
1
1

r .0 "
r
I

,;
wspe 4 A4 •• n ¥4+ .....
,
t
I

. ....... .,
Lillitillg No. ot
hit Point geadna. Q.1atsce tJ,rora..".
P WAUL
45
0
_75
0
111188 2
'"
RABAUL
76
0
_105
0
8JO mileo 2
R RABAUL
186°_166
0
fl)O milol 2
t LA!
lSOo_l8)o
800 lIilea 2
Z 1.A!
18)0-19QO «X> aiha 2
• Shortly afterward, 3nd prior to the 26th of April, an additional pat-
rol area oalbd the KOO .ector ... a. indioated belowr
Lia1t1ng No. ot
6£ea D .. e B,arW. gi&hnoe

KOO RABAUL
170
0
_210
0
650 milu S ..
The disposition of forces bet.een 1 April and 4 May ahow. nothing but
fighter. ba.ed at tAl, and other evidenoe tends to indioate that no other
planes were ba.ed at that field at that time. The SALAMAUA field waa too
tor heavy aircraft... It is theretore reaaonuble to assume that the
aearchea from LA! wer. by MAVIS flyln€ boat.. Ina .. uch a. theae
flying boMt. ..re not operating from LA! during the Coral Sea Operation
.fter " May, it 13 considered that the aectors frOil this point ot origin
.ere probably not .earoh.d Arter that The 100 .ector, however, co-
vered a con.ld.rable portion ot .ector. Y and Z possibly have been
to .vantualtty.
Th. objective ot the ••• earch.a was the protection of own foroes thru
recoonaillance and thadowing to locate And trail any enaIIY foroes in the
area.***
In vi •• ot th •• bov. obJ.ctiv, ,18 not considered that the8e aearoh-
•• were the be.t that could h.ve been .Mde with the planea available .1
they could .carcely cover the area adequately, e.peciMlly in vie. of the
weather at t1111 tlae. The J.pan .. e had &IIple planes and pilot., and, it
thi •• reA had b.en given the atr.t.g10 laportanoe it merited, .dditional
plan •• , it :,.o •••• ry, cogld bav, b.en aupplbd. It will b. not.d tbat
.. archea oov.r.d tlv. SO .. ctorl with two plaue. assigned for .aoh .ec-
tor and on. 400 .eotor wi tb thr.. plan.. aseilDed. Th.r. 11 no tnfol'll-
.tlon available on th. Coral S •••• arob •• , but Japanete diaaru. tor
*War Diary ot 26th Air not1l1a, 1 April to 11 lay 1942, WOO 181725.
**05885 (Paciflc Raval An.ly.i. 01y11ioo Interrog.tion ot J'panese
Ottio1al., R.v. Ro. 97.
***War Dlarr ot 25th Air Plot11l., 1 April to 11 May 1942, woe 161725.
-10-
__ r -......
It
1

I
IUL
I
I
i
f
- .' .. ......
oth.r &rl4, indioat. that tb. plan •• usually out and, art.r aar!nl
alon, the arc to cuv.r tb. radlu. ot vi.lbility, r.turn.d dlr.ot17 to the
ba... 10 radar 'q!l1P1.pt .a. 1A.t.Ul,d .LA ,zaRM'" pllAl' " iMp UI ••
In addition to tb. land-ba •• d .iroraft and patrol plan •• tb. J.p-
an ••• ulI.d ... plan •• oouth, unit., oc::.po •• d ot ihor't ran,. r.ooana18.-
•• incl. tlo.t bi-plano., .1tb.r tTP' Z.ro (PITtS) or typ. i6 (DAVIS)
or both, whlch op.r.t.d trQl t.nd.r. or troa ahor. b.... b1
Under.. Tb ••• unit. nre _pl01ed to .upent the DOl'IIal •• arob.. in u •••
tl' .. tabl1.h .dvano.d ba ••• tor provldln, .ir , .. rob ot an .r.a not otbar-
wl •• ,.arch.d, and to provide air cov.r .urtao. toro... Th. Japan •••
r.alis.d, 10 th1. conn.ot.\on , that tb. air oov.r provid.d b7 the .all
carri.r SHORO tor the Mor •• b,7 Iova.lon 'oro. W8' not and
a .. lin.d two .... plan. tenduI, tbe BIJIRIlA'" Mana and the KAIIUA"A MaN
.lth tb.lr att.obed aircratt to th.t dut, to auc-.nt tb. SHOHO', .iroraft.
Both ot the., tend.rs Wire .t DEBOlME on lay 8tb.*
Tbo weath.r condltion. in thi. ar •• w.r. ,.n.r.lly ,ood axc.ptlD,
when a cold front paa •• d ov.r it. A. Japan ••• pr.ctlc .... ,
on blttine a bad n.th.r ar.a to r.tir. to ba •• , thl. n.turally l.,.ened
the value ot the ••• rche. and a.siat.d in aaking lt po •• ibl. tor Alli.d
tore •• to strike without warninl.
J'PID'" D.pl0Yment N.v.l Foro ••
Th. str.t.gic d.plo,a.nt ot tb. J.pane •• fore •• at tb. tt.. of the
Battle ot the CORAL S1" wal in fUrtherance ot the basic plan to sd ••
b.se. farther louth tor prot.ctiv. purpos •••
It will b •• ppar.nt tb.t thi. d.ploya.nt consi.ted ot flv •• Ul,r.C.
support.d by land ba •• d aircraft. t.nd.r b ••• d aircraft and aub-
mMrlnea, and that .. ch irouP toward8 its de8tination more or
l.ss ind.p.ndently. Tber •• ere evidently two Icb.dul.d, on.,
a minor one and d.siined priaarlly to obtain • baae for air r.connaissance,
the capture or TOLAGI--the other, a aaJor one, the capture and occupation
of PORT MORESBY by .ea.
Thos8 ,roupa were .ovinl southward the oover ot land baa.d
aircraft, as .ell •• ot patrol and tloat plan.s. Tbe Japanea. 8 ••
doctrine appeiU'a to have b.eu to accOlllpl1sb all a.rial r.con., .. 1asance
through medium bombera, flying boats (pGtrol plan •• ), rloat planes, and
sbip-ba8ed aircraft not carrier ba •• d •. Th.y seldo. ua.d their carrier
planea tOl' s.arch but instead used the above planes, tthus leaving th.ir
*OperatiQn MO and the Battle or the CORAL SEA. Combat Report No.1,
South Seas Force, Occupation 'orce (Coabat Report Nc. 7, CruDiv 6)
.. eriod 25 Apr. 1942 to 11 Ma;r 1942.
-11-
--
I
j
j
1
I
I
1
r
,
oarrier baaed plan.. ..aUaDle to aake up a liaziau. .tr .... .t.r1k1ng torce,
.1no. non. ot th. carri.r plan •• ne.d be u.ed tor .ooutiDI.* !bert .. re
oooa.ioD., bo .... r. wben th. Japane •• tound urlent tor •• arob by oar-
ri.r plan •• and th1 .... the oa •• durln, th. Battle ut th. Coral S.a.
Tbll practio. ot u.1n, land ba .. d a.1rcratt to coyer tbe ar .. 1n whicb
carri.r. ar. operat1o, 1. .ouod and 1a th. 10gioa1 a.thod to b ... pl01.d,
.0 lon, a. it oon t1oue. to b. adequate and can be relied upon to turnhb
th. lntor.ation required tor the .eouritr ot the toree. 1ovolved. In thls
oa.e it ... not ad.quate eith'r .id., tor the Japane •• Str1k1nc Poroe
and T' 17 .. r. eaoh able to reach their launohin, polition .. min ••
The first operation wa. the oocupation of TULAGr. At th. tlme ot itl
occupation on kar S--it bad been .vacuat.d b7 th. Au.tra11an. aD May 2--
the deploya.nt ... a. indicated in Diacraa (C,. It will be noted thAt at
tbe th. TULAGI Iova.lon Faroe had oocupild TULAGI, about 0820, MaJ
'S, other Japane.e foro •• movina aouLn were looated about al fo11owl fro.
w.at to ea.t&
(a) The PORr MORESSl Inva.loo Force waa at anchor 10 RABAUL,
(b) The Caverins Force .... a over 150 aU .. to tbe we.tward ot TOLAO!
and aouth of HEW CEORGIA Ialand,
(c) The SUpport 'orce .aa in tbe aame area and wa. 60 al1ea we8t
ot the Coverinl Force,
(d) The TULAGI Force wal at TOLAGI,
(e) Tbe Strlk1nC 'orce ... about 6&0 al1es north •• at or TULAGI and
on a aoutheaaterly courae, and
(t) The Subaarine Foroe location 1. Dot known exactl1. but all six
torpedoed. Greek ahip oft HOUKE! OD 7 May.**
The co.posltlon of tbeae force. 1. ahown in Appendix "I".
It .hould be noted tbat whereaa the obJ.ctiTe of the TULAGI and
PORT MORESBY Invaaion Force .... aol.1y ·capture and occupation". the
objective at the other rorcea was ·protective". The Striking Force
.aa a typioal bilbly mobUe car .. ·ier forc •• i tb two t!r.t line carriera,
*Tactic a .. played by Japane •• Air Forc •• in attacks on Navkl and •• rchant
Sbippinll Op-S5 A.I.D. AS Par 1 or AUI. 1945
**War 01&17 USB TANGIER (AV-B) 7 May 1942
-12-
..
, .,
i
1
.-
the SHOIAKU and ZUIKAKU, and with a screen of two heavy cruisers, the MYOKO
and HAGURO and sb. destroyers, the SHIGURE, YUGURF., ARIAlCE, SHlRAURO, USHIO,
AKEBONO; the Covering Force was a force ot four heavy cruisers, the
!OSk, KlNUGASA, ![AKO and PURUTAKA plus a SDall type carrier (CVL), the SHOHO,
which is an ex-submarine tender and ex-oiler, and one the SAZANAUI;
the Support Farce was a light. force of two light cruisers the TENRYU' and the
TATSUDA with gunboat8, minesweepers and auxiliarles; the Submarine l"crce DS
pr1maril¥ a submlil'ine activity with six submarines, the RD-5:5, RO-54, I-22,
1-24, r-28, and I-29, with two tenders, the ISHIRO snd the HOYO-MARU. None
of these shiae were equipped witb radar and one of the carriers were fitted
with "homing" devi,!!!..
The tasks assigned these combatant forees by the Japanese were as their
names
(a> striking Force
(1) To cover PORT MORESBY Invasion Force.
(2) To destroy Allied Fleet (which might on the Icene)
I
(3) To destroy by air raiding operations on TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA,
and American planes and ships being 'delivered. there. (Actually,
this task was left to the discretion of the Striking.Force Caa-
maIlder)
(b) Covering Force (Referred to by as PORT MORESBY PrinCipal
Unit of Main Bod¥)
(1) To cover operations of both TULAGI ard PORT MORESBY InVasion
Forcea.
(e) SUpport Force
(1) To support SOUTH SEAS Units. (This both the TULAGI
and PORT MORESBY
(d) Submarine Force
(l) To destroy enemy st:i.'1.king forces which come into the Co'!"&! Sea.
(2) To destroy enemy shipping.
(3) To reconnoiter*
*Full Translation of the PORT MORESBY Operation, May 1942-V01. V, Doc.
18665 (WDI 56)
·.
!
,l
...... __ ".
\
The Striking rorce was designed to meet the threat of the Allied ligbt
carrier task forces from tbe south as well as land based aircraft from Aus-
tralia. It will be remembereu that Allied carrier tf!sk forces, which had
beretotore operated in the CORAL SEA, had, with one exception, consisted
of one carrier In this one exception, two ot these carrier groups
bad been employed in t.he attack on LAE and SALAllAUA. The Japanese appear
to bave believed tbat this type ot a single carrier task torce would con-
tinue to be _ployed by the Wies and that they would meet one group with
the SARATOGA only. They; therefore, tOl"lled a carrier task force or two
carriers, whicb was designed on the premise tbat the otfensive power of
the two silllHar carriers i8 mUCll greater than that of one carrier
engaged in a silllilar operation.
The Covering Force was evidently designed to cover the landings at
both TULAGI and PORT MORESBY with priority to the latter operations and
to provide security for the PORT MORESBY Invasion Force. Although
the SHORO was a 25 knot CVL, nevertheless, so long as she as part
of the Covering Force, she restricted its freedom ot action, as the AOBA
class were SS knot cNisers. However, sbe was very .vulnerable ano. was
therefore.placed witb the Covering Force tor protection. She could pro-
vide patrols, all' aearcbes for lilllited sectors, and ber
planes could be ot conSiderable value, botb in defense ot the cruisers
and t,ransports, and in support ot the at PORT MORESBY. Tb6
lone destroyer, wbich is believed tO'be a plane guard tor the SROHO, is
considered entirely inadequate for screen. The fact that only
one destroyer was provided tor these cruisers suggests tbat already the
Japanese were finding that they did net bave sufficient forces adequately
to support their many tasks. Later in the war, vessels not adequately
were usually destroyed by Allied submarines.
The assigned this group were inadequate against Allied forc ..
believed to be in the area, unless used in concentration with carrier
forces and land based air forces. Should this group not be employed with
carrier forces or with land based air, it could be destroyed
piecemeal by strong enemy raiding torces. Also, without a destroyer
screen it was subject to sub.arine even thougb air cover thru an
inner air patrol was provided. A study along this line by the Japanese
would probaD17 have indicated to them the necessity for mutual support
and concBntration, and the timing, at least, ot the arrival ot the various
units in the Soutb Sea area might have been changed. This is especially
so regarding the earlier arrival of tho Striking Force. As it was, fail-
ure to do this adequately caused the 108s of the SROHO.
The SUpport Force was designed to assist in escorting both the TULAGI
and PORT MORESBY Invasion forces as well as to support landing operatioDs
by guntire, aineaweeping and kindred activities for that type of operation,
and appears to have b"en adequate tor the purpose, althouch the lack ot
L,....-.........." '., ..
I
,
i

1
....
'
.." ....... -............... _."
deltroyer8 lert the foree vulnerable to 8Ubmarinel.
The SUbmarine Force was pr1Jlaril1 a lublar1ne actlvit1 with neo8saary
tenaera. The taske asslgned this torce were doubtful ot aocoaplisbaent
except in a m08t ainor way, because 1 t 1s almost 1JIpossible tor six lub-
marines adequatel1 to reconnolter a large area or to 80 cover an area al
to insure the destruction or damage of striking forces which come
into the area. Why the Japaneee did not use more submarine. to laplsment
the relatively sketcbT air reconnai8sance, is not known. AI will be shown
later, a submarine contact by a plane of TF 17 caused CTF 17 to consider
himself discovered by" the enemy- Actually, no Jar-3Dese submarine reported
TF 17. This would indicate that more submarines were required if the area
was to be properly reconnoitered.
The Striking Force was far distant trom TOLAGI on 5 It was tran8-
porting 18 planes (Zero type) trom TRUK to RABAUL for the Tainan Air Group,
knd has chosen the morning 01' that day to transter 9 01' th_. The reaain-
ing 9 were transterred on the aorning of the 4th. The dotted lines show
where these transters were made. The Striking Force a180 fueled on the
morning 01' the 4th. Wh7 the Commander ot the Striking Force cho8e to tran-
sfer bis planes at this time is not apparent. Copies of his orders state
that the Striking Force was directed to directly support the South Seal
Units, one of which was the TULAGI InVasion Force. AS the TULAGI operatlou
was scheduled tor early morning 01' lIay 5rd, it appears that his location
violated the factors of securit1 and concentration. Be was certainly not
in position to cover the TULAGI Invaslon rorce fro. any direction except-
ing from the north, which was the least probable direction, as enemy infor-
mation showed that Allied 8urface and carrier force. were operating in the
southern part of the CORAL SEA.
It is possible that either Commander 4th Fleet or Commander Striking
Force had decided that there would be no attack on TULAGI by Allied
forces, and therefore the Striking Force 1I8.S being held baCk in the area
north of TULAGI and beyond the reach of Allied planes, until the Port
esby Invasion Force had left RABAUL. Then the Striking Force would head
south and west at high speed to catch any Allied carrier force which might
attempt to interfere with the PORT MORESBY attack.
The Japanese apparently did not weigh very heavily the Allied capab-
ility of attacking TULAGI. Instead, they appear to have decided that the
Port Moresby Invasion Force would be to sole objective. Had they consid-
ered the Allied capability of attacking their torces at TULAGI and had
they positioned their forces to counter this action, th., a1ght have caught
CTF 17 with reduced forces.
The Covering Force evidently covered TULAGI from the west at a dist-
ance of about 150 miles,because of its dual covering function and because
.-101)5
--, ...•.. _ .. '·_ .•. -.0 ..
'.1
'.
i
:I
1
r
I
ot the iaportanoe ot the PORT MORESBY operaUClI1. the Japanese appartlDt17
did not think that TULAGI w ... uttic1ent17 attractive to tbe Allied Coa-
maader to warrant attack in torce, and theretore the CoyerlDl roroe re-
aained at aucb a distance troa TULAGI aa would per.it it to .oye to the
support ot TULAGI by air iulediately, and yet, at the a .. e tae would
pemit it to retum to PORT MORESBY at L"l econOilical apaed and, in till.
to oover the Port Moresby Invasion rorce. Aa a matter ot teot, the COY-
ering rorce actually covered the TULAGI landing b.y .. pl071nc three (8)
carrier tighterl and attack planes in that operation.* Tbia OoverlDi
rorce would bave been ot little value against a talt carrier task group
ot the tn>e _ployed by the Allied toroel, unless _ployed in coorclin-
etion and concentration witb a Japanftse talt carrier talk torce or with
land based air in strength. In this cODQection, it should be atrelsed
that concentration at sea today not mean necessarily that ahipi ault
be wIthin visual signal distanoe ot each other, although with radio ail-
ence In this tactor is serious consideration. It doel
mean, howc:" .. r, that they must be 80 disposed as to be able to coordinate
their ettort with other friendly units in the most etrective .anDer.
JAPANESE fWIl
It rill bI.t noted trOID the chart or air searches that the Auatrall&!'1
land baled air searches covered the SolOilOD. Sea, the SolOllClll Islanda and
limited portions ot the Coral Sea. Tbe searches acrocs the Solomon Islands
reached their max1mua radius about 45 aile, beyond the eastern shores nt
thoee islands. Tbe Japanese apparently knew that. So they sent the Strik-
ing Force south on courses which carried it Just clear or these searches
and clear ot the coast watchera. ThUS, unless discovered by a subaarine,
this rorce would be an unknown torce ot great strength which would b: avail-
able tor a ISUdden strike against any Allied torces which attempted to tnt.er-
rere' with either the PORT MORESBY Operation or the TOLAGI Operation, although
the latter operation ae_ important enousb. It la, ot course, a
tact that 1t it i8 desired to bring an ena.y into a vulnerable pOSition,
1000ething be values, web as PORT 1I0RF..BBY, IIlUSt be threatened and he aust
teel cOllpel1ed to e%pose himselt in order to protect it, or, lID opportunity
must appear to be presented to the weaker adversary to inflict a relative1r
greater 108s on the stronger than he expects to Burrer himselt. Such an
opportunity would to have been presented by TULAGI.
The Japanese thought that the Allied Caamander would be aware ot the
movement ot the PORT MORESBY Invasion Force and send a torce into the
Coral Sea to intercept it.** They planned that, ohould an Allied toree in-
terfere , they would destroy it by a sin,'lle or double envelopa.nt or bOth.
They estimated that this fore. would come into the Coral Se, oetween SAR
*saOHO Action Report 17, of 16 dated lay 7, 1942, IDC #160465
KSuppl_ental Report-Truk-Baval &: Naval Air Field Te8111 IS, USSBS.
I
I
t
r
t
f
I
f
I

I
I
"
t
I'
,
CRI!TOBA1 I.l.nd .nd ESPIRITU SANTO I.l.nd ln •• dir.otioD
and would th.n ... d w .. t to • po.ition .outh ot PORT V.ORESPY. They ••••
to have overlooked the ll1portanoe ot TULACI to the Allied co_nd.r, ••
• 11' .... roh •• 1'1'011 ther' would .treot the A iUed tr.edoll ot .otion in the
CORAL by reoonnoit.rins muoh tarther to the .outh.
In thi ••• timet. theyw.r. onoe ."in in .rror. In the tir.t pl.o.
there w •• on. torOl. TF 17, iD the .outh.rn part ot the CORAL SEA
.t the time ot -hi •• sti .. t., whioh o.rrier toroe had r.turn.d to the CORAL,
SEA troll TONG1TABU on May 1 .ttu 7 d.Y"upke.p .nd provhlonlnl. It had
proo.eded vi. • oour.e .outh ot the NEW HEBRIDES. In the pl.o ••
there WIl. .nother o.rrler toro.. TF 11. whioh had p •••• d b.t.e.n BFATI .nd
EROMlNGa or .bout SOO .il.. .outh ot wh8re .xploted by the J.pan.... aDd
whiGh had be.n dlreoted to join TF 11 OIl "y 1. Their •• ti_tie that Allied
toro •• would know ot the PORT MORESBY toro • • nd would ,.nd •• yor to .top it.
to b. oorr.ot. Th.ir •• tl .. t. ot pOIition .... however,
in '1'1'01' .nd o.u.ed the failure of the J.pane •• pl.n.. Had the
the thoulht of' the Alli.d objeotive .Dd view.d it tra. the oon-
ot podtiOD ..... ,.. and oppo.ed .nd tr."dolJl ot lotion,
th.y would probahly .t the enemy ot trom
the .outh where hi •• uoport .nd henoe hi',treedom ot .otion lay. r.ther
th*n trom the e •• t where he r.adily be di.oovered by J.pan •••• ir-
or.tt .nd .ubmarine.. The)' lIIilht eXplot.d ,al.o that hi would be in
Ire.t.1' .tr.nrtb than h.retofor. and UDd'1' tb. 00 .. 1' ot Alli.d l.nd-b ••• d
airor.ft. The oap.bility or .pproaoh tro. the ••• t .hould b •• n oon-
.ider.d but .hould be.n Ii l .... r i"port.noe than th.t troa the
.outh.
If,,"'98r. the J.pane •• "1" hopef\tl ot their tr.p. Th.y ... r. alwaY'
thinkinS of' • C.nn.e -- or • oper.tioD with ... ktoro" in th.
venter and or • double enoirclement with foro •• on the enelllY'. w •• k
tlank •• - They thi •• t LETT! r.uLF where thelr wavy wa. de.tro,.d
pi.oeme.l, .nd th.y att.mpt.d it at the CORAL SEA. wh.re ••• wl11 be .ho-D
later, the .. aker toroe r.tu •• d to be h.ld. Th.y ott.n thoulht in tel''' ot
laD<! operationa, and whil •• uoh thought h wlu.ble. it au.t b. pointed out
that na".l wartare and l.nd are not .lailer .Dd that nawl oper.1I10Dl
b •• ed OIl l.nd oonoeption. otten tail beo.u •• ot thl. di •• imilarlty. Th.y,
apparently, thou&ht in t.rma ot • viotory but r.ther of' a land
Yiotory. Ther. wa. no talk ot • TSUSHIIl or ot • NIL! or ot • TRAFALGAR.
The re •• on tor thi. i. apparent when one oOD8ider. the cann.e lde. ot on-
.... lopment. .and ywt at the WILE •• 11011 enysloped the rrenoh. And at
TSUSHDIA .Dd at TRAFALGAR the enemy rleet bad be.n de.tro,.d 1
atter the Battl. ot the CORAL SEl. the J.pane.e Hi&h Command .ent at
Sr •• t l.nstb. to explain to the Fleet how the Cann •• oould be.n .tr.oted.
Had they be.n a little 11101" realhtl0 they deoid.d that their
tront ft. too 100ie .nd ore.ented .n to an alert and po.ertul
_J.pane.e StrIiIns Foroe TiotIo. -know Your Enemy·, 15 Septe"ber 1941.
I

I

en-.y for quick and destructi.e blows on isoleted weak detachaent,.
they done thia correctly they would have drawn their forcea aore tightly
together and thus in lured a aore d.tense of their invaslon forc.s. •
Belatioga
The entire Pacific area had been desianated as an area of U.S. stra-
tegic This area had for this purpose been divided into
three larse areast the Southwest Pacific, the Southeast Pacific and the
Pacific Ocean; the latter being further subdivided into the North, Central
and South Pacific area ••
The boundaries of the Southwest Pacific area, and those of the South
Pacific araa, •. re of considerable interest in the study of th. Coral Sea
engagement for it was within these areas that the operations in connection
with this action were conducted. ThE> t'ertinent portions of the northern
and western of the Southwest PaCitlc area were: frOll Longitude
East along the to Longitude 165
0
East; thence south to Latitude
10
0
South, and southwesterly to Latitude 170 South, 180
0
East,
t.hence South. The South Pacitlc area wee bounded on the Weat by the South-
west Pacific area and on the North by the Equator ••
General .acArthur had been aade SUpreme COIIIDande'r or the Southweat
Pacinc Area and'had fOnla11y aS8Ulled ca.Dand or this area on 18 April.**
At this time he had been directed to, .. ang other tasks -
Ca) Check the eDeay advance toward Australia and its essential liDe
of comaunications by the destruction of 3neay coabatant troop
and supply ships, aircraft, I.Dd bases in Eastern IALAYSIA and the
NEW GUINEA-BISMARCK-SOLOMON Island Region.
(b) Protect land, sea and air ca.munications within the Southweat
Pacifie Area and tts close approachus.
(c) SUpport the ot friendly forces in the Pacific
Area and in the Indian Theater.***
The South Pacific area, including as it did, NEW ZFALAMD. NEW CAL-
EDONIA, the LOYALTY Islands, the NU' HEBRIDES Islands and the JANTA CRUZ
Islands was set up as an area command under Aa.iral Nimitz &6 Coamander-
in-Chief, Paclrtc Ocean area a aa well &II COIIIIIIander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet.
At the same time, Admiral Nimitz was directed t.o appoint L Commander of the
South Pacific who, his authority and general direction/
would exercise command ot the combined armed forces which at any time aight
*CINCPAC Plan
Air Forces in the War agaInst 1941-1942. Published by Head-
Army Air Forces 1945.
*** Review of War in Pacific Arau-Navy Staff T.B. Robbins,
USN.
..

'1; r
,
,;
1
I
-
___
be a •• iIDed that area.
Aairal I1If1ta a. ec-ADd.r-iD-Chi.t, Pacific OCHIl ar.a. a •• 1ped
o.rtaiD talk. ..one oth.r. which had be_ a •• ip.d to hSa •• lt, to the
CC*landv, South Pao1f'1c area. fbI' U'OUtiOD. .oec the •• were to -
( .. ) Hold 0 the i.1lDd po.UiOD. bet ... th. UD1tecS Stat •• and the
Soutb ... t Pacitic D.O •• M!'7 tor the MavitJ or the liD ••
ot ca.aunicatlon betw.ea the.. recion., and aupport1a&
all' end _phibiou. operaUOD. ac.b.t the lapae.e toree ••
(b) 8alpport the operation. ot the toro .. in the &Nth ... t Pacitle
area ••
(c) Protect the •• aetlal ... aDd air •••
At the t1a. ot the Battl. ot th. Coral saa, Aairal llalta had not ,.t
a.ouaed OOImand ot tbe pacltl0 Ocean altbouch he did •• sua. that oaa-
.and at 1100, Iq8tbH wba, •• it bapp_ed, the battle had beeD wo.t
ter.1Dated. Re .x.rei.ed 0ger the DAyal torce. ln the Pacitic at
tbat twe, b)' of bll author1t, .. CIICPAC and it "', apparentl1,
... CINCPAC that he controlled the carrier taak tore •• in the Coral SH.
It Bbould b. apparent, traa the that CTF 11, likewi •• , did
not havQ aD7 oontrol 07ar the AM7 Air rorce. tlJing 1D hi. Mlpport, OYer
the Coral Sea Area.
Thu. there exi.ted a dlyld.d aa.aand tor naYal op«r-
etloDI in the Coral S... On tbe oae hand .... tbe Ca.lludar, Southnlt
Paeitie area who exercl.ed control over the.e operationl, but wbo ...
called upon to support th .. whether or Dot the, contributed to hiM own planaJ
on the other band, there wa. the CoamQDd.r-1n-Chiet, PaCiflc Fleet and hl.
taak torc. eoamander CTr 11 .ho exerclled no control over the supporting
forces but who bad full control over their own navu torc... A "er,y hlBb
degree of coordination _., theretore, required within the Southweat Pac-
ific area in order that the naval oper&tlona .ithin its boundari •• out-
aide torces aight be 8ucee •• fUl.
Another question of divided camaand had arl.en with 0
the Australians concerning Britlsh Qr Austr&ll&n coamand of combined for-
ce. in the South Pacific area. It .a. decided thMt when an Aaeric.n carrier
unit was operating Australian the .enior Aaerican naval otf-
icer .ould be in ca.m&nd because ot the nature of c.rrler oper.tion., other-
wise when the naval forces of the two powers were operkting together, and
no carrier operations were involyed, thu senior of ricer of either power
would be in cOllllland.***
*Review of War in PacifiC, Army-Navy Staff College, Captain T.B. Robbinl,
lSMI.
**CINCPAC War Cbry, 1942.
***CINCPAC 'ar Dbl'1, Mopril,

. 11 '
.b',_" zm



·0
,

oj
,-\'
,
j
I
j
I
__ •• __,;_ >.-'i,. •. ,1"."-;
l

!

!
f
r
"

be a'.lIBeIS that ana.
*ira). .lId ti •• ca-aad.r-1D-<:hlat, Paoltic Ocean ar... ...lped
o.rtAlIa teat ... otllCI' •• 1ob bad belill a •• 1IDed to Ma •• lt, to til.
8CNth Paoitl0 area. tor U.autiOD. AaGal th ••• ware to -
(&) Bold' th. 1I1ADd poaltlOD. bet .. en th. Ua1t.cl 8tat •• and the
8cNth ... t Pacltio area D.O.'..". tor th. MCNr1tJ ot tb. 11D ••
ot batnea th ••• r.,loa., and .apport.1D&
air aad _phlbloua operaUOD ... a1D.t the "..,. ••• tore ...
(b) &apport the operatioD. ot th. toro •• in the ScNth ... at Paoltlc
ar ••••
(0) Prot.ct the ••• entia! ... &Dd a1r cc.I\UIllCaUOIl •• *
it the Us. ot the Battl. ot tbe Coral Sea, A_iral .lalta ba4 Dot ,.t
•• eua.d OQIaand ot tb. paclfl0 Ooean altbouch b. 41d aasua. that 00.-
.ad at 1100, IqltbH .eD, •• lt bapp_ed, the battle bad bttera u.o.t
tezw1Dat.d. Re exerelaad ooaa.nd 0"81' the DaYal torce, In the Paoitlc at
the+ tille, by ot bh .uthorit, a. CDCPAC and it .a, appanmtl"
aa .. ..BoriC that he controll.d tbe carrbr tau torce. 1D the Coral Sea.
It Ibould b. appalWlt, trca the tbat C'1T 11, 11ke.be, dld
Dot have Ulf oontrol onr the Ara7 All' roree. tlJiDg 1D hi. aupport, over
the Coral Sea Area.
Tbu. there exi.ted a oae-&Dd tor opar-
.tloD. i" the Cor.l S... On tbe one band _. tbe ec-ander, South ... t
Pacitlc who .xerci.ed control over tbe •• operatlona, but wbo ...
call.d upou to &upport thea wh.ther or not tbo, contributed to his OWft plane,
on band, tbere .a. the Coellllder-in-Ch1et, PacUlc r1ut and hi.
ta.k • CTr 17 who exerciud no control over the supporting
torcer. bad full OOIltrol over their own navd tore.a. A very bleb
degr.e ooordination "., theretore, required witbin the Oouthweat P.c-
ific ar._ in order tbat the naval oper.tlona wlthln ita D,y out-
.1d. torce •• 1ght b •• ueee •• tul •
T qu£at1on of dhlded coaaand roaponaibll1t.y had arisen with .
the Austrllhane concerning Bri Ush Qr Australian coarnand of combined for-
ces outh P.cific area. It w.s decided thMt .hen an .. erlcan carrier
unit was operating with Australian forces, the .enior Aaerican naval off-
icer would be in because ot the n_ture of c.rrier operatlons, other-
wise .hen the naval forcel of the two po.era .ere operktlng together, and
no carrier operations ware involv.d, the senior officer of either power
would be in coaunand.***
*Revlew ot War ln PacifiC, Army-Navy Staff College, Captain T.B. Robbins,
OEN, lioil.
**CINCPAC War Dlary, M&f 1942.
***CINCPAC War Dlar,y, 194£.
..
1
I
1
'..\j

.,


.;
,.
l
"
a
r-
The A .. rio.n oo_nd'l" 1m.., the, the Japane .. had oooup1ed b ..... iI
the follawial pl.oe.. RAlSAUL.nd OASVATA, lm'J BRlTAlll, WAT<II, DDUL .Dd
ULU IIl.Dd., IAVIlNO, NIW WLAND, BUB IllaDd, JUIU .Dd BUI. OD BOUO-
AInn.t.I Illud, PAISI IIl.Dd, aDd SALlMAUA .nd LA!! in DIf OUI1Q:A.
HI al.o knew th.t thl majority of thl •• ba.e. 1noluded .irtield. or
••• pl.ne opera'in, taol11'1 •••• lndio.ted below.
(.) RABAUL had two op .... tional airfield. u .. d by both flsh'e". end
bomb.r •• nd a third ti.ld ... under ooftltruotlon, S',pl.n •
(b)
(0 )
(d)
• oorlns. and a ra.p .. re lon.ted on the waterlront.
QASllATA Md an aerodl'o.. u .. d a. an ad_aoed field b1 RAMUL.
i
KAVIENO had an 'Irtield u.ed by boaber ••
KZltA had a land plane tield whloh wa. not .atl.taotory tor
iiI'l'nary ... t1on ••
\
(., FAlSI I.land had had buoy. In.tall.d in the harbor .Dd mi,ht be
u •• a by patrol •• aplane ••
(t) SALAMAUA,had a harbor whioh wa. u •• d by patrol .e'plane., and
ao a.r03l'o., .uitable bomber. and tishter., .hioh ...
not bein« u.ed.
e,) had an aerodl'ome whiuh WI. u •• d by and bomb.r ••
e.tJmat,d that the .hore bas.d airoraft in
ar •• to oonsi.t of thl rollowlng,
BAYUL. 12 n' - 20 VB - 17 VP - .mall .. aplan ••
at. ' - 16 VB .. <& vp
-
The airoraft "vaUa'ull ln thll ar.a durin, the period under dllou.-
.ion varied .omewhnt but their dhpoeitlon. for April 26 and vay 4, III
li.ted by the Jape_.e, an .. 101l0Wi.
26 April
MBAULt 14 'IF - 40 VB - 1<& VP
aft 2'<& 'IF
-,
RAMUL. 12 VF - 41 \IB - 3 VP
LA!. 6 vr
*ctF 17 operation order No. 2-42. Innex •• -
-20-
j

:I
I
I
t
t
I
f
-------_._-----* _ .. _-_.
S iP
e iF
--------,
Tbi. tabulation doe. not inolude, how.ver, • detaohaent,ot ... 11 '.a-
plan •• troD the IlYOIAWA MARU thkt wer •• hore ba.ed .t kABAUL on .., 1 aDd
that aq haYe .ov.d up to 'MUGI with th. tore •• tbat oocnapbd that baH.
The patrol plane .... re ba.ed .t LiE on the .orninl ot the 4th, but '.CW'ed
out OD a .earch to the .... t .. rd .tt.er "oelvinl word ot the :ORKTOWh"
.trike OD roLAOI and did not r.turn to ,LAt.
He kne. RABAUL we. the prlncip.l port tor convoy. and that a
laree nuaber or tr.n.port. and I\lpplJ Ibip •• er. aauinl ln thll port .p-
tor •• ov.ent toward South •• t lEW GUIllA. 'e. ca.bat.tkftt Ihip.
bad been noted there reo«lt17, althougb lt .a. kDotm that OD' au_arlne
tender and thHe or aore __ rln .. had been at WAUL ln reoent dayt. He
con.idered that mo.t J.paneae n.val unit. r ... 1ned .t ••••
Re had intellliance th.t appr.clable J.pane.e naval atren,th
centr.tfld n.ar TRlllt or _a en rout •• outh •• rd. Includ.d in the'lle unU a
were reportedly three c&rrier'. "onl the.. ..r. the carri.r. ZUIIAKU and
SHOIAJ(U and four d •• troY8r. ot CarOlv Fl- and thll cruller. IIYOKO and HAG-
ORO. l\JII.rou. Qther and the carder RYUKAKU .. re alao reported
to be in the TRUI area. Th1a intol'llAtion was leneruLJ correct. Ho"ever,
the SHORO which ft. in the area we. probah17 alatalcen tOI' tbe R!UItAIU.
He had intora.tion that the Japan •• e would Ca.NeDce operation.
1n the RABAUL area about April 28th .ith the obJectlve ot capturinl and
occupyinl PORr MORESBY by a .eaborne lnvalloa or ot OCCUP71n. the lo.er
SOLCIIONS or both. Be telt that the increa.ed t_po ot all" attact.' on· H:lRII
I.land, PORT IOat.sBY .nd TULAGI contll'1led th •• e lntentlOft'. Thll intorlllltion
proved to bl correct.
tJdcTIU DISP98ITIOIS
'\
Th. Allied lavy 1n cooperation nth the in carr;yinl out the
directlve tram the hilb oaamand to chick turthtr advance. by the en..,
1D the RE1f GOIBEA-DOLOIIONS area bad eltabUshed bales in TOIGATABU, FIJI
ISLANDS, MOUIIEA. !lEW CALEDONIA and ElATE, MEW HEBRIDES,* while the Am7
Air Poree. had e.tabllahed operational airfield, in AUSTRALIA at TOIISYILLE,
CHARTERS TOlER, CLOHCURRY, and DARIII. HORN Ialand, just north ot Cape
toRI PDlINSULA, had beln a. a .ta'llDi field alrorart pro-
cI.dinl to and traa the .irfield at PORT MORESBY, MEW GOIlfU. The a1.rt1eld.
*CTI' 11 Operation Order 10. 2-42, Annex "C".
•• 'I.J
-21-
r
t
I
i
I
l
I

1
I
I
I
• f
!
at POIlT MORESBY ...... all, with lDautrio1ent d1.per.al are .. Wld .. H
.ttacked br Japane •• t1lbter. and !b ••• t1.1d. "1'.,
tb.ntore, u.ed on11 ... ba •• tel' and .. a .t.lins polllt tor
h •• ler plu .. en route to the Nn Illand u •••. * !h.
Au.tra11an. bad heeD operatlna & t •• Cat.liD.. tro. GAvuru Harbor at TUt-
AGI but tbe,' n.w.teet that baH on 1Ia, 2, and all turtber a1r reooanalla-
aDce b7 Al11ed toroe. troa thl. ba.e cealed a. ot that dat •• An a1r£1.1d
... belD, con.tntcted at TOtn'OUTA, Nn CALEDCIIU and aDotber tor richt.rl
and d1Ye beaber .... 1 o .. riD, coaplation at 17ATE.**
aoUlll po ••• ,ped an .xc.llent ancbor_,e tor .hlpi ot any draft and
th. barbor ad all entranc •• exc.pt BULAlf Pais .. re aloed. A IOOd lud1A1
f'leld ... 1n ai.tence at TOM'l'OUTA but, althou.ab .ae AI'lIJ All' Porc. cround.
.chelon. end richter a1rcratt .. pr •• ent, the ti.ld ... not a. y.t IUpport-
lnt operat1onal airoratt. P-dlDc the coapleUon ot .bore det.le. and tb.
&otiy.tlon of' op.r.tion.l Ara1 aircraft traa TONTOUTA, JOOl!A ... not COD-
.idered a COod anchorace tor carri.r •• "
UATI •• lD tb. prooell ot beln' carrilOned and orian1aed lnt.o a de-
tended ba.e." Operata, area. tor PBY tlJ1n& bo.t. exi.ted at White Sand
and lIeli Bay.
On I., S, tbe .tr.t.,lc location ot Allied laRd ba... and airf'ield.
in and aroWld th. Coral Se. area, wb1eb _re 10 • poll tion to intlu.nce
Japan ••• operat10n', were indicatlld. In D1acr_ -8-£-.
IWMED WG. MJ2. TIlDA WIP. uacW
All land ba.ed aircr.ft inyoly.d in the Ooral Sea op.rationa .. re tho ••
ot the IJ:r&7 All' Porce ot the South ... t P.cUia Puroe loc.ted 10 AUSTRALIA
and at PORt MORESBY. this torce bad, !inee Mrly .arah, been in the proc •••
ot orpn1a1oc and aaklD, preparation. tor ooabat oper.+.1onl. R.-nant. fro.
the Philippine and Jaya operktion. had been conlalldated wlth un1t. arr1y1nl
rraa the United Stateli, tftlt a aborta,e or quaUtlecS 111' Oorp. perlODD.l ex-
tllldf'd do_ to the .alle.t Wlit. Th. "t'_ratlODu Wlit. \Jt the U-7 l1r
Porce lD thia arM a. or ...,. 1, ot the 8c:t L1cht ac.b&rcilleDt GroUp,
the 22Dd lIed1ua Boabardllct Group, the 19th BM.'f'J Baabardaillt Group, the
8th, S6th and 49th n&bter Group. tlDC! nlcht A 01' the 8th photoll'aphia
SquaclroD.*
A Wllt ot the RAAl had beeD operatln, out ot with OatallDa t17-
lnC boat. Wltil tbe 2nd ot 1Ia,. Tbi. un! t bad beeD enpeed lD recoanal.lanc.
all110n. that c(Wered the SOUJIOH I.land ar.. to lIEU and the .ea are. to
... tward or TULAGI. '1'110 of' th •• e plane •• PIlSI on the 11th or April
.. up Blatorlou Je.nat1ye -lft7 All' Porc •• in the War a.ain.t Ja!)&D, iiMl-42-
**Oft' 17 Oper.tion Order Jo.2-U, AIm_x -C-.

I '4
-22-
--.
i'
f
l
BASE
Srd .
- . Ba.barcl
..at
GriP
'il
1-21 .l-M .l-ZO
jCIWlTERS
TOIlER 19 Ii 1';;'

AnA
I
CUJICUIIf
PCIlT IOlESBr
IH<B
DLAIID
iOARIII
ZJTwn
T'JUGI
.<mBA
Itor.u. 19 19 14
'.":" "
DJlPOIl!'I(IJ r:. AU.IID SHam aD !ilia BAIID AT"ICUft
AI 1 IIAY 1M2
Zbd 19t1a etta 1Mb tftIa
Bo.barcl - np-- Pi&"-
PiP'""

-
--

., ., .,
Ie
rzl' OC;i'
......

I-ZS 1-11 1-1"
P-It ....
...,
P-&
12 80
1
&0
4B
-10
90
100
12 eo

100

10
,
:L ::
I.U7
yp-n
'!'ObI.
JIIr-l PIr .. 1
j
..
1.
..
10
00

10

J
100 t
...
• I
....

...

..
• orBS. !be OIl AnII.r Uren.tt ","atat the .. t Mt1ate of tIM wtal aw.Ue1e .. Sell .... 1a
Air Poree. 1a tJI,e war apiMt .1..- 1961-1162- a4 ta .. -AnIr J,1r P ..... -.n.. •
atte.pt baa be.a .-4. 41ttetrtilRia'M lNtasull Open.tto.l .l1nnft ... tuM ...... s , ••
• 1WD t1cbWr'
-- TULADI ___ t.4 aDd t:heH pa-a _ 2 ..,. •
••• liz lI4d1t1oaal PBT-S'. tr. YP-72 U"I'1ftCl the of , ...
.11 d

;
-:'&ble 1
-
i
..
I
___ . __ 'f '...... .. rOb ',ltuWilllllllllllll_ Me ( .... t'$ _ .. e.n 'I' ...... ·eH *CC D .7(. =1hrlz
.' dt • .,; d
...... ...... ·,,1-....
.nd .cain on thl 21th of It 1. ••• that thl. unit h.d
.t le •• t C.ta11na. dur1nK the perlod that It oooupi.d TULlOI. Therl 1.
no lnrormation •• to how many ot th.,. C.tal1na., lt any, wer. operatlon.l
whln TULAOI WI. abandonld on 2 "'ay. CINCPAC "port.d onl Pl!Y 10llt traa
enlmy aotlon .t Ol11!/4 In Lat. OS·oo'S, 1&&°·00'1. Thl., ooupl'd
wlth the tlot thlt one ... d.stro,.d at It •• oorlns. at PORT WORlgBT,
lnrlio.h. th.t .ome P!!Y' • .. r. at U •• being oper.hd trOll or .1Iapd throuKh
thll latter ba .. , and that the ,",VI. It TUI.Ar.I may h.... lone to
PORT and oonduot.d .. aroh •• or the SOLOJION Se, Area trom that bl ....
Th. numblr ot bomblr. and avallabl. ln the Au.trallan
ar.a •• " .... cll,bl.d in North ... t Au.tralla tor un a,.ln.t the ·rap.n ... na .. l
fn.ro •• to 'nd thelr expeoted movament to the louth. In oonjun-
otlon with the rloonn.i ••• noe .i •• lon. b.inK tlown, the.1 .iror.tt oontlnu.d
th.ir Itt.ok. on Inemy .ir 1n.t.ll.tion. at and RlBAUL and .,,10"
.hlppln« pre .. nt in the .... M pr'er.l area ••••
Th. TAIOIlR w ••• tatloned .t NOUMEA wlth I1x PBY-5 p.trol pl.n .. but
thi. numb.r ot cetrol plan •• WI. lnor •••• d to twel.e •• nd. tlnally. to li,ht-
lIn b.ror. the oompletion or th. CORAL SEA •••••
Th. IXlat number of land ba.ed liror.rt .vail.bl. to the Alli.d oommand
thl Coral Se. oper.tion 1. not known. but T.ble 1. •• qu.lified by
the .xpl.n.tory not.s proTide. the bl.t •• ot the .itu.tion a. lt ex-
lIIt.d on 1 May.
'!'he tot.l nUI'1"e,. (If u'm:v ,,1ror.rt avallahle in the .r ....
• hawn by the toregoiD« table is III out of proportion to thl few mi •• ion.
rlown during the period involvod. Winy ot the •• plan •• may Dot have b'en
a. y.t plaoed in .n operational • tatut • Th. ArllY Air Foroe. in oom:nenting
on the dittioultie. enoountered by the 19th Bombardment Group the
latter p.rt of April 1942, stated, wonrayor.ble .. athor, llok of .p.re
p.rt •• nd tools, and the wburned oondition of oombat orewl .tter the
Phllipp.\.l,. and Jan aotion, .11 arfeoted the oper.tional efrioienoy ot thfl
«roup. Patrol and mi •• ions were exeout.d almo.t daily, de'pite
the taot that .quadrons were .omet!"..s able to only one plane 1n thl
.ir.".. The.1 •• 11 tend to indio.te th.t, ot the totll ot 498 airor.tt
a .. llabl., probably only about 200 or were oper'\t1onal for .upport of
the COJ)AL SEA oper.tione.
In add 1 tion to the above d 1tt1oul ti .. experienoed by the Army Ur Foroe
due to .. ather. material, .nd r.tigue of o.rews •• nother mo.t vital oondit1.on
.CINCPAC Diary. Oay 1942.
uMF Historioal Narr.tive "Army Air Foroes in the \' ... r Japan.
1941-42"
••• UNGIER' e W.r Diary, May 1942.
-23-
,
I
1
I
1

i
i
1
J

1
I
I
• .

I
,
i
I
t
J
f
fG,q;:" ," 4A_' ; ..
". ... __ ....
ez1.ted WhlQb aade all other ditfioulti ••• pp •• r uniaportant. 'rhi. wa •
the dl.advantaa.ou, po.ition 10 .hiob tb. Allled Air roroe. found tb .... l-
vel one. •• r. rorc.d to Ilve up th.ir b.... in the SOLOMONS and the
other bland. to tb. north. Owin, to the fallur. or the AlUed Ground
Faroe. to bold TULAGI and other ba... in the SOLOMONS, wh.r. Blrtl.1d.
mi,ht have be.n oon.truot.d or patrol plane. ba.ed, the Al1i.d Fore.,
.er. forc.d back on tb. Au.tralian aainland wb.nce their 'aarcb.. of the
leland. to the north bad ,en.ralLJ to b. etrlct.d by .talin, tbrouab HORN
hland and PORT MORESBY. Tbla requir.d -&n7 planea, aucb la.olln. and
man1 tlying bour. on tb. pArt ot tbl ••• ry pilote. ab1Lit3 ot the Air
Foro.e to ',arob thl CORAL SEA ... al.o .erlou.ly curtail.d, b.u.u,e th.
dl.tano. tro. Auatralla to tbl SolO8on. wa! 10 ere at .e to d.ny .dequ.te
.earob 'xceptlnl wltb alar" nuaber ot ranl8 plane., whiob plane.
were nOl'llal17 not available. Thl l.ck ot ba... ..e •• rlouelr t.l t, fllld
brinel fortb thl iaportant tact th.t air power 11 aa yet liait.d ln rangl,
and it it 1s to bl it must be provided witb suitable b ••••
fro. whiob •• arcb and combat planes may operate trom .dVantageous relative
poeit1ona.
All1ed Searcb and Reconnal •• anOI
Ca.mander, Soutbw •• t Pacitic Ar.a, in preparation tor the IUpport Ot
TF 17 during 1t. opjration. in the CORAL SEA, informed erF 17 that he had
moditied hi. previously lx1stin, ,earcb plan. in ord.r that be migbt cover
thl area. indicated 1n diagram B-1. Each ar.a was to be daily with
tha .xception ot area HYPO whicb was to b. coy.r.d twice each day. The
number ot planl' to be uled tor learcb in .ach area is not known, in
Ti •• or the te. planes .vailable, it i. assumed th&t, in general, the rec-
onnai.1anoe to bl conducted .al intended to be primarily a perimeter searoh
the Tital areas ot 6nemy activity and ahipplni concentration.*
This searob plan •• s .pparently again modifl.d, ho.ever, to some extent
tor the actual operation. General MacArthur, 1n his report on air operations
oonducted in eupport of the naval toroell in tho CORAL SEA Battle, indicates
that his searoh operations provided tor a tlank reconnaissance patrol ot
the area THURSDAY ISLAND, PORT MORESBY, RABAUL, extensive reoonnaissance
ot the ,eneral area ot the SOLOMON Islands NEW IRELAND southeast
the boundary or the Southwest Pacitic Area, and the CORAL SEA area west or
TULAGI. In addition, air patrols were oonducted in the area trom BUNA,
southeast along the north coast ot NEW CUINEA and the LOOISIADE Islands to
tbe limit of range, then westerl1 along the south side of the LOUrSIADES
to PORT MORESBY. The sone ott was to be patrolled to a deptb
ot 500 mile. and patrols conducted acroas the mouth of the GULF ot
*COMSOUWESPAC SECRET Dispatch 270840 or April 1942
I
,',
'{.
"
.'
l

i
..
'"
.


:
I

h"
,,'
CARt"'ENTARlA and off the DARWIN Area.*
DiagrHm B-2 shows the areas being and by
the Allied land and tender based aircraft as of May 1st. The lIethode _-
ployed in theee operations, with the exception of those conduoted from
NOUMEA, are .hown only in a gene!'!!!. IIlwmar, due to lllck of c.ietailed 1ll-
formation on the subjeot. The areas SALAIIAUA, LAE, MADANG, GASliATA, 'BUNA
were frequently covered by photographic missions, armed reconnaissance
and by organized bombing and stFafing attacks on the areas by
bombers and fighters out of PORT· MORESBY. ]n gener&l, the reconnaissance
of these areas continue1 throughout the operation, m\t the searches from
TULAGI ceased of lay 2nd that base wus evacuated, and the searches
conducted from HOUKEA were modified cn May 5th to conform to the directive
contained in CommAnder Task Force 17'8 operations order.**
A study of the numerous contact reports made by Allied aircrsft from
AUSTRALIA and PORT MORESBY for the period lay 1st to Kay 8th shows that Com-
mander Southwest Pacific area placing considerable emphasis on his re-
connaissance flights in the SOLOMON SEA included between limiting'bearings
045
0
to 115
0
from PORT MORESBY for a distance of 480 miles. How m&n¥ planes
were involved and how of tan the reconnaissance flights were conducted
1s not known, but the continuity of contacts indicates at least daily searches
for this period. With the single exception of the sector searched off
TOWNSVILLE, there were no searches conducted in the CORAL SEA proper b.y air-
craft from AUSTRALIA.
After Yay 1st, no air searches of the ocean areas to the east of the
SOLOMON Islands ware made by the RAAF fx'om TULAGI nor by planes of the Army
Air Force in AUSTRALIA nor at PORT MORESBY. The dbtance,s involved,' and
the lack ot planes of suitable: types, made it impossible for any such
searches to be made by the latter forces.
AS prE/viouali' stated, the TANGIER in NOUYEA tending 6 PBY-5 patrol
plnnes. From lay 1st to and including May 4th, she three of these
planes on a daily parallel search along a median line 540 T. from NOUKEA
for a distance of 700 miles using a scouting of 50 miles.***
This search was about the maximum that might be expected with the
number of planes IIva!.lab ... e, and an aSf'tlll'led rAdius of vleibility of 25
miles. The planes aveil&ble, however, were sufficient for only one patrol
a day and, as will be apparent from Dbgrwn "B-2", the search could not
hope to insure the detection of Japanese units entering the CORAL SEA
from the eastward aro • .md SAN CRISTOBAL Islc..nd or through tlny of the pass-
ages to t.he nort.h of this Island. Had this search been conducted fran
EFATE or staged thrQugh EFATE where seaplane operating area was avail-
able, the rddiu8 of tlearch might have been extehded to the northwest 180
MacArthur's secret dispatch AG 719 of,l5 lay replying to
from Army Chief of Staff information on air operations during CORAL
SEA BATTLE.
**TANGIER (AV-8) War Diary, 5 May
***TANGIER (AV-8) ,War tiar,r, 1-4 lay 1942.
-25-_
1
I
,t
allIs on the western leg to include TULAGI and 210 ailes on the eastern
leg to. cover the areas 75 miles to seaward of the eastern coast of KAL-
AlTA leland. Thie would have inoreased the pos8ibility of detecting
en.-y surface unit. entering the CORAL SEA from the .astward and would
have probabl1 resulted in contact with the Japal1eSe carrier
on the 5th had the three-plane search been continued from EFATE
on that aate. Had the search been conducted tram ESPIRITU SANTO Island
it would have extended the radius even farther to the northwest to the
tip of CHOlSEUL Island and also provided of 7S miles to the
eastward of the SOLOMON Islands.
The TANGIER and her 6 patrol planes were assigned to Task Force 17
on 28 April, but did not receive Commander Task Foree 17'8 operation or-
der Mo. 2-'2 until lIay 4th.* Up until this tilDe, the COIIIIIlanding OffiJ;:er
of the TANGIER was apparently ignorant of CTF 17' s plans and appears to
have bean doing the best he could with the information and facilities
available.
The preceding discussion shows that CrF 17 with Task Foroe 11 and
17, froa the time of his entrance into the CORAL SEA on 50 April, was'
without adequate air coverage not only of the central and eastern areas
of the CORAL SEA but also of those ocean areas to the eastward of the
SOLOMON Islands that were so etisential for his security and hence free-
dom of action. Later, discussion will show that this lack of air cover-
age, especially that to tne Aastward of eTF 17'8 position did not appear
to give CTF 17 undue concern.
ALLIED. PEPLOJMENT NAVAL FORCES
The strategic deployment of the Allied forces at the time of the
Bat.tle of the Coral Sea was in i'..:!rtherancA of the basic plan to check
further advance of the enemy in the NEW GUINEA-SOLOMON area by destroying
enemy Ships, shipping and aircraft. It will be apparent that the forces
in this deployaent were two carrier task forces. Both of these forces
were in the southern part of the Coral Sea and were fueling and reorgan-
izing, more or less, independently. were at that time, two prospec-
tive operations in View, one - to assist in preventing the Japanese plonned
invaSion of PORT other, to assist in preventing the extension
of Japanese power into the SOLOMONS.
These two carrier tusk torces were, to a limited furnished
with information obtained by Allied land based and tender based aircraft
wbich operated out of airfields and "ut of NOUMl;A and PORT
MORESBY assisted by by the submarines of tbe Southwe8t
Pac1tic Command. In view of the necessity for radio silence at sea, and
*TANGIER War Diary, May 19,.2.
-26-
t
i
1
1
!
i
I
I

especially, in view ot the tact that the.8 Allied carrier task forces were
definitel1 ot the raiding t1Pe, it became necessary for the above land and
tender based aircraft to operate by doctriPe rather than b,y dispatch frOi
the task torce coaanders. This 115 an extr .. important it. in ca.nand,
tor a portion of a raiding force's strength lies in the element of surpri.e
and in relative po.ition. Should it be necessar,y to break radio silence
to tranamlt instruction. for the operation of land based aircraft, the ele-
ment of eurprl.e would probably be lost and an advantageous relative po.i-
tion might be Jeopardi.ed. Allied land based aircraft did consid-
erable valuable information, but the communications at that time were far
from good. This was because the major portion ot the air .earches and re-
connaissance was being conducted by the Commander Southwest Pacific area
who was an enUrely separate command from CTF 17. Also, and ot equal. im-
portance, shore based aircraft must be trained to coordinate their operations,
strategically and tacticall1 with fleet units, in order that the carrier
based planes may be relieved uf long range scouting aud may be ready to
attack, with full groups, any target. located. SUch a condition did not
obtain during the Coral Sea action becau.e of the reBoteness of Australian
bases, because of limited number of plan •• of suitable type available and
because of the fatigue of the crews. Therefore, although it was deeired
to use land based aircraft for long range search, the carrier task groups
were to augment the land ba.ed 8earches by use of carrier based
p18llt!s.
The two Allied carrier task were TF 11 and TF 17. TF 11 (Rear
Admir&l Aubrey Fitch, USN) consisted of the carrier LEXINGTON, heavy cruisers
MINNEAPOLIS, NEW ORLEANS, and destroyer.s PHELPS, AYLWIN, MONAGHAN, WORDEN,
DEWEY, FARRAGUT, and TF 17 (Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, USN) consisted
of the carrier YORKTOWN, heavy ASTORIA, PORTLAND, CHESTER and des-
troyers MORRIS, ANDERSON, HAIIIIANN, RUSSELL, SIllS and WALKE. These were two
Single carrier task forces "hich eDlployed high mobility and heavy striking
power and were ideally composed for raiding operations of the type which
had been in vogue up to the Coral Sea Action. Both the LEXINGTON and the
YORKTOWN were equipped with search radars and homing devices. nowever,
aindtul or the prevention objective, and fUrther of the increased
Japanese carrier forces in the TRUK area, or moving southwards, CINCPAC
had ordered these two carriers to ferm a single combined force of two car-
riere upon arrival at POINT BUTTERCUP.* It is appar.ent that this ne" stri-
king force greatly increased striking power when the of
both group. had been completed. This merger actually did not become
effective until lIay 6, when the earlier phabes of the acMon·had been comple-
ted. '!'he combined carrier force was to be under the command of CTF 17.
The task assigned these forces was:
1. To destroy ships, shipping and aircraft at favorable oppor-
tunities.
CTF 17 evidently considered that TF 17 which was composed, in of
*CINCPOA Secret dispatch 220345 of April 1942.
.• .. .• ! .• __ .. ____ .. __

l
I
r
r ; , ."""'#Pi","".' 4._. o;oil\ , .... , "--'" + .. , n.
- ..... ......
the SARATOGl and TORKTOWI, .. a on the baal. ot the .. ayailable and .. en.
at l ••• t the equal ot thl Japane.e ta.k toroe oompo.ed of the SHO-
KAKU and ZUIICAJro. Had the HORNET and ENTERPRISE, whloh w.re en route, ar-
prior to thl aation, thl Allied preponderanoe ln oarrier, air and ,ur-
faa., pewer would haft been oVlrwhillains. However, the AIU .. were ,hort of
oarrierl in the Paoifio aDd the loa. ot one oarrier or the h8 avy da"sln, ot
on. or both, oould nave _ very retard in, etteot on Allied operation. in the
Southwe.t Pa01t1o. Theretore it wall i.portant that _xtlllWD oarrier .tren,th
be ayailabl. at all ti .... nd that the oarriers be not na.arded without due
reK&rd to oaloulated riak.
'Tr 11 Yi,ually oontaoted TF 17 in Latitud. 160-16' S., .Lonsitude 162
0

20' E., on May lat. The oiler DOSRO.at with Ta,k Foroe 17 at thil ti ...
TF 11 had b.en en route trom PEARL HARDOR to CHRISTMAS Ialand when it bad. on
19 April, reo.iYed a di'patoh trom di .. it to the CORAL SEA Area
and that it reoor+. +'0 err 17 for AO'Oarently, CINCPAC hoped
by thh oonnen+'l"ltlon of f(')roll t{" lurorise the .Taoanese In their planned .
operation. to the south and to obtain luperiorlty at the deoi.l" tlme
and plaoe. ThuB we ,ee that the oombined TF 17 wa. organized to obtain, al
a minimum. an equality in fighting .trength.
It hi of great interest to note that the .Jfloan"e 'two-oarrier ta.k foroe
wal aoparently deligned to oounter the Amerioan single oarrier ta,k toroe at
the ,ame ti .. that the two Amerioan single oarrier ta,k were oom-
bined to one two-oarrier ta,k toroe to oounter the Japane.e oarrier.. Thi.
bring' forth the taot that in war, even the best laid plans are lubjeot to un-
expeoted ohanges and the,e are to be r.garded el normal.
Atter TF 11 had joined TF 17, CTF 17 cHreoted eTF 11 to join a refueling
group oonai,ting ot the PERKINS and TIPPECANOE at Latitude 160-OD'S.,
Longitude 161
o
-45'E. and to tuel all shipi to maximum out ot the TIPPECANOE
.hioh had been direoted by CINCPAC to return to EFATE. TF ll's fueling oper-
ations,oommenoed at about 0800 on May 1st.
TF 17, meanwhile, had been fuo ling trom another oUer, the and
topped ott 'aD the 2nd of May. CTF 17 .. de it a praotioe to ruel all destroyera
from whatever supply was available whenever they oould reoeive al .uoh .1 500
barrels ot fuel.. He used oiler •• oarri.ers, and oruistlr, a. the fueling .ouroe.
Thil wa, an unavoidable oondition. There was a shortage oilers in the
Paoitio and the task foroes had to fuel when they oould. eTF 17 wa ••• riou,ly
r.,trioted by hi. and felt that his Ireedom ot aotion waf limited.
He wa. a1waY8 onnoerned lest the Jananese diloover hil logistio. and
attaok his lunply shios, and esoeoially his o11ers, in preferenoe to hh OOID-
batant ah1pl ••• +.he .TATllinaSe +,l,i.s the ability of TF 17
.lotion Report CTF 17 battle of Coral Sea, May 27, 1942 •
•• st.tement by eTF 17 to Comwodore ft..H. bauI, September 19'6.
\ , "!i; ".' ,

b
.. _ ... -. "=,",,;lA ... __ ... t4!''''''' ... _".,.., .......... ....... ... _ .... ,.,. ... _ .......
,-
•• _iIII __ , _",,,,' ...
ot 'fP 11 to operate in the SEA .llht ha .. be.n ... kedly o", ... n.d.
'l'hh praoUoe ot ru.Un, d •• -4 .. o,. ... trOll tbe 1 ..... hlp. II'ft "'P 1 ... "lJ
•• the 0 .. ",1.1nl ... dl",. ot the d •• t .. o,. ... wa. not .q",.l to tbat ot tbe
1 ....... hlpe •• nd the n."ult,. to .. • hlttinl th. d •• tro,.r .O .... DI d", .. lDI
tll,ht oper.tlOill. Glu •• d ..... ked lno ...... ln the fu.l oon.\lap'loa ot ,be
d •• tro,e.... In .ddltlon. pr.otl" de .. loped be •• ua. lt wa • .uoh qutate ..
to fu.l d •• tro,e ... trfXI '"h. l.rpr .hlp. 1Ih.n lt •• trOll the aai_d nWlber
ot aU .... whlon allhil be •• U"bl.. Cft' 17 dwa)'l .Dd •• fOred to n.p .n oUer
wli1h hh toro. durinl M .•• tay In the Coral S ••• xo.pUnl wben .o-.U, OIl •
• tdb. .
Whil. th ...... tu.Unp trCII the 1 ... p ... hlp. iDo ...... d the t .... ot
.01l10n ot the t •• t C .. oup .t tbe time .nd w..... there tore , ot Yltal laport-
ano., ilh.y had the 0 ..... 11 .tt.,ot ot toroinl the Ntl",.nt ot .ntl ... t •• t
COup! to .. _jo .. r.tu.Unp •• bappeniiJ tJUlouShou\ 1iiii "'1'. 51 1ihi ot6 ...
nd, It ... ot paramoUDt iapo .. tlno. tor .aoh to b ..... d,. to .. • n,.
... ntuallt,. and 111 1181 th1.l thou,;ht wh10h SU1ded r.'I'P 1" ill hl. luellal de-
oldonl.
'1'be... .... a d.tinUe ahor1lac. ot 011 ..... _nabl. to crr 17. Be bad
tbe DOSHO aDd tblt .oon i:o be de.obed TIPi'E<alJOI. Po .. tbll r ••• OIl, .Dd
wlth tbe pro.peot ot .otlon fa01n, hia, he sa" tu.llnl trCID 011.1"
priorit,..
-
D 11 plu. the CHICAGO .Dd !'DIm. o.-noed h.lin, t .. oa thl 'l'IP"-
CANC8 •• rlJ on 2 1111 .nd the to ...... two .hlp. wore detaohod .t 1830 to join
'l'P 11. Puelln, ot rr 11 wal ooaplet.d .t M*y at whioh TIPPI-
CAlItS bJ WCltDD,... de_obed with order. 110 proOled 110 Ir&'!'I. 'l'hll
•• rl,. oaapl.tion ot ruellns .... appar.ntlJ a .arpri.e. •• C'l'P 11 bad r.port.d
to 0'1'1" 11 that he would not be ",,1111 noon on the 'the BOIf .uoh •
poor •• tia. ot tu.UnC oould haw b.en _d. 11 not mown, 'bu' 1t al1ht ha ..
had u .d ...... ett.ot on Al11ed aotioM.
C'l'P 17 who had reOll .. d lntol'lDltlon on the 1IhrouCh ot
Ca.SC7R.paO dllpatohe. that tM .D"J ... _JUnl tiDal preparatl0D8 tor the
.d_nOl on POIl'l' lI(ltBSBy, deold.d that hll WIl. too tar to'tbe .outh-
••• 1Iftrd. Be tbereto ... dlreo'tled C'l'P 11 to tuel hl. d5.tro,-r. OIl • nor\h-
.... terl' oour.e at nllht .Dd rej01n '1'J' 11 .11 d.yllp.t, *7 • ln laUtacS.
1&0_00' S. 10nI1t\ad. 1610·00' I. 'l'hl. WI. 11M .... rend.nou, that had
b .. n pr.Yiou.l, .rranl'd w1th '!'e.t tt, tbe &D •• o Squadron. 00Dll.1I-
lnc ot B ..... AUS'l'RALU aDd B ••• A.S. BOBAR'l'. 'fhl. d.oldon ot CD 17
to tuel '1'J' 11 d •• tro,. ... on • northn.terl,. oou"", .t nl,h1l, .ppe.r. to
ha .. be.n •• 0Wld ODe. 'l'bII wind tre. the SI .ad had 'l'P' 11 tueled lnto
'h. wind ...... ouda.erJ .Dd bad it _ken a. lon, •• to ... o .. t. '!'P 11 would
ha .. been tar Hmowd trfllll the .",,01n"" rend.''9OUI on 'hi ot • 11',.
OIl 1Ibe atterDoOl1 ot 2 *y a YORK'l'CJn( all' 100u1; d&ht.d a .ubMrlD11 OD
tbe '\II'taoe at 1515 beariDI 0100 (T) dl.1Iazloe .bout SO .Ue. troa D 11 .Dd
t
I
I
f
about 15 aile. bearin, 018
0
troll Tr 11. Thre. SBD'" launcbed by the YORl-
TO .. to d •• troy thi. attacked it at 1645 witb 6 d.pth ch.rg ••• •
It dora and ... not ... n .. ain, althoucb err 17 d.tacb.d 2 d •• troy.r. to
inye.ti,ate tb. contact. err 17 decided that hi. location bad b •• n r.ported •
. Tbl. d.oi.loD ... what ai,ht have bee tera.d an «aluated su •• a. How-
«.r, the tact that a aut.&rin •• a. boab.d with1..n 15 .11 .. of a t •• k tore.
by tour carrier plan •• , doe. not n.c •••• rily •• an th.t the t •• k forc. has
b.eD locat.d. It doe. iDdic.t., on the oth.r hand, th.t a carrier ta.k ,roup
ot \lIlkn01ll1 ocapG.ition ia .ithin about 75 an... In this .c .. e, t.h. lNt.arine
whicb r.port, Itate ... undamaged appe.r. to have .ade no report
whatloever ot tbe cont.ct.
Att.r .eparating tro. Tr 11, Tr 17 coot1nued ... tftrd throughout tb.
night and again ruel.d d.atroy.rl trom the NEOSHO on the Thu., at the
tlaa ot tbe occupation ot TULAGI by the Japane.e about 0820 on lay Srdr
(.) Tr 17 ft. in l.tltud. lSo_4S' S., longitude 159
0
-24' E. and on
• northwesterly courle.
(b) Tr 11 wa. in l.titude 160-26' S., longitude 161
0
_SO' E. and on
• w •• t.rly cour.e.
Tbe aOV"entl of both Tr 17 and TF 11 bet .. en lay 1st and 1181' Srd are
ot int.rwn trom a .ecurity Itandpoint. Here, tor about 50 hour., two t.1k
fore •• aan_UYered at Ilow .peed while ruelinc, and croased and recrosled ODe
another" tr.ck.. 1I01t of the •• aaneU7.rs occurred within .... 11 area .bout
45 aile. iD an east-we't dir.ction and .bout eo al1el iD a nortb-soutb dlrect-
iC:1 "--. pl.inl, shown in Dlagr .. "C". The great danger, or cour.e, 1.1'
1n the ot action by ene=y 8ubaariDea, six or which were in the
CORAL SEA ar... AI has b.en prcYiou.ly .hown, aircr.rt trca the
.ighted and attacked. subaariDe betw.en 1515 and 1545, IIq 2nd, within about
to .Ue. b.aring Oleo (T.) trOll the YORK'l'OWN' s 1515 and Wi thin 15 .il..,
ot Tr 11. The aubiariDe was not •• en agaiD.
CTr 17 apparently decided that. the aublllarine danger ns not .0 great a.
to endanger hi. coamand for he continued ruelinl and did Dot change hi' .fuel-
ing area. 508e 1I0nth. lat.r, atter the CAROLINA, SARATOGA, and WASP bad
beeD torpedoed under circumstance. .1ailar to the above, CINCPAC directed that
carrier task tore.. .hould not r .. ain in aubaarln. area. tor lDn, p.riods, but
should change their operating area. troquentlT and radically troa to day.*
CTr 17, during this ru.lin" does Dot app.ar to have con.idered it uece.8-
ar,y to k.ep hi. talk force, concentrat.d. He apparently did not teel the Deed
tor visual ca.aunication8 or for tbe additional .ecurity that two talk groupe
closely concentrated alght bave given hla. Why he t.lt thil ny is not clear,
tor b. had inforaed b,y CINCPAC that both TF 11 and Tr 17 •• re, upon arrival
*CINCPAC Seri.l OSl68 ot Octobvr Sl,

a --'.'. 0' •• ... ".S .. ""'_.K' • ... - '-'-'--"'-
.. .. -, ...... ......., ... ...... !'IIt.,.....-,. .ow..r .... \I ..... ___ .......... .:.,I ... __ ....
f
at POI1ft' BUTTIRCtJP, tn be oa.b1Decl 1ato a '1nIlo taat toroe UDder hi. oa.-
aADd-be bad neelYod 1I1tol'llatlon tbat tbe Japane"e would probablJ atart
their PORT MOR!SBT or lower fk>u:.:>lIS operation, or botb, b7 AprU 28t.b-
be baJ beon 1Dtol'llod ot the pre.cee ot tbe Japane.e oarrier diYi.iOll,
Card1 ... lS, at TRDIt or ell route .outb, &Dd be auat baYe reaUHd that it ••
an on-7 'OapabllIt1 ot DWlber OIle priorIt1 to COf'er hi. _phibiou. wait.
tor the aboYe land1nc' .ith air &Dd aurtace power. B18 de.Ire to bo readT
tor de.ire tor ot aetian .bould &D .. er,ooC7
ari.e--hi. anziet7 OYU' the d'tYelop1D, .ltuat.lOD-b18 dea1re to be .ore to
the ... tward and northward, are all appreciated, but could not the.e de.Ire.
haye beon obtained witb • ooabined toroe' Doe. it Dot appear, theretore,
a. it It would bave beeD wi.er to baYe oo.blDod the two ta.k torce. a. direct-
ed b.1 CIICPAC or, at the lea.t, baYe kept tb.. togetber .0 that he would be
eoabled 1D aina_ tlae to YIeual17 aDd to CODcootrate the a&x-
111\&11 .trqtb a"ailable Ihould the Deted arl.e' Also tbere could baye beon
aD interchaD,e ot oller. whIch a1ibt baYe expedited tbe ruelinl. Bad tbll
boon done, the tact that Tl 11 had oo.pleted ruel1D, a dq earlier tbaD plan-
ned, would beon DOWD to bla aDd he would ba.,.e been able to .trike TOL-
AGI with two tull tau torce.. .A. it happened, the.e t.wo talk toree.
roUlblT 1D the .. e latif-ude and but fJ) aile. apart at 2000 OIl S ..." and,
Tet, t.be taot that. fl 11 had ooapleted rueliDI, aDd ... a.,ailable tor tbe
.trike, _s apparentlT \1DJm01!lD to C"'l 17. Thi... becau.e the torce. were
not within .,Iaual .i£D&l dl.t&Dce, it ... Dot de.ired to break radio .ilence,
aDd aeroplane drop •• Dot u.od.
AlUtd Plu
Tbe ba.lI ot the Allied plu ... a pure rud.iDC operation. crl 11 ...
to keep hi. readT ill all tor actlon. Wbc be
recebed a report ccmeeniDi Japan •• e aOf'_ent. either troa CIJCPAC or tro.
eo.tander, South.at Pacitic Forces or troa hi_ om eoaaand, whIch ind1cf.ted.
tbat • truittul tar,et, action acainat whieh would contribute toward the b&.ie
plan, bad appeared, err 17 .a. to take auch otfeneiY. action .. ain.t It
appeared advI .. ble.
Thia plan .... cund, but it will appear later that crl 17, in carrying
it out, ••• ed in bie plannlnl, to undere.ti.lllate th. Japane ••• tr.nlth, and,
apparentl" tUled to disc.rn the Japan •• e plan ot eneireleaent trom the eaat
which near17 relUlted 111 diluter.
General Bu'aa
Th. preceding di.cu.aion caaplete8 the background tor the action ot the
CORAL BEl. In general, 'it indicatel on the Japane.e lid., tour surtace torce.,
ODe ot which wa, a strong two-carrIer ,roup, aupported by ,oaewhat inadequate
land and t.nder ba.ed aircraft and aubmariDe., proc •• din, to PORT MORES-
BY aDd, on the Allied .ide, two .ingle-carrier toree.,.oon to b. aer,ed Into
on. two-carrier torc., aupported by extr .. ely land aDd tender ba.ed
l
I
t
r
,
.
__ 1 __ ..... _._- .
alrOraft aDd alaarSn •• witlDl 'loO tab ottc81 ••• OUOD acain.t th ... .Jap-
..... torO", .... their 10oatlOll _d oo.po81t101l bad bee "porteeS. TtJUQI
bad 3 •• t __ oOCNpled.
All .Japu... toroe. OOIl.lIIteeS cU"l1 ot lavaal. tOl'o", with tb. IXOept-
10e ot th. South .... Detaobeel Poro., whlob ... Ara7, and all "1" unel.r coa-
aud ot th. DaYal o .. aacl.r. AlUecl rOI'O'" 00 tb. oth.r bud, OODa18ted ot
both AftI7 aad I •• al tora... ft ... _" .cvall, undll' •• parat.
not 1Il vq WI' 1D the ... obalD ot aa.aDd.
Aft.r 'l'ULAOI bad bMD oOCNpled the .Japan ••• CcW.riDl Porc. at 1100
Ird, lett It. cOYeriDI poalt1on .auth ot lID QJX)RQI.l Illand and h.aded
ba a DOrtb ... tlrq d1reC\.lOll, at _ .cOIlOllleal Gpeld, toward. WD2I CAROL-
IB lWtBOR, BUI.l ISLAlD, .1" it •• to tuel prior to Joining tb .. PORT
IOUSBY n..aaloe Poro.. t'blt strlklDc 1orc., whlcb •• _ rout. on a lOUth-
.. ate.t"17 OO\&I'a. to ita pluned poa1tlon, _a 210 allla north.alt ot lEI IRE-
LAID _d abCNt ao aill. nol'tb •• t ot TULAGI. It ft. tranat.rring o.rtaln
plan •• to IWW7L plan •• bad b.- terrbd tro. TROI. Tb. Support rorc •
• a "tU!"lllDl to join th. PORT 1IOR!S8! Illva810D Porc. wblch .a aUll at aD-
ohor ill lWWJL"
Allot th.a. aorl. _" in aceorG_c. with th • .Japq ••• plaD which call-
.d tor th. PORT IIORISBt Ia.aalon Porc. tc d.part troa JWWJL at 1800 OIl .ay
4.* bad .procHded accordinl t.o plan Uld th." •••• to bav. been
DO tboulbt In the alDd. ot th • .Japan ••• ot po.alble acUOD b, A.Ul.d torcel
aca1n.t !VLjQI DOW that lt bad been occupled by tb. ,Japan.a. tbout oppa.l-
tloe rrc. Allled rorOl.. tbua .. tllld that, 1D ttl. TUL.lGI ope .. _tlon, th. J_p-
all'" appanDt17 talled to aaaq .. th. wao ... 1on ot ... _tl lnt.ll1lent17.
Bad thq etucl1e4 th.ir trma the vlewpoillt ot the Alli.d
CaMed.r, tbe7 lI1&bt haT' realised that th.re .s a atrool Allbd capabUlt1
ot atri.Jd.n1 'l'ULAQI in ord.r to daDl"' t.porarlq the us. ot that bas. tor "-
coanal ... c. aca1Dat tbe AlUed rald.1Dl toroe.
At th. tiM of th. :: ,lipatlO1l at '1'tJLAQI, " 11 and 'fp 11 weI" on , •• r-
alq .. at.rq and nol'tb ... t.rq caur •• s and "1'. COlltlnUln, tu.llDi. Both
oaapi.ted tu.llnl on the Srcl, althou&b thl8 tact was appar_tq Dot mo_ to
err 17.
At 1100 S -." C'1'P 11 r.celyed _ report troa Ca.mander, Soutbweat Pac-
ltlc 1oroes wblob lDdloat.d that the Japan ••• bad b'l\ID to occupy 'l'ULAGI
BarboI' in the S)L(IIOIS. Be atated in hl. acUon "POrt, "'l'bll 1. Just th.
k1acl ot "POrt w. bad bleD wa1UDl two aooth. to rec.lve.-, and b. al.o stated
*CaaLat Report 10. 1, I," \. at the Coral Sea, WOO 1«)991, dated
11 .Juq 1942, P.4.
-
,
4
••• A-1f1

",--", ",-'
• • .". ..- .... ;';:'-., "A_ ,. _ ,"_ .
.... __ •. ::.. .. _ ... _'" " .... "
1100(-11) 4MAYI9UI
- -........
-----
---::#
..,..,.. ..
TULAGa
THE YORKTOWN LAUNCHED ITS ATTACK ON TULAGI FROM AN AREA OF BAD
WEATHER NEAR A WEAK COLD FRONT. THE BAD WEATHER AREA ASSOCI-
ATED WITH THIS FRONT COVERED MOST OF THE ROUTE TO TULAGI.
PRODUCING UNDESIRABLE CONDITIONS J BUT AT THE SAME TIME
FURNISHING EXCELLENT COVER FOR THE CARRIER AND THE
ATTACKING PLANES.
PLATE I
'E
,
r
.1>41- f
".l.)!
\
..
• _;'. _ ,<. ,_-,':-., .t'e,;-
v skI ttrii "1 '" ...
wat· ftC t«
..... ,4 J 4l. 4?4'" -; 1(4 4 • .., .. pq
l.ia .... iahaia h. had 'houlb' ,he .. WN -julo, '-rpt.-. He 4a..oid.d iao
atteok th ••• t.rseia. without waitihS iao b. joined b, TF 11
oompl.t.d iia. tu.linl. but whioh had not r.por,.d to hi. b.oau •• ot
radio 1111no. and b.oau •• it .... out ot 'ri.ual What
moti.iated 17 in d.e1.1on to att.aok, with r.duo.d toro •• ,
1. not knGWn, bu. it appear. to ha .. b •• hi. b.li.t that h .... in
ad.quaia •• tr.nl'b, aad It app.ar. to ha .. b •• n hi. furth.r,b.li.t that
h. had b •• n r.port.d b, a aad, th.r. tor. , hi. tre.do. or .0tiOD
would be j.opardla.d unl ... h •• truok l_dillt.l,. H. Wl'" dl1'1e ... tul in
hi. aiat.ak, but iia will b •• hown la,.r that h. ,.r, n.arly t.ll iniao a
trap b.oau •• ot hi. w.ak toroe. H •• uao.ed.d b.oau •• the
J.pan ••• tail.d to Noosn1 •• and .xploit iah. tavorabl. military .iiauatlon
iah.y wer. or.atinl tor iah •••• 1 ....
H. immediat.ly d.taahld the NEOSHO, with the RUSSELL a ••• odrt,
and d i ,. oted thl to noti ty e'IT 11 .nd CTF 44 a. the rend •• You.
tor May 4 that h .... proa .. diDI to attaak. Re 11k .. l.e direot.d the
BOSRO to iDtOI'll aU .hlp. that. n .. renclllvou, would b. _de at lat-
ltud. 15
0
.00' S., loncltud. 160°.00' E. at QD May 5th.
TF 17 now ot iahe o.rri.r YORKTOWI (t1aC), hea., orui •• r.,
ASTORIA. CRES'l'ER and PCaTLAND .nd the d .. HAllMAn, ANOOSOI,
PERKINS, WALD, MORR IS and SIllS.
Thi. d'oielun tor TF 11 plu. TF 44, to oontinul on to • nlw r.n-
d.,you. on the Gth 1. open to arsument. It .till dld not ooa.ider the
.n.my" oapability ot app.arinC in thl TULlOI ar •• with •• tronl oarr1lr
t •• k toro.. Ther.tor., doe. it not appear oorreot that CTF 17 .bould
have direot.d the NEOSHO to dlreot CTF 11 plu. TF 44 to proo •• d immedi-
upon aompl.tion ot to lome d •• lcnatld rende.you. in thl
rir.otion ot TULlOI, ln to obtain a more taTOrabl •• upportinc po.l-
tion Ihould suoh support be neoeuarr
TF 17 oontinued on a north.rly oour •• the nlght .nd by
0700 on .ay 4tb lt had re.oh.d a point about 100 .11 ••• outh ••• t ot
OUADALCARAL I.laDd, at l.tltude 11
0
-10' S., longltud. 158
0
-49' I. At
thi. time, T' 11, TF 44, REOSHO aad RUSSILL were in the T10inlty of the
May 4th r.ndllvoU. and were thu. about 250 mile •• or TV 17, and
unable .upport TP 11 .hould •• udd.n ne.d arl •••
A. TF 17 approaoh.d It. plann.d launohing po.1tlon it ran into
.. ath.r oooo1tion. whioh •• re unt.vorable tor flying. A moderate oold
front had lett th'"Au.trAl1an OOl.t and mO'YWd northward •• Th. trade
.ind oonditlon. normal to the .r •• beoame r.e.tabll.hed 1n the CORAL
SEA to the .outh of th1a tront. V1a1bil1ty .outh of the front ft.
a , 14 4 .; .. J •• 4 ;, , » 4 c;: q;e • 'F, .

i
I
I
• xo.ll.nt. w1th •• outh.a.t .ind. Or •• t oOl:lltanoy.
1n the n .. r the the ... th.r w .. bad. Th. oold h'ont had
reMh.d ite north.ruo.lI 0011 111 on JUII t .outh ot nUAJ'lIIr.CA NAL IIl.nd. Bad
".ather now oo,"red a .id. ar ... outh ot OUADAl.CANAL tor a dhtano. ot
0,.1' 100.i1 ••• Th •• ky w •• oyeroa.t with .tratooumulu •• oumulu •• nd
oUilulon1abu. oloud.. Th. 'Yhibll1ty ft. adyer .. ly .rr.ot.d by.hower.
and .qu.11 •• 'h •• .a •• outh.a.t 2& knot. with ooo •• ion.l ot
knot •• -
SacS w."ther exht.d over the .ntir. tly1nl!; rou't. trOlll ollrd.r
ta.k foro. 1.unohinr; pod tion to wi thin 20 linn ot TOLAGI. It pro-del.d
.xo.ll.nt oono •• lment tor Aill.d airoratt. and mad. the att.ok • oanpl.te
.urpri •• to the J.pan.... TULAOI 1tll.lt. w •• in ql •• r w •• th.r. Thu. b.d
w •• th.r .round the oarri.r ta.k foroe .nd good w •• th.r over TULACI obtain-
.d d.y. Tautio.lly .pe.klng, .uoh • oOllbin.tlon of oloud
00 .... 1' ,uttlo1ently low and d.nll. to Dr.vent .tteotl,. by the
JaQane .. ol.ne •• non. of wM"h hut no+. 80 low u to lnterrer.
with the hominr. nllne •• WI. ideal. 17 fully by it,
onoe ad,.nt.ge. had beoome aooar.nt.
Th. l.unohing po.ition 1'01' the f1rlt .trlk. Ipp .. r. to hne b •• n
oorr60tly oho •• n a. lt ft. Dlo.s •• ry the day. wlth • south ••• t
wind, to work up to the north .nd th.n b.ok to the .outh in ord.r to
.aint.ln .bout 100 1111 •• b.twe.n the ta.k toro. and TOLAnI. It ...
very 1.portant that the ta.k toro. ln the atternoon .hould be on •
• outh ••• oour ••••• thl. we. thl dlr.otlon or the wind .nd taoili-
rettrement. Should the .ne.y be by .urpri.e. it would
norm.lly r.quire .ome hour. support 1n .uttloient .tr.ngth oould
be ,upplied to .treot •• nd, that ti.e. the .ttaok would
gener.lly be over .nd the toro. would be withdrawlns. Should
the .nemy not be by .urpri •• but, .hould h., in.te.d. ott.r
•• outh ••• t wind would b •• xtr •• ely helpful to the Alll •••
It would al.o be equ.lly helpful to J.pan •••• 'hould th.ir .upport b.
o.rrter b ••• d pl.ne.. !h. nENNEL Iliand •• ott.r .oa. to
the o.rrler ta.k toroe in 0 ••• ot toro.d ,.rlJ wlthdrawal but. with
the bad we,th.r oondltion. exl.ting .round TF 11. the po •• lbillty or •• rly
di.oo?ery by .nellY ••• roh pl.n •• appe.red r •• ot ••
By 0101, the orul •• r. h.d launoh.d .n inn.r air patrol a&ain.t .ub-
•• rin •••• nd the YORKTOWN h.d oommeno.d l.unohln« .n .ttaok ,roup ot 12
torpedo pl,n •• (TBD), IS 100Ut pl.ne. (SBD) .nd 16 boaber. (SBD). tollowed
by • oo.b.t .11' ot six tighter. (r4r-S). A ooabat .1r patrol ot
.1x plan ••• orkin, in three .hitt. w •• maintained thrQUlhout the d.y.
The oc,lIIpolltlon or thh .tta"", IrrOl1n Wflt u"u.ual in th.t no
.r. oreneded it ",. it. This to be.n
beo.u •• the o.rried but 18 tlght.r •.• 11 ot whloh .er. thought
n.o •••• ry tor oomb.t .1r patrol. and beo.u •• it we. hop.d to o.tah the
Japane.e by .urpr .s., In whioh 0 •••• no n •• d tor tighter. ft. appar.ntl1
.nd Mi.-t _.rPir •• 'he M,"l. or Cor.t S.a, s.otloa.
Chiet ot W ... l Oper.tion •• April (RlVAER 60-1T-12).


I
I
,
,
I


t)'
l
.,
aD'lolpa-.d. IWDI ot the a'taok plan •• w.r. ,her.tor. \h •• 01. pro-
'MoUCNl apln.' .DJ en'.' alrorat, wblob .llh .. be .nooun'Mr.d. Roweftr.
1' ... to\lDd ... o .... r' l."r '0 '.plo, tilhier •• pine' .1lI., floa' (llan ••
• h1oh had beoa.t • Dul.anoe '0 'hi at'-ok ••
Th. Attaok Group rand ••• ou •• d by .quadron. and •• oh .quadron proo •• d.d
to !OLAQI ind'pead.n'l,. UPOD arri .. l a' TULlGI •• oh .quadron oonduoted It.
a'taok. in ,he .ann.r ot tho ••• arly da,. w1th 11'tl. or no ooordination
wl'h the a''-ok. b, oth.r .quadron.. !hi. naturally re.ulted ln oon-
tudon, and oaul.d a .xpenditur. ot ertort that would h .... been neo-
' •• Iry had the a'''ok. be.n
An 1.pDrtan' r.a.on tor thl. apparent laok or ooordlnation app.ar. to
ha ... bleD tbe tao' ,hat ,be Air Oroup co_nder did DO' .000llpiny the l".ok
Group, a. hl. "1'.10 •• w.r. r.quired on the oarr1.r .1 richter direotor ott-
io.r, and no other .'rike croup oa.mand ... appoint.d.- Why no strike Oroup
Ca..ander WI. appoint.d 1. nnt apparent. Air operation. had lonr. .hawn the
Deo ••• lty tor .a.I o ... oo .. and.r in the attaok are. to reoonno1t.r thl
are' durinc thl ln1tial attaok, '0 ooordlnate the Squadron. in the
ot tarce" and ord.r ot attaok, to ma1ntain radio dl.oipline, and
to ob •• r ... Ind report the r ••• lt. or thl attlok ••
The .n •• y ..... 1. w.r. reported by the plane. plrtioipltinS
in the tir.t attaok. 2 lar" AI'. or Apt. (8-10,000 ton.), 1 AK (&,000
tou) .. pboate (1,000-1&00 ton.), 1 CL (JINTSU Cl ... ), 2 DDt., 1 larp AV,
& I.aplan •• anohored orr MAlAYBO Ialand and numerou •••• 11 patrol boat. and
1.UDObl.. Th1. ,.,ort, a. wa. true in .any other in.tanoe. durin, the war
in thl PACIFIC, ... oon.iderably in .rror r,oosnition ot type" althoush
the &otual nuablr ot ...... 1. report.d WI. r.G.onably aoourat ••
A .".ady ot the Japan ... 'loUon report. tor the TULlGI Ind PORT MORISBY
oper.tion., indio.te. that thl tollowlns .hlp. w.r. pr •• ent ot TULlOI at the
tl ... ot the attaok.
OKINOSHnaA
K lKUZUI I. TUZUI I
Coa.tal M1ne No. 1 and No. 2
.
AZUIIA TAKAHAE-MARU
lCJI
2 DD
2 AlIo
....... -
4. XPC
-Xotion Report, YORtTbHN, SerIal OS4. May II, 1942. Ixeouti ..
Ott1oer" r.pnrt attaohed .. hereto dated 19 1942. p.3.
.. '.,....... ...35-
. 'J. .• f,
.,. .' ..
1
The Fir.t Attack Group oon.i.t1D£ IS VB or Baabin, Squadron Flye,
1S VS or Soout1a& Squadron rive and 12 " ot Torpedo Squadron P1Yt wa.
launobed tor It. initial attaok oa-aenoin, at Oeste The ooabat aL' patrol
dQ" not appear to baye been launobed Wltll 0700. SUnriae .. a at 0862
and .ornin, twil1aht 10111 pr.oeded tbll.
The Firat Attack Group land.d at OaSl and ... r.ara.d
The Attaok Group con.i .• tinl o't 1. VB of BClllb1nl Squadron rlv.,
IS VS ot Scoutinl rlYe and 11 "' or Torpedo Squadron rlYe JNre lAunob.d
bet.een 10S8 ADd 1120. Eaob .quadron prooe.ded iDd.pend.nt17 to tbe Tar,et
Ar.a, witb tbe VB and VB aircraft .ooutinC th. ar.ea to .eat and Northwe.t
and reportinl tbe pOlition ot abip. to the V! Squadron. Thie plan ot
.coutin, to the 'eat and North ... t and report1nl the pb.itioD of .bipa to
the V'I' .qu¥dron, _I ,0UDd, wt h.:,. a,ain, tho attaok •• er. not coor-
dinated but were initiat.d b1 indiyidual .quadron oa.aanders.
'h. aeoond Attack Group land.d at IS19 and waa r.arm.d t.medlat.ly.
Th. tbird Attack Group conlistins of 12 VS or Sconting Squadron [1Y,
and 9 VB'I ot JoIDb
1n
g Squadron llv •• as launcbed at 1·.00. At 1882 tbe
tbird Atiaok Group landed, and air against TULAGI .ere complet.d.
Certain errorl or ooamission were noted durin, thele Aaon,
th.le werec
(a) Torpedo.1 .ere dropp.d at ran,.s Yar,rin, trom 500 to 1000 yards
in the attaok, to upwards ot SOOO yard" in tb. lahr attacke. Tb1e
lon, range droppinl of torpedoe. app.ar. to bave be.n caused by a desire
on the part of tbe pilot I of tbe torpedo planes to avoid Japan.se anti-
whioh .a. reported aa heavy, but which was, in fbct, sa.o-
what li,ht. This was the first experience tor some of the pilots against
AA fire it appeared worle than it .as •. Torpedoes .ere dr09ped mucb
cloler later during the Coral Sea action.
(b) Thirteen 1000 pound bombl and eleven torpedoes .ere expended by
the s8cond Attaok Group on the OIINOSRIKA. Thi. sbow. that a low percent-
age or hits must have been made to have only achieved what the Japaneee
describe as wNo dirficulty in battle cruisin" 80me caaualtiea.
R
(c) Thirteen 1000 pound general purpose bombs .ers expended by Bom-
blng Squadron Five on three gunboats. The present reca.mended primary
arming plan ror this type or target calls for nothing gre.ter than a
inch rocket. Nothing should tbe plane commander concerned from
dropping bomb he may be loaded with, provided he considers the
tarset worthy or the effo:rt, but in thiB caee, targets were still afloat
in the area which were better for the 1000 pound seneral purpose
,
1
I
,
botDb. Wl th prope" l"eoonnai ... noe ot the tarpt ar .. by a strlk. Oroup
Caamander. the.e would hav. been 'pparent, and oould than
been a •• to the .quadron. oonoerned ln .uoh a .anne" •• to be.t
in.ure thelr
The armlnK plan tor the .quadrons wa. the .am. throuKhout
the day. The pl.ne. or Sooutinl Squadron and Squ.dron
were eaoh armed with one 1000. pound YX 13 purpose boab with MX
21 no.e .nd NX 23 tall ru •••• The.e fu ••• were eaoh 1mp.ot fu •••
with .01 .eoond delay aotion, and app.ar to have been the only on •• avail-
able tor the bomb •• mployed. The commanding Ottioer of the YORKTOWN, in
hi. report of thi. aotion •• tated. that the re.ult. obtalned trom direot
hit. on larKe •• el. w.r. .nd reoommend.d that a slower
ru.e ot .25 •• oond. b. prov.id.d. Thi. would allowed the bombs to
explode .ell insid. the of .hip. enoount.red at TOLAGI in.tead of
mol" n •• rly Gn oont&ot a. wa. the oa.e in this aotion. A' a
re.ult of the use ot the .01 .eoond fu.e. the inflioted by direot
hit. on the larpr .hip. appear. to have been mostly top. ide damage and
the ett.ot trom n •• r mi •••• apP4ar. to h..- been neKllgibl.. Torp-
edo Squ.dron Five had eaoh plane arm.d with one MK XIII torpedo wtth a
d'pth of 10 feet. All fiP:hter. w.re with .fiO oaUber maohin.
only.
Four VF's .ere launoh.d at 1310 to prooe.d to TULAGI to d •• troy ••• -
plane. whloh wer •• ttaoking the bomber. and torpedo plan... The •• plane •
• an' shot down three .n.my .ingl. float s.aplane. in the vioinity
ot TULlGl. They then .tr.ted e destroyer whioh wa. croo •• ding ln oompany
with the A1,r to norlihw .. tward. "'hh deatroyu w .. deaorlbed by the tiKM.r
pilot. In.olved. to have been a new two-.taok de.troyer ot the ASASrO 01 ••••
No de.tl'oyer or thh 01 ... wa. l'I"U8nt _t 'I'ULAr.I I!'nd it is, tht!!ref'or'e, U!U-
m.d that ....... the YlTZUKT whioh the J.Danes. state ... on May 4th
at TtnAGI by uarrier plane.. She wa. not .urrioiently. hoWever. to
.rteot .eriously her '-ttl. effioienoy. although her Captain and many other •
• ere de.d or wounded.
During the r.turn or these 4 VF's to the YORKTOWN, one .eotion beodme
.. parated .nd landed on the South oout ot Island near CAPE
HENSLOW. Both pilot. w.re r.soued that night by the USS HAMMANN.
The evaluation on Page 38 oompares the damage inflioted, a •• yaluated
trom Japan •• e souroe. now .yailable, with that of the ba •• d on an
evaluation or Allied pilots' reports mad. Commanding Otfioer ot the
YORITOfrW at the time ot the aotion. .
fieport. USS fORt16NN, Serial 084, liy 11. 1942. p. 14.
l
1
....
CeO. TORJrTOlIrN
ItituATtON
2 DD' s by bOllbi and
I torpedoe.
1 AJr, by torped08'
1 CL (JIITSU Cia •• ) by
torpedoe. and bomb.
SlJINAPY OF DAMAGE
ship. SUDk
Shi'O. Beaohed
Ships Severely Damag9d
1 DD (ASASIO ala .. ) ,by
bOlllb •. .\ torped 08.
1 AV by bomba
1 AI (lar,-) by bODba
6 .insle float .eaplane.
de.tro,ed
lariou .... 11 .unk or
d ... pd by .tratins.
Damaged
IUs oe nane ous
OWn Los.e,
PRESENT EVALUATION
2 speoial duty mine .weeper.
No. 1 and No.2, by
or torpedoe ••
1 1AUA VARU by bombs or tor-
oedoes.
1 DD KlKUZUKI by bomb or tor-
pedoes (beaohedand later
sunk)
(see YUZUKI DD)
(see OK'INOSHIMA CM-6)
1 eM OKINOSHIMA by bombs
1 DD YUZUKI by strafing
1 XPC TAM! MARU No. 8 by bomb.
5 • Ingle float ... plan ..
destrol'd. various •• al1
oraft sunk or damaged by
strafing.
, Pre,ent lvaluatlon
2-" - Pilote reco.ered
1 VT - Cr.. Dot reoo.ered
3 VS - Duaged
3 VB -
2 VT - Da-sed
Th8 followin« table "Summary of the TULlG! Attaok" is a coaplate analysi.
ot this attaok whioh indioate. the tarpta, naber of planes attaokins, type
ot AA tire encountered, and other .. ttera ot analytical intere.t.
In. TOLlGI operation was oertainly disappointing 1n terms of the ratio
ot a..unitlon expended to result. obtained. ,hi. Ixpend1ture 22
Worpedoe., se.-nty-six 1000 pound genetal purpose'bombs, 12.fi70 rounda ot
_50 oaliber and 70,096 rounds ot .SO caliber _ohine £Un ammunition •
. .....
. , ..
-:58-
I
r
ia.....,.

..' ."
ii:' ,;' .,-
0' T'!LACI AftACE
-
TAFlfJ!"f'
I
S:"tn: I "". OP 1110. O? JIO. or
TDI! ROlf P'C/!II' I P!:!S!!P!' lOCO, >!It XIII A/A PlII!
JIIdswt ITALTTAft'D I<IIWIIll A.'!"rA.cr. or ATTA-,x- GP!t'113S DeCl!!'ft- JIAJWIII
r-.:: r.CA'!'IOW P'Ie,'!'IC!I no:: ED!) CLAn.»
-
oel' YS-' leL.rM> 1-DO 15 S!D
l' s- 4. IlUa.l probabb
1 :l!; IIKInSt'II __
DeR.d 2 AYe -n.ra.
·::P20 leL.!DD 1 ,n • TlIn 6 JI!e• ..,. tr .. :5 b.1ta .. £IO' ......
neg_I! • AXe all .blp •• Cl. beaebl4.
oae to ".eri""
I
1 AX III 1 :wr 5 TIlt
,
110 BU •.
"'DO
__ 1IItlloo
ltr,. .. eb .11ot. .1ISe _p-
t"ra-. ..
1 AT. 12\ 1 L\J' 2 !"!ID ! 2 bit ... :,aak later 1Uf" ... .ooII&R.,.. • .,. te .... -
able po.ttlos. 'forJeIoea
n1 ..... at ftIICIt of
I , to 1000.74-.•• ,.,...
I
alUta" s;, tNt ..
1 Torpo4o h11.4 ...
In reI ....
1 U' f!l 1 L\J' , SBD
,
Wo4ence bat .., bit.
LUI T ........ """. Iuutt1a1 ••• 1aMa ft
1 147 C11-6
" SltD
,
1Mthotl" 1 po •• lbl. Itit CII-I onJIOSP.Da. ea. ".,..t to 1A...
1 .7 15) C11-6 :5 3BD 5 U. 04 auto- 1 Ut ... po •• lbl. aiaor
I
_tie .epa 1 po .. Utla hU Gt .t: lal ODe ILlC trn
tiro. UI.
1 u: '.) 1 XU! 1 S!l) 1 .. Ut. :D.Y !'AKL-PAJW, eM en- of .'-.ek ..
100 1 Dn 1 3BD 1 110
..,-...
m
...-..
'115 11'(1 I IPC ,
"n.e noorc! .. 1 1 • .1\
__ 110.8 lawft"l.s-. ,1 ___
.4 Sll1f'l'
=4
noet
SM ...
..ell ur_ \0 la.a:n
s..pla._ .era" •• rMaoKlbl. JWOM.,Ult,.
ao4 4enr0J'll4 pl ... atH!''' -.s at at lM. _ Ut tor
"'11. t ... 1 ... oN. toot .... ",4 _t. Ulo t"., _
off. t!l.e t.". ot .t"tack:.
i
IPG 1 IPC S SB!I
,
1 b'-.
1 PI; 1 Ire
I
3 S!!n 3 1 Mal' ai ... 8t,..r.d
I
by 10 pleoel
a.o4 1.n. .1U:-
Iq.
+ .. '"
C" .. 1 S!l) 1 1 Dtvala ••
_ ar.!II09I'I!'.l.
...
110 __ •
1210 T3 .. 1 A.T (3) C11-6 13 Sl!I!) 13 pr.eaTY and 2: .It. aa4
_ <JUJI!9IDa.
ICO"Jl"a't •• I po •• lbl.
.,--...
2 rlaDli. 1 "oet .... plaDe 1 .1aode
dl.pd. Se •• l ... eMe
I
,
-.
lU, 1 AY IS) CIf-l 6 ?'!n

11..... 110
... l._d
1 AT 151 G¥-! 5 T!ID
,
.0 bIt.
..
rr.. altn_ or !IO
I hft.
1 to Mftln. __
.. -.
1550 17-42 517 3 .1Jocl. 2."-5 801M record- 3 VY •• ple .•• S 11ql. fioat .. -
to ... pla •• flo" J .4,
plaDe. _._.
HIO .. -
plane.
Y? 100 100 4 Y4r-3 nraf'ed P1N_ .t.art..,e. OD n'l T"'-l'rY. -_
t "' • ..,.. laaIe4 ..
ASA.!rO 4aok. -,...Capkl.
Gadal-.lloat _
Cl ...
.910w4 AD4 1 ••• - aD4 ..,. tlU ••
re_ tMt II1Il\ "
los all .U.k. or<DUBto4 m_.
1500 V5-S I AI: (1) 1 LW 12 SIlD 12 .. rr.. AI: 1 1Io-. . .......u
".Inl "TIIHI 12 SlID .tnt'- _11 latmfbel _111...-..
_11 _11
lac .. mit. RaI<.
Sr- leuncbll la'J!1cb'.
lSl'
jlll-5
1 AT Cll-e 9 SlID 9
:::'::w. j 80 ••
.,-...
",,"5: fa, All ... rl 4I'oppe4 1ft Un ... 1111 .ttack. troa I reI •• :.. 1.'.t1taa. of t=5OO t .. t eDlp' t1.ret: -'Met..,. fS-,
._rlo ... 4 toaias at wl • ...,,. 4 ... to l11«li paoli Oft" &lid _retoft rot.._ d l1&IIer
Ib) All _be ...... _ ntt ._1 _". witb 8: n co. ru ..... 8: IS tJa11 ,..... . ,
(eJ '!orpedOl. Nt with 10 toot 4ept.!I _ttiDI:.
(4' Ua _rob 10 ,onatll •• to Ie tlloo s..- Tu .. t rtedlt1 .. UOII 001_1041. ___
: -...:.... .
__.-:7. ' .. ..
,
f
j
i
"
1
A
j
1


I
1
i
j

'WI; "i':, -".=t e'·'"a..;-"'*,'reitr ....... .,... .. • I' t m!e- .• '1 .6..' "";';;.''- '"_. .. ··*+r£··Ft ' j

CINCPAC oblel"9'ed that the perfo1'llance of the YORKTOWN Air GrJup, des-
pite their cr3ditable willingness and effort to keep after their eneay
objective until it ... destroyed w .. pbasized" how much proficiency drope off
in warttme and the necessity for target practice at every opportunity in ord-
er to keep pilots trained in all pha.e. of aerial warfare.".
Ibile TF 17 watil preparing for and making the above attacks at TtTLAGI,
Tr 11, in accord6llce nth instructiWlS. · .... s approaching his designated l"en-
deSToul for May 4th. At 0642, CTr 11 launched an air search of &.bout 8
planes which searched the NW sector to a radius of 200 miles. This soarch
appears to have been made because CTr 11 did not teel that the Allied '1r
searches from AUSTRALIA were adequate for his skfety. He knew of the Port
operation and, a180, ot the enamy air stationed at RABAUL and LAE,
and he did not wish to be caught by surprise. He evidently felt that his
other dangerous area was being protected by CTF 17.
At 0800, May 4th, at the rendezvous Bet tor Yay 4th, TF 11 rendez-
voused with the NEOSHO and the RUSSELL, and at 0900 with TF 44. Then, with
all three groups, CTP' 11 headed on a southeasterly course which took him
about leo miles southeaet of that rendezvous. He hele this courSe lmtil
2000, lay 4th, when he changed to a &ortheastArly course and headed for the
0800 rendesvous for May 5th. CTF 11 states that he chose to steer in a
southeasterly direction until 2000 rather than in a northehsterly direction,
even though such a course would probably place him in a supporting posi-
tion because, owing to radio silence, he did not know what fortune CTF 17
was having in his attack on TULAGI and he thought it .ell to be in a more
southerly area.** It would appear as if this reasoning of CTF 11, which
apparently coincided with the views of CTF 17, did not consider the enomy
capability of opposing CTr 17 in strength, and the desirability, therefore,
of being in an ade4uate supporting position. Had CTF 11 headed in a north-
easterly direction he would have been, at 2000, about 250 miles neare:' TF
17 and would have at the same time been beyond the normal rWlgtl Qf e,fleJlY
search planes from RABAUL.
REACTIONS or JAPANESE TASK FORCES
Meanwhile, t.he Japanese coamand was quite busy. Although caught by
surprise by the attacks of T! 17, the forces at TULAGI apparently managed
to send dispatches concerning their plight with the that the,various
Japanese commands began .taking measures in accordance with their responsibil-
E:'s.
The Striking which was transferring planes to RABAUL from a posi-
tion distant about 440 miles bearing lSlOo from TULAGI does !lot appeal' to
have received information concerning the attack very promptly. It complAted
transferring the planes and then rueled. It appears that some time about
*CINCPAC Seriel 01704, June 17, 1942, First Endorsement on CTF 17 ,Action
Report, Serial 0782 ot lay 27, 1942.
**Statement by CTF 11 to Commodore R.W. Bates, U.S. Navy, Head of Depart-
ment of AnalysiS, U.S. Naval War College.
.... ___ ________ __ " ____
•• -_... - ·6 H • e ...... th Me = tfM
t
\
word ot the attack .. ,. received b,y the Commander, Striking Force.
The tak.n b,y the Coamander, Striking Force in thio situation 1s
eomeahat confUsed. Certain of the reports say that he proceeded to TOt-
AGI but this is b.Uev'lld to .lDcornot. It I. possible that he la.unched
plane,. to the TULAGI are. for the support or that place, but as the ranee
approaobed the aax1aum c:wabat radius of his plautls, .::lucb action se.a ia-
probable. His surface force appears to have continued on a
course and, by 2400 of the 4th, had reached a position 90 8i18S north of
the south tip at SANI'A ISABEL leland. It appears that speed had been b-
creased to 25 knott about 1200, May 4.
This decision")f COIIIIIlander, Striking Force to continue on a southeast-
erly course and outside the SOLOMON Islands 1s considered to have been cor-
rttct. He was the left wln,{ of the Cannae envelopaent and it would not bave
been wise for him to dash through the islands on a direct CClJ"le for TULt.GI,
as the enemy carrier force might retire to the eastward and out the Coral Sea.
Hls objective, while the Port Moresby Invasion Force was still at in
RABAUL or in that vicinit" was the containment of the Allied carder force
in the Coral Sea and its destruction when he could do this advMDtageously
and with surprise. Such an obj ective might be acc(8pll8hed by a sweep frOID
the northeast and around the southern end of SAN CRISTOBAL Island--it might
not be accomplished by a strike through the SOLOMONS.
The Covering Force* was still headed for ",UE&1 CAROLINE Harbor for
fuelin6, when it was informed of the attack at TULAGI. This information
got through very promptly, for at 0915, May 4th. the Coverin, was
reorganized into two task groups. One group, the second •• ction of Cru-
Div 6, compoced or the heavy cruisers KINUGASA and FURUTAKA, continued on
to consolidate with. the PORT MORESBY Invasion Force. The other group, the
t'irflt section of CruDiv S, composed of the AOBA and the KAKO, ;>lus the lIIIIa11
carrier SHOHO and the destroyer SAZANAUI, reversed course and headed southward
for TULAGI. It would be of interest to know why Commander Covering Force
divided h18 command into two such relatively weak groups. Neither group was
effective. The first group bad no air cover except what could be provided
by land and float planes; the group was especially weak when compared with
an Allied carrier task force. This latter group ste&led south at high speed
and endeavored to track the Allied task force wbich bad attacked TULAGI and
which was believed to be about miles south of that place, but bad no
success. It reached its former patrol area, some 20 to 30 .ildS otf the
south coast of the NEW GEORGIA Islande, arriving there about 2400, May 4th.
The SUpport Force, which was returning from the NEW GEORGIA Area, was,
apparently, heaaed for rendezvous 40 mi188 northwest of VELLA LAVELLA wheh
it received word of the attack on TULAGI. It did not take action against
the Allied carrier forces which had attacked TULAGI thut day and continued
on towards its rendezvous. At 2400, May 4th, it was about leo miles south-
west or SHORTL.t.ND Island.
*Co.bat Report Ho. 1, CruDiv 6, dat.ed 11 July 1942, WDC 118)997,
-40-
I
r
I
'"/ ', ..", ....... .
west of SHORTLAND liland •
.,.
The TULAGI Inva.ion Force was dissolved at about 1200 4th and
its units, not required at TOLAGI, were directed to Join other units gen-
erally connected with the PORT MORESBY Operation.
mIS" OF Tl 17. II!,,'[ 4th
the action been co.pletod at May 4th, TF 17 plus the
CHICAGO less the HAMMANN Bno the PERKINS continued to the south 1n retire-
ment and headed for the M&y 5 rendezvous. The and the had
left behind on "Search and Rescue" operktions. The PERlIIS eearched
UDsuccesstul17 during the night for the crew of a lost torpedo plane and
the HAMMANN recovered pilots frca the two fighters which h&d landed on GUAD-
ALCANkt Island.* Thus was initiated b,y CTF 17, after the Battle of the Coral
what appear to have been two of the first, if not the first, instances
of Air Sea Rescue in the "estern Pacific of avbtors downed in with
the Japaneee. Tbat such rescues were of unquestioned taportance more
and more evident as the Pacific War progressed. Not only did they taprove
the mOrLle of &irmtln, and t.hus their fighting qualities, but, also, they
eaved for the Country trained aimeD scarcely replaceable. The Japanese,
on the other hand, did not mate much effort to eave pilots. They
estjmated the value of their original pilots, most of whoa had enjoyed
long peacetime and combat training, and they did not feel that these pilots
were particular17 iaportant to success. They sacrtflced protective features
in aeroplane design in order to obtain better performance, and failed to
establish Air-Sea Rescue on a very effective scele. Thus their origind
pilots were gradually expended. However, at the time of the Coral Sea
Japanese pilots, in a large part, were still original pilots and their coa-
bat quality wae high.
The aorcle of TF 17 was now n. a higher pitch than ever and the task
force was convinced that it had destroyed a large part of t.he Japanese Navy.
At about evening twilight, on.May 4th, CTF 17 Commander Cruisers
to nominate two cruisers to go into SAVO Island lo clean up the cripples on
the following dawn. Comm&nder Cruisers noainated the and € ASTORIA.
For some realSon, not as yet explained, the attack was cBller. off. This was
a wise decision, the two cruisers would have been caught by the Japanese
Striking Force, by the Japanese Covering Force bOd by Japanese land based eir
power.** This incident is introduced here merely to indicate the extreme
confidence which permeated the Allied Command anq to show how necessary it is
for the commander to supervise the developing action with great care. Fort-
unately, CTF 17 in apparently reestimating the Situation, arrived at the con-
*Action Report, CTF 17, Serial 0782 dated day 27, 1942, Para. 12, p.4.
*.Interrogation of Captain T.M. Shock, U.S.N.
t
former Commanding Officer,
Naval War College, 1 October 1945.
-41-
: 7 * t n et _
, , .
• r
1
i


J
£,
;;
.,:-.


\
f
olu.lon that auoh an attaok ... unwi •••
EVENTS TOLAO! AID 'HSIMA
-,rom 24M \liy if to 21M Vay "
The .. ather oondltiona on May 5th and 6th were bad in oertain ar.a.
of the CORAL SEA. The oold front to the aouth ot GUADALCANAL had reaohed
lta moet northerly politi on byway 4th and by May 5th had begun to DlOve
110wly .outhward, talc1ng on the oharaoteriltioe at a warm front. A. t ..
lelDl-permenent p1"l9uure area louth of NF:ff CALEDONIA moved towarda the
loutheast, the are. had oome more and more under the inf1uenoe ot
the wind oiroulation to the
on M*y 5th, the front from. pOlition aorol. RENNELL Island
in a dir8otion towardl HrSIMA and east-eoutheaat toward.
NF¥f The task foroe 1n the vioinity of l()o S. and E.
enoountered tY!"li ,'al trade wi.nd weather wi th partly oloudy eklel I the base
of t,he ournu lue ":,, "Is at 20(\() feet and tOPI at 7000 feet. Wlnda were
s('utheasterJ.y, 1,"5 knot!!, and were quite eteady, both in dlreotion and
vel ooi ty.
The next day, May 6th, part of the front had moved to a pOlition I!Ibout
150 mi les south of HENNELl, Islllnd u a warll'l front; the remainder nad oon-
tinued r"rthW8rll o. un NEW' GUINF..A and the NEW HEl!RIDES ••
At 0816 on the mort.lng 01. May;', TF 17 whioh had retired throughout
the night without inoident, rendelvoueed with TF 11 and TF 44 .t Latitude
15
0
-00' S •• 150°-,1:)' r. The IOC.lMANN had rejoined
prior to this tiw<:. A)'out one-half hour before thil had been
effeoted, the YOflK'l\WN hlld down a Japanese 4-engine flylnp; noat whioh
had been disoovered hy raohr. Th1.lJ flyinv: boat was aho+' rl()""n ntlsrer the
LEXINr.TON than the YORKTOIr' to hAve :lome queltion ••
to whether it W8S t;rai1:nr, 11 or 'T'F 17. As fA air had
reported an enemy submtlrine ')n the surfso6 at 07:58, Ifhioh submarine was
he.ded on a ,Jourle the reverse of hil bf:)Rring. it if, .. +.hnt the
flying boat had been dir@Ooting the 8ublUarine toward I' 'IN or ';.he twc t .. k
foroes. An air sear",h .... ,ma"le to looe.te the flllhrnArj ll\tflr. The shoot-
dOWf' of this flying bOflt. 1'1 this area was an 1 ;'CI"tlorl, a8 .tated pre-
vioualy in the dh c:'1l1S ion of Japanese searohf'ls ,j , area in whi oh CTF
17 wa. now operating WIlS appftrently wlthin the of ,fQuane.e airoratt
oper"'t1n,; from both TULAGI and SHORTLAND Illand. eTl" 1.'7 had e ?8ry reason
to a •• ume that the oompolition of at lea.t one of his oarrier ta.k foroe •
• as known to the Japaneee. Aotua11y, this flyinr, roat elther did not make
any report if it did, report wal not reoeived by the Japaneee •••
TF 17 fueled from the NECSHO during the day ot .. ay 5th on a south ..
ealterly oourls whioh oaurae .a8 held until 19S0. TF 11 and TF 11 p1u •
• lerologyand laval.Wirr.r., The Battle uP the Coral Sea, lerolol7
Seotion, Oft10e ot ahief of .e .. l operation. (RAVAER 60-1T-12). April
19404 •
••• ar Dier7 26th Air Flottlla, Bil .. rok Area Ba.e Air Foroe, 1 Aprtl
11 May 1942, WOC 161126, P.S.
-&2-
... __ 7_=_' __ '. _______ • _______ ______ t*_H ______

. ,
TF 44 .t •••• d within dl.tanoe or •• oh other. Thi.
oonoentr.tion .oplsr. to been. ,..t .. nt o .. r the .epar.tion
whioh h.d exl.ted on the Srd .nd 4th or "y.
eTF 11 e"idently made oertain air .e.rohe. on the 6th ••• it wa •• t
on th.t date th.t on. or the YORKTOWN plane. di.ooftr.d ••
150 .11e .... y trom the toro •• , but what .e_roh w .... de and in what
.eotors, i. not indioated ln the aotion report,.
In "iew of the raot thltt the .nemy .ppealed to be prep.rin! to IIOWI
towards CTF 17, at about 2000, prooeeded with all foroe' to
the northwestw.rd
The three task groups olus the oontinued on a northwe,terly
oours. throughout the night without inold.nt. At 0100, MCiY 6th, eTF 17
deoided to plaoe his operation order Number 2-42. whioh he had hal.l1Jd on
Way let. into orreot._ Thh order organized TF 11, TF 17, .nd TF 44 into
a oombined t.sk toroe to be oalled TF 11 an Attaok rroup for the pur-
'po •• ot maklnr, day and night att.oks on enemy surraoe oratt. with •
(;rotlp of oruhers and destroyerll to nroteot the oarriers: wi th .n Air Group
to destroy enemy toroes trom any souroe: and with. Fueling rroup
to a rendezvous. There a proviso in the that
the Attaok Croun and the S\lpport r.roup runotions mi!l;ht be interohanll;ed .s
.:treated hy r,'!'F 17. Inst.ruotions were als() "lftn to the Group whioh
of the TANGIER .nd 12 VP h •• ed at oonoerning the .ir
Itea 'ohes to b( made from
eTF 17's order u it. buia pl.n, in parap;raph 2, "This toroe will
enemy ,hip., shipping, and airoratt .t'favorable opportunities in
,order to assist in advano .. by the enemy in the NEff GUINIA-
Area."
This Oporation Urder failed to provide a ror use when the
oombined wae in oontaat with the enemy during n4ght or low visibility
or even for day aotion. This is oonsidered to be an unwi •• omission .s it
is muoh limpler for foroes to dootrine when that dootrine has
been promulgateil in ad vanoe. ';;ulJh a plan Ihould indioate the projeoted
oompositiC'n of foroes, the approved battl!!' ranges, the looation of the oar-
rier fornes and ot similar imoortanoe. It will he shown later that
thill failure to issue su"h I!I "'An 0"u8e"', II of foroes and a laok
of prooer •
the order beaame effeotive, TF 11. TF 17, and TF 44
wtlre oombined into or:e task foroe by eTF 17. whioh new teak foroe retained
the old task toroe title 1F 17. This final deaision to oombine these two
-Aotion Report eTF 17, 5182, dated May 21, para. 14, p.4.
-43-
toroel, 1aoh oonliltine ot one larrilr. into one two-oarrier
toro ••• ppearl lound. Thil wei done by CTF 11 beoau.e h. oonlidered that
tb. I'rata,ioal L1tuation .aa now luoh that to 10 oombin. them wa. logiell ••
Al.o. aad \bil wa ••• laportant oonlid.ration. 'he apPlr.ntlyplanned to
_ke CTl" 11. .he ottioer-in-tlutioal oOlllllland air operationl., el though
.uoh a in OTC il not indioated in hil operation order and CTF 11 .a,
not imformtd ot it until hetor. +.he aot10n on Yay 8th... No 1'1-
had b.en 1'loeivet.' , wl,4"l. il\dioa":ed +.he of' +.hese enelllY oarriere
in the"" OUTIEJ.-lfE'f Area but C'T'F 17 evidently
e.timated that they aieht be grnuped as Ividenaed bY,the previoul
reportl ot thl SHOUIU and ZUIUm.
crr 11 'peoifioally detined the areal to be learohed daily by the Searoh
Croup and he turther lpeoifild that t.he Inroh would be made by six plenes.
The are.1 to be inoluded. oonsisted of the m.in area bounded by
and trom WOUMEA, the northwe.t boundary ot the South Paoifio Ooftan area,
and latitude and a Imiller area defined hy definite
phical point. that .al apparently afrord a o,rtain amount of anti-
submarine aeourity for the hue heinl!; estahlished at FoFATE. A further pro-
vilion in the order, directed Commander, Croup modify these searohes
if latlr deftloDmentl indioate a need thenfon, and keep the 'T'uk FOl'oe
mander advi.ed." •••
Thil learoh plan W.I unulual, in that the radius of searoh in the main
area was to the ealtern boundary ot the Southwest Paoifio Area. nd .
did not adequately oowr the area to the north and northwest of NEW CAL! DONIA.
AI may be seen frolll Diagralll E, the new searah plan inorealed the unsear,hed
distanoe betwlen the louthlrn tip of SAN CRISTOBAL Island and th. northorn
limit of the I.aroh from 26 lIIile. in the searoh previously in effect to 105
in the new searoh presoribed by eTF 17.
When CTF 17 made his estimate and his orders. TULAGI was in the
hands ot the 'Australians .ho were searohe. from TULAGI to oover the
Illand. louth to the Northwest houndary of the South Paoifio Area.
CTr 17's plan for the pRtrol nlenea WAS evirlently ooordinated with this searoh.
When TULAGI wall eva"ufl+'ed boy +:he iII"" on 'MRv ?, +.l,i.a area was no longer
.. arohee' from 'J'TJ'T .AGI ann Wf\S p;enere lly beyond the range of searohes from AUST-
PALIA or PORT MORESBY. It apoears that or his Commander Naval
Foroes should notified CTF 17 of his inability to searoh this and
then CTF 17 would have direoted any neoessary potion by Commander Searoh Group.
Whether CTF 17 was so notified, seems doubtful.
The searohes trom NOUMEA had, prior to Play 6th, been oonduo ted by six
patrol planes (PRY-5) employing three at one time, but the new oould
not he oonduoted adequately hy le9s than twelve patrol nlanes. The six add-
itional patrol planes required had heen ordered to report to Commander Searoh
.tetter from Captain ,f.B. Refferman. Historian of the Navy, dated 6 Oot-
ober 1946 to Commodore R.W. Bates Head of Department of Analysis, Navel
War •
•• st.tement by 11, Vioe Admiral Aubrey Fitoh, USN, to Commodore R.W. Bates,
USN, Head of Department of AnalYSis, Navel War :30 November 1946 •
••• 17 Order Ko. para. p.4.
-44-
J
1

I
f
,

t
I
I
r

1
''''',.''''''' .. ........ '.-.'. "0' '. ,,", _ .... ,", •• .. _ .111"-" ........... ,,.
Group at These planes arriTed on 4th. On thi •• ame day,
Commander Group reoeived CTF IT'. operation order.
On the of !'\+'h, ll'e.l"oh Group oOlllmenoed the
six-alAne ln the ope"ation orde". dld not
know when eTF 17 wa. to make it but he did know that
it would be .oon and that he would probably not be advi •• d. He, there-
fore, deoided to operate by dootrine and, therefore, plaoed the plan ln
etreot. Th1e deohion appear. to have been oorreot, tor CTF 1.7 wa. Main-
tnining radio silenoe, he waa already'operating in the CORAL SEA and he
hAd sent no orevlous direotivea to Commander group a. to the type
or extent of desired in of the operation.
CTF 17'. aearoh plan WAa inadeou.te to loo.te any enemy foroes whioh
rounded SAN CRISTOBAL Island within SO mile. of the shore, and theretore
dllregarded, to a degree, hh ob.1eothe of destroying enemy Ihlp.. It
failee to looate the Foroe whioh pesled into the CORAL SEA .bout
1900, 5th, beo.uae. from NOUMEA, the radius of .earoh et the .e.roh
plane. WI. too .hort to extend into the more vital are.s. The three-plane
parallel learoh previously in effeot would .lso have railed to looate the
Striking Foroe beoauae the searoh in this oase, would have reaohed
their northern 11mit at about 1300. or six hours orior to the p •••• of
th.t toroe. Had more plane. been provided for the .earoh and
had that .earoh oOLtinued by more frequent patrol. throughout the d.y,
the Striking Foroe would probably have been disoovered even from the BOUMEl
ba.e.
At 0730, Mlly 6th. CTF 17, beoaun of wind and sea, o}.anged oourse fro:.
the northwest to the southwest and oommenoed fueling TF 17, preparatory tor
further aotion whioh appeared imMinent. We.ther oondl tions were otherwise
good.
About roder WAS made on An enemy plane. And about the
same time, the ORLEANS visual si"hting of a J.panese snooper
plane on the radar oontaat bearing. The task foroe disoon.tinued fueUng
and assumed an anti-airor.tt disposition •• fighters were direoted
towards this plane, they dId not make oontaot. CTF 17 deoided that thl •
• nooper had reported his position. Thi. was onrreot. The Japanese had been
informed ot the looation and oomposition ot TF 17. Aotually, their estimate
of hia looation was reasonably aoauratel their estimate ot his oomposition
waa ln error in that they among other .hips. one oarrier and one
battleship.. There were, in raot, two oarriers and no battleships.
CTF 17 reassumed fuelin" dilposition anc reoommenoed fueling.
During May 5th and 6th, intelligenoe report. trom CINCPAC and
PAC, plloed • large number of anemy ships in the NEW GUINtA-NEW BRITAIN-SOL-
OMONS Area. every of shtp was reported and it was tairly
.Wer Diary of 25th iir Flotitla, Bismarok Area Ba •• Air Foroe, p.s, I April
to 11 May 1942, WOC 16lT25.
,
r
definitely d.termin.d that thr •• airaraft aarrier. were in the ar.a. The
torae. were .aatt.red and thlr .... no oammon d1reotion ot movement.. Aot-
ually, but ODi aarrler. IDd that the had been in the area.
Th. SROKAXU and ZUllAKU wer_ not as yet in the Corll a. they did not
round alB I.land until 1900, May 5th. The Japlne •• plan of en-
olral'ment by the Foroe wa. aa yet undeteoted Ind aoparently un-
expeated by C11 17.
By the afternoon of the 6th. lt w •• beoominr, evident that an advanoe
would be made on PORT MORESBv the JOMARD 1n the
Arahloelago and thlt a ba •• would be Iitablished in the DEBOYNE
A. CINCPAC had May 7 or 8 •• the probable date on whioh the enemy
adYlno. m1sht be expeated, •• C!F 17 deaided to ruelinK, in
order to prooeed to the nortbw •• tward and be within striking di.tanoe dt
Ine.y po.ition by daylight, May 7th. NEOSHO and SIMS at about
1726 wer. det.ahed to operate to the .outhw.rd Ind immediltely headed for
POINT RYB. Rendnvous for the ol1e,. WIlS on odd daYI at POINT RYE; on
enn dlYI .t POINT CORN.
OTF 17 •• de one ext.nded alr .earoh on ihe 5th, whiah oovered the are.
to'the northwut. 'l'he radiu. and limiting bet\rinp;1 of thie Inroh are 1l'l-
definite. Re .ade two extended hy oarrier ba.ed planel on the 6th;
one in the torenoon, 1n +Ohe afternoon. mhe forenoon searoh WI.
ot the northern .eotor to a radius to 275 miles, the afternoon aearoh wa.
ot the northwelt .eotor to the aame radius. Neither of these .earohe. ap-
pear. to hava reported an) •• Thi. wa. apparently beoau.e, in the
morDin,. .. aroh, the Striking Foroe Wla just. beyond the radius of .. aroh
and, in the atternoon it wa. well within the radius of ae.roh but
wa. mi. led by tho pilot of se.roh plane oovering the seator in whioh
the Forae wa. thi. pilot. merely happened to
mi.s the Faroe throulllh hard luok or his vi. ion wa. ob-
.oured in the oold tront, 11 not olear. certainly the Foroe wa,
.ell within the Gold front at this time.
Why CTF 17 did not .aJre more lonp; distanoe aearohes whUe rueHng 11
not apparent. This 11 partioularly true regarding the on l.lDy 5th,
tor, on thlt dMte, he might h.ve atrong tram the
Japane.e beaau.e ot hi •• ttaok on TULAGI the preoeding day. TF 17 wa., at
2400, .ay 6th, in Latitude 14
o
-0S'S. Longiturle 166
o
-26'E. and about 310
aile., bearing ISQo{T) tro. D!BOYNE.
OPERATIONS OF JAPANESE STRIKING FORCE
k.y 5th .na gay 6th
•• aawhile, the toroe. were aontinuing their plans tor the
PORT MORESBY Operation. All had. been alerted by the £llied oarrier attaok
-lotion Report, CTF 17, Serial oT82 aatea May z1. 1942, para is: p.t •
•• Aotion P'port crr 17, Serial 0782 dated 27 1942, paDa. 15. p.6.
It,',' ( II ,.' ,
_
I
I
I
on TULiOI. The strikinK Poroe prooeeded in\o the CORAL SEA tro. it •• ay
tth, 2tOO ot SANTA ISABEL I.l.nd. In.o doing, it rounded
the .outhl •• tern tip ot SAl CRISTOBAL I.land at 1900, •• y 6th and p •••• d
.bout haltway betwoel\ SAN CRISTOBAL .nd RSNRlLL IIl.nd.. At 2.00 Illy 6th
the StrikinK Foro. WI' .bout .6 .il •• north ot RENNELL I.l.nd on • north-
we.terly oourae, .p.ed 25 knot.. By dawn ••• y 8th. it wa •• ell into the
CORAL SEA. It oontinued on northwe.t.rty oour.e until about 09S0 ••• y
8th. when it at • po.ition about 110 .• ile. tro. C.p •• GOAD-
AT.CANAL, where it .aneuvere" f'or a"oll11 2 houra. aOMrentlv Wlitin,; tor
intorm.tion. At. it. .ou+.h and oon+.inued on •• outherly oour.e
l,Iot11 .bout 2000, when it reftlr .. d oour ... nd headed oorth. It WI. on'
thi. northerly oour •• aDd had .rrl,.d .t Latitude 12
0
.26'8, Lonlitude 167
0
-
by UOO.
DurinK the dayllKht hour •• Ca.m.nder roro. 'pparently took
no 'Ploi.l .. ft.ure. tor the .eourlty ot hi. toroe, .uoh •• r.n,. .ir
.. arohe.. A •• _ttel' ot taot, there .ee •• to be oontider.ble doubt •• to
whether he l.unohed any oarrier pl.ne. at .11 tor .eourlty purpo.e., on
.ither .ay 6th or eth. fhi. WI. parti.lly itt .ooord.noe with Japane.e
polioy to rely h.avily on land ba.ed .irorart tor .e.rohe. and to le.ve the
o.rri.r tor .trike.. It nould been .1.0 due to the t.ot
that thl atternoon, the Strikins roroe wa •• 'pp.rently, with1" the
b.d w •• th.r .re. or the oold tront whioh WI. sradually .oving to the .outh.
Suoh • oold tront .hould rea.onable of trom .ir
aearoh, in view 'ot the variable viaibility within the troot.
However, it ahould be noted that there were no J.pane.e .ir b •••• ne.rby.
exoepting reoently o'ptured and reoently attaoked TULlOI,
Po.t battle intorm.tion indioatea that had COIIII.nd.r StrikillK Foroe
made a thoroush oarri.r balod learoh he would probably have dimuuv.r.d.
by late .rternoon, that crr 11 w •• well within ranll ot hi. attaokinK air-
or.tt. TF 17 whloh wa. rue ling, wa •• apparently, at 1800, di.t.nt about 90
Mile. trOM the roro., and within the go01 weather, .outh or the oold
front whioh WI. per.iatlng in the .rea.
Thu. Commander Foroe 'pparently .ia.ed an .xoellent opport-
unity to .ttaok T' 11 under oonrlttions to that t •• k toroe.
A •• t.ted nreviousl v , 17 hsd l18ertlhed the northern seotor. the morning
ot •• y 6th, to a radiu. ot 275 .il •• , and,had tail.d to,looat. any Japane.e
toro •• in that .eotor. Thil •• eml to have been beoea.e, the time, the
striking Foro. w •• to the north and beyond the nnK' of' the Allied plane ••
Therutter, a. TF 17 fueled on •• outheasterly oour .. at slow .peed in
olear weather, the Foroe rapidly olo.ed the Th. ne.relt
-47-
! .M t r· t n rt
I
,
\
I
[
!
that th.,. two toro •• approach.d .aoh otb.r on tbeae two day. wal .t
2000, _., e whtD thq were, apparentq, about 10 .Ue. apart. Tbi.
tact .. a entir.17 \lAlmoWD to both oa.and.r., and ahow. how, in war,
there a., ar18. \lIltor .... n opportuni U.. to take advanta,. or a ne.
rayorable ailitary ,Stuation and .trik. the en .. , a aore •• rioue blow
than had been ori,inall1 intended.*
At about 2000, Ca.aander Strik1nl rorce'r .. er.ed courl. to tbe
nortb apparent11 ca.aenced ruellnl operationl which appear to haYe
been compl.ted durlnc the ni,ht and b.fore 0800. Re wal on a °northerl7
course at 2400. !fo r.asona baYe heen advanoed by tb. Japane •• al to
-h7 Coamandel' Strikiq roroe reyera.d cour.e, but it can be pre.uaed
that he felt that he .. _ aoyina down into wa'er. aore controlled by the
en.., than by the Japane.e, and h •• aa aoyin, a .. y ttie Port lore.by
Invasion roree whioh he had been ciirechd to cover. Be ft" in addition,
lIov1nc a..,. trOlD hll 01111 air and surface support. Hil decl.lon, there-
tore, to the north appears 10glcal, and would it not
have been wller lr he had changed to • cour.e aomewhat north or Welt!
10. tbat the Port .ore.by lnY.,ion rorce was underway, be had the rel-
pon.lbillt7 tor coyerin, it. Prior to tbe movement of tbe Port Moresb,y
tnTallon rorce out ot RABAUL, the objectiye ot the Strikina Force had
been tbe destruction of the Allied carrier task group wherever round in
the Coral but no. that objectlv, became of lecondMry t.portance to
the protectlon of the Port loresb,y Invaslon Force throu,h a suitable co-
vering position. Apparently the reason Commander Strikin, Force did not
go to the we.t •• rd W., th.t It be did 80 he might be discovered by Allied
planes whicb were in strength oyor the LOOISIADE area and the yital ele-
lIent ot surprile would be lost. Evidently he wished the eneay to get
into a ravorable pOsitlon tor striking the Port Moreoby Invasion Force
and th .. n.he would strike them by a surprise attack from the east. AI
will b. later, he nearly succeeded in this obJectiye, but, in so
dOing, he lost the SHOHO.
OPERATIONS OF JAPAN&SE COVERJNG FORCE
May 5th and 6th
Tt.. Covering Forco continued patrolling in an area lIiles
to south of the NEW GEORGIA Islands until about 0028, May 5th, when it
reversed and headed northwestward. At 0200 it was rejoined by
the second section of Crudly 6 which had evidently been recalled. DUr-
ing the early morning, COIIIIander Coverine Force desired to launch
ship based planes to the area to the southwest of TULAGI, but he
dId not do so as the sea condltlons for recovering planes p by Japanese
Military Decision, U.S. Naval War College, 1942, P.200
i

$$ •
• 0 _h". *'"
;t44CU •

44Q:P'
m.thod., w.r. Door. Th. Foroe 'ppar.ntly .nooun'.r.d oon.ider-
.bl. diffioulty .t thil time with its .hip b •• ed ••• pl.n •••• the
Al,.l1e. would h.ve .noountered 3imll.r dlrtloultv In the ..... re. 11 not
known. Roth TF 11 .nd 17 l.unohin" and ••• pl.n •• on
the •• me d.y, but from. po.ition .bout mile. f.rther south.
Deapite thi. diffloulty in pioking up pl.ne., doe. it not ,pp •• r th.t
it would been. wl •• d.oiaion for the Comm.nd.r, Foroe to
h.ve l.unoh.d hi. pl.ne. for ••• roh .nd t.ken hi. ahano. on th ••
eith'r .t I", or in .0" oontrolled n •• rby .h.lt.red harbor, It w •• or
utr ••• i_port.no. to the J.p.n ... th.t the Allied t •• k foro. whioh h.d
.ttaoked TULlOI, be loo.t.d .nd tr.iled, .nd it. ooapo.ition d.t.r.in.d.
App.r.ntly, Commancl.r, Covering Foro. deoided that. thi •••• roh would be
m.de by pl.ne. from RABAUL .nd by pl.n •• tlown into •• w.ll •• by
the pl.n •• of the Striking Foroe .hioh h.d .nter.d the CORAL SEA th.t morn-
How.ver, Comm.nder Striking Foroe did not ord.r .ny ••• roh •• , but
w.ited for inform.tion .a did Comm.nder Covering Foroe. For .ome reaaon,
whioh r.m.in. obaoure, Commander Covering did not ohoo •• 'to employ
the plan.s ot the for .e.rah.
able to .ny inform.tion at the en.my trom his own
pl.nee and not having r.o.iTed .rty information from other souro •• , Com-
•• nd.r, Covering Foro. d.oid.d .t 0800 th.t the ••• roh 9h ••• of hi. mi.-
.ion ... oYer. Re detaoh.d the SHOHO .nd it. pl.n. gu.rd, the
SAZAHAMI, .nd direot.d the SHORO to pro.ide .ir oover tor •. fu.l aonvoy
of the Port More.by In.-.ion Foro. whioh had l.tt RABAUL .t 1800 on the
oreoedinR d.y. By 1400 this .ir oOTer w •• b.inR provided. Th. ...
di.oover.d by lilied pl.ne •• t th.t d.t., but no .tt.ok. m.de
on her. M".mrhUe, the rem.inder of' the Crudiv 6, headed
tor SRORTLANn I.l.nd where it aommenoed ru.ling from .n oil supply there,
and aomplet.d fuellnp; .t 0830, May Gth ••
The SHORO oontinued her air oO'lf'r duti .. until sun.et, .fter whioh
.he w.s direated to fuel at SHORTLAND rsl.nd. She .rrived ftt
Island at 0100, May 6th .nd .immedi.tely .nd •••• r.e fuel tram .n oil
in •• tone reo ••• ther., but her orew ... gre.n .nd, therefor.,
.1thouSh full moont1ght wal .vail.ble, tu.linr, did r.ot .otually· oommeno.
until 0630, K.y 6th... Aft.r one hour'l fueling, the fueling WR. di.oon-
tinued .nd the Cowring Foroe. ino lud inp; the SHOHO .nd SAZANllII. let't
SROPTLAND Island &t Y'Y 6th.
This pr.otioe of the J.p.n"l1 of e.tr.bliahing tuel1ns depots i. oon-
.id.red to have b.en .tr.otive in reduoing th.ir logi.tiol problem .nd
.how. that the J.p.ne.e g.ve thea. probl.m. aonaid.robl. attention. Ap-
par.ntly th.y had e.tabll.hed the.e depot. .t po.ition. in thoG' ore ••
-combat "eport Woo 1, Crudh M, (ii.t.a 11 ,rut:", \942, IM'150991, p.' •
•• w.r Diary of the SHORO, WDC • 160466, Oroup 2b, Item 25-J.

-49-_
$.4",
j
1
I
..
where their shlp' were to operate and were made tor both day
and n1sht fueling. Report. indioate that the Japanese wire at
fuelins, both underway and at anohor, but the SHOHO did not mea.ure up to
·thh .tandard. The AIUed praotloe, at thll time, in a forw.rd area .uoh
as the CORAL SEA, .as to tuel at lea trom an oiler. Thl, oould not
be done .nd, al.o, wa., norm.lly, not quite so fa.t ae fuellng from an oil-
er at anohor :rom a dook.
At about 0830. Commander 4th Fleet postponed the advanoe ot the Port
More.by Inva.ion Foroe Into the LOUISIADE Area for about slx hours, due to
su.peoted presenoe of the Al11ed Task Foroe. At the .ame time he direoted
the Covering Foroe. aftelr lea?ing Island, to aooompany another
fuel oonvoy of the Port Moresby Inva.lon Foroe. Thi. Indloates that the
oontrol ot the operations In the southea.t area ... held by the
area Commander who WIIS aehore at FABAU!,. The Japanese appear to have felt
that the Commanddr ashore wa. better .ble to oQntrol .trategioal
than waf the Commander at •••• beoaus. of'the m.ny taol1itle •• shore, not
the least of whioh was unrestrioted radio.
MunwhUe, the SHO!-JO, whioh hacl not oompletely fuelfld lit SHORTLAND
I.land, was direoted to oOMpleted fueling trom the un-
known. but possibly In the esoorted.
At 1030, gth. Allied B-17s attaoked the oomhlned foruoij ftt
a po.ltion about 60 miles sou4:h of BUIN. No damage ooourred, although .!(we
bomb. landed within IJO m.ters of the AOBA. This attaok would probably hMve
not ooourred had the SHOHO been provid ing the air oover neou.ary. However.
it appear. that no air oO?er .. e being pro?ided by the SHOHO whloh, during
the attaok, launohed her fir.t fi,ht.r •• After the planes had beeD
driven oft, the SHOHO about l?OO DrQvid.d oombat air patrol. and anti-sub-
marine patrol. tor the remainder ot the day. Thi. failure of the Commander
CO?ering Foroe and the SHORO to pro?ide adequate air onver betore 1200 i.
not explaiDed. Under soma oonditlons. suoh a praotioe was effeotive, but
under the oonditione existing at this time, aDd the heavy respon.ibility
plaoed upon the Commander Foroe to insure adequate Droteoti?n tor
the unit. ot the Port Moresby Invasion Faroe. it wa. ot douLtful quality.
Co..ander Faroe mUlt heen awar. ot the thinness of hi. land
ba.ed air ••• rohe., h. must ha .. realized the inability of suoh plan.s to
loo.te an air attaok, and he must hav. known that without on hi •
• hipe h. would not be able to Dlok up aD air attaok untIl lighted by eye.
At 1100, Command.r CO?ering Foro. reoei.ed word, appareDtly, trom
CommaDder fth that at 1036 that morniag, plaDe. or the 26th Air
Flat111a had spotted &D Allied ta.k taro. ot 1 battle.hip, 1 airoraft oar-
rier, 3 orulser. and 5 de.troywr. bearing 192
0
d'.tant, f20 mile. from
TULlGI.. The OOv.riDg Foro. wa. direoted to prooeed .outh agaiD.
At 1300, the Port Moresby In .. sion Foroe wa •• ighted by Allied plaDe.
and, durIng the period 1115 to 1500, the Foroe ... looated, a •
• War DIary or 25th AIr tlo+'tl1a, 1 April to II May 1942, 181125, p.s.
-50-_
j
l
1
f
f
I
I
I
i
t
r
t
I
I
i

well as were the foroes whioh had arrived at DEBOYIE.
The Jananese now, at 1500 May 6th, oonsidered that the Allies h.d
disoovered allot their Pnrt Moresby Invasion Foroe with its aooompany-
ing lupport units. This was a oorrect assurptlon, for it was ?n the basi.
ot this information that CTlo' 17 had heedod to the north"estwr during the
nights of May 5th and 6th.
The Japane.e .stimated that TF 17 wa. about 500 miles to the srutheast
of their oombined forces new moving into 't;he LOUISIADES. This I)stimatior.
was oorrect.
Jananese that there W8S "reat nosslbility of an
attaok by eTF 17 on the fo11owing day, May 7th. beoause they had interoepted
radio tranlmissions from Allied planes, whioh were shadowing the Port Moresby
Invasion Force, whioh interoeptions stated that it appeared as if the objeot-
ive of the Invasion 'Foroe was the seizure of MURUA (wood lark) Island. 'rhis
shows that, at that time, the radio .transmissions by nlanes were not
seoure from Jaoanese decryotion. is not availftble as to whether
these transmissions were by voioe in plain English, by dispatoh in plain
or by dispatch in Gode. latter two are the most probable in view
of the fact that the was too for voice (about 300 miles). It is
possible that the Japanese had obtained the Ilode t:or the t period by breaking
it or by reoovering it trom an Allied plane. This interoeption dispatohes
and the breakdown of oodes is of enormous importanoe in war. Commanders should
be aware of the vast organiutions set up today for this )'lrpose.
and should insure that every preoautiou, in the ooding and '1f
messages, is fully observed. The whole Japanese plan was based on the
tion that the Allies would know of the of the Port MQresby Invasion
Foroe and would aot In this assumntion they were oorreot.
At 1520, May 6th, the COmMander 4th Fleet at PABAUL, direoted that pre-
sent operations be oontinued. This indioates that he had studies the ohang-
ing situation with referenoe to hi. basio pla.l and had tound ' .. hat plan 8ound.
A 'iualifioation for command, is the ability to reoogr..iu that the
ohanging situation presents n new whioh requires a departure from
the basio plan, ot' to reoognize t situation is in aooord-
with the basio plan and that no departure therefrom is neo'iisary.
4th Flee+. fou)'Id no rlepflTture fl"om his l'RS.i.o olan necessary.
The Allied oarrier tesk forae been as had haen •• and
the Japanese Striking Foroe in suitable and strength to destroy
it and was. apparently, 8S yet undilooVGred. The Covering Foroe was also
available to assist the striking Foroe in this destruotion, a. were land
based airoraft from PABAUL. Thi, was the basio plan, and it was unfolding
oomments under 25th Air Flotilla, ,.52.

l .. , .1 .. p ..... ' ........... _._ .. .. ____ .. .. _. c ___ ..... '.
I
'J
j
t
I
'
'.
!
aooording to planJ
The Covering Foroe oontinued on a sou'i;herly oourse. It, pl'odGJed
oombat air patrols for the Port Hore.by Invasion Foroe until sundown 1816,
Vay, 6th. At 2200 it ohangod to westlouthwest and headed for
the morning's launohing position. At 2400 it was 90 mile. northeast
ot DEBOYNE Illands.
OPF.P.J.TIONS OF OTHER JAPANESE FORCES, May 6th and 6th
Supoort Faroe apparently assisted in esoorting the Port •• hy
Invasion Foroe tor a time but later it seema to have disoontinued esoort-
ing and headed to the northweat. At 2400 it wae 80 miles northwest of
DEBOYNE.
The Port More.by Invasion Foroe prooeeded in a southwesterly direot-
ion to a favorable position for passing thr.ough the LOUISIADES and WQS at
2400 about 66 mile. of DBBOYNE.
Certain of its esoort units, notably, the VUBAPI plus Desdiv 29 leu
YUNAGI, whioh had been direoted to prooeed ahead aod whioh had at
DEBOYNE about 0130, Ma, 6th, were direoted, on the !!Iorning of the 6th, to
eaoort the tran.port.,· whioh had bee).. ordered to W1 thdl'aw to the nor (oj-) be-
oaule of the possihility of battle. For some unexplained reason these
transpnrts were still at DEBOYNE at 2400, May 6th.
The 25th Air Flotilla was thoroughly alert to presenoe of Allied
task foroes in the area, and on May 6th, oarried out intense patrol aot-
ivities tltroughout the day. The air grcups were alerted to attaok
the should a oontaQt be made, but no oontaot report was reoeived.
One flyinr, boat failed to return, so it aesumed that this boat
had been shot down hy Allied oarriar planes, but the looation was too in-
definite to wfifrant an attaok. This estimate, that the flying boat hf:ld
been shot down by Allied planes, was oorreot. An alternative attaok was
therefore made against PORT MORESBY.
On May Sth_ this air flotilla oontinued the searohes of the preoed-
ing day with somewhat At about 1100, one of the flying
boats, while on pitrol in pOlition 420 miles 192
0
from TULAGI, made the
oontaot report. commented on, of 1 battleship, 1 airoraft oar-
rier. 3 heavy oruisere and 5 deetroyers.* This report Appears to ha11e
been broedoast by Commander 4th Pleet. Hnw8ver, it was not reoeived by
Commander Striking Foroe, .s he stated later that he had reoalved no in-
formation enemy o9rriers until the morning of May 7th. Thus
it would appear that the oommunicatior. system of Commander 4th Fl.et at
.aa not funotioning for this oontaot report should
have been relayerl +'0 this been
*War Diary or 26th AIr to 11 Way 1912, Wbc 161125
1
l
r
I
-
AVA-IC-1fT
SECTION OF THE ATMOWHEU, 1.00 (-.1) 7 MAY I94Z \I
..
",'.D--
POUItA.,-
TA.fK FOL/lC£ /T

MAIlITfMr--- POLAJl A.,
'-TROP.eu AUL
-:'\
--
THROUGHOUT THE DAY. TASK FORCE 17 OPERATED IN Aft AREA
OF WIDESPREAD CLOU D C OV E R • 5 CATTERED SHOWERS AND R AIM
SQUALLS, . T V. IS UNFAVORABLE WEATHER FURNISHED EXCEL-
LENT CON CEALMEN T.
THE JAPANESE CARRIER SHOHO WAS 01 S COVERED AND SUNK
IN A RELATIVELY CLEAR AREA NEAR MISUIA.

PLATE 11
.......___ •.. ,. ,- .. rt'I'6" .... '=',tki "n....5'x '0' •. -,. .. .IeII. ..."" ,_.. e' 1'-t -r . tf '>me ..... -.2 dFe ..,..tr;cw;,rof:eae .... s-6 .....
..... ;;;:
...... - .. .. "-....:;. .:- :
,.
:1
I
,
,
I
I
\

_+-...1. r -'d
11
; {
I. i
r I
f I
! !
!
I
i

t
f
f
r'
Had thil been done, the tinal phaee of the Battle ot the CORAL SEA would,
probably, have been on the 6th rather than on the 8th. Thi. re-
port wa., a. u.ual, 1naoOUi'ate tor there were many more ships in 17
.,. than those repor ted by the plane, and ther e were 2 oarr ie rs. Suoh lnao-
ouraoies in reporting of enemy foroel oannot but have an adver.e .freot
upon any oommander, and may advereely atfeot hi. mental proo •• s .in the
solution of his military problems.
THE OFF MISIMA
From 2400 },tillY 6th to 2400 May 7th·
On the mornlng of May 7th, TF 17 was in a oloudy area assooiated with
the front whioh then extended northwest and just to north
ot its po.ition. In the early morning were .trata-oumulus oloud.
oovering 5/10 of the sky. By noon the Whole sky over the task foroe WI..
oovered with frontal alouds, oumulus, alto··stratus and oirrus. This sky
did have sut.rlolent breaks in the olouds 80 that the task was er.-
abled to launoh and plan;e without diffioulty. ViIi\'il1ty"A'
10 to 15 miles exoept in soattered rain squall. 1n the areB where it was
red\;oed to leu th .. n • mile. "'he ,,1nt! was eut to eutsouthea.t;, blowing
at 12 to 22 knots fI.'ld Inorea81 '01": in to as muoh as SO knco'c;s in the
shower areas.. The frontal area ended about mileB to the north ot TF 17.
In this area to the north, the weather was fine, with unlimited oeiling and
with in of 20 mile. and an ealterly wind of 7-15 mile.
per hour.
As TF 17 moved northwestward on the morning of May 7th. 17 ordered
that air searohes be made in an eftort to looate the moet suitable objeot-
ives for !lotion and to obtain poaitive or negative information regarding
enemy of _hose movements no information had been reoeived sinoe
the previous afternoon. At 0619, the YORK't'IJRN launohed 10 soouting planu
(SBD) to searoh the seotor hetween 325
0
-035
0
(T) to a distanoe of 25J
miles. This embraoed most of the Arohipelago and the CORAL SEA
to the north and oast of t.he LOUISIADE. Arohipelago. All of theae soouts
oompleted their se.rohel .,.ith the eY-oeption opf the soout with the leotor
med i.n 067
0
(T'. This II o out returoed. after oovering about 165 mile., be.·
oau.e of bad weather. This ot returning, when bad weather wa.
.as sound for early days of 1942, beoause none
of th6 oarrier airoratt involved were equipped with or other advan-
oed navigation.l devioe., the pilot.· ••• nothIng when in fog or lim-
ilar1y den.e weather. 17 felt that all 3 enemy might be
within .triking distanoe and he .tated afterwards that the
searoh to the was not oompleted due to b.d weather.-
Thus the retirement ot thi. plane denied CTF 17 the positive or negative
intormati'ln that he was seeking alXl, necessarily, oontu.ed hie estimate.
This .hows the etfeot of inoomplete searoheo, .nd streftses the neoessity
.The B.ttle of the ciiRAt. m, Aerolol!:Y I)ffloe of Chier of Naval
operations, April 1944.
-53-
1
J
I
,
I


"
r

..



t
t

t
"
.. _ ...... .
tor a pilot to oarry out hi. loouting talk it it il humanly possible.
Hil relponllbility to bi. balio plan i. exaotly the lame a. the ,.e.pon·
libility ot thl Captain ot a lurtaoe oombatant shi? to hi. basio plan.
ften a pilot tinds his balio plan ohallenged he must then and there re-
eltimate hi. balio .ituation as does the Captain ot a surtaoe oombatMnt
Ihip.
By 0626. May 7th. TF 17 was In T,atl":ucie 13°.20'S., T,ongitude 154°·
21'E. CTF 17 here rle+.acherl T.G. the Group consisting ot
the heavy crui.ers AUSTRALIA and CHICAGO, the light HOBART and
the de.troyerl PERKINS and WALKE plus the FARRAGUT, all unde,. the oom·
mand ot Rear Admiral J.G. Craoe, R.N. He .ent thIs ,roup on ahead to
at+.aok enemy tranlport. and orui.ers which were reported to be
heading tor PORT MORESBY Tia JClfARD PASAAGE. CTF 17 Itated that he had
detaohed this beoau.e he expeoted an ail' duel with enemy oarrier.
presontly, and it wa. pOlaibl. that hia taek toroe would sutrer heavily.
By detaohing thle group he hoped to have it tree trom damage and there·
tore able to drive baok the port More.by Foroe.-
Fubl"e student. of this battle will. no doubt, view th1.a reasoning
ot CTF 1, with great intere.t, a. he appear. to have minimized the Jap·
oapability of attacking the Supoort Group whioh wa. operating with
out air cover. The Support Group was attaoked by the Japane.e, •• it wal
a detinite menaoe to their planned operation: it was al.o attacked by three
U.S. Army bombers because ot faulty reoognition. Fortunately, it e,o'ped
wi thout damage.
eTr 17, in addition, appe.rs to have minimiaed the etteot that
detaohment ot the Support Group might have on hil anti-airor.tt detenle ••
Perhaps he Was motivated, in this detachment of the Support Group by the
thought that neither of the Auatrallan oruiaers had maneuvered with TF 17.
The Support Group in no .ay aooomplilhed it. misaion. It retired
mishap. It thereby was laved tor later aotion, but it wa. 10lt
to the Battle ot the SEA tor whioh it wa. Ita detaohment
appears to have two however. one was to oontu •• the
•• a. to t.he !trenr.t.h looation ot the Forces •• --the other
wai to oause the Japanese to exoend on 'this surfaoe foro. their land balod
air power whioh might otherwise been direoted TF 17.
Me.awhile, eTF 17 oontinued on to the northweltw.rd. At 0736 a YORK-
TOWN acout reported 2 Japanese heavy cruiser. in Lat. 10°.40' S., Long l5So.
15' E. on oourse 310
0
(T), .pe.d lZ Imot.. These .hips ohal'enged him by ,
flalbing light. At 0745 a YORKTOWN loout shot down a twin fleat
single engine se&plane over MISIMA leland. ane hour .ncl twenty minutel
late,. another YOPKTOWN soout shot down a similar .deplane in 110.35'S,
Long. 156
0
-43 'E. All of these oonteots were at a oonsiderable d\stanoe
from TF 17 and, they did diaclos. the faot that an Allied oerrier
.Statement byCW-l':' to COIIIII\OOore R.W. Batis, U.S.N., Re.d of the Department
ot •• Naval War College - October 1946 •
•• Comhat Report #7, CruDive, Period 25 Apr. 1942 to 11 May 1942, dated 17
1942, WDC # 160997 - p.S.
-54-
'Sf.,
__ __
II. Crt "';; !:'z,ur.' tltr 'tMrr. *'t ott., "raw· ..... ' ...... "! oeM :1, tntw·
.. J
,
[i
I
i
!
I.,'
was within roo milea, thq did not necessarily indicate its 10catiOD with
any degree of accurMeT. At 0815 a YORKTOWN scout reported 2 CV and 4 CA
in Lat. 100-OS' S., Long. 152
0
-27 E, 1400 (T), speed 18-20 knots.
This contact appears to have been correct in longitude but somewhat orf
in latitude.
Preparations were iJDIlIediately atarted to launch attack groups from
both carriers. CTF 17 apparently felt confident that these were boo of
the three en.-y carrierb in the area and he was determined to
destroy them as 600n as He, therefore, directed thnt a ca.-
bined attack group be launched fro. both ·the LEXINGTON and
1Vhlle making the above pr.aparations an unide:ltifled radar contact .!1ppeared
on the screen at 0633 on bearing 295
0
(T) distant 50 miles. An element of
the combat air patrol was vectored out but failed to intercept the contact.
At 0926, the LEXINGTON commenced her attack group. About one
half hour later at 0944 the YORKTOWN commenced launching her attack group.
When this order to launch planes was issued and raceived is not known.
The LEXINGTON War Diary states that at 0915, CTG 17.5, Air Group Operation
Order Number One was placed in effect with objective enemy carrier. If
this order was the one initiating the launching of the air groups, then
the launching was commenced within eleven lIlinuteG of its by the
LEXINGTON and within twenty-ninem1nutes of its issuance by the YORKTOWN.
Launching took place within 210 lIliles of the 0815 reported position
of the enemy carriers, &Od by 10&0 both of the attack groups were well on
their way to the targets.
The LEXINGTON Attack Group conaisted of 15 VB of Bombing SLj.uadroD Two,
each armed with one 500 pound bomb ano two 100 pound bombs; 10 VS of Scout-
ing Squadron TWO, eacb armed with one 1000 pound bomb; 12 VT C'f Torpedo
Squadron Two armed with torpedoes; and 10 VF of Fighter S4uadron Two. The
LEXINGTON Air Group Commander accompanied his Air Group with 3 additional
VSB, each of them apparently armed with bOlllbs. The YORKTOWN Attack Group
consisted of 17 VS of Scouting S'iUadrOD Five; 8 VB of Bombin.g S4uadron Five;
10 VT of Torpedo Squadron Five; and 8 VF of Fightlng Squadron Forty-Two. In
this latter Air Group, the VS and VB were each armed one 1000 pound
bomb, the VT with torpedoes. The YORKTOWN Air Group Commander was not
launched with his air group but in YORKTOWN as Fighter Director
Officer.
The YORKTOWN search groups returneJ aboard the YORKTOWN shortly after
the Attack Groups had. been launched, and it was then discovered that; due
to an improper arrangement of the pilots' code contact pad, the cont&ct re-
port or 2 enemy carriers and 4 heavy cruisers in 100-03
t
S., Long.
152
0
-27' E. was in error. For, instead of these ships, what the pilot had
actually seen, was 2 heavy cruisers and 2 destroyers. Thus the attack
groups had been launched un a false mission. This indicates the necessity
-55-
1

1
I
I
i
j
..
tor lneuriDC tbat all pl10ts are adequately trained, and exarcl.a tha
proper precautioa8 in ca.municatlona, as well as ln combat technlque.
Errora ot tb1a kind, which aq sas sllght at tha tima, aq force the
Coamander into an unsound dacision.
OTF 17 was now placed ln tbaposltion of having to de term ina whether
his alr plan should be changed, or whather it should, instead, be carr led
out. Se wa. in a sarioul position. No carriers bad been seen .od
yet, it the ana1ye1s of the previous dq was correct, three of thaD were
in the araa. No information is avallable as to hie reactions Ilt thh
point. Poasibly the course of'action of recalling the planes auggest9d
itself. However, ha had tbe moral courage to resist this pUggestion, tor
it was apparent that he was in batter posltion to receiva an attack
wi th his attack planes ill the air than ha wae with th_ on deck, and,
basidee, were they not well on their .ay? Tbat this decision was wise
ftS apparent, in viaw ot tha report received at tI'Olll OOlllSoWespac
1
t.hat at 0748, an !ray B-17 had aichted, in Lat. 10o-M' 5., Long. 152"'-
SS' E., 1 carrier, lS .iscellaneouu warships sud 10 trbnsports on course
285
0
(T). The plot of this report indicated that it waD probablv tho same
torce, or part ot the same torce that had been reported the
although it appeared to be about S5 miles the southeast of the original
contact. A study of the Japanese posit'ons at this time, as now available,
shows that thb latter contact, as m.i.de by the Army ,wa" actually made on
the Port loresby Invasion Force anct that the carrier reported was not in
company with this force but was, instead, about 25 miles to the northeast.
The carrier had not yet been located and was not located until about 1055
whan the LEXINGTON Attac-K Group, which was in the van, u.de contact with
the en8a1' north of IIISiliA and r.oted 1 CV, 2 or IS CA'. and 1 or 2 DD'e in
the force aigbted.*
At 1021, err 17 receiVed a dispatch from the NEOSHO, repeated sever--
al t1.llas, atating that Ihe .as being bOllbed by three aircraft in Lat. lSO-
SO'S., Long. 15&0-08' E. She ha!! previously reported lighting a&l17 planes
in tbis aUle poai tion at v9SO. C'1'F 17 stated later that he did not know
what type ot aircraft had attacked the NEOSHO and that it would hllLv. been
extr_ely valuable infOl"llation to have mown tha\ thay were carrier planes.
A study of locations and dbtances involved would indicate that the place
where the NEOSHO and SIllS were bombed was, apparent.17, beyond the range of
land based boabar. traa RABAUL and, tharefore, the planes were ao't probably
carriar planee.
At 1100 a Hction or the y.' ._,WN coabat air patrol .hot down a nw-
AHASHI tlJing boat about 15 'f' .. 'om the task force. This plane had
been picked up by radar at 1044 bdEU 1, J 045
0
dietance 41 .11es closing.
When first sighted the Japanese was st ... bg into the wind at
about 20 knots, but, as the attack approached, it commenced a&neuver-
inl. Tbe first attack waa apparently i48de by the LEXINGTON Air Group COII-
'*Report of action, Scouting Squadron Two, CORAL SEA, 181' 7, 1942.
-56-
... •• ___ __ __ M ____ __
(
,
i,
l
!

i
[
r.,
r


t

,
t
I
mander with hi. two wing plane., for the SHOHO reported that the fir.t
attaok wa. made by dive •• nllne. made Al-
thoujl:h it wall the prantine in those dflys fer the Air r.roup Commander to
lead attaoks, this praotioe " .. found to be unwi .. a. hh balio funotion
i. the overall taotio.l of his group involving t.rg.t dee1gnation
and ooordin.tion ot .ttaok. 1£ he mRk •• the tir.t attaok, he
ally violate" thtlt re.ponsibility .nd expo • .,. himself unno .... rlly to the
hazard. ot .nti-airor.ft tire at olo.e range.
This attaok group or ! div. bomber. was tol1owed at 1110 by the 10
VS of Soouting TWo whioh was not partioular1y etfeotivw, making,
&t the moat, .everal near mi,.ea. After thh attaok had h,en oompleted,
the SHOHO end.avored to launoh Idditiona1 fighters. anJ. apparently, suo-
oeeded in 3. As she already had 3 in the air, this would ind-
ioat. that her sole .ir defense oonsisted, at the most, of 6 fighter ••
During the time that the SHOHO 1aunohing the above .dditional 3
p1.n.s, .he was he.vily .tt.oked by the reme,ining .tt.ok squ.drons 'ot the
LEXINGTON .nd by the .tt.ok group from the YORKTOWN, foroing her to 0 ••••
1.unohing and to take eva.ive aotion. Thi. attaok oovered the period be-
tween 1120 .nd and •• , fairly oontinuou., so that the hit. m.de by
anyone ,quadron oannot be detennined •. The SHOBO reported that ,he bad
been hU by 2 bomb. at.ll20 whioh die.bled her .tter flight deok elevator,
and about the •• me time reoeived a torpedo hit on her .tarboard quarter,
whioh oaused her to lose he.dw.y ••
The ord.r of .ttaok .ppean to h.ve been .bout a. tollow.: between'
1111 and 1122. both remaining LEXINGTON squ.dron.; 1125 to 1130, YORKTarN
Air Group. Squadron TWo .nd Torpedo Squ.dron TWo attaoked in a
ooordinated attaok .nd reported that, as they oommenoed their they
noted no .Tinenoe nf fire on the SHORO and thkt the o.rrier wa. oirolin,
.t high apeed. Bombing Squadron TWo reported hitting the SHORO at 1120,
with 1000 paund bomb. and thi. oheok. with the SHOHO'. report._
The torpedo pl.ne ••• r. greatly helped by the bombing .ttaok and .. r •
• bl_ to gain an po.ition bator. dropping their torpedoe ••
Thi. squadron reported that it, torpedoes .. re dropped between 1119 and 1122
.nd made num.rou. hit,. rbi. that olo.e ooordination exi.ted between
Squadron two and Torpedo Squadron TWo. Thft .uoo ••• ot these two
.qu.dron. plainly .howe the great 'Value or ooordinflted ,attaob.
Th. YORKTOWN Air Group app.rently onmmenoed it •• ttaok .rter the in-
itial attaok by soouting Squadron TWo had been oompleted, and at about the
.ame time or .hortly atter the other • quad ron. ot the LEXINGTON Air
Group had oommenoed their attaok. Soouting Squadron it. fir.t
;W.r Diary of thi SHOHO, IDe 10. 160486, Group 26, fte. 26J, p.i.
... r.S.r" ••. •• W .. ! .... __ rtr" __ ___ ______
"""", , \'''.', .-, ........... .
boab at 1126 and wal,followed ver,y In the attack by BoabtDa
Squadron Plve and Torpedo rive. AI the carrier wa6 apparently
almolt dead in the water with her fore and aft axi. into the wind, the
YORKTOWN pilot. were presented a very favorable target ,ituation.
The Iquadrons undoubtedly made -&D7 hitl but claimed mucb more BUCO •• I
than tb. Japan •• e admit.
(a) LE.UNGTON
Soouting lad ron Two
Bombing Squadron Two
Torpedo Squadron Two
(b) YORKTOWN
Scouting Squadron,Five
Bombing Squadron Five
Torpedo Squadron Five
Total bombing bits claimed
Total torpedo bits claimed
Damage Inflioted
Hits
Hits
claimed on carrier
2
6
9
claimed on carrier
9
6
10
22
19
, Tho Japanese admitted lS bomb hits and 7 torpedo hits. This shows
the great difficulty in e$timating hits on a target being hit by many
bombs and torpedoes at the same time. Suffice it to say,
that at 1135 the·SHOHO sunk.*
Scouting Squadron Two claimed one bomb hit with a one hundred pound
bomb on a cruiser and Bombing Squadron Five claimed one hit or near miss
',dth a 1000 'pound on a similar type vessel. The target in eacb case was
claimed to bave lunk shortly afterward. Japanese rscords, bowever, ahow
the SHaHOto bave been the only sbip damaged or sunk in this action.
Tbe combined air groups claimed tbat during tbe course of this attack
they shot down 9 enemy fight and 2 enemy scout bombers. One additional
twin float seaplane was shot down near MISIMA Island while en route to the
Target. The SHOHO records indicate,however, that at the height of the at-
tHC'C ahe had only 6 fighters in the air, and the t>ilots of three or
the:d planes were later recovered at DEBOYNE Island, where they had made
*i&r"Diary of the SHOHO, WDC #160465, Group 25, Item 25J, p.2

1
1
1
I
r
f
l
I
l

t
I

'\
I
t
t
a foroed in the vioinity of one of their •• aplan. tenaer ••
Airoraft losses s1J,t.a1,.,ed by 1'P' 17 in "hh flt.bok inoluded 1. "<:B
down Alrotaft
l
1 missing, and last. seen on the return
flight when it broke off to attaok an enemy Atroraft. and 1 VSB dAmaged
by enemy AA fire and to land at ROSSEL Island.
The number of fighter esoorts aooompanying eanh of the attaoking air
was not suffioient to provide adequate proteotion for the bombing
torpedo .quadrons had they enoountered the proteotion that
have been over the two oarriers they were launohed to at-
taok. "'he YOPKTIYTN Air Group inoluded one dhision of 4 fighters assil!;ned
as tlsoort for Bombin" Squadron Five and another sinlllar division of fight-
ers ass ll!;ned all l'lSO'ort for Five. Ten fighters were in-
oluded in +;he LF.XTWCTO'! Air Group. FO'lr of these fip:hters were assi/tned
to oover Squadron TWo and the remainder were assinged to Bombing
TWo. These latter did not follow down with their bom-
hers to the attaok, with the result that the bomhers experienoed eome in-
terferenoe from 2 Japanese
This laok of fighter strerlr,th with the atteok groups was realhed 'by
CTF 17, but additional fighters oould not be spared for attaok groups
w1 thou+. serious ly endangering the safety of the oarriere and other surtaoe
ships of the task f01'08. As a 'J'6sul t of 6xperienoe gained in the Battle
of the Coral Sea, the of fighter. for a oarrier we. inoreased
from 18 to 27.
An analysis of these attaoks on the SHOHO shows that better ooordin-
ation would have been aohieved if, as was done in later aotions, there had
been an overnll taotioa 1 o nmman(hl1' , l'l(IW Air rroup Strike Commander,
in the air. T1ad suoh a S+'rikf' Oro'lp l,een in nnmmand over the
it is Quit.e pos,ible he have rliverted some of the attaok
to the oruiJers in the soreen. A, it was a total of thirty-seven 1000
i'l)und general purpose bombs. ten 500 pound general purpose bombs and twenty-
two torpedoes were launohed tho SHOHO.
At, about 1240 TF 17 oommenoed its attaok and by
had all of the planes. No further missions were ordered
for the,e attaok that afternoon. This deoision was based on the est-
imate of the 3ituRtion whioh CrF 17 made at the time. He ad-
visability of in another Rt.';aok and of launohin!!; another .. aroh. He
felt, however, that the probability of a suitabl. oh.1eotive near the
soene 01' the morning a+;tack was !1;reat Rnd that tho looation of the Strik-
ing Foroe, unknown to him. quite possibly be within oarrior
ranjl;e. padio oontaots and radio interoe·)tions, throughout the morning, indi-
oated that his position and disposition were known to the enemy. Ina,muoh as
-59-_
, , ••• 1 ' S tts
I
I
,"., .. ,- .. ' ., ... , ,
enemy carrier toroes were probably in the viainit7, he did not believe
that anT other objective should be considered tor hie air iroups, but
that they should, instead, be held for a counterattack on the.e carriers,
once they had disclosed their He noted that flying condltions
and visibility, in his vicinity, were becoming increasingly bad and that
frequent rain squalls were being encountered. He reali.ed that if the
enemy were located by an extensive search, it was quite probable that
there would be insufficient daylight for an attack. He therefore dec-
ided to rely upon sllore bUf'd aircraft to locate the enemy carriers.*
This analysis of r.TF 17 does not appear complete, for numerous
suitable targets remained in the DEBOYNE area and had been reported by
Army aircraft. thase were transports warship. of various
types, none of whicb had been in the force that his carriers had at-
tacked. It does appear, however, that eTF 17 could not have
these targets, attacked them, and relanded his pJanes during dayligbt.
His decision not to attack them appears, therefore, to have been Bound.
At 162S a contact was made b3 radar an an unidentified aircraft
on bearing distance 18 .1les. An element of the combat.
air patrol was vectored out but failed to intercept. This contact came
within visual range of TF 17 at 1629 and was identified as an enemy sea-
plane. Another element of was vectored out to intercept it but
they failed again to contact and the contact disappeared off the
screen at 1647.
At 1747, a large group of enemy planes was picked up by radar, bear-
ing 145
0
, distance 48 miles. A plot of their track showed them initially
to be closing the Task Force, but, at about 25 miles, they veered to the
left and took up a ",'sterly courae. An element of the LEXINGTON combat
air patrol was vectored out to intercept this contact and, after flying
on for a portion of the w83, made contact with "hat they
identified as nine lero type fighters letiring in s. southeasterly dir-
ection at 1000 feet altitude. In the attack that followed, five enemy
planes were shot down. In the meantime, additional combat air patrols
were launched by the LEXINGTCB and YORKTOWN and at 1803 eix YORItTOWN
fighters were vectored out to the same contact. On the _ay out they
passed c:Ner a formation of enemy planes which promptly disappeared 1n
the haae. Two YORKTOWN planes attacked thea, ulth the loss of one YORK-
TOWN olane. The remaining five lORK'l'OWN planes shortly thereafter, made
contact with a group of enemy carrier baeed dive bombers and shot down
one of them. The weather at this time was very bad, with squalls,
and poor visibility, so that sight contacts with enemy planes were
momentary. The combat air patrols were to TF 17 by means of the
IE homing equipment.
*Action Report eTF 17, Serial 0782 dated May 27, 1942 Para. 18, p.S •
.
-00-_
,
I

f
,. , __ hi4AWfC_iP .....
,'" -.'
th. Japanese planee .hot down at tJme were part of a «roup ot
attack plane., launched bJ the StrU:1n, Fore. at 1616. The.e planee ",re
report.d the Japane.e to have been 12 dIve bomb ere and 15 torpedo planes.*
It thi. ie true, then the plane. intero.pted by the LEXINGTON coabat air
patrol have been ot thie type, and not fighters a. described byth.
LEXINGTON in it. action report.
At 1860, three enemy planes tIe" by the starboard .ide ot the YORKTOWN
with their U,htB on and blinked in lIoree Code on an aldi8 lamp. They crOGS-
eel over the bow of the YORKTOWN to port and "ere f.1red on by a fighter of the
combat air patrol.
At 1910 while Tr 17 .a. landing planes, thr.e en.-y planes attempted to
JOin the landing oircle. They w.re fired upon bJ various 8hips in the f01"ll-
ation and one ut them .as reportedly shot down.
As a result of tne aotion betw.en the combat air patrol and the enemy
planee intercepted about 1800, the LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN each loet one
fighter. After the combat patrols had landed, an additional tighter wae
mi8sin" but he evidently bacame lost in the melee .round the ship, for
radio ac.munlcatio. were established With hill and every effort was made
to get him back on the radar screen and back to the .hip. At 2028, b.ing
still unable to locate him, the YORKTOWN directed hia to proce.d toward
TAGOLA IalanJ and try to make land while he still had sufficient ruel.
Between 1900 and 19SO, radar had unidentified contQcts on
planes cirnling,on bearing qao (T) about 30 miles from the disposition.
Inaauch as the enemy that tried to Join the landing circle at 1910
had b.en ' •• en to move off in this position, it "as assumed, in the LEXINGTON,
that this radar indication may blve been on planes in a landing
about Th9 LEXINGTON the indicat.d pre6ence of
carriers only thirty .ileo to the eastward to CTG 17.5, Commander Air
Task Group, who, in turn, r'ported it to eTr 17.*** This information "88
not received by C'IT 17 until 2200 or two hours and a half after the contact.
had faded troa the Bcreen. The YORKTOWN radar dld not inciicat6 a situation
slailar to that clata .. d b,y the LEXINGTON, but it did indicate that at abouto
the .,... t.ta., a sinale plane was Circling at 25 to 30 on Dearing 000
(T) and .. s later tracked on course This wae believed, at the time,
to be the missing YORKTOWN fighter that was eventually directed to proceed
to TAGUL\ L8land in the LOUISIADE ARCHIPELAGO.****
Why this information was not reported to CTF 17 for about 2! hours is
not known, but it is presumed that this thought of landing on a carrier,
*Japanese Notes of Battles, Cine Combined Fleet log Coral Action of lIay,
USSBS (Pacit'ic) Interrogation of Japanese Officids, Vol.I1, page 539.
**LEXINGTON Action Report-Batt:e of the Coral Sea, Serial 0100 dated 15 lIay
1942, Para. 11, p.4.
***CTG 17.5(ComCarDlvOne)Act!on Report-CORAL SEA-Sere 0251, dated 18 May
Para. 7, p.2.
****CTY 17 Action Report-Battle of CORAL SEA-Sere OOlON, dated ';7 lIay 194Z.
PAra. 19, P.6 and 7.
-61-_
____ ••• t •• ••.• ,..$. _____ b ______ •· ______
1

l. ",
..
wae not given serIous weight until lnter. 'Where deluy in transmi t.t lng
the informb.tion to CTF 17 occurred is 6lso not kno?n, t>ut it cou ld have
occurr .. ed in plot; in the mind or the LEXINGTON' 5 Captfl in; or evl'O in the
mind of CTG 17.5, Commander A.1r. In any cuse, it indicLltes the importboce
of report lng immedlr.tely to the Force Communder any new InformLtlon on en-
emy contucts. Act-ubi1y, these plLlnes could not hu.vt been Iflndlng on a' car-
rier, for the plot from infcrnwUon now available sh(wl:I t.hht t.he enemy cur-
riers were, c..t the time, c..t leust, 95 mllt:s away. Th -y may, bowevCJr, have
been clrcllng in order thut they lQight be p.,uided heme hy c!lrectiun f\nrier
bearings from thf:ir
During the eurly ufternoon CTF 17 hud decided tilL! . the enemy
continue on towards POHT and would probuhly pass through JOMARD
by morning. Although he had not located the two carriers
additional to thr :;;HOHO to be in the area, he felt that at least
ono of them woula accomrany the Port Moresby Force. Therefore he hud ue-
cidf ,j to haad to the northwestward during the night to intercept t.nat force,
th& dest.ruction of which, '''us his primary objectiv
However, the conflicts with enemy plunes, sbove referred to, und the
fact the LEXINGTON hud reported thut the enemy carriers were fairly
caused him to € hif.> decision. For he now was fllced with n sit-
uation which chnll,nged his basic plan. What should he do? He cons:l.dered
making a nilht attack against the enemy currier force, but decided £.gainst
an attack on the sound ground that the informution was too doubtful,
(1nl1 besides, eome of it, espoclully that from the LEXINGTON, 1\'as now t.hree
hours' old Rnd t.herefore would not indicute the enemy's poal tion very BC-
curutely. He felt also thbt he could not spare a strong enough ralding
force, for the Support was away, and the remaining ships
were rel1ulred for the deftmse -,1' his commund. Ehould he detach them on a
night search and attack, and should they not be able to rejoin by daylight,
he feared that not only th.y,but also the LEXINGTON and YORKTO\\'N might have
to cope with u Jlsastrous air uttuck next morning beraro rejoining could be
.ffected.- Perh£lps hI' regrett.ed now thut he had detached the Support Group.
F.owever, it was well that he dec;:ided as he did, had such sn attack been
luunc}",d it would have failed, I!S the enemy carriers were, 5.5 previously
stated, 9S ruther than 30 miles away.
o CTF 1" cont.inuedoon a Boutheabterly course, bond, I::.t 2400 was in Lat.
14 S., Long. 155 -56' E.
ATTACK ON SUPPORT GROUP - May 7th
TG Rupport Group, r.ontinued on to the westward at
knots. At 0810 un enemy twin float monoplane was sighted by the CHICAGO,
*eTF 17 Action Report-Battle of Coral Sea, 8er. OOlOh, dated 27 May 1942,
para. 19, p.6 & 7.
.!O' .• : ' ..
• ' , ...... ..,. ... "J .-\..it
-62- ____
_ .......... _' ... b
.J
1
i
I
I

.. ----------.. . .,. _"'''N""AW
"
but it remained beyond gun range for ono-half hour at a diltanoe of ap-
proximately 20,000 yardl. During the morning two additional oontaotl were
made, both on Army noonnai .. anoe bomben. one of thuo oontaot .... at
0940, the other at 1136.
At about 1300, appro:dmate1), 12 so-oaHed Jap ... ne .. oarrier baaed dive
bomb.r. approaotwd th_ format.ton but retired .ithout attaoking. Wh.,re theu
planll o_m. from il not but it il aSlumed that they .ere fighter,
from RABAUL +.hat had beoome leparated from the bomberl and torpedo
whioh they had been eaoorting.
At 1345 radar indioated thab a group ot plant. was approaohing and wa.
about 26 miles away. At 1357 thi. group wa',lighted and proved to be 10
enemy monoplane.. All ehins .that bore oDened fire but made
no hit.. The retired at
At 1416 radar indioated a of planel afiOO(T) di.tant 75
mil •• and, at 1426, another oontaQt wal made on a group of plane, be.ring
03()O(T) d1etant 46 mUe,. At about 1438, 12 twin eugine Japaneu airoraft
made a torpedo attaok, approaohing from doad ah.ad. Tho Support Group
opened fir. and, during the attaok, suooeeded in down 5 or the
enemy planes. Thi. torpedo plane attaok was pu.hed well home. A number
of the plan •• managed to get into t.h,. tormaUon llnd .trafed the variou.
ships a. they paued. only 8 torp' ) traoks were observed I theu were
apparently direoted, 3 against Al" J'RALIA, 1 .. gainst HORART and" a!':ainlt
CHICAGO.. TWo torpedo planes were shot down 'before they dropper! their
torpedoes and another two torpftdoos may have made erratio run. due to
damage reoeived by the plsnes before they were released. Thi. 1s the
I1mple.t ind ioation of the need for aool':-ate gunfire at lon,. ran.,;e
again.t plane. of thi. type. Suoh must be de.troyed before they
oan arri,. at the desired pOIJltiou ••
Upon the oompletion of attaok. a group of 19 alti-
tude bomber. appeared dead astern of the ta.k foroe, made their approaoh,
and at 1440 from .uoh a high level (15000-20000 feet) that the A.A. bat-
teries had no etfeot. All bombs missed. Th. of aim of these hori-
zontal bomber. appear. to hllve been the AI'STRALU whioh was etraddled by
bombs. two of whiah were oloee enough near mi,s •• a. to .hake... The pat-
tern of thi. bomb attaok was about 500 yards in diameter '0 that it appearo
to have a well ooordinated Imall pattern attaok. The faot that it
misaed .a. unfortunate from the Japanese viewpoint. The Japanese made an
effort in this attaok to ooordinate the torpedoes with the bombs, and suo-
aeeded to the extent +'hat rell within +.wo minutftl after the tor-
pedoes hed oUlled. The indivi<iual .hips ,of tl-e tuk group to
avoid the bombing attaok and it 111 possible that thh :.wd them from
possible hitaby the near lIlisses.
Some minute. after the high level bombing attaok had been oompleted, two
;eft 44 lotIon Report, At;.ok by Torpedo Bomber and HIgh Alrorart-
dated 21 May 1942, Pera. 10 and 21 •
.. eTF 44 Aotion Report-Attaok by Torpedo Bomber and High Level Airoraft-
dated 21 May 1942, Pera. 13.
-63-_
I
)
,
J
__ """"'''''_ .... ......,.!II' .......... .,.. ....... ... '''''.'''''. .. = ...... ...... F»li---.. .. ' • "",7'" ............ .,., ....... W........ ,,... • ... '_ .. ,_* .... ;;.". .. po"'"'; 2\l"!.i ? ... _ ... ' ..... F· ... ' ".4 ..... """'!!"Y,i*_> .. "'1', .... _ 1.,...",.>:1..... -. _, "'hij""'4t",,,Q -I, -"""""'-_""""!" __
'. . ee_ •••• ,-- • ..... --.. -

,
,
f
I
I
,
i
multi-engine land bombers, followed by a third plane, appeared
at about 20000 feet and dropped 5 bombs missed the FARRAGUT by about
200-300 It appeared later, after the photographs taken by the above
ple.nes hti.d beer. developed, that these 3 plb.lles were Armr 3-£6 from

Dlring the late afternoon the Support Group was apparently shadowed
by a Japanese snouperB but no further attacks developed.
a result of these attacks Commander Support Group headed in a south-
erly until about 1950 when he on a course,
(T)6 25. At 2400, Kay 7th, his group wes in Lat. 12
b
-44' S., Long.
149 -59' E.
Tr.e Attack on &nd Loss of NEOSHO and SIMS! Kay 6th
The NFOSHO!Uld SIMS, upon being detached at 1725, Kay 6th, immedi&.tely
headed for POINT RYE in accordance with fueling arrangements. They had
res.ched a position at Lat.. S., Long. 158
0
-01' E., by about 07:30 lay
7thp when they began to contact planes both by rli.dar cad visually. At 0859
the 8lMS, which was ahead of the NEmmO as an onti-suoouirine sc.reen, was at-
tacked by a single type plane, but was not hit by the bomb
dropped.
Both ships commenced speeding up and preparing for attack. Japanp-se
appeared in groups about ss follows:
At about 0900 ai:::'craft appeared bearlng 025
0
(T) from the
NEOSHO at high liltitude. These planes did not attack and it is
presumed they were the planes which were not employed
in this phase of the action.
(b) At ah'ol1t 1005 ten liircraft approached from 140
0
(T). 'l'r..ree of these
planes cttacked the !lEOSH0, dropping three bombs from high altitude.
All fell close aboard to The NEOCHO opened fire with anti-
aircraft batt.ery but. made no hits,. and the p:o.nes flew away.
(c) (1) At about 1151 approximately 24 enemy dive bombers "ere
at high altitude. These made heavy attacks frtE all directions for
15 minutes and succeeded in hitting the SIMS 5 tlmp.s with what
appeared to be SOO pound bombs. These hits were made by 4 JaphneBe
planes which dove so low as to be destroyed by gunfire or by the
blast of their own missiles or by both. The SIMS was sunk, but
some of her personnel were saved by the NEOSHO.
*C'd 44 Action Repvrt-At,tack by Torpedc Grs H1gb Level Bomber Aircl"aft-
Dai"·i3d 21 Ea, 1042. Para. H.
-64- EX)"FIOEN nAL
,,. Il.r ... l!
!
.
I
I
t
,
I
,
(2) Tt.ese bo,abera ath.cked the NEosHO also and she received 7
direct hits and 8 near misses. In addition, she auffes.eo. heavy
damage from a suicide pLane which, having been damaged, chose to
crash on her deck.
Soon after the last bomb fell the NEOSHO prepared to aba.ndon ship.
No order to do 80 was given but ma,1Y of the personnel abhndoned, ship any-
way, indicating G. falling off of disci;>line because of t!1e attack. Finally
most of these men were recovered and brought on bOurd again.
All hands fought the rires caused by the attack and succeeded in get-
ting them under However, the NEOSHO gra.dually f'lled with _ater.
She remained &float for severa.l days drifting northweot.
By 1112 May 9th, her position was determined to be Lat. 15
0
_35' E.,
Long. 156
0
-55' E.
At 1200 May 10th an Australian Hudson appeared and was notified of the
NEOSHO's difficulties, but no help appeared as a result of cont,act.
There is no information available as to whether this plune reported this
incident or not.
At about 1100 May 11th tfie NEOSHO showed signs of sinking, 80 a
conference was held to decide on ship. However, ttbout t.his time
d. Navy PBY from NOUYEA appeared and soon guided a destroyer, the HENLEY, to
the scene. By 1542 all personnel had been removed and the NEOSHO was then
t'Jrpndoed by the HENLEY wit.h 2 torpedoes. ohe sank at 145::' in Lat. 15
0
-58'
S., Long. 155°-56' E.
It appeared afterwards that the long delay in finding the NEOSHO was
d'.1c to err.-or tn navigation by the Navigator of the NEOSHO, who had re-
ported her posltlon incorrectly.
OF JAPANESE STRIKING FORCEj, lIay 7t,h
The Striking Force continued on a northerly course until 0115 May 7th,
when it changed course to.the southeastward at to almost due south.
This reversal of direction was apparently due to the fa.ct thnt Commander
Striking Force, failing to receive any infcr.nat1:m concerning the Allied
Carrier Force Since it had attacked TULAGI, had made an estimute and had
decided that it was an enemy capability to be to the south and had decided
to search in that area before he moved into n favorable covering position
to the westward.* He knew where his own forces were and, in particular,
he knew that the Port Moresby Invasion Force which he was directed to cover,
was in the vicinity of and approaching JOMARD PASSAGE.
This action of Commander Striking Force appears logical. The t'act thnt
the All Force had 'not been located by planes from RABAUL, LAE or TULAGI
*SUpplemental Report-TRUK-Nb.val and NHvt\l Air Field Team No.5, USSBS,
"ll;II,.-"
I
1
,
!
apoeared to :>l..c. thalt force beyond the noraal search range of Japanese
.. areb plaDea operat1ac fro. the above Ca.mander Force,
if be -'.tltel to .... w" u._t the southem areas were adequ!ltE,ly searched,
... \MNf",.. to ..... t tile ... by hil 01ln carrip.r based
aircr.Ct.
B,t' ..,. 1tb \.be Strlk1", Force .. at Lut. 13
0
-12.' S, Long. 158
0
_
E. =w 1$5 .U .. at (NIl th. westem tip of Island.
tal this u.. a .. reb rUe'.· a-:aa l.unched fraa the carriers to search a
MCt.or Nt __ to ,1fP (r) to • diet.ance of 2dO lIiles.
St.rlkiGC ba.j pla. .. ed to ... rch the lOuthwest sector be-
,..., t.n. beart.uca 1eoO M4 (T). Hut he _s not sathfied with this
pt.a 1t cla CO¥er tbe southem area and he feared
&l41ed carriers al4ht ,et bebiDd bi. as be .oved to the westward.
be, t.bItf'eC,,.., UW Mctor eearch 1.0 include 20 degroes to the
••
HA.c t.!lh HCt.:>1' Mare:. to the lIOuth not been increased in scope, the
8MrCbeo WQUld ban been found VII.CWlt. Commander Strlking
roree obtla1ned this .uch neg&UYe infonaution could then have dis-
aiaa8d the aouthern area frca fUrth.r for the present, and
could haye eearebed for the en.., to the westward, where the enemy might
alao be. However, tbe .. 1n sector search to the south was made and
r88Ulted in the discovery at of the NEOSHO and her escort SIMS, which
were entirely ... lone.
This discovery was reported promptly by the search planes. Howe\rer,
the report was incorrect in that It siated that the Allied Carrier Task
Force had been discovered. This failure of the Japhnese reconnaissance
pilots to develop the contact of the NEOSHO and SIMS was, from
the Japanese viewpoint, regret.table. It was, however, not unusual in these
early days for either the Japanese or Allies, and was particularly bad on
both sides during the Coral Sea Operations. One important reaSon for this
was that recognition training was still in its infancy. reason,
but only on the Japanese Side, appears to have been the fact that the Jap-
anese knew that the Allies had radar and, therefore, if the reconnaissance
plane closed in to develop the it stood a great chance uf being
intercepted and shot down by Allied E<ircraft.. This had already occurredt
It will be remembered that CTF 17 had fairly definitely established
that three Jap141eSe carriers were in the soa area between NEW GUINEA, NEVi
BRITAIN and SOLOMON Islands, known as the SOLOMON SEA, when, as matter
of fact, but one was in that area, and that was the SHOHO. The other two,
the SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU were in the eastern part of the Coral Sea. This
had had an adverse upon CTF 17'8 estimate of the situation, and,
as will be apparent later, nearly resulted in disaster.
Now the Japanese pilots nad made an error in recognition w1th.a most
adverse effect upon Commander Striking Force's estimate of the situationl
*Supplemental Report-THUK-Naval and Naval Air Team No.5, USSBS P.28-Bw
-66-
•. 1'.'I"iIII.Ii'IIIiI'IiIS.'IIIi'tILlZIi'IiI' IIIImllll'IIII __ IIiI' __ 'IIIi1PIIIIWIIII'illlllIbllillli"" ___ r _* ___ ' ' .... _-....-... .... _ ...... 1II1II" ... 'l1li:1_" .... ' iIIIII' _ ... ' t ....
t
I
,
I
1
i
,.
t
l
t
r
i
!
, ..
f
:\/ -
..
,.
{:

5 b
This indicates, to quote CINCPAC s05etime later, "If there is one
lesson we have learned from the Pacific War, it is that constant training
in visual recognition and identification for all topside battle station
personnel on board ship and for all aircraft personnel, is of vital and
urgent importance."*
Commander Striking Force believing that he hud found the Allied car-
riers, directed that a full out attack by all carrier based planes be made
against them. This attack was launched at 0815. No figures are available
to indicate exactly what the Japanese meant by "full out" attack, but it
is presumed that a full out was all planes available after the nec-
cessary combat air patrol had been provided.
It that, upon arrival at the target, the attacking planes dis-
covered thnt the carriers reported were not carriers at all but wero, in-
stead, an oiler and a destroyer. For that reason the torpedo planes were
not employed, and reliance for destruction was placed upon coordinated at-
tacks at varying times by the escorting fighters, the dive bombers and upon
what the NEOSHO said were twin engined bombers, which would have had to
come from RABAUL, 790 miles away. This report by the appears to
huve been another error in recognition, as there are no claims by the Jap-
anese of attacks on the NEOSHO and SIMS by land based aircraft. Such at-
tacks would have been scarcely feasible with an armed two-engine bomber,
as her maximum effect combat radiuB normally about 700 miles.
Infonnati':>n from Allied sources indicates that most Japanese planes
appeared in groups at about 0900, 1003 and 1131. The group which appeared
at 0900 did not attack; the other groups did attack and succeeded in sink-
ing the SIMS and seriously damaging the NEOSHO. They did not make coord-
inated attacks, but attacked in small groups or even singly. In the 1131
attack the attack lasted for about 15 minutes. In muing these
Japanese lost 6 planes. .
In view of the manner in which the attacks were mlide it would appear
that either each Japanese Air Group Commander made decisions on his own,
01' that there was an overall Air Group Strike Comma.'lder at the scene of
combat who controlled all planes. The former seems more likely, in view
of the lack of coordination in attack. Evidently the Coaunander of the
torpedo planes decided, in view of the paucity vf targets presented, that
he would not waste his torpedoes. Such. a decision appears sound, espec-
ially in view of the 8x?ected battle with Allied clirrier task forces.
DUring the time that this attack was underway, the Striking Force
continued in the of the reported Allied carrier task force
(NEOSHO and SIMS), presumably in order to reduce the air travel for the
*Recognition-Instructor's Manual, Part I, Navpers i6045A, December 1945.
nm' 7,. ! )¢'

st.. . ct.nt .. ner
,
I
i
I

"
l
1
r
I
attacking planes and, in particular, for any planes damaged.
to the return or &qJ of hiB carrier planes which had been
launched to attack the Allied carrier task group, Commander Striking
Poree received word or the sinking of the SIiOHO. This was a great sur-
prise t,o :1111 as he bad thought that the force he was attacking to the
south was the Allied C8l'rierforca.* He now knew, in view of h1e know-
ledge or tbe approximate position of the SlIOHO, that the AlLied carrier
task force was necessarily to the west ot him and not to the south, and,
therefore, the torne he was attacking was not the carrier taaK he
was seeking. About this time, 1045, be was informed,
the force to the south ot an oiler and a destroyer only. To
Japanese "It caused Sara much chagrin to realize
that he bad dieclosed to the enemy, the of his torce in the
Cord Sea. Admiru HUll empbatically stat.ed that, if he bad knOYItl there
were no carriere in the oiler group, he would not have disclosed his pos-
ition b,y attacking." In this connection, does it not appear correct
that Commander, Striking Force should have considered that of
hiB presence was a definite AlUed possibility? Was the tact that he had
not been attacked, necessarily, an indication that be was undi5covered?
light not thie tact have been an' indication that the eneay was avoiding
action wi tb the carrier force in orner to destroy the Por·t Moresby 1n-
va&ion Force?
Commander Striking Porce took immediate action. At about 1045 he
changed to the .eat to course 285
0
(T) in order to close the enemy which
be noYl' !mew must be in that direction. At U50, on this new courte, he
recovtred his which had the and SIMS. As the
Japanese did not have homing devices on their carriers, this would in-
dicate that CODmander Striking Foree bad broken radio silence to commun-
icate with hie planes. In view ot the urgency of biB operations, such
a decision appears sound even though it might hIve cost him tbe fbctor
of surprise.
At about lS&> he launched planes to search the sector 225
0
to 31.SO
(T) to a or 200 miles. Tbere is no indication ot tbe number of
planes used, but it is to be aSBUJlled that they were surficient in nUlllber
to search the sector adequately. He recalled theee planes later before
they had completed their search. Although the information available as
to he recalled tbese planes 18 incomplete, it appears that bis reason
tor 10ing so was his knowledge that none ot the pilots of his search planes
were night pilote.*
Commander Striking Porce was now faced by a problaa calling for the
exercise of the highest order ot ability. H1s Port Force
Report-TRUK-Nava! and AirField Team No. USSBS, P.28-C.
I
t
I
I
I
I
wse in serioue danger; hie own ability to aooompli.h hi, proteotion ob-
jeotive was in .eriou. jeopardy and he had reoalled his searoh planes.
He deoided that the oorreot aotion would be to dee troy the Allied oarrier
task foroe by a sundown attaok. So, at about 1615, he launohed 27 attaok
planes with believed to be well qualified in oarrier operations.
He wished to adrli+'ionftl attaok hut. did not do 80 beoauel his
nilots ware not qualtfied in night oarrier operations and he oould
not afford to loae them now ••
It was tor these reasons, also, that he did not eena out searoh planes
in advanoe of the attaok planes. It possible that he o8ueed"some of the
"ttaok planes to fan out in a manner :Jimi lar te) the eearoh plane dootrine.
certainly he made 8 bold deoision when he launohed them. and, if he used
some of them for searoh, he have entitled to somewhat better
fortune. However, if he launohed them group and direot6d
them to prooeed along a baarinr, line, as he appears to have done,
he was entitled to misfortune. Night was ooming on; his pilots wers tired;
the weather was worsening: and a battle was imminent. In suoh oase, does
it appear wise·to send away from your oommand on an almost task,
a large portion of your best trained pilots?
These attaok planes oompleted their searoh during daylight without
making oontaat and were, therefore, ordered to return to their
It would be of interest' to know what thoughts were passing through the
mInd ot Commander Striking Foroe at this time, as he had been oonfident
the Allied oarriers would be found in this seator, and he had failed
to looate them there. Aotually he still felt that they were olose by Rnd
he wished his planes to return without further searoh, as he wanted their
support 1n oase he was attacked by Allied airoraft.
The of his analysis 1n this oase appears when it is realized
sunset was at about 1816, snd the planes oould not and oid not arrive
at the oarriers on their return flight until 10n..-; after darkness
had fallen. 'T'hey were not. l'!oui'Onad !IS night fighters.
The Allied oarriers in the seotor searoaed, but the Japanese
pilots on the outbound flight had apparently passed them without seeing
them. This appears to have been partially beoause of the weather, and
partially booause 01' a shortage of searoh-trained attaok pilots. There
is no oomment about the weather in Jnpanose reports, Allied
lIouroes refer to the haz-, , low oeiling, lind passing squ8.lls. Diagram F
indicates that ths Striking Force was 1n the bad weather area, whioh area
Peoort-rrnrTK-NsVlll and Naval Air Field Team No. 3, p.2B-C
-69-
4t_ .... tlll!!_III.-.I).,..·· __ ___ .... _. __ ._........ _ ......... .l;;.. .......... L. •• -_.
I
t
f
f
i

i
extended for one hundred and more miles to the westward of the Striking
Force and also indicates thut the TF 17 was in this area.
Japanese groups were normally of little search vnlue, in that
they did not, as a generltl thing, conduct search operations of any ml:lg-
ni tude when on M alr &ttttck mission. They followed about one' hour behind
the scouts to insure that lin 68rly att8.ck on the target, onCe it had been
locnten, be made. Thh is &n excellE:nt method of operHtion Hnd may
pay large divicends if the position of the target is kno\\n with
accuracy. In thiLJ clIse it appears that Communder Striking Force was cor-
rect in launching the all' attack group, instead of the search planes, for
reasons stated, provided some elements of the attack group were used for
search. Hifi fll.i1tU'e to discover the enealY at an advll1ltageous ti .. ;e "as
one of those misfortunes which often upset the pl&ns of the most capable
Commander.
Striking Force was not information very long. His
attack planes, on their return flight to their carriers, were nttacked by
Allied er ph.nes, apparently clOSE: to the outer limits of their flight,
and nine were shot down. About one hour later, about three of his
whlch were eVidently lost., circled the Allied caI"rier thinking
that it was their own. They finally succeeded in returning to their own
ships, and then informed Commander Striking Force that tbey had
two large enemy carriers about 40 or 60 miles away by noting the
lights on their decks.*
The returlung planes which were attacked by Allied carrier planes
"ere directed by Commander Striking Force drop their bombs into the
sea in order to increase their maneuverabjlity. Having thiS,
the three planes which had discovered the Allied c£'l'l'iers were, therefortl,
unable to launch other thru1 8 strafing sttack,. whj ch would. have been of
nuisance value only. It is well that the idea of kamikaze attacks was
not as yet prendent in the Japanese air forces, for it appe6.rs that it
would not have been difficult to have made 8 successful suiciC:e attack on
the AUien carriers. W8S, appbrE'ntly, SOW€; doubt initially within
these carrie .. :g as to whether the Japanese .. r;! friend or foe, and
darkness ",as I'ttpidly falling.
Since neither the Japanese carriers nor planes had rbdar and since
there ",ere no homing devices, it for the Japanese pilots
to locate their Striking Force by their- own wits. As they appeared to
encounter considerable difficulty in ttis regard, partially, eppLrently,
*Supplemental Report .. TRUK-Naval & Naval Air Team No. B, r.28-C.
•• 'lr.r •• ';.?r.'Z_ •••• __ __ __ ____
!



. .
},I
" .. ,';',:
r
'f'
, \
•,j (.
::

t"

-{"
!.\
"
'

";",
,.1;
."
because of the weather, Striking Force found it necessary to
assist than by turning on his searchl1ghts.rhis was a courageous de-
cision, and Commander Striking Force was not at all hap9Y in being forced
to it, as he did not w&nt the Allies to know his However,
he ha1 no choice, for, if he bad not shown his searchlights to guide his
pilots home, he would not have had sufficient planes left to attack the
next day. Despite this employment of searchlights, be did not succeed
in completing bis landing operations until after When his planes
had finally landed he four.d i 'wt he had lost 9 in combat and 11 operation-
ally. This would suggest that the Japanese were not
in operations unless the planes, in searching for thelr
carriers, rlill out of fuel and crashed in the sea.
When the pilots raported to Commander Striking Force that the Allied
carriers appeared to be 40 to 60 miles away, a discussion arose on board
the ZUIKAKU as to the advisability of making a night attack. The
Operations Officer was anxious to make this attack, but after an estimate
of the situation it was decided, in 'view of a lack of information concern-
bg Allied carrier task force surface ship strength, not to att.ack until
morning." This appears to have been a wise decision the surfRce ship
strength of tho Striking Force was only 2 hea'Jy cruisers and 6 destroyere.
Some or these were required during the night for anti-submarine screon
work, as well as for defense, in case of an Allied night attack, whtch,
while not mentioned in the Japanese accounts, was a strong Allied capab-
ility, as previous discussion hus shown. the Japanese and Allied
f,:.>rces were not 40-60 miles but were, instead, about 95 miles away •
Meanwhil.e,· the Commander of the Port Moresby InVasion Force re4uested
him to close that force in order to provide better This he
",greed to do, because his obj ective was the protectbn of the InVasion
Force. His destre to obtai.n a better position lncllntld hiro to "run North
then East a:ad then South, feeling certain that your carriers would strike
1n the directi'Jn of the transports the next morning, and by following a
semi-circular track from North, through East to South I would not be in
their line of attack. Furthermore, I would gatn the advantage of being
on their fl&nk where I could launch strikes from the East. If I had done
this, I feel that we may not lu.:ve had either car.rier of the 5th Air S4.uad-
ron damaged. But I had my basic mission to fulfiJ 1, which wa::; to protect
the transports."-IHHt But was he correct in this l·eaSOl'ling? Were not the
Allies cognizant of his presence within a limited number of miles, because
of the fact that his planes hud endeavored to land on the Allied carriers?
*SUpplemental &. Naval Air fuld Team #5, US8BS, P.28-C.
of Captain Yamaoka, I.J.N. Operations Officer, Staff 5th
Air Flotilla. USSBS Naval Analysis Division Interrogation of Japanese
officlalsu Volume I-Interrogation Nav. NI). 10.
***SlJ.pplemental Report-TRUI{-Naval & Naval Air Field Team #3, p.35, 36.

. .
'IM
-71-_
•• IIIIiIII... .-_!lllli_IllilllIiIIIooI .......... __ ... ·IIIiI.ftlllll' _1IIIiI .... m-"MiIoIre_ ... ttl,,"' ... td¥t± ... ·_rt ....... ................... ' ... .......... _. __ ,
i
I
'j
1
Wae it not a capability of the Allies to expect an attack fro. hla and,
therefore, to •• arch for the Striking Force in preference to the
units which even then were retiring to the northward? Did he not, there-
tore, become temporLrl1y the correct physical objective of the Allied car-
riers, now that his nearby presence was known and Jeopardized the Allied
plan, whiot:·· was apparently to destroy the Port 1I0resby InvlI.81on Force?
As • matter of fact, the launched a search at dawn 1167 8th to
locste the Striking Force.
Shortly after sunset on the 7th, the Striking Force changed course
to approximately (T). When the planes calmeneed returnlDg about
1945, course was changed to the southeast in order to head into the wind.
After thft planes had been landed about 2200, course was changed to the
north and at the Striking rorce 1mS in Lat. ItJ-40' S •• Long. lSSO-
..s' B.
QPERATIONS OF JAPANESE COVERING FORC!. lIay 7t\
To go back some hours, the Covering Force continued on a westsouth-
westerly course, until 0700 lIay 7th, when it headed into the rind to launch
4 reconna188ance seaplanes from the KINUGASA, mUTAlA, KAKO and one i'l-om
the SHOHO. The wind at this time was east-south-east about 8 knots, sea
visibility good.
Thi. search appears to have been directed by Commander 4th Flget and
was to cover the area between 090
0
from ROSSEL Island and 2:10
0
from DEBOYNE
Island to a distance of frOID 150 to 250
At 0730 the SHOHO laUDched 4 carrier fighters and 1 ca.:,rier attack plane
as eeriel cover for a convoy of the Port lIoresb,y InVasion which she
had been direeted to escort.
Between 0750 and oe:sQ a number of Allied carrier attack planes were
reported by the units of the Covering Force, 1II0st of thaD pElssing to the
northwestward. As from all of the information s.ndlable the Allied Car-
rier Task Force was to the south; the fact that the planes were returning
to the northwest and the increased number of planes indicated to Commander
Covering Force that the Allied forces were nearer than hb had estimated.
Apparently, at this Commander Covering Forcp also conducted searches
in the vicinity of KURUA Island.
At the Commander Covering Force informed his tAsk force thut the
Allied task force was bearing 160
0
(T), distant 140 miles from DEBOYNE.
The SHUHO that she immediately prepbred to make 8 torpedo attack with
-72-
A- 10
I
I

I
1
f
,
t

,
!
,
r
"
-"' ___ ..... ___ '-....... ................. ow
,
,
i
i
I
I
, , \
carrler a1rcraft.* At FURUTAKA plane reported Allied taak forc. at
0820 was bearing 152°, 150 from DEBOYNE. At 0840 KlNUGASA plane
reported Allied taak torce at 08&0 a8 170°, 82 mi18a tro. ROSSEL leland
and tl:at the entwly force consisted of 1 :m, 2 CA, 7 r" and 1 CV. Tbe
plots of thes. latter two reports do not aGree by about 45 al1ea. Ap-
pArently these reports refer to the ttlO Allied forces in the area, and
are not of the ferce. The western posltion was probably
on the Support Group wbich us heading to cut off any JApanese forces
which might pctse through JOIIARD PaBsage but it was considerubly in error
(about 38 miles). Tbe eustern conte.ct. WliS prob8bl,y on TF 17. Tho center
contact was probably the Support Force. report was fensonably
accurnte (wit.hin 15 ml. ... es). Meanwhi16
6
the Striking Force reported an-
other Allied carrier task force as 195 , 450 miles from TULAGI. This
proved be the NEOSHO and SIMS, but this was not received by Com-
mander 4th Flset or his various task groups, such as the Covering Force,
until later. At 0900 the Port Moresby Inn.sion Force was directed "'y
Commander 4th to retire to the lI'est, and, later, to the nortbwest.
At 0950 Communder Covering Force determined ttat these were two Allied
task forces southetlst o,f DEBDYNE. Although there lfl no comment from
Commander Force it is assumed that this opinion was reported to
Commander 4th Fleet. Whnt the reactions were of Coaunand.Cll' 4th Fleet, up-
on being informed that therE: were three Allied task groupe
in the area, each apparently supporhd by at least one battleshIp filt.h the
usual cruisers and destroyers, is not known. However, he in a dif-
ficult position. He had three carriers, two of them first line, but the
Allies, ap?arently, hact three carriers, all first line, supported by
strong navtl.l power. l;ertuinly he could not go ahead with the PORT WDRESS!
operation until he had gained at lsast local command of the area. It,
therefore, appears as a result of bis analysis of the Situation, be
re-affirmed his decision to retire the Port Moresby InVasion Force. He,
"'pptlrtnitly, determiusd that bis uefl tasks to destroy or drive off
the Allied task forces and to delay his present operation until he had
gained at least local command of the area.
At 1008 KlNUGASA reconnaissance planes reported tbat an Allied carrier
lIIas launching planes. Commander Covering Force states that, "the SHDHO "'6.6
immediately ordered to launch all of her planeG but that Bince ahe was, at
the time, busy recovering planes already up and refueling the planes which
had been carrying out aerial aecur! ty she was not abls to COIIlply." Why
this should have bean 80, is not clear, for she hud only 4 fighters and 1
plane in the air at the time. No other planes hud beon
since t.he preceding day. At lOW she launched 3 additionttl fighters and
recovEred the 4 fighters and 1 atthck plane. She did not launch any other
iSHOHO Action Report #7 of #6 dated lay 1942, WDe #160465.
---
t ,
W • FH cst
,
I
I
I
I
I
!
I
,t

'I'

i

,
Ii
t,
"
\'.
planes she was actually under attack, when at 1117 she launched more
fIghters. Her complement was about 21 plones, 12 VF (ZEROES) and 9-12 VT,
allot whiob be required for action. Actually, one hour elapsed be-
fore the Allied pl/ines started their attack. Why all plunes were not launch-
ed in this hour is obscure.
Covering Force directed thut all cruiser planes track
task forceo. At 1100, he received word that the Allied task force, reported
420 miles south of TULl.GI, was not a carrier force at all but was, instead,
':lne oiler and one destroyer, which had been destroyed.
About this time, planes from the ICINUGASA and FURUTAKA, whlch had been
tracking the Allied task forces southeast of DEBOYNE, reported thut these
task forces were in t.wo groups composed of a total of 2 CV, 2 88, 2 CA, 2 CL
and 7 DD. From" this it should be apparent thut the pilots of the cruiser
plnnes were well trained and courageous, for their tracking reports were
generally reasonably and they were always subject to destruction
by Allied carrier fighters. There were, of course, two Allied carriers,
but there were no
MeanWhile, the SHOHO had commenced launching planes and soon hud lbunched
planes. She and the SAZANAMI, apparently, were not operating in close for-
mation "ith CruDiv 6 and hud not been doing so since ubout midnight. Why the
Japanese permitted this condition to obtain is not known. There was no ap-
parent reason why all planes could not have been Ibunched from both the cruisers
and the carriers in close formution Lmd, therefore, it appears that it
would have been wiser had Commander Covering Force combinod his ships into a
close anti-aircraft disposition in Older to withstand the expected air attack.
His failure to do so appears to have materially to the loss of the
SHOHO.
At 1050 15 Allied planes noted comlng in to attack ,the SHOHO. The
Covering Force was, at this in a very loose disposition with the four
cruisers in what appeared to be 90° sectors and at a distance from the SHOHO,
reported by Allied pilots, to be about 8000 yards. The SAZANAIII was e\'iuently
n,ear the SHOMO as a plane guard. The Japaaese forlllBtion was loose and does
not appear to have used a standard anti-alrcraft fonoa.tion, if the format.ions
employed the next day in the aircraft action between the carriers is a crit-
erion. At 1107 the SHOHO maneuvering and firing at these
\I'hich were attacking in groups. Three enemy planes attackRd at about this
time a.."ld made a near mbs. The SHOHO reported that one of these planes had
been shot These 5 were followed by 10 dive bombers which also
made near misses. The SHOHO had been to launch all of her planes as
directed, so upon completion of thl' second at.t.ack she launched more fighters.
At 1117, While launching thesE' fighters, reported th£Lt she was under at-
"
1
I,
I
I
,
I
\
\
,
f
t
,
t
i
f


t;-:,
)'
",

,,','
,t;;
" '
r
.... ,-._ ... ., •• ......... , •., •.. ", ......... •··•• .. .............. ..-... - .. --•• ,,-..... ,
tack by an Allied carrier plane force cor4oisting of about eo planes, of
which about. 20 were bombers, 20 torpedo planes, and 20 were f ... ght.ere.
The launching was discontinued after planes had bAen launched, and the
SHOHO then maneuvered to avoid thi5 attack. At 1120 hpr deck e18-
vIAtor waS hit by two bombs, Md her sT.c.rboard quarter was hit by a tor-
pedo. She w€nt out of control and burst into flame. in sever8l places.
Meanwhile, the enemy continued to attack and, although the SHOHO fought
back, by 1130 she had received bomb hltfl and 7 torpedo hits.* All
hands were ordered to abandon ship at But, true to tra-
clition, moet of the crew did not leave and went down with'her at 1135.
The JapMeaEl lost on the SHOHO about 15 planes, and of the 6 in the air,
were lost. The remaining 3 emergency landings at DEDOYNE.
The Allied attack appears to have been solely against the
SHOHO and, therefore, Cr.udiv 6 and the SAZANAMI escaped damage.
During this attack the fcur cruisers of 6 did not close the
SHOHO to increase her defense but rather Circled where they were and, by
so dOing, tended to draw from her. This left large gaps in the al-
ready loose cruiser screen, and it was through these gaps that many of
the ath,cking planes C6JDe. The gunfire of Crudiv 6 and the SHOHO was
reportedly desu1tor.Y, sporadic, in VOlume, fairly accurate
1n fuse settiqg, but 1agging in deflection. It was, therefore, Inef'-
f'ective.**
The Covering Force now withdrew to the northeast in order to avoid,
if possible, being attacked by another of planes from TF 17. This
retirement appears to have been the oorrect deCision for Commander Cover-
ing Foree as he was now without air cover and was an excellent target for
Allied aircraft. Ho apparently felt that, by proceeding to the I')Ort.heRst;
he was interposing between the transports, which were retiring to the north,
6.Ild TF 17.
4th Fleet, about this decided to detach certain com-
batant units from the forces escorting the Port MorE:sby Invasion Force
and to return the remaining of all types to the RABAUL araft for
safety. He, therefore, detached Minelayer Division 18 and Destroyer Di-
vision 6, and ordered them to consolidate with Crudiv 6. As no further
record appears of the Minalaying Dlvi6ion, it is assumed that Commander
4th Fleet cancelled her orders and that she continued to retire with the
Port Moreeby Invasion Force.
Meanwhile, the planes of Crudiv 6 were directed, upon cOliplettng
their searches, to retire to DEBOYNE and bese there. Based at DEBOYNE
*Interrogations of Japanese Officials, USSBS (Pacific) VOl. II, P. 459.
**Action Report Bombing Squadron Two, Serial 001, May 14, 1942, also
Action Report Scouting Squadron Two, May 7, 1942.
-75-_
I
I


i
1
,
I
,
r
,


t

I
aleo, were many reconnaiesance aeaplanes which were being tended by the
seaplane hndel's JCAIIIKAWA IIARU and HlJIRIKAWA UARU. Thase seaplanes, in
cooperation with theplanC8 or the 25th Air FlotIlla, and witb those or
Crud!v 0, were .. ployed in the Allied surface forces.
At Comm&.nder .tb Fbet., who had been supervising hh plumed
from RABAUL, and who wa6 evidently, & running esti-
mate of tha situation, ordered Crudiv 6 and Dearon 6 to make a night at-
tack on the Allied task forces. There is no information 8.8 to which task
force lias to be attacked, but that could well huve been left to the de-
cision of Comcrudiv 6. Why Commander 4th Fleet ordered this attack is
not apparent, but it would indlctlte tho.t eHiler his "as poor
or his estimate "US For, at the timo he issued the order to
Comcrudiv 6, the nearest Allied task force (TF 17) was 180 miles away.
He would have had to launch his attack after nightfE,ll, in order that its
objective !light not be lmown by the Allies and in order that his Burf&ce
forces might not be subj ect to Allif:1d air at •. Does it not appear,
therefore, that such 0. night attack by Crudiv 6 and Deeron 6 was in-
ftllisible? It will be shown later that Com;nander 4th Fl£et finally ar- .
rived at the same conclusion.
At 1415 SAZANAMI was dir€cted to proceed to the position where the
SHOHO had been sunk and pick up survivors. SAZANAMI left Crudiv G and
proceeded on her mission. The Covering Force now consisted of Crudiv 6
only. It l\'ill hereafter be referred to 8.8 Crudiv 6.
Up to this time the location of the Allied tl:sk , .. aB not clear
to Comcrudiv 6. As a matter of fact, he had been informed that the posi-
tion of tile enemy at 1400 about 500 miles away. A report of this na-
ture is valueless as it does not indicate the bearing, the dist.ance or
even thA tion of the Allif-d to.sk force L"t1ported.
OUr ing the early afternoon J IlpBnene trhcking planes frOID m'BOYNE lind
RABAUL that the Alli€d forces were in t_o groups; one a
carrier group; the other a battleship group. At 1510 Comcrudiv 6 received
a report that bombers of 25th Air Flotilltl had attacked the battleship
group and had sunk 1 battleship and heav'ily drunaged 1 heuvy cruiE-er. At
1420, he received an additional report that an e.ddi tional hud
been slightly damaged.* In this case there no Allied battleships in
the area and there were no ::;hips of any type damaged or sunk. The dif-
ficulties of Commander 4th in ml:dnhlning Ii correct 'runlling esti.rr.ate
undE:r the above condi tions must haw! been exceptionRl.
At about the trecking plgnes report.ed t.hat part of the enp.my hud
changed course to the south to 200 (T) and ttiat the realE-ining part hud
changed course to 100
0
(T). Comme.ndcr 4th apparently decided frOID
*Combat Report No.7, CruD1v 6 dated 17 July WDC P.El.
,.,.,. ... -76-

,
r
t
,
I
"
"
tbil tbat the damaaed Al11.d Iblpo would atteapt to e.cap. to the TOWN-
SVILLE area. H., therefore, orQered the &1bmadnea en route to TO\\NSVILLE
to cbang. their line ot deployment to the rei ion north ot TOWNSVILLE. Tbie
appear. to bave been. correct dec1lion. tbe Allied SUpport Foree, whicb
had just be.n attacked, did be.d in • loutherly direction and by 1£00, May
9th, ... just soutb ot Lat. 16° S. whlch waa about half way to TOWNSVILLE.
At 1700, Crudiv 6 changed cour •• to the lOuth and proceeded to the
evening rendezvoull with J)esron 6 wh.loh had bean set for Ma-Y 8th at
a position 20 mile. east of ROSSEL Island.
At 1650, an AOBA plone reported a battleship task group ot 1 BB, 2 CA
and S DD bearing 200
0
(T), 130 miles from DEBOTt{E on oourse 200
0
(T), speed
16 knots. At 1711, planes from 25th Air enemy force
as bearing 24SO, laS miles from ROSSEL Island, on course 1AOo. These rti-
ports were approxilDately cort'eot 80S regards locution and speed. The seoond
report was roo off in course, 180
0
esH'nuted, vs 150 actual. they were cor-
rect in the number and type' of ships in the force being trailed, with the
exception that there were no battleshi?s. What were being miataken for
battleships is not known but appear to have the CHICAGO class.
At this time, from the Striking Force reported in plain language
that th9y had been in action with carrier based fighters and ha.d re-
ceived serioua damage. The fact that the Japanese stress that tbis report
was in plain language indicates that Japanese practice was to code such re-
ports. This ift wise, as information of damage to own forces can be of inesti-
mable value to the enemy and should be denied them as lone as posaiblEl.
At 1845 planes from the Striking Force reported an enemy carrier task
grotlp as bearing 160
0
, 111 lIlilee from ROSSEL Island on course 230
0
(T).
This position was apparently 25 miles due east from actual TF 17 1845
position. This report was apparently made by one of the attack planes from
the Force and hgatB tbat tbe ebility
ot the Japanese attaok plane pilots was o,ly fair and WllS below t.he average
of tbe Japanese soouting plane pilots. The Japanese realized that tbiv enemy
carrier task group waa a different one from thll.t reportEtd by 25th Air Flotilla.
At about 1820 reports were received that the weather in the area of action
was becomirlg increaSingly bad and that the shore and tender baseci
planes had returned to their bll.aEls. Thus from this time onward during the
night, the Japanese cOlllmanders were uninformed as to the m07ements of the two
Allied task forces. They that air reconnaissance at an end, and
that any further reconnaissance must .necessarily be by surface craft.
Comcrudlv 6, not receiving any orders from 4th Fleet, and not
receiving any further information concerning the Allied task forces, decided
to continue on southerly courses to the 0200 rendezvous with Deadiv 6. This
"<rill" "
, .• ''''''' :,". "
'"I
-77-
-..... - ..... ....
appear. to haTe be .. th. oorreot 4'0111_, althCNlb 1t •• to 4
ec.0ru.41T e that the Allled OIlI'I'ler ta. &rOUP .', rrc. hi. plot., about
200 ail •• a..,. S .... 1ft .ith hi. IUperior 1ft
·ftO bad aore illtONation aad better tac1Ut1e. than he did tor .
plottlDC th .. , and that IUperlor had not oanoelled hi. order ••
ae •• apparent17 not entlre11 haUler with hll _ed1ate IAlperlor'"
plan., wt be did know that, in v\e. or the bad weather, he had been
ordered to aake a n1&bt attack, and .urf'ace track1ns the en .... Ile-
oe.aarr.. Re knew that If' he tound 1t advlaable to d1.cODtlnua the plan
to rende .. ous wlth De.dlv 6, or to make a nisht he would be .x-
ptleted to make adequate representl.t1on. thereoll to his •. te super-
ior. 'hi ...... erlcan practice, It i. l..aUDed that lt .. 8 alao Japan.ee
practice. Re f'Urther knew that ehould he be torced to radio 'llenoe, be
would then be expected to I.ct accord1n, to the dictates ot hie own con-
Iclence guided by the known TieW' or hi. IUptlrlor. In thle ca.e, 1D.
vie. of' the f'act that there wa. app6rently no neoe.sity tor radio Silence,
in that all of' the Japane.e force. in the DEBOYNE area had been
located b.v the Allied he knew that he deelre to make a
change in plans he should coamunlcat. with Commander 4th Fl •• t. The fact
that he did not do .0 under the condltions ex1stin& a
adherence to the basic plan. He apparent,lyl felt cont1dent that if Com-
mander 4th Fleet, witb all of' the tacts betore hla, It111 deSired bta to
attack. the attAot mu.t b. a oaloulated ri.k.
At 21SO SAZANAIII reported that sbe had arrived at the e1 te of the
linking of the SHOHO at 17ro, and had continued rescuing survivore until
IUDset. She reported having recovered 100 men, including the executive
officer.
At 2SOO Commander 4th Fleet cancelled by deepatoh plan. tor night
action, de1&1ed the Port Moresby Invasion date b, two daJ8l and dlrect6d
the eecond .ection of Cl'Udi. 8 to Jo1a the str1k1D.g Foree. 'rbil indlcat.a
that Ca..ander Fl.et was tollowin, the developine action with care.
Be apparentl¥ considered p 1nadv1eabl., under the OODditlO1U1. to .. ake a
night attaclt, as 1t8 char. _ or being eu'loessfUl _, poor, h. apparentl1
thoucbt it unwise to continue tUe PORT MORESBY operatlon until local coa-
mand ot the area had been itlined, _nd h. apparentl1 considered it h1ghl,
iaportant that the anti-a).raratt strength of the str1k1De Force be au,-
ant eel in o· ..... that the te-rce's '!I.'vi.Hty to withstand Allied carrier air
attack a .. c • .!.:' J.-j (:"ltd.rab1" lncreaeed. Thi. 1. in cont.ra.tto err ·17's
d.c1l10·, t-.:' ,fl)1.F,C
I
, ile SUp1"K.>:d. Force thereb,y deer ... e coneiderablJ
tbe AA or bis ',.1f!ic force ill tlJe taee of _inant action.
A". 2515 the •• oood 8Mtion \"\" Crudb 6 ft. d"tachecl t.o Join witb the
Str1kill';:: l"ore.. Thti firat I)·,;;.",on proceeelecl ftC) 1.1 to be available to
-18-_
I
I
i
'1

" .l
.j

J
l

1
J
f
"'
::;
j
I
· ..... - ... \""..... \1 I ,4:* -""- .. ".W 4i1ll.t;)W:Ci4M •. [iP .%.1% .•
',:, r;, , •• _t .... ____ _
_ ....--- .. MU¥£I •
laaht in the invaelon of PORT MORESBY on X plus 2 day. It fueled at
aea en route, and waa directed after fueling to Join the P<lrt loruby
lnvalion Foree, and proceed to a rendesvoua 225
0
(I), diltant 100 ailel
frca SHORT LAND liland.
o
At 2400 May 7th rirlt aeetion CruDiv 6 waa at Lat. 10 -15' Se, Long.
154
0
-15' E. and the aecond s.ction waa at Lat. 10
0
-&0' S., Long. 154
0
-£8' E.*
The Support Foree continued retiring on a north_eaterly courle until
about 0800 when it chanced course to the At 2400 it was in an
esttaated poaition at Lat. 7
0
-52
1
S., Long. 152
0
-&8' I., heading towarda
SHORTLAND Ie1and.*
nelron 6 proceeded to the northeastward toward SHORTLAND Island and
at 2400 was in an estimated position 196 ailel be.rinl 2070 fro. SHORTLANn.*
-The Port lIorelby Invasion Force continued retiring to the northeastward
g,,-,nerally to\f&rda BUKA until shortly b.fore 2400, when it headed up to the
northwestward towards RABAUL. At ita esttaated position was 250 ai1ea
bearing 165
0
rrom RABAUL.* .
OPERATIONS OF 25th AlR FLOTILLA AND ATTACK. ON suppORT GROUP
Throughout liar 7th the 25th Air Flotilla continued the reconnaiasance
aissiona which had been assigned, and aade some of the contact re-
ports, previoualy indicated.
At 0950 an attack group of bombers and Zero fighters took off
to attack an Allied which had been reported by the aearch aea-
planea or Crudiv 6. In addition, the air attack group which waa caaPOled
of type 96 land attack bombers and which was to attack PORT "ORESSY, was
diverted from that attack to assist in attacking the Allied task torce. It
took otf 00 this mission at 1100. lIeanwhile, the torpedo attack group had
'difficulty in locating the Allied task force and searched the reported area
for about ooe hour. 'ina111 the en..,. was reported to be in a' position
bekring 212
0
, 190 ailes trom DEBOYME. At 14SO, the torpedo plane attack
group reported attacking enemy battleships. At 1444, the t1p8 96 bombers
reported attacking the above battleships. The cOllpC»s1te daaage reported
inflicted consiated of one Calitomia class bat·tleahlp, and one AUguita
ClASS heavy cruiler sunk. one Warsplte clalS battleship received two torpedo
hita and sutfered damage. A Canberra claas cruiaer waa reported
as having been attacked with torpedoel with d •• ge unknown.** The identi-
tication, in this &ttack, appears to have been very poor, and tbe .eatructi ..
clatma were Cruiser identification was on11 fair. Of the 12
Chart "Battle of the Coral Sea" prepared by Lieut. Comdr. Henry
Salomon, Jr. USNR, in cooperation with Q-.2 SCAP, TOIIO, JAPAlf. Japan •••
track chart work done b,y several Japaneae officers headed b1 eX-Rear
Toaioka, IJN at Naval War College,
**Detailed Battl. aeport 10. 11 or the 2tth Air rlotlUe. woe No. 1«U&2,
Group No. 2S, It .. No. B25-D. P.S.
-19-_
!a' . r ft' wTrt"n·It=*'& -"'e",
••••••• I!Ij_ .... , ••• Iii, 1IIIi".iI.IIII.IiII •• IIiiII_"_IIiIIII_Iili_IIIIIIlIi.'IIISIIIi?!iIi' 'l1li' 'IiIIItCIIiI'Ili)'iIIIHtIlll'tlliou 'illiitlilool)"iII!I'ioiIO·tlt ... · ... ..... , • ... + ..... _ ..... ... l .... *_·b' ... »iIIo· .... ··H_rt * __
, .I'.\Ai;;,*2;.4'4 .... [. ; l
j

1
j
1
j
• ,- ..- -'" , . 1 . - , ~ .• ' ~ ~ . T, " ~ - - ' ,
..... i
. ~
_ ..... -------------_ ..... -........... _._---------_ .. -.. _-_ ........,_.
torpe4o attaat p1aa .. whiob too& par\ in thll atta . ..,k, four "'1'8 loat.
ani •• 4. a foroed landin. with heaV7 a...,e aad five .uttered bQ1let
4 __ ... ot the t.Jpe 88 bcIIberl, none hre reported loat bUt three
reported bullet d_ .. e.
At 1100, plane. of 25th Air rlotilla reported en Allied tallt croup
ot 1 Of, 1 CA, 2 CL, 4 DD b poaltlon 241
0
T., 170 .11 •• froa ROSSE[,
Ialand, but, owlna to poor vlI1bllit,. were unable to traok It.
During this time thl1 Air Flotllla was al.o eftgaled in attackina
PORT IIORESBY. Ho • ..,er, tbe atteok group consist.d of but .. fichter.
becausl the attack plane. were being u •• d In the CORAL SEA.
-80-
1
. ~
)
. ~
J
.1
1-
ifaa.Ib ••• ' ,.au ........... ____________ ........ "'"._...." .... _ .. , .... _____________ _
.
,
lore., IpU.,4
(a) ta" [orO. 17
(b)
YORKtOWN <rF) (CV), LEXINGTON (r) (CV), AB'l'ORIA (CA), PORTLAID (OA)',
CH!St1R (CA), MINNEAPOLIS (OA), m ORLEANS (CA), a.AIIN (DO)
RUSSELL (DD)r AILYfIN (DD), PHELPS (DD), DDJ;Y (DD), MORRIS (ooJ.
AlDERSON (DD 1. .
tot.l 2 cr, S CA, 7 DD.
total plan •• available (121) S2 VF SS VB SS V8 21 VT
Plane. for .earch 14 VB .VD
P1Mne. launched for attack 1S VF 11 VS 28 VB 21 VT
Planes launched tor CAP 17 VF 17 VS
§tdkins
ZUIIAKU (!') (CV), SHOlAlU (CV), HAaURO (CA), 1IY0lO (CA), lIIUGAS! (0.),
ruRU'l'AXA (CAh SSIGOR! (DD), mOURE (DD), WAD: (Dn), SHIRAURO (DD),
USHIO (DD), AlEBONO (DD), .
Total 2 CV, • CA, 8 DD.
Total planee avallab1e (122)
Plane. launched tor .earch
Planes launch.d for attack
Plan., launoh.d for CAP
.0 VF S9 VB .S VT
10 VB
20" 29VB CVT
20 VF appromate
Actual17, as will be .hOWD later, Striking FOrce-. 1n!oraatlOD
on the cOilposit1on of rr 17 was .eae.hat d1fforent than thla, 2 cr, 1 IB,
2 CA, and 5 DD, where .. CTF 17's intOl'l'.ation on the Strlk1Dg Foroe weI aore
nearly correct, being 2 Cit • CA, S to aanr DO. Rowever, the net relUlt, 1a
evaluating atrength and weakness appear, to have been about the ....
al with the actual torces. The analysis is, therefore, on the actual
foroes.
the toll owing survey ot strength and weaknesu tactors of .ach torc., Whict
milht have leriously affected the final outcaae or thil act1en, hal beea aad.
to indicate the material tor telting the feasibility and acceptability ot these
coursel ot action, which have been by coamander in eolving
hie battle problem.
....-...
-- -"
-
I
1
i
1
I

,'.
,
f

alfIpgth [actar'
Oreataf nuaber, CA (6 to 4)
Oreater number, DD (7 to 6)
Oreater auaber AA sun.
(45 5
w
/S8 plu. 62 6
w
/2S
.... 67 61l/SO plu. 20
417/45) •
Greater Il\llber AA aachine
IUD' (1£4 11 1 plu. 92 .80
oalib .. ", .... 16 I-poWlder plua
82 .aob1De IW\I, \lDkn01lD ca-
lib.r) ••
• ecent ... lctorle' at TULAOI
and aplolt SROHO bad noell_t
etrect on .orale. Radar and
heainl d .... lo ...
Preponderance ot dive bombera
(68 ... a S9)
§trepcth ,.9tor.
Pilot. ba4 lonl OQlbat
exparlmce.
In bad .. ather area.
Bilher veloclt1 AA
Preponderance ot torpedo
va 21) qd
tilhtera (40 v. S2)
SUperior, aerial torpedoea
---------_ ... -_ .. --
..
In clear area.
Owing to recent lnine ot T!'
11 and 1'F 17 t IlO tactical tra..1nlna
in aaneu ... erlng ot ainale 2 carrier
task toree.
Slow torpedo plane ••

Lack ot auoclsa on ?reyIoua day-
Lack of aalf-a.aling tanka and
armor protection for plmle crews.
Plghtln&
The above anal111a indicatee that, insotkr as anti-aircraft sun defenses,
technological t.provementa with the exception of aerlMI torpedoes, number. ot
divi bombera, and caabat IUcce88 are concerned, the advantage lay with TF 17}
that inlOtar as vlsibil1t1 for attack and defens., combat traIning of pilots,
Pleet and Blue Fleet, Naval War College,
-
"
tate 1M
1
j
,
,.
I
l
'i: , .•••. --,1" ...... ___ _
nuaber8 or tighten and torpedo ptnno:3 are concernt4d, thu advant&lI" 1111
dth the Striking Foroe. All other adv . ..ntagea and diladvantaaell above
l1atad while important, are not decilive, and •• 1 ba oonsidered to bal-
Knee one another.
This battle re.ched itl ols..u on 1&1 8th, with the ex,",hanp or
blo .. between the air att.ack croup. of'TF 17 and tho .. ot the Str1k1n1
Force. The actual tl&hting tt.. '" extr .. e11 brilt, beinl a .atter of'
in each ca.e.
Talk Foroe 17 oontinued to the south and weetward durinl the nicht
of' the 7th-8th, and bJ 0800 ot the 8th •• in Lat. 14
0
_£" S. and Lone.
lS,0-S2' E. on courae 126
0
(T). Tb. IONAGHAR bad been detached at 0065
on the 8th, to .earch the next tor 8'1"1.orA ot the n:oSBO and
SIMS, and to •• nd radio di.patch.. to CI.ePiC and other.. Th. departure
of th1a d.atroyer furthllr Jduced TF 17 to £1 •• cruis.r. and •••• n d.-
aa supporting shipe for th. LEXINGTON and tORKTO-'.
Thul, in a .att.r of 18 hour., OTl' 17, with .troll, en.ay toro ••
nearby and with the probability of action taminent, hAd redur.ed hl.
cOlllmand by S 0::-u1lerl and , deetro78r ••
The location of th. SHOItAKU and the ZOIltAlW r.a1ned the prinoipal
concern of' CTF 17. He had recel.ed intelUIenol report. durlDC the nicht
which that the Port Moresb,y In._alon rorce we. r.tlriDI to the
northward, but he had heard noth1Dg About the two oarrier. or
the Striking Force. Aircrart from theee carriers had been .e@n about
hiB own force the p!"evioua nisht, but the carr1er. th_lI"l'Yl8 had not
been 51ghted. aadio tnt.lll,.nce indicated, bo ... er, that th •• e carriere
micht be either easi or w.at ot Taak roree 17. He •• 6uaed that they had
rQIIIUned in the CORAL SEA to •• ttle the probl_ ur all uuutriil prd1A1n;.rj'
to the renewal of the adYance or the Port More.by lnva.ion roree.*
Because the whereabouts ot tl:.e fil8a1' carrier. ft. doubttul, err 17
dec' jed upon the recoavnenda tion ot C'I'G 11.5, Air. to conduot
a cla_ .earch. The LEXIMGTOII .. e directed conduct thll •• arob
to a radius ot 200 .ileo in the northern ... i-01rcle and 150 all.. in
the .outhern ... l-cirole. In coapl1ance with thls dirE!ctl •• , th. LEX-
INGTON, at 0825, launched l( VS'. of' Scouting Squadron Two and 4 VB's
of' Bombing Squadron Two.
At 0805, the LEXINGTON .ade a radar contact on an plane
bearing (1), distance 18 milee on a of about £4OP (1), at
hlgh speed low Altitude. Fi,htera •• re .ectored out to intercept 1t,
*Action Report err 17, Serial 0782, dated • ., 27, 19'2, Page T • 8.
I
I
.......... IIIiIiI .... IIIliw:>.t_ ...... --=te'OMere - ______ .....-...-__ u_ .... , ...
.... H _Mt
i
J
j
j
iii
_c a.... -, 54 "h ¥A!XY, t.P J, "- -- ; q ;;;P,Sljit, s. !¥i? -Pi.. ;; an; , ; , Ai, £.$".' w;,s 4& L-4. '. e .§ ) ,LA aa,
MlA·'I-1f1
,.-
_/
; MDIH,..,
--' IOI..AIl
::;;
--.,
\

. • •"'c-,
-,
TASK FOJlCE IT JAP .!Till."
THROUGHO\JT THE DAY. TASK 17 OPERATED IN AN
WEATH'R. DUE TO THE UNLIMITED CEILING AND EXCELLENT
JAPANE!oE WERE ABL E TO LOCATE AND ATTACK THE
AREA OF CLEAR
VISIIIILITY, THE
CARRIERS WITH
THE RES U L T T HAT THE LEX I N c;;r ON W S LOS TAN 0 T H f: Y 0 R K TOW N
DAMAGED. AT HIE SAME TINE THE JAPANESE FORCE WAS IN ,AN
AREA OF WIDESPREAD CLOUD COVER, SCATTERED SHOWERS "ND RAJN SQUALL,.
THE UNrAVORABLE .tATHER EXCELLENT CONCEALMENT AND
PRESENTED A SERIOUS HANDICAP TO OUR AIRCRAFT.

PLATE III
"" , ..... ," =. ri" • ,.;'mr· » m' a.a·w c· _, . t d't .' rt rift·.,.,. .. ,,_. __ ....
..J6

j
;j
1
-I

l
j
.1
I
4
I
1
j
1
1
j
J
l
I
i
I
!
ma IF
, £1 .... .. , .• ,,----.. - .... ____ .. _lIIa ____ _
but were Wl8U"o •• aful. Thil OQlltaot dl .. p,.,.arect frOG the at. 0818.
Ho ........ , T, 11 lIu,t haY. be.n thoroulhly reooftl'\oUered, for, at 0822, the
intero'pted a Japan ••• radio tran8l1.eion, «iving t.h. po.ltloD,
oour •• , and .p.ed ot the talk forc ••
Durlnti the nleht ot 1-8 -&1, Tr 11 in prooeed1nc .outh, had lett the
protective cover or the frontal .one And had proceeded into a olear .. ather
area. The .. ather wmiob had aided tbi. torce the pr ... lous dfl1, no. ft. no
ion,.r helpful. 101' the oeiling and yl.1bil1t1 •• r. unl181tedJ the cloud •
• er. f.. and there were no rain squall.. The wind wall blo.111ft rr<:a th •
• outhea.t with a ot 15 to 18 knote. ThGs ••• we condition., with
little chanse, h.ld throulhout the d&1 in tbt· vlclDitr or TF 17. On the
othar hand, the Japane •• Strlldnc Force .a. tlOW or"rating in the ....
trontal cone, that had Ihi.lded the Allied carrier talk foro. the d., betore.
In t.h. v1clnlty of tb. Japaneao oarrier., the vl.1bll1ty vari.d f. to 15
aUee. CWlul'lll!J, altocuaulua, and cirru. cloud. covered the area. Inter-
lIittent locd rain '4ua11. iapalred flying condit1on. stUl further ••
,acticlan •• 111 probably wonder what the governing conaiderMtlon8 .'1"
which cMu •• d CTF 17 the poor ar.as whioh had been .0
helpful to ht. at TULAGI 1D action again.t the SHOMO. For by .0 doins
h. wa. giving the en..., an advantage of importnnee. The are", of bad
•• ather ••• only SO .ile, to the nort.h. Tbe nec •• ,arlly arl.ea ••
to whether the adYantace. ot weather were fully at. the time.
C
q
rta1nly the Japane.e report, studied do not indicate that the decieion.
o( the Ca.nander Striklng Foro. had bean s8rloualy, if at all, affected by
.eather consid.ration.. Hl. choice of position for the battle on 8th
appears to have be.n bu.d on other factors and the fact he I:tl.d weather
cover "PI'eflrs to have been fortuitous.
At OFns. LEX!Nt.:'!'ON m.d. COJitt4(':t. with nn f'nfltny force end
reported at r CV, ( CA, DD." minutes later, tt
hE amplified t.his conttlct as CV, 4. CA, .IIIY DO' 8 bearin!! 008, di-
stance 120 frOID Point ZED, courS6 5peed l:c'." The coordlnlltes for
Point ZED were Lat. 14°-00' S., I,ong. 1 Sea-oo , E., ,.hich placed t.hlG con-
tact in LlI.t. 12°_00' S., l,ong. lSeO-12' E. AI plot,ted and Bignaled by
COIIUI1ander J.lr, tbe enMlY bore O£SO (T), 175 .!lu rrOr.l TF 17.
The LEXINGTON scout. who us COIIInMd£.r Sc"uadron Tro,
flU. in the adjoining He this cllntllct report, but, in
'11011' of his own diaUince from TF 17, h. os d.,ubtful or the report6Q die-
or the conbet from Point ZED. He onduv()rcd to contuct
br rhdio but, r,.lline, t.urntld, c.t f-bout t.o v81'1f;y the contact ...
iifheeaiile" ;;rt1.com ()f
Orerl.t1cnl, I.pril le44, P.l".
,uRflport of T"o, (JSS LEXIlfGTON, lIay 8,
P&p-e 1.
-84-
•. "".t .. r.n ....... S.".2 ........ '.· .... .. ___ n ___ ...
1
I
J

I
I
l
l
• •
no .iKbted en •• y toro. at 0950 and 2 CV, 2 Dn 000
0
(T). db_aoe leO ",Ue. tr. Pol.' nD, oour .. 180°(,.,. epeed 'rhh
oon\ao' alaoed 'he 2ft ",11el to ot the
Ofnp, lalthl "nn+.a"t. an" '''''"+' !WUes north of' .nemv (')900 predioted
po.ltlon. Thl. I! will he e •• n l.ter, .ay ha .. oontribut.d
'0 thl' ditt10u11l)' experienoed by the LEX lNGTON Air oro\,lp in tindin, the
Jap.nl.e Ta.k Porol, whioh 1n ODe whole .quadron of dive bo",ber.
toroId to return to 'M LlXINMOJ wlthout attaok1np; or ..... n ... in.:
the .ne.y. Soout 2·!-l mainb.lned oontaot with the Jap.ne.1 oarrier,
until lot&, when he •• faroe' to return due to tuel .ho:ootage.
..... rilio.tion ot 00 .... ' bJ Ca.Mander TWo i.
an example of thl u.o ot ",edtal power in war. H. had
tb. or hi •• eArah an. bad oo.-red oon.lderabl. di,t.noe ot hi.
roturn 1eC •• 0 that by ."'ion. he wa. not 1 •• vInl': muoh, it
any, or hi •• r •• un ••• rohed, aad he ... the welp;ht of hi. IX-
at • mo.t vital a' the diepo.al ot CTr 17.
At 08S8 upon rloeipt of information ot the po.ition of the enemy,
e10 11.& Commander Air di reo_d both LEXI1.'O'1'ON .M YOPKT<W1f to l.urioh
their .ir sroupl to attaok enlmy o.rri.r ••
\
TF 17 turned o .... r oommand at thl t •• k foroe to eTG 17.5
at 0907 1n order to reduol betnen c.rrie .... nd to .llow hi.
oo_plete fre.doM ot aotion tor hi. o.rrilrs and air Croup •••
The air attaok croup. h .. alro.d, ooa.onoed otf. tir.t
pl.n.. l.tt At 0900 .nd the la.t plane l.ft the LKXINGTON at
0925. All loout. and boeber ........... d with ODt 1000 pound pneral
purpole .nd laoh torpedo ,l.ne oarried on. torperlo. The •
• ore wi th lIIIohine 1:\lIl. _1.,. .
The Ur Group .. ' 'he 'i ret to talce departure. It oonl htod
ot 7 VS ot Soout!n, SquadroD r1v., IT VB of Bombing squadron Fi,.. and
8 VF ot .rip;h"-ns squadron •· •• -TWo. aDd g VT or Torpedo Squadron Fi VI •
The looutlns plane •• nd pl .... eloortod by 2 tl &htor., proolldld
towerd tho oontaot, oli.biD, .'.000 r.et. The lOlt oon-
taot with their VS while en .00" ... did not .rrive .t the .rl.
until the .. plann h.d oOllpl.wd 'hlir .tteoks. The torpedo plan .. ,
with tour •• proo .. ded to the objeotive .t low altitude.
Squadron Five the enemy first at .bout 1032. A.
tir,t 'se,l, the one",y dieposttton oonshted of 2 CY whioh .. to be
8 to 10 milel ap.rt. eloorted by a total of 1 BB or ,.ry l.rge CA. 3 CA
and 4 CL or DD, all on oour.e 190°(1), lpeld 20 knot •• The di.poaition
-'cTt 11 AotIon 'RepOrt-Battle of th8 Coni Sea-serial "1B2 a.tld 27 May
1942, Para. 21, pap 8.
...... : .... -.;1/1
I' ,\ v· .
-85-
•• ? •• ls ••• •• ______ ___ _
1
j
l
1 1
't
;,
I'
,

1

;

\'


.- - .--. _._---------_ ..... _,.
SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM OF YORKTOWN ATTAC.K
e MAY: LOCATION OF CRUISERS AND
DESTROYERS GENERALLY AS REPORTED
BY THE YORKTOWN.
'LATI zr
J
,
f
~
'I
f
f
In I: 17 •• 7_7.r.· .. ..,!IIIl'iIIIS .. n.::.rz.:t.m_ •• ; ."iII-_· ... · ..... _____ ._ .... · .... ~ ... -.. .... " .... _ .. ~ ~ ' _ d . ~ . ~ . ~ _ . ~ ~ •.•.
, ~
i
j
j
J
1
J
j
. ~
~
..
t
~
I
r
... --
,
____ ¥" ........ _l...... '1'ne weflthQr w •• unatlttltld, "it.h SOIDE! rtlin
,quell, and a )roken la,yer of cloud. at to fe .. t.
At 1000 el'F 11 that en-.y Force
had beon locate<;! and gavel He dhpodtiCln lind it6 position Itt as
well alii the pOlition of TF 17. CTr 17 stated lll.ter that he had hoped
that ComSo'e.pao would be to boeb and track the Striking Foroe.*
No attack materiall.ed.
ay 1049 the IIIcouts und bomber, were in poultion to but
oircled to wait tor the slower torpedo plan... One carrier, later nhown
to be the ZUIKAKU, dloappeared into a raln the other oarrier,
no. kno"fl\ to hllve been the SIIOKAJru, turned into the wind IUld caD.::18nced
launoh1na planes. At. 1057 Torpedo &tuadron Five informed COGI-
.ander Scouting S\iuadron rive that he W8.1S Atarting his att,80k. A coor·-
d1natec1 attock W8S begun on the SHOK:AKU. T..Jrpedot:lG were bunched from
an altitude at about 50 feet and at a dbtlUloe of between 1000 and
yard, trom the cllrriar.
A total of three torpedo hitlll, six direct bomb hit., and .any near
silae •• ere o1aiaed by the YORKTOWN Air Group. Pictures of the action
ahow thr carrier to be abla •• in the bow and a1.0 .how a fire aft.
Torpedo plana pilots from the YORKTOWN Air Group reported that the flrlllt
thr.e to.rpedoea hit between the i'ort bow IUld the amiddhlp section, and
that the whole port .ide of the carrier trom the bow art for 50 or 100
reet was afire. Anl)ther SlDallflre was obaerved on tho starb081'd quarter
by the pilote. When the carrier WA5 last lIIeen, about 15 minutes the
attack, t.he pilots reported tht!t the fireD WEre still burning fiercely.
The dive bombers were attacked by eo .. y righters their dive
and pull-uwt. In the .nRuing ll('UOn, Sl.j,undron vnd BOI1Ihlng
Squadron Five each reported shootinr down four The four
ellcortlng the torpedo plar.nes, drove off An att.ack by six Zero€s
during the appr06ch, "hlch the V1" 6 t.o cOlllpleto their tlpprouctt
find drops WIIII018"hd. It ill estimated thr..t the JapM€st' hud a comt- .,t air
patrol or about twenty fighhrs in the air over the"r carriers. Three
enuy fighterl Md one enemy scout p1&ne ",ere f'ho:. down by tttitl eucort
during the attack. The use of convonient cloud covar by the
planes whil. rendelVoudng QIld retiring, Yt'BS a major factor 1n keeping
their 10as81 to a ainimum. Two sar's shot down In the vioinity of
the en..,., one did not return, amd one ,;au lWlded 1n the water nellr the
due to d .. aged landing gear.
*e1T 17 Aotion Report - Battle of the Corhl Sea-Serid
p.S, Pllra. £1.
-86-_
7
mrs S' am .Itt
.• '$'
" --.. .. ,
,

The LEXINGTON attack group took it. departurll at. about 0925 or t.n
minutes .tt.r the Croup. At that tie., it consisted or the
Lf.XING'MN Air Ccn;nander with • and 18 VB'. of S",uadron
Two, 12 VT'. or Torpedo S4ua1ron Two, and 9 VF'. of Fighting S",uadran Two.
Two tighhn were assigned .s e.corts fbr the Air Group CDIIlmander, :I for
BOl,binl S4uadron Two and 4 tor Torpedo S4ufldron T1tO.
The uriginal plan for tbe to the t-rget call.d tor the
bomber. to galn ultit-ude gradudly on the way in clJ.lllhing to 18,000 teet,
the torpedo planes to at81 Mt modor&te altitude, 8000 t.tit, and the Air
Group COIIIIlWlder to maintain Yilllal Uahon with the other two eluents or
hl0 group. Ae they appl'ohohed tho tariet areu, on overcast extenoini fl"Olll
1,000 feet to 15,000 feot was ancounhrl"! /lnd Borubini S,",u.uiron 1wo loat
vieruRl contllct with t.he rut of the attuck group. It descended to 8
al ti tude but was .Ull unable to find it. Group 'Commander tUld the torpedo
planes. The fighter eocort for the dive separated the
dive boaber' during this a/lIDo period nnd, due to the lAck of .de'luate nllvi-
gatlonnl lnformutlon und Ii shortage of fuel, Uti obliged to return to t.he
LEXINGtON.
Rildio trhllSlllisaions Torpedo SQuadron Two, having reached
the position of the reported conhct, had made no contact and
that the Air Group Commwuler had directed the to fly a "box" in an
effort to locate the objective. Bombing S4uadron Two waa maneuvered in a
similar manner but, the torpedo planes, was not successful in locating
ita target. The volume ot radio tr.ffic indicated that it was in vicinity
of the target. However, after the torpedo pllUles had made their attack Ilnd
Bombing Sliundron Two h .. d atill flliled to locate the tarl':t't, COIIIIIIunder of
Squadron Two decided that, in view of ruel remaining, his planes
would have to depart without if they were to lucceaarully return
to the LEXINGTON. Ue, there fore, set their cour se for t:Ut return fl1p;ht (lnd
th:; ;tiuadron lundtld iibvtu·J t.ilt! LEXINGTON at hftving J etUsoned it:! bombs
6n route to save fuel. Due to Iill over8ight in fueling, th1e _\tundron had
off from the LEXINGTON with only gallons of ga60line instead of the
o.paoUy load of ::50 gullons. The S'tuadron Commander bad noted thh diBcrepanoy,
prior t.o the flight, and bad protested to the Air Officer. H. '''lll informed,
however, tbat due to the urgency of the situation, there was not
time to ruel the plan._ to capacity 88 they wanted to let both groups off
t"gether.
AS baa b.en preYlou.ly pointed out, the of the LEXINGTON .ttQck
group, after the end of ita nuvlglt.t1onlll leg without sighting the enEllly,
begen tljing a "box". The group at this time consisted of 11 torprdo
--
IF I' _.r.r:r.tt, .. ___ I ._ ... ___ .... IU' .. _ ... ·._· ___ ...... _ ............... W_M __
I
i
1
j
I
i

l.



l
r:
t
i
,
,
i
...
\
c
?


"
plua " bGaber., which oaaprlaed a •• ctloa led bJ the LlXIIGTOI All'
CIrcNp Cnruder, plue an all' .. cort or 8 tlpter.. OIle torpedo plane bad
Mea torced to tum back due to Iftline trouble. After flying about 8
IdINt .. CIa the tirat. leg ot the box, which _IS fIOo to tbe left ot the
IIMl'cb track, ec.-lUlder Air Gl'O\lp '1'w. eichted tile -taT, cOlls1etinl ot 1
CY qd two cruieere, broad on the port bow in the Yic1nlty of rain .qualls,
-.d Juet pae.ina under a larle cloud on a cour.e of about 220
0
('1'). !be
approach .. _de C1V.r tb1a cloud at. about 8)()() teet.
!he torpedo attack _e 1auoched through a bole in thie cloud in a
.-pirallin« «11de. Wben the torpedo plallee .erged traa the cloud., the
".7 carrier ... directly ahead about 2 Ililes. riTe torpedo' bit. were
oUiaed a. the result of thie attack.
!be Air Group ec-nender, with hi •• action of 4 VS, acc_p6lliEld the
wrpedo plan. during tbeir approach and timed hiB attack to •
effort. Hie lection claiaed two bomb hit. on the sea. carrier
that wae attacked by the torpedo
AI the attack croul1 approached the carrier, it was intercepted by
Jal*1e.e tilhterl wbtI _deaTored to break up the attack. two of the
e.corting tbe LEXIMGTCII All' Group l!IUl"\"iTad tM. _gag_ant. '!'beae
n"ter. becau.e of the IlUpenor Du.ber of the oppos1.u.g J_panese combat air
patrol .. re eventually obliged to eeek cloud COTeI'. they were, however,
ole to engage the attention of the Japaneee fighters for sufficient time
to eDable the torpedo and bo.bing planes to get their attacks home with
:: .. lati",ely no air opposition.
In-.r fighters, anti-aircraft fire, and ruel shortage accounted tor
I VS, 1 V'l' and 1 VF in the LEXIIiGTON Attack Group. '1''110 8n.ay fighters were
abot down in the target area by the LEXINGTON escort fighters and two aore
fighters were dpl&8hed by the torpedo planes, when they ,ere attacked
on their retum night to the LEXINGTON.
'1'he time of' attack by the LEXINGTON Air Group is not definitely estab-
l1shed but considered evaluation ot the actioD reports of the squadrons in-
YOITed tends to place it at about 1140. Japanese recorda indicate that the
duage to the occurred at U40 when sbe received three bomb hitB.*
Whether all three of these bOmb hite occurred at lAO or whether some ot
thee occurred prior to this tille, is not clear.
Information fraa J&paneee sources shows concluaively that the SHOKAIU
was the only carder damaged in the action of 11&7 8th.* F\1rther-
*CoDImander=-iil-Chlef Canbined Fleet Log-Core.l Sea Action, May 8th', 1942, In-
t.rrogation of Watanabe, IJN. United Statee strategic Bombing Survey
W.val AnelysiB Division, Page 559.
1
I
i
1
'I
j

I
, '
v"
,t···

.',' ..•. .... _, .. _ "' ........., . .,.., .. .....7\-.-... ..... ... · __ ·?"···,. ...............
aore, she was not hlt b.r torpedoes but dld rec.1Ye a total ot direct
bomb hit' and 8 near mie.e., althou.h the near alBs.e appear to haye had
little, if anJ •• tfect. The torr' .oes were apparently launched tro. too
great a range. The Japanese .tated that because of the slow torpedo •• ,
and t:i .. long range from .hiob they fire launched, the torpedo attack.
could b. r.adi17 avoid.d.- On. ot the bomb hits 98S well forward on the
port bow and set gasoline tires and destroyed the anchor wiDdla., roo..
Another boab hit was on the starboard quarter in the repair rooa.
A, ft result of the tlret hit, the flight deck torward .. s bad17 d.aaged
and the SHOLUtJ HS unable to launcb planes, althougb it did lADd ,
planes after the attack, b.rore the fire. torward had b.en
The tire •• een by the YORKTOWN Air Group were, theretore; apparet17 cau.ed
by a bomb hit tor ward on the fllght deck and by another att on tbe star-
board C/.uarter.
It 1e ditficult to &88ee8 the d.age inflicted in this CaSfj by each
ot the Air Groups Involyed. It is entirely possible that the LEXINGTON
Air Group the ZUIKAKU which BU8tained no daaage. On; coapetent
Japanese observer, who .a. 1n the ZUIKAltU at the tille, state. tnat abe
was attacked by bombers and torpedo planeD but not hit.* If thi. were
the case, then all the damage by the SHOkAXU .ust have occurred at about
1100 when she was attacked by the Air Group, which doe. not cor-
respond with the time of 1140 as given by the Japanese. • Commander Striking
'orce stated, in his interrogations, t.bat his flaglhlp, tbe ZOIItAKtJ, bad
becoae .eparated trom the SHOkAKU b7 about eIght milea while the latter
waa launching plane.; that the ZDIKAItJ ft' in a 8<,uall at the tille of the
attack b,y TF 17 planel,lnd that the was not hersolf attacked.**
1h611 the ZUIKAKU .. arged froll the squall, Coaunander Striking Force
stated that he saw the SHOKAKU burning as the result of bomb If
.11 the damage to SHOKAXU was incurred at 11'0 the LEXINGTON Air Group
must have obUtined boob It will be r_embered, however, that
the YORKTOnN Air Group, which had attacked approximately 40 minutes before
this time, had left a carrier with fires burning in her bow and Btarboard
quarter. This suggest8 th!lt 80Ille of the d8ll,.,e Bust have been incurred
b,y the SHOKAKD prior to 1140. It, therefore, appears that the daaage
sutf.red b,y the SHOKAIU at 1140 aust have been the result of the last
bOIDb bit sustained, and that Ibe llUet baYe bee hit by 2 bcaba troa the
YORKTOmr Air Group and by 1 bomb troll the LEIDlGTOli Air Group.
It was, of course, realised that TF 17 would be subject to a counter
air attack 1Dd preparations, were there tore aad. to •• et it.

*Interrogation of Captain Yaaaoka, IJI-operatlon' Officer, Staff 5th Air
Flotilla, USSBS, .aval Analys1. DiYiaion Interrogation ot Japaneae officials.
Vol. I-Interrogation Ray. 10. 10, P.,e,
**SUpplemental Peport-TRUI-Naval and laval Air Tesa 10. S, USSBS, P.28-e.
-89-
wrm.t:t mrS? 7 r
. zsthrr 1:n! tnt ru' n. a
:Of" ·t'mm'

I"
,
I
J
.... "' .."'- .... .... --•.. .,' ... -' ...... -
Eight tl,hters tor combat air patrol and eight SBD's for anti-torpedo
plane patrol had been launched abortly r.fter sunrise. In addition, a8 the
attack developed, all avlllilable fighters and acout planes were launched
Wltll th. combat air patrol and anti-torpedo plane patrol consistod of 17
Vf and SBD re8pective1y. These SBD's werti aap10yed because there were
not sufficient fighters to provide the security required. The LEXINGTON
designated as Fighter Direction Ship and 811 fighter direction for
both carri.rs controlled from hare
At 0948, a radar contact _aa made bearing SSSO (T), 25 ai1es.
The CAP was vectored out to this position and shot down one 4-engine
tlyill( bob t •
Altbough various bl'd been steered througho ... t forenoon,
while l.aunching and recovering planes, the generLtl directi:.>n of movement
was to the southeast. This was becauoe the Point Option course for the
planes bad been set at 125
0
(T). However, at 10ro, as all but two of the
search planes had r&turned, the direction of of the task force
was chgllged to the in order to to a new Point Optlpn
of 028 (T). This was dene to reduce the distance f10WD by T' 17 attack
groups in their return to the carriers.
At 1055, rnd(ll' contact &6 made on bL very large group ot enany planes
*pproachlng fraa bearing 020
0
(T), distance 68 miles, but in spite of this
early warning, only one section ot 2 VF out of a tot&! of 17 VF aVldh.ble
for com hut air patrol wus vectored to a succesr-ful interception before the
planes reached their att£ck positions.
Eight fighttirs were airborne as combnt air patrol when this group of
enem;r planes was first picked up by radar. Four of these _re from t.he
LEXINGTON and four were from the YORKTOWN planes were not vectored
to intercept the incOllling rl:dd, but were
i
at 1059, r€cltlled to the immediate
vicinity of the Task Force. The Fighter Direct.or Officer reI t thnt they
were too low on fuel to proceed to &1 at high speed, sod then
able to tight for any ap:1reci&blc length of time.
At 1100, the LEXINGTON cOIIIIlenced l&unchtng her raDaining five fighters,
which formed her relief combat air and, _hen they had rendezvoused
at 1102, they were vectored at aaxiau'lI speed, and at an altitude of 10,000
teet to intercept the incoming rllla. One two-plane section of this group
was, shortly after, directed to a altitude to intercept torpedo pl£nes.
This low section intercepted a group of torredo. planes and fighters about
15 miles from the Task Force, but, to the f!ghter protection about thp.
torpedo "':I1btlet, it was unable to reae},' the torpedo ph.nes until after the
torpedoes had been dropped. The high IJection sighted a group of dive bom-
bers, with 6ccompany:L'lg fighter5, a.bout 20 miles from the Task Force, but
-90-
t he
.... "'."i', ..... p.
i
J
I



I
· •• = .. """'l'\"""'" ..... _____ ,. __ ....... __ ... _._1111 .... "''''' ... __ ; ...... _.,.. ... .... i .... i •• M •• :a:"'.UlN __ ___ • __ a' ...... ' __ "1
a8 the en--r ... at a b1,ber altitude, this .ection ... unable to reach
a po.ition tor attack betore the enemy dive bombers bad reached the push-
over point.
The YORlTOWR launched her r_aJ.ning " tighter. at 1105. At 1108 they
,.r£ veetored OD 20
0
(T) for a diatance ot 15 milea. When they reached
this poeition, having made an they were
th.t Tr 17 ... UDder attack and were directed to return, cUab1ng to 10,000
teet altitude enrout. ••
The r.aiDder of the COilbat air patrol was held in the vicinity of TP' 17
and although intercepted .ome en amy planes, were not able to do eo
before they coamenced their attack.
At 1112, course was changed to 125
0
(T) and .peed was increased to 20
knots, and at 111S to 25 knots. At 1118 when the attack struck, the
fleet .. s stlll on course 125
0
(T) but the speed had been increa.ed to SO
knotl. '
AD analysis or tbe .aDDer in which the righter Direction was bandled
ahowe that only 2 tighters were able to intercept the enemy attack before
it h •. d reached the 1IImediate vicinity of TF 17. The combll.t air patrol waR
SO scattered, at the tille of the first contact on the enay attack group
at 1055, that it bec.me tI.ecelSllary to recall it to the of the car-
rier. Mo planes were yectored out to iutercept the until 1102. This
appear8 to have occurred despite the that the Japanese air attack
groups were approaching and would soon be over TF 17. When the fighters were
finally vectored out they were vectored out too late; in groups too small to
be really effective; and at too Iowan altitude (i.e. 10,000 feet) to insure
an etfective interception.
It would be of interest t,) know whet considerations governed this action
of the Fighter Director Officor, tor it .oula appear 8S if it would have been
riser to have maintained the CAP in a aore concentrated status in the vicWty
ot th. carrierl and 10 .tacked in altitude a. to ,lYe th_ a hasonable ex-
pectatioo ot interception with an altitude advantage.. Tle relief ca.bat air
J*trol mould have been IIUnt&.1ned., tor !Mediate launching. If thb
bad been dOD., does it Dot appear a8 it the Fighter Director Otficer 8ight
have been enabled to yector out til fiihters'.ore expeditiua.17 and in ,r •• ter
Itrencth1 !hie would probabq haye p8l'llitted iDterception at & greater dis-
tance troe Tr 17, wb.1cb 1.8 ot Yital !aport-lIDee in air operations.
'fbere 1& no 1ntonaat1oc "ailable as to what control _s exercbed by
the F1ghter Director Otficer over the twenty-three VSB airplanes that were
iD the air actins aa anti-torpedo plane patrol tor Tr 11 at the ttae of the
-91-
I' .• ' •. IIS __ a'.' .... t ••• 'IIIiIIIIiI ..... ' .. tm_ttiEII' .. ·llillli .. ,. __ --..t.".C!Li· ·.SIll.lIiIIIt ......... ih ........ -.
1
attack. lilbt ot th •• e plane., traa the L!lIWTOI, were OIl atattOll, re-
port.u" 8,000 rarde trca that carrier. tilht .ore, traa the tORITO.
were uao OIl eutton olo.e to the toraaUon. What .ectore, it Ul7 ... re
••• lped to eaoh ot the.e patrob 1. not mown. At 1110, the malTOn
lrltonaed the anti-torpedo patrol that torpedo plane ... n ooaiDa in
.traipt on bearing 020
0
(T). '!'be tmROTOH .. pUtled thia, at the a.e
tlae, b.1 ,lT1Da their dietance aa 22 ailea. Tbe YORKTOWN planes tried
to intercept the torpedo planee .e they ,Uded in at hip ape-.1, but
co\&ld not catch th_. In att_pting to intercept, they were attacked b7
Japane.,e tightera, and " SBD'I were abot d01llD and " .ore .ere d_aled.
In thls .elee tbe Japanese tighters did DQt entirely e.cape without in-
Juria., tor" ot thea were reported ahot down, And ..... ral .ore d-aaed.
The LEXINGTON antl-torpbdQ .aa .ore BUcce •• tul it. attaapt
to .top torpedo plane. tor it, reportedly, sbot down eight ot th... Four
.ere ahot down before' they could drop their 'l'ble patrol, aleo
eot down one dive bomber and OIle fighter, with 10.8 ot or.17
one SBD. Ooe plane tl'Oll this patrol was 10llt OTer the aide a. the pilot,
who bad been wounded in the actlon, was aU_pUng to laad abofllrd biB car-
rlttr.
Tbe SBD'e used by T1 11 OIl the 8tb of IIa7 al anti-torpedo patrol were
inadequate tor the Ro-..ver, thq tUnled in a pert01"ll6lllce whicb
is a .plendid exaaple of courage and deTotion to duty. Althourh tbey were
outnUilbered and .ere oppoeed bt taster and aorti aaneuverable aircratt, tbey
were not out-tought. Th.y .ere, bonver, never designed tor thie wo:rk.
The necessity tor using them ftapbaai.ed the tor an increase in car-
rier pllUles to strengthen the defense aseinst torpedo planes, ••
well as against types ot
The Japanese air .ttack .aJc1Dg the cou."lter air .tt..ck, closed
'1'.'. 17 OD a .tead1' bearing ot 020'" tl'Oll the tille it .a8 tirst piCked up
on the raciar eCretlD at 105S until 1109, e period ot rourtee .inutee. At
1109 when the group ... 8 within 22 aUes ot T!' 17, it broke up into thr ...
groupe. It had not as ret been intercepted b7 the cc.bat air patrol.
The exact coapoaition ot each ot thea_ three group. 18 Dot knoWD, bvt
an ana17818 indicate a that the attack el __ t ot the center group _8 prob-
ably the d!Te boabere, and that of the other two group a 1R'1 torpedo planes.
A proportioDate share ot the total fighter •• cort apparently accoapanied
.ach IrouP. 'I'h. eastern torpedo group appeare to hUIIt the
LEXINGTON, while the other torpedo group CODcentrated OIl the YOJUtTOWH.
-92-
•• r.7I;;lt"·lhl .... .. -. .. ,.-.. $.!$ ... h .. _ .. * ..... .. .. .w .. ...... __
I I. • - 1.1 I. __ III _ __ 3,. !trW l.ttI w1'S'1tS:'· t7IM"" .•• -
J
7
.2 ..... __ ••
1
.... ___________ .•.


W-.-·
... .. --.
,.r 'tsMtp'
.---'
IIOT.I,
110 •• '
r" ..... y
If
s
!J()M
10M
/
PLOT OF YORkTOWN'S ".OAR CONTACTS
• MAY 1M2
TIME ZONE (- II)
:S $
'J
1'$ .• % .b 'M tr tme : t
1111.0
• 'rleft4I,
....,
------E
PLATE-V

1
1
,
1

J

1
1
J
',I
4!
,

..
.-.it'·
IIT;._ ••• 18f'."r. ... , ... . .. ......... ,;I; _, S .. .. ............................ _'il .. "._'._, .. _= ___ , __ • __ ... __ ......
Strlk1D& Foro •• tat •• that hie air attack group COD.llted
ot ro tipt.r. aDd 10 attack planu prec.ded by 10 .earcb plan.... All an-
alJ.1a ot th. str1k1Dc roro. 10 •••• tor • ., 7th aho •• th.t 40 Yr, VSB
and n ,,. nr. avallable t4 St.r1k1Dc Forc. OIl the .0miDC .q
8th. If it 1 ...... ec.t th.t ao ,r nre r.tained tor oa.bat all' patrol,
the J.pan... .ttack IrouP app&l"entl1 cOIlai.ted ot a .u1aua ot 20 VI' md
12 attack plan... IDa.-ach .. two ot th ••• attack plu ••• 1&ht r •• dily hu.
b.en la.t .. 1nut. nOll-op.rational dud., tb. ,trength or the attaok ••
reported b,y eo..aDd.r StrikiDC Forc. appeAr. to bav. beeD correot. The .t-
tQok croup, appartDt17, oOD.lIted ot 2Q VB aDd 41 VT, although the exaot
ratio ot VB to VT plan.. 11 ob.cure.
The air attaok troD the northeaat •• otor which waa up-wInd
and up-aun troa TF 11. The tl:nt torp.do plaD" dgbted were a.en at about
lllS bf ablp. lD the norl.b .. at •• ctor or TF 11 .or •• , at a raDI' ot about
15.U... Bach tQrpedo plan. croup r_a1Ded COllollltrated until withlD
8,000.-10,000 7ard. ot TP 11 _e it broke up lDto _al1.r IrcNp' tor attack.
Th ..... ll.r ,roup. ud. th5Jr approach tro. an altitude or .bout 8,000
te.t lD a ta.t 111d., lev.lin, ott at 50 to 200 teet, pr10r to r •• ob1nI
th. dropp1q polDt. !b.,- drop."ad th.1r torpecloe. 1Il1Ual17 .t ranc •• vU71Al
rrc. 100 to 1100 7ard., but later, .. th. &ll1ed ut1.a1rcratt oppo.1tlOil lD-
one., thq dropped th_ .t IH&ter rADIe.. In this connection it 18 ot
lotereat that th. Japan ••• doctrine, at W. ta., c.ll.d tor .ach torpedo
to be dropped lD auch .um.r that it h1t 1t. tar,.t iMecl1at.ly alter it had
ott .t it •• et d.pth. ,ataDdard torpedo drop .a ctIIl.ld.red to b.
one .. d. a range ot about Tarda, at a apeed ot 1«)",110 mot.
and at All altitude ot 165 teet.- It 1a apparent that the MJorit7 ot the
Japan ••• torpedoea .. re dropp.d be70nd th18 ran, ••
!b. torpedo plan. attack OIl the YORITOIII ... lDit1atc4 all&ht17 betore
tbat on th. LmIG!(J(. !h. tirst S torpedoe. ar. dropped au the port quarter
ot tbe 1OIITOn at about 1118. ,. they bit tbe _t.r, th. YORlTOMt rudder
_s put r1Cht and epeed •• loera •• ed to thirty mota. A total ot approx1aateq
8 torpedoe. were dropped at tb. YORl'l'OQ lD this attack. flle plan •• approaohed
1Il1tialq trc. the port b_ .. d c;.uart.r. .a th. YORIToWl •• euv.red to a't'01d
the torpedo ", h.r UIltN't'er1Dc put the pw ... to .t.vboard. thea. plu •• the
lumched torpedo .. at the YOlIITOlII, two troa b.r atarboard quart.r end OIl. troa
b.!" atarboard bow.
the Itllltul bandlln.r ot the duriD, this phA.. ot the action _-
her to ."oid allot th ... torpedo... two were Hen to I'\lJl do_ b.r port
.SUppl __ W Report-'!'IaJI-Iavu ADd Ja't'u Ail" Pielr\ ,. .. IS, USSBS, '.20 D.
**ihdted stat •• stratq1c bbinl BurYe7 (P.citic) I.n..' ADal7ele Dl't'111011
Int.rro,.tioD or Japanea. Otficiale, •••• 10. 11.
-9S-
I
t
..... .......- ............. , ... --
.1d., S down hu .tarboard .1d •• and 1 cro •• eel ah.ad ot h.r. The poOl"
t1a1Da ot the torp.do launch1D&. br the Japan ••• and the tact that thM
YORl'l'OW ft. able to pr .. ent h.r .t.em to tb. CIIl-coa1q tcrp.do .. !n
.ach ca •• , .xo.pt th. Oil. lauohed OIl h.r .t&rboard bow, .. y.d her troa
torpedo d.al'. 1Ih7 th. Japan ••• cS1d DOt. d.l1v.r thl. attack in th. tora
ot aD aDvl1 on .ith.r bow not clear'
Th. torp.do attack on the LIllJOTOI tollow.d ver" .hort17 att.r the
tirst torp.do wa. at the toRlTOll. tir.t torpedo tired at
the L!XlNOT(If was launcb.d OIl hflr port bow.. Th1a torpedo ft. tollond,
y.ry Ihortl" b7 at lea.t two .or. laWlch.d on h.r .tarboard bOff, anvU
taahloa. Following thi., DUII.rou. plane. attaok.d OIl the port aide.
A. the tiret torpedo hit the water, the LEXIIOT(JI Ndd.r .as put
tull rlpt and h.r .peed •• berea.ed to bot.. had hardl¥
Oc.lllnced In ... r1nc tbi. rudd.r neD the Japan... launch.d torp.doce at
h.r on her .tarboard. bow. H.r Ndd.r ... now .bitt.d to full l.tt.
10 .... 1", betor. th1. in rudd.r could,tat •• tr.ct, torpedo
plaD •• wer. • •• clropplDI torpedoe. OIl ber port bun. qd quarter, and
the rudder .a. -C&in IlUtt.d to tull riGht. Th. tlrl't torpedo apparent17
pa.eed ah.ad, the tlft: dropp.d OD th. Itarboard bow pa •• ed a.t.rn. Howv.r,
at lliO, Ju.t a. tbe LlXIJQT<II •• t1nal17 .tart1nl to .w1q to th. rl&bt,
abe ... bit 1»7 011. torpedo OD h.r po. ... t .id., at .bout tr ... 50 Ju.t tor-
ward. or th. tor_rd IUD ,a1:18%7.. A halt a a1Dut. later .b ••• hit bJ a
•• cODd torpedb on b.r port, .1d., a Uttle tarther aft,. about oppo.it. the
bridle. Two torpec1oe. broacbed about 100 ,&rd. out, but althoulb OD. H-
_14 it. depth, both paned clear. Two .ore torpedoe. pa ... d about 100-
200 teet ah .. d, aDd two oth.r. app.ared nann'nl d,,,., Juat abatt the port
be. IIIld pa •• ed und.r th. LlIIIQ'NK bet .. en the tor_rd IUD .1eT"tor and
bb.r 2 CUD ,allUJ.
;.. a nRl t or tb6 attn torpedo hit th. LltXIJCTOI :. l1=t to
port or 8-7 d.ar ••• , •••• ent1&l.17 to th. tlood1D.a ot boUer 12,
.. aDd S, aDd ot th. port alu1ce tAnk. A' a reallt ot nptured p1p1D1 and
.!nor leat&a. &rOUDd riv.t.. Th ••• boiler rcx.. were tIUb •• quentlJ puaped
Jr7 and could haY. bee plaoed ill operaUOD Alain it n.eded.. '0
.xc.pt .11pt ".pine, ooC\U'red to the aa1Il holding bulkh.ad. ot the tor-
pec!o protacUon qat. a. the re.ult ot tbi. hit. Certain tuel oU and
:t'1l .. "e t.ed tank ... re reportad oootiaiDated. th.re ... no d_qa to
.. 111 proplliion .aob1D817, and th. eb1p c.ontinu.d to !lak. 2& mot. tor ..
oOD.id.rabl. p.rlod att.r tha.. thr .. boU.r. .ere
to .lectrical equ1.-_t w. lDOCIIlHqUeatial. !'b. li.t .1 counteracted b7
tran.r.nine oU troa the port .. "lc. tank. to tM oppoait. ,tuboard
,lulc. tanka. In OD. hour &ad tweaty .1mat., tho .hip w, on _ k •• l.
,
,
,

,
1
!b. ."riou. r .. ult. that nr. to dw.lop •• th. NlUlt or
the torpedo bit torard on the port .1d8 bet ... tr ••• to ad es, ill th.
wq or th. port ,a.olin •• to .... tank., wer. not t.ed1.tel7 .ppareat.
An In.paction ot the acc ••• ibl. areal atr.cted thfi .xplol10n ot thi.
tOl'p.do reYeued on17 .1nor althoqh all or the .tnaQtural d ... ,e
r.lul. tin, thl. hit could not be •• c.rtdned. Bo ..... r, both aa1D
tl1,ht deck .1 .... tor., whiob .. r_ .t fl1,bt d.et 1 ... 1, Hr. put out ot
comI16asion due to the 10" ot b1'draulio pre.aure, and baedbtelJ dropped
on th.ir latch... th. IC aotor ,ener.tor rooa, b.tween the ,a.olin.
etowage tanks an" the Ie rooa. ..e clo •• d and the watch wall wi thdr._. due
to the taet that aachanioal exbau.t .entilating blower .errinl thl.
cOllparta.nt had b •• n put out ot coemia.ion by the 'xplollion. '1". aotor
,an.ratora in thle coapartaant wert lott nmn1nl. althouch thq appeared
to be runn1n, bot, probab17 becaua. ot .i.ali.-.nt.
!h. di •• ab.r •• pp.artdov.r tb. LmNOTON Jult a. the torpedo plan ...
were C08;>letinl th.1r attack. on th.t ab1p. Tb., .. ra tlrllt piaited up OIl
the port bow, O'Ier fran an altitude ot about 17,()(lt) t.et, in dl..,. ••
""1'7111, troa "'0
0
to 700. !heel plan •• are not. readi17 .,.bible until th.,.
_r. well 1nte the &,1 Ita,. ot th.ir dl.,... Tb •. d1 ••• were "id'17 c11a-
per.ed in bearlng. but 1n1tbl approach ft. out ot the IUD. a •••••
Altitud .... general11 at aboUt 2500 t.et.
, •• raault or th1. diV. att.ck, which luted until about 1182,
the LEXINC'!UI wetainad two bomb hit. and at laalt fi D.ar ai ••• II. Th. flr.t
bit " ... in the (i.·inch ready .orvic. locker on tb. port .ld. between
tr..... S5 and fi8. 'fhe hit was in! tiall, report.d to ba.,.. been .ad. bJ •
1000 poWld bOlllb, but lat.r analysis indioat.d tbat lt ... a auch :.all.r
bomb--probably or not aore than 100 to 200 pound •• * Th. baab ... ritted
wlth an rule and pen.trated th. l1ght .id. plat1ai
Just under the tlilht deck, where it detonated.
Th. lecond bomb hlt was on tbe port .ide or the .. ok. .t.ct .tructur.,
• bout 9 teet above the SO caliber a.cbine IUD The baDb bad an
in.tantaneou. ru.. and appear. to have b •• n ,.11111... to that .hicb hit in
tbe 5-inch read7 "rYic. locker.
The third bomb explodon H' a near ab., clo •• aboard OIl the port
.id •• t about tr •• 87 and ebrea,t tbe Ii, boat pock.t. fbill baab d.tonated
on contact wlth tho .. t.r.
*Prei1minA17 R.port Loa. at LEXIIQTOH, .q 8, 11M2. Coral Sea. war 0IIIa,.
Report 10. le-.reau or . Ship" '."'7 Dapartaeat, June lfi, 1942.
. '" . C.,..
-
... __ __ __ ,.w __ _____ -------
J
\
1
1
I
"
l
1

j
i
..

4
.\
"
.
••1
l:
.,
.1
't:
..

.
..
,
,'T"
,

• l
1
I
.\
I
' .
1
j
J
i
"
,
. "
----------------- .... ,---_ .... -_._---------_.
u
At. 1 ... t. t.wo add! UCIDal neN' ell... oocurred CD tt.. port Qurter
AIld .... en1 ad41 UQDal DeN' ai .... OOOUTed at. .uGh ua appreciable d18-,
tuce trca the ab1p a. to cau •• DO cS.ap. an.ral or t.b ... ut.tar _b.
war. OD •• "ed to d.t.oDate cta.p lit th ... t.er.
b a Nault. or th ••• _b bit.. aDd hoab Dear .11 •••• th. LlXllOT(II
BU.tained 1)0 d_ ... t.hat .erlou'17 reduoed ooabat ettlo1en07, ()r that
pr""Dted b.r trc:. lMd1nC l&\Ilch1lli plaae.. OIle a-/58 lUll and thr ••
1Wl' 0,(, the eo _ bat.t.'17 1D t.btl port boat. pocket. had balD PlAt out or coa-
ai .. 1C1D. SaTeral a. bad be. 1d.1led or wounded 1D Yariou. part. or the
IMp 1D the aaadlat. YloWtr or the boIIb e:zp1o.10D.. Thre. coapartalDt •
on the third deck in the Yic1n1tJ or the port boat pocket bad h..n holed
b7 rr",lIlti Md noodad. r1r •• bad .tarted 1D the &-iaab l".adt .'1"'11e.
lacker 10 the Adillira! t. countl'J and in the •• rine.' Ccapartalht, but had
belD IOOIl broucbt UDder control. The tUlht deck 1D thtl ylcld t1 ot the
6-1Doh readJ .e"10e Ccapartalllt .a, bulled up &Dd .plintered,
but the W' DOt autflc1ent to interfere dtb rl1iht op.rations.
The diYe boIIblEla attack Oll YORITOWI cCllllllIlced at lU4, Juat atter the
aaJor portion of tbe torredo attack bad bee coapieted, and cont1Du.d until
1UO. All diYe. ware .ad. acro •• the deck, ca.llllDolDi out of the .un.
The course or the TOmOWl ... chuled with f'\111 ruddu, Ilherall¥ in the
direct! or the diYe or to.ard the d1rectioo trail whlch it .tarted.
At. 1127, tbe YORITOWR rec.1Yed It. rirst and oolv baab hlt. Tbi. bomb
.truck the n1cbt deck near tr .. e lOe, about ES teet tor..rd or 12 elevatof.
lS teet lnboard lAland and penetrated th. Ire! deck betore
explocSinI ebove tbe 4th deck in an aybtion store rooa. Pln. ,tarted in
in WI .tore rooa, but .. re brouibt under cClIltMl and later ex-
Two additional flrea .ere .tarted in l'.earb7 apac .. but .. re
qu1ok:q ezt.1ncu1ahed. Air lntake. to 7, 8 and 9 boiler roaal ware pierced
bet .. em the •• CODd and fourth deck, by' trl'&IIIentlS, pora1tt1ng Ploke to be
1nto the .. boiler roca., &Dd the.e were .. acwated tor a ahOl·t
tlae. &Owner, .peed A. not reduced below 26 knota. Slaat and .bock
etrect ora operat1Dl equ1s-ent ft. Dot a ... ere, althou,b lOae d .. .,. OOOW're<A.
o..ql to the tllpt deck cOD.1ated or a hole ALout U inch .. in d1 .. eter
whlch ... qulck17 ccwered and did not arrect tl1,ht operation ••
ADotmr boab Ilanoed otf the adae ot the Corard starboard catalk,
Ju.t abatt 10. 8-a 1Dcb lUll ad detonated in tbe _ter elo .. aboard. Prag-
aent. troa thi. and poa.ib17 rro. gother near als. near the .tarboard
bo ... , pierced the alde in tour or tlve plaae.. Tbe lar,..t bole ... about
inche. in di .. eter and ft. about 5 teet abo.e the watar liDe. A ,asoline
•••• , •••••• t .. ;.r:.7._' 117_11IIIIIIII •• , ... ' .s.'Mn. __ 'lIIlItlil' ___ ..... ________ ·111 ••• I11III... • ..... '.· tllilll' ...... _
J
l
I
_, _ - ...... __ --.....--r- -r-_-.... • ______ ·_or ____ ·_·.· -""'!"" ...... ____ ............ ..--.---.,.-' r" -
..•• ....................... .... ,
-
....... "". L*
lin .... out at. tr ... 20, but DO tir •• oocurred_ a. th. lin •• had ba.D
"ridDed prior t.o the action.
, third exploded b.low t.h. .urtao. ot th. water about £0 teet
trca the port .1d. 9Ppo.l t. tr... 108. Thl. uploaiOD diRl.d 1Il a ...
balow the _tar liD. and pu.hed 1ft the 10"1' ed,. ot the al'Ilor bal t .bout
two iDob... 011 leaked trca tb1a .... aDd tONed an oU allok.
Th.ra "1'. , aor. n.ar all... OD th. .tarboard aide bat .. en tb. hridl.
and the bow, 1 D.ar abl on th. pOrt "uart..r and 2 or 8 on the at.arboard
quart.r. Th. lat.tAr .... 010 •• _OUIh to 11tt tb. Iblp and ral •• the '01'1'.'
01 .... ot the _t ....
Tba bcab th.t bit the tl1,tlt d.ck ..... tim.atad, at the t1a., to bal ••
baen an artlor plarcinl proJeotile typa, nilhiD, .beNt 800 pouDd.. Th.
deptb ot p •• tratiOD, prior to d.tOGaUoc, and the d ..... in-
dicat.a, ho .... r, that this baab .... 5&0 pouDd ... i-ar.or pi.rcing bomb
with a d.layed action ru ••••
Tb. boIIb "bieh c.u.ed the 111,bt d .. al. to th. port .h.ll nil probllbly
of the .... t7Pe.*
Th. anti-aircraft Icretn formed the LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN "MS,
rUh the l1aited nuaber of ehlpu available, nIt clo •• enougb to the unite
beina Icreenlld to pl"f,vldet thOJ aaximull anU-e1rcrktt tlre apport aaaiDst
torp.do pbn.o and dlve boab.re. Tble ,ol't'ten .. 8 .. ak.ned b7 the tact that
, ot tha •• ailable de.troyars a,.waad positionl rather clo,.ly concantrated
in th. e •• t.rn ... i-clrc1e or th. only :icc17 ;cpar.t.d d.-
.troyer, ".re pr .. ent in the ... t.m ._1-cirel.. Bad the IIOICAGHAI and tb.
.hips of the Support Group been pr.eflnt to t11l poa1tioc. in the anti-aircraft
eM.ina d.1.poal tiOD or rr 17 •• 1 t .... origina1l1 d •• iened, then the anti-
aircraft ,cr •• n tor the Taak Force .a • whole would ha.e been aore naar17
adequate.
tbe J.paDeae aiA' .ttaclt, TF 17, in to the acn.., un-
bel .... e., brok. up into two dlatlDot IJ'OQpa, eacb of which conta1Aed one ot
th. carrl.r.. In thl. ca,., tbi. a.par.tioD ocCNrrad bacau .. the YORlTO ..
ad LEXDfGT<lt, in their .ttorta to "oid t.orpado •• Uld ba.ba, bad ine ..... ed
.peed to 80 mota and bad. oc-.t_ced lllAeuv.riDc redlcal17, e.ch iDdap_dant
ot the oth.r. A •• nault, two carrier IJ"OUP' .era rome<! which gradual17
dr •• apart ao that, wh_ th. attacka .. n tlAal17 ec.pl.tad, th. group.
"1'. about 8 an.a apart. Tbe ASTORIA, CH!S'1'fJt, PORl'LAIID, '!LIlI, H_AlOI
and RUSSELL, .oea.pqlad the JORKTOQ and toz..d the TORilOftN Oroup, wh11.
*VBS tOltlTO. bb DIU .. , .q 8, 1942, Coral S .. , War n. ... R.port 10.
IIlraeu ot Ship" •• Y7 Depart..Dt, 281ov. 1M2.
-97-
.... n.? .• r.; .. ...... ____ t _____ rt __ ... .. ;tr .. __ __
1
J


. ,
j
I
I,
.j
I
I
I
••••• ,': •• 1'
," /
" "
'f II
J
l
.. :.,: ..
, .. >':::
,',' ,.
;/ .'1
:'1
i,'
1 :'
,o' /
t' "
.... /
...
,-
it
j/
i-
:i
I,
q7-t:L

...... ...
-
RECONSTRUCTED TRA
SHOWING TORPEDO TRACKS AND
LEXINGTON GROUPS DURING THE EA"LY
TUltNING ClltCLES [ .... LOV[O: VOltTOWN Oltou .. 10
Le: XING TON IIPCUU .. I
UCH NUM'''' It[ltlt[SfNT5 ONe: MINUT( 01' TIU' .•
·-.-AA I'IIU --_.---.- ... TO"P[00[5.
A CO .... OSlTe: 01' SHIP CLAIMS HAS 'UN USfO TO ItfOI
NUM"" ,HOWN IS AN [XAGO[ltATION
-"'1I .. ..... •.• r.· .. __ __ · ... ...... __ .. __
... /'
... ·1
, ••• • ., rI
. . . . .. ">:: .. :<>.11
..
....... :;::::.;::.-- .... ::»>
.' ... ' .
.' r'
.. -. _. ....
N
t
•• 11
.. -. '-'---'" .......................... ..

'..,

.......
..... -
RECONSTRUCTED TRACK CHART
SHOWING TORPEDO TRACKS AND SEPA"ATION 0' YO"KTOWN AND
LEXINGTON GROUPS DURING THE EA .. LY PA .. T 0' THE ATTACK
1111-1124,' MA't' I.41-TIME ZONE (-II)
---.... AA 'Iftl:.
____
A COWU.Tt: 0' CLAI"S HAS IIiN USIO TO AIHCft.,T SHOT DOWN IUT
NU .. llft SHOWN IS AN 1)( .. GEftATION .
.. ... -... --..
•.•. I1t.t .... .... 7 .. ... · _______ .·g_ .. __ ____ tt ••
1
1
I
,
";1/" 'Y ••• " .1 _____ = ____ ... ""
the MINNEAPOLIS, NEW ANDEROON, DEnY, 1I0RlUS and PHELPS re-
mained with the L!llHGTON Rhd foraed the LEXINGTON Group.
The YORKTOWN, which had been made th. lUide for TF 17 Juat prior
to the attack, turned initially to the right to avoid •• and
then continued in a southwesterly direction which her
away from the LEXINGTON, the flagship of the O.T.C.,r.hich rvm&ined in
the tmaediate vicinity of the originAl
Thr.. crui .. re and thr .. de.troyere &cCOIIIplil\led the YORKTOl'iN, while
two cruisere and four deutroyere r.aMined with the LEXINGTON. As the
YORKTOWN Group moved to the southwest to avoid aircrllft. attl4ck, all ot
the 'hlps it end.avored to maintain their original true
bearing from the carrier. No att.apt appears to have beln Jlads to
adju.t the pol1t1on of the .creeninl Ihipa to protect after 88$1-
Circle. Th1, .as th •• fro. which the aajority of the dive bombers
initiated their attaok. In the LEXINGTON Group an open in the
louth ... t portloa ot the .ore.n r_alned open until the latter part of
tbe qag.ent, wh"n l.t. WIl" filled by MORRIS in .ocordanc€ rl th lnstructions
received rro. Commander Destroyer Squadron Two.
The principal targets for the Japaneu torpedo planes and dive bcmberB
",ere t.he rORKTO\'lN 6Uld LEXINGTON, but. the supporting of Task Force 17
were not neglected. One t.orpedo rhll close "he£.d of the AB'I'ORIA,
1 pasBed SO to 70 yarda astern of the 2 passed aboard of
the MINNEAPOLIS during her first r"dic81 turn, 1 torpedo Wb8 S6fn
the ANDERSON's bow C10S8 aboltrd und I tOl'pedo phne, in mfJking 8 run on the
PORTLAND, was shot dONO by the RUSSELL prior to the rel •• of her torpftdo.
The ASTORIA wa. straddled but W&ll not although 4 bo.::b .. iili .. d" Duar lIIi1t"t'f!.
T!I!O of tha ... iiu .. r 1Il11!111@tI were forward abrtlast frame ro and two ';'::::!"P art
abr.ast ot frame 110. Two amall bombs fell close to the DEWEY Wld one bQDb
e.lploded in tbe water orf the port beam of the PHELPS.
AI a result of these attacks the Japanese believed that, in kddition
to sinking the YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON, bad left one battleship hOd a
cru1aer buming.* They appear to have selected curtuin ships of the acreen,
both a. primary and a •• which targeta they attacked when
tbe lDteneltr of the fir. in the vicinity of the oarriers .&s
too .tron,.
Tbe action report. ot indiyldual ships of T.F. 17 and tboae of their
croup and Task rorce state that the anti-aircraft fire of the
Ta.k rorce •• y have ahot down 6 dive beabere and 22 torpedo planes in this
attack. Tbe.e reports aleo luggest thll.t the cCIlbat. J'*trol and
anti-torpedo patrol .817 baYe .bot dOWD, in the Y1cilli tt ot T' 11, on the
k
*UD1ted state. Strate,1c Bombinl SUrvey, Pacitic, Interrogation of Japanes.
Otf1cial., lote. or Battle troa CinC Coab1ned ,leet Statf Lo, - P.558.
-98-
" t '! n t »
t Wb*tt
l
!
1
1
,
1
\
-,
,
\
j
..
r
t.'
r

(
I
I

" Ie .......... diN .8 J .. • W4A_i$." • I
I
I
I
,.
lila
DEWEY
o

//
,
,
I
I
I
11215
4\,MORR\IS
I
---
TON ',' I
\ .NEW
\ I
I ,
I I
"''''... ·ANp£RSON
,/ '--"

RTLANO .........
·RUSSELL
...
HAMMANN
iLEXINGTON
d
1/
1054
!
ORKTOWN
1034
/
TASK FORCE 17
CORAL SEA ACTION
TRACK CHART FROM 1039 TO 1215, TIME ZONE (-) II
LOCATION OF OWN FORCES AT 1118
• 8 MAY 1942
TRACK OF YORfCTOWN-TRACK OF LEXINGTON---
MILES

o 1 2 3
s-m". * 7 7 to itt' ( ) ..... ."**110"""61''' &\-\16''' a'wt;'S!"·"N.

/
: .. :
:;
-.
, ... , ....._-"'._.!------..-,.. ................ ..... ........... <,
same date, U. VF, 5 VB md 9 V'l'. If these figures are acoepted as correct,.
it appears that tbe Japanese bave 108t a total of 22 VF, 11 VB, and
VT in the vicinity ot TF 17 during their attack on tbi&
In addition, to the above, the action report. of the YORKTOWN Air Attack
Group state that the YORJCTOlYN Group 11&3 have shot down 10 VF during its at-
tack on the SHOKAIU and 1 VB while returning to the YORKTOWN. The actlon
reports of the LEXINGTON Air Attack Group luggest that the LEXINGTON Group
may have destroyed 5 vr and VB during the 8811111 phase of the action. If
theae tigures are accepted as correct, then it appearl that the Japaneee
.1$0 15 VF and 4 VB al the of air COllb&t on May 8th in areal
other than those in the vicinity of TF 17.
The sum of the above JapaneB. carrier aircraft losses reported as des-
troyed b,y Allied forces, numbers 27 VF, 15 va and VT, or a total of
plr.nes. •
This figure of Japanese planes destroyed in c.:OIIbat on May 8th is,
however, considered to be considerably in excess of those actually lost fro.
all causes on that date. COIIIIIander Strildng Force mtates that after the
action, the ztJlWU landed the SHOltAIU planet> as well as the ZUIKAIro
and that 4 or S planes had to be jettisoned to make room for the remainder
of the returninc airplanes that were recovered.* As far as Cbn be ascert&ined,
the maximum nuaber of planeu carried, at any one time, during the war by the
ZUIltAKU as an operating coaple.ent, was 21 VF, 27 VB, 18 VT and 3 VS, or a
total of 75 operating airplanes.** For the purpose of this analysis, this
number is considered to be the .aximua that could be landed on her decks
wIthout Jettisoning or flying off additional planes. A hi€her of VF
types might, however, have increased slightly the totd nUlllber of planes
that might have been accOIIIIIlodated OD her decks.
Japacese sources state that, in addition to the that returned
from the attacks on TF 17 and landed on the ZUIKAKU, 2 carrier planes from
this air attack group landed in the water at ROSSEL Island, and 5 or 6
landed in the water alongside the ZUIKAKU. These sources also state that
4 planes landed on the SHOKAKU after she wae damaged, but that no planes
could be flown off that carrier due to the damaged flight deck foward.***
These stata.ents are considered reasonably correct.
If this analysis 1s correct, then 92 airplanes were recovered or ac-
counted tor by tho Japanese carriers after the action. InaSlDuch as COIl-
"-
mander Striking Force had 122 airplanes aV6ilable in his carriers prior to
tbe action, this analysis indicates a loss of 150 planes from Allled weapons
and l!! others fr<lll o?8rational causes or a total of 43 Japnnese carriel" air-
planes lost on May 8th. These figures do not, however, include the airplanes
which were recovered by the ZUlKAKO after the action, but which were seriously
*SUppl_ental Report-TRUI-Naval and Navitl Air Field Team L'SSBS,
**U.Z. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas Weekly Intelligence Bulletin,
Vol. I, No. 19, 17 Nov. 1944,
***USSBS Pacific interrogations of Japanese Officials, Nl!I.v.-10, P.B4 and 55.

nn m?rr,t 7 n w= me·) '$' t tum M .. • r tS'"
w tnt 1'5;1.
), f os ".'. Wt·) "", .. '-.' .. " £ ....... ... -: .... '-....... ,.,. -
1
1
"-aced.. !be IN8ber ot planee ill thi. latter cateSOI7 •• apparenU,.
quit.e hip, for Cc:.lllander St.1rk1D, roree atate. that by .oming ot .81'
9th b. bad U plane, ill mllAlU for operation.*
!he Japane.e air attack ., .. 11 ooord.1Dated, but. differed tra. the
Allied ooncept of a ooordinated carr1er air attack in that t.be torpedo
attack preceded that of tbe d1ve bombers. Bad tbe t1a1ng of the da11vel7
been r .. er.ed, and had the t.orpedoe. been launched ae tbe bombs hit-
t1nl, .ore hite aisht bave bee obtained, and fe.er drplanos loat. The
dbe boIIber. appel.!" to have follo.ed each oth8J' dow the aame line of dive
in IUccesaion. Tb1. procedure allowed a heavier concentration of anti-
fire vn the dive bombers in their dive and, in caees, provided
aufficient tiJr.e for the gun involved to follow C'le plane down, and then to
shift to tha next plane before that plane had reached its release altitude.
D1 ... e anslea were approx1lu.te17 ... .teep aa tho.e _ployed by AlUed dive
babere. Tbe Japaneae plane., in addition, ut1lhed to beat adYantage the
poait10n or the BUn and suCh cloud cover 88 available.
The theor,y that anti-aircroft fire, even when not effective, would
,erTe to deter the attacklng planes was not borne out 1n this attack.
Japanese planes, 1n order to reach their obJectivo, fle. 1nto and through
the anti-a1rcratt tire witbout beait.ation.
Tbe TORI'l'OlIR began recovery of bel' attack group at 1281, and bad re-
covered all returning planes of t.his group b.y lSOO. The last raaaininl
plane of the LEXIMGTOIL attack group landed on the LEXDlGTOH at lU.... Thi.
plane Waa part ot a group of torpedo planes 1Ib1cb had been fired OIl brbtlJ
by the YORKT01lR as thq approached the fora.tion and tailed to execute the
required ncolllition aaneuvere. TheT did thie because theT were too ebort
or tuel. The tEnRGTCII Air Group Cc.mander and another plane of bi. section
were l!till in. the air,. but they were lost and, el.though in radio oc:.DunicatioD
with the LEXIliGTOH, the,. could Dot be picked up by radar. One rlent? reported
.akini land, the other, with the Air Group CoaID¥nder, a8 never beard of "lain.
err 17 therefore commenced retiring to the south.estward at best practicable
8peed.
At this tae CTF 17 reest1Jlated the situat.1on. ae gave consideration
to t.wo COlU'8e8 ot action; one, the practioabil1tT of .aldng anot.her air at-
tack; the other, the practicabU1t,. ot .ending in a night IUrface attack
group againat the Japanese !trik1ng rorce. Se felt. t.hat one en .. y carrier
wae apparently undamaged, E1nce radio interceptions indicated at. least.
.oae of the damaged SHOI[A!lJ plane a had been landed on board the ZUIIAm.
*&1ppl_ant of Report.-TRUI-IIave.1 and Javal Air Field Te. 10. U5SBS,· P.55.
.. rl;"IF5I1.;.;I; .. ••• .. t .... __ ___
......... L.... •• _,
1
1
"
1
At 1422 be word troa Air that there nre .troDe tn-
dicationa tbat aD additional carri.r bad Joined the lapane.e torce.. Se
paeeed tb1a iDtoraatiOll to ClnCPac and to ud intoraed ec.-
SoWeePao ot the location or the _qed lapane.. carrier at the tiae ebe
bad been attacked bJ" the Ur Attkck Group.. Be me. that the tORlTOn
was capable ot aaldn, SO mota, but that the LInIGTOII becau •• ot d ... ge
•• waable to aake aore thaD 24 Dot.. Se rea11led that the lORK'1'01II had
only 8 vr, 5 VS, 10 VB and 8 VT available tor operatiOl1.. It 18 Dot clear
whether or not he con.id.red the .tetu. or tbe plane. 00 the L!XIRG101,
but be IN.t b.e mo_ that abe bad at lea.t 6 vr, 8 VB url 8 VB operational,
tor th •• e plan.. nre later lmded 'OD the YOBK'l'OIR. Be aleo realiaed that
only .n-aD aircraft t.orpe4oee !'aaiDed in the youroa. Se therefore re-
jected the tiret oour •• or action-air attack. Be &180 rej.cted the .econd
coure. ot action--nl,ht IUrtace attack, becaule of tho probabUity that the
eMpe involved would be dltected and theretore eubJected to a .trans carri.r
air attack berore dark. Be decided to retire to the southard tor further
inv6!1ti,ation or dam.,e to .hipe, to tralter the L!:x.U'I]TOH I I I.rviceable
airplc to the YOlUtT01lll, to get aircraft 111 conditlun ,,.) ranew the air
at tack the next do.y end to .tart the L!lIJGTOR OIl her wq bR ell" to
HARBOR tor repair.. Be intoNed the Pac1.de neet or
this decilion.*
Apparently, CTr 17 save considerable weight to th. report. that an ad-
ditional carrier had Jo1ned the I",pan". Striking 'orce 111 arriving at t.he
above deciaion. Be atat •• in his report ot the action, "Althouah the Taat
lorce Commander .as unaware at the time, and did not so report, anal7si8 ot
the reports ot the ca-mandins otficers of our carriere that our
groups attackod e.parate enaay carriers and damaged both." !hi.
atat.ent lapUe. that C'l'P 17, in hi • .,.aluatioo ot reporta, bad prtWi(MJal7
cc:.e to the cooclu.iOD that Oftly one carrier had been _aged 011 IIq 8th
b7 the OOIIb1n1ld ettort. hi. two Air Attack Grwp.. It thi. i. the caee'
theo he aust have felt that the additional carrier aeDtioned in the report
ot Comander Air at 1442 could oolT point to the pollllbill ty that th.re
were stUl two und ... ,ec! lapan ... carriers tor hla to cooteod with. CGIl-
saud.r Air, on the other hand, teelins that both the BBOlAlU and the
ZUIL\K1J had bHll dalaced, had based hi. oplniClll that Ul additional carrier
had Joined the Japane.e Striking Porce on the report'ot one or
Attack Group pilots that he bad seen an undamaged carrier near the .-.ne
ot the actic:. Actuall:r, on the afternoon ot lIa7 8th 1'1 17 _s euperior
in strength in all categories to th. lapenee", str1k1D& rorce. !he battle
ettic1enq of lORna'. hlld not been lapaired, DO aupport1nS ships bad been
seriou817 da.sed, Qld at least 12 VJ', IS VS, 16 VB and 8 'IT were opera-
*Action Report, CTF 17 Serb1 0782 dated 27..,.,1942 Para. 26, p.i ..
-101-
• !; r " 2 nne "MrS .H'mW:r'.trr rr re::
.•• +44,4 M4C.
i
I

1
1
• t
1
1
1
l
l1li7 7
.1- ...
_ .. _-_ .. _---
tional, whereas the Japan •• e Striking roree bau 10 operation in its one
carrier, tbe ZUllAKU, 9 plan •• at thi8 tlae.*
The ultimate ser10uanes& of the eventa oocur1ag 10 tbe LEXINGTON
was not apparent at thi. till. (about 1240). She •• s on All even keel,
two fires bad be0ft utingui.bed and tbe third, 1D the Adair-Ill'. eountr.r.
wa. , .... ld.r control. She _8 apparently 1n satisfactory oond1tion. However,
at 1241 ahe experienced a seYer. explosiOD, deep 1n tbe abip, wh1cb the
INr .. u ot Shir. bell.ed A. "au.ed by aD accuaulation ot ,alOllne .apor.
1n the I.C. Motor Generator RoaII, which had been exploded b¥ 'p4lrke frc.a
op.rating electrical tbere. It will be thkt tbie epeee
had been abandoned, but that the .otor g.ner_tors had been lett
The exact path wbich th. v.pors ontered 1. not known, but it
11 ballwed that, as a result of the torpedo hit forward in the of the
stowage space, structual leaks penaittod a ot iasoline
and ftter to .ntflr the I.C. Motor Generator Rooa. The fla.-b ot tbi. ex-
plolion wa, undoubtedlr conveyed through exieting duet work, end started
fire. in adjacent spaces. These fires gained bead.., and
atter frequent a100r .xplosions vccurred below dack., either troa hot s-
inch or troa galSOline .apors... I)lring th1s tille the LEXINGTON
appe.red to be .teering easily and had be9ft able to land and launcb
At 1445 the LEXINGTON !utrered a .econd .avere internkl explosion.
At 1452 she reported that the fir •• on board were not under control and
at 1456 requested alsistance.
Conditione 1n the LEXING'roS proce.ded trca bad to wor... At 1502 her
condition was '0 bad that err 17 advised COMSOWESPAC of thi. tact and re-
,ueated .'11r coverage. .It 1515, the LEXINGTON requeBttld the YORKTOWN to
recover ",he tmNGTON plane. that wtlre in the aJr, and shortly afterward
at 1518, sb. requellted err 17 to have ships .tand by to pick up perso'nnel
it necessar.y. At 1610, abe reported that she ftS abandoning lower deck
apacel. She .eoured ber EDgineer1n& Departact at 16S0. U a result,
,be 100ft lo.t and thereafter reaained dead in the .. ter. At 1101,
,b. ft. directed by CoaIIander Air to abandon ship.
Tbe progre.sive breakdolm ot the LEXINGTON prevented the plftDlled
tran.ter of aU ot ber operational planes to the YORKTOWN. Whether sbe
could have launched planes atter tbe explOSion that occurred at 1445, is
not mOlm, but, it 11 certain that atter ahe had once lost beadwa;y, no
p1tme. could have take oft. 3S of th_ went down with her. IDcluded
1n th1e n\laber was one YORl'l'OWN fighter which bad landed on the LEXINGTOIfI/
*S\lppl_ental Reporl-TRDK __ aval and .aval Air neld Te. 10. S, p.M.
**PreUainv,Y Report Lo.s ot LElINGTOI, 1187 8, U42, Coral Sea, War DeIIa,e
Report 10. US-Bur .. u ot Ship., Navy Departzlent, June 15, 1942, P.10 and 11.
-102-
En,,? 7 7 '35' - ••• S'tmon
t
,
,
-
tEa_
=Id_ .. i$ .. PI • F ±
80 .... 1', 19 oth.r plan •• ooaailUD& or .. Yr, e '8 ad e •• _r ... ed.
Tb ••• pllUl •• had landed Oft t.he 10RlTOW. t.he .. Jor1t1 or til. prior to

At. 1510, err 17 'Naa_ed tactical and, lIbort.l¥ t.hel'Mtt ... ,
direct.ed that the .IHNIAPOLIS, lEI ORLtAMS, IUld S d •• tro) .. ra I"8D&1D with
the WI:fGTON and f\lmiah aaah .aal.atano. a. Il1cbt be ""u1.re4, .tIU. b.
cOY."ed tba operation a po.itiol\ n.arbJ'. .en tbl LEIIlfQTOIf oaa-
•• nc.d to abandon .hip, CTG 11.2 .. a dir.cted to take obaree or r.aou,
operation. and expedite •• tt1D& perlonDel otf th. LlUMGTOM. Thb t.aN
.... ccaplet.ed b7 18SS, ad C'I'G 11.2 .. with all t.be naeue
.hlp. except the PHELPS, to rejoin err 11 on a lOutb ... terll cour.e.
!be PHELPS .... d.talled to sink tbe LEXINQTOI b1 torpedo.. She
tired flYe tor9edoe. b.r between 1i15 and li52. Ot the.e
torpedoe., fCMIr .ade aat1atactoJ"1 ,,"u.n. and explocled 011 hlttlDI, where.a
the tUth torpedo ft, a dud and f&11.d to explod.. Tb. I.EXllaTON lank
at 1952 in Lat. 15
0
-12' S., Long. 155
0
_27' E.

Allied .hore baled r.connal,..,.ce airplan.. tJ"C* Au.tl'llUa and PORT
140RESBY .. d. nuaeroue oontact. wlth WL1t. of the retirlna PORT IIOMSBI
tD.a.lon Forcl durinc • ., 8th, but their ertort. in ,ther reapect. had no
diroct intluence on thl .CtiOD in the CORAL SEA. Althuugb ClWtiOYiESPAC had
bften notified .t 1000 IUld .t 1440, of. the location or the Japane .. strikinl
Force, his abore b.,.d aircraft was apparent!7 UDable to locate it, tor DO
attack .. a aade by th •• e plan •• on this force. !)ariDl the .ix B-11',
and three bo.bed • dllpoaltlon 11 tranaport. and e co.-
Mhllt aMY'S bearing M70 (T) distance 190 aUea tro. DEBOYNE Ia13nd,
but aade no hite.
During the afternoon of 187 8th, erF 11* r.ceived a dlapateb troa
directing hiPI to retire frOil the C'JRAL SEA area. This dispatcb
la not available and till. of orllln, it. till. ot nceipt and the exact
wording of the directive ia not known. It appear. to have b.en aent by
CINCPAC after he had received the dispatchea tro. CTF 11, whlch
him of the results of the action f':>ught on May 8th.
CTF 17 remui."uld on a southerly c?urae during the nlght of lay 8th and 9th,
and continued, thereafter, in a aoutherly and direotion until
2000 on lay lOth, at which time he changed to the .a.tward.
At about leOO on 11 lay he e.parat.d TF 11 into two groups. One group,
.mder CTG 17.2, with the IINNEAPOLIS, MEl' ORLEANS, ASTIlRIA,
------------_. ---
*Stataunt by Rear Adaira1 Frank J. Fletcher, USN to Captain ".C. Dickey, USN
froll". Departillent of Analy.1e, NaVII.l War Col toge, rebruary 1947.

l.I* .... __ ____ .. ____ __ __ _
I11III1. " 5 Wi" ??S ntt
r
Ii tt 27 m"nZ i it iii i"it tt eo '7'
I

,
j
,
f
I
j
J
--,_ .. ...... ...
1I)1RI8 -.ad IIJS8ILL. pl'OOMded to JnIII.A, wbUtI th. other II'OIUp un4.r hi.
0_ 0 __ , COIltJ...ed OB to DGA !ABU with th. r.alDd,r ot the !aat
forGe.
!b. wi tbdrawl of " l'f rr. the OOIW. au ana •• _oppo.ed. OIl
til •• ol'lllq of • 1Iq, at about 0828, .. a1rplu •• ot th. 1IOl'IliD, .. areb
rre. til. ma'!UWII, "POrted ... 1rcratt aarder bear1q 8l()O (!) Uetec.
176.U •• ,.... !'P 17. .,., •• Ct101l' ot din '--bu. "" la_abed to c1aetl'07
tht. oarrl.r, but th. oOlltaot prcwed to be • 1MJ.1 lel_ or ,...t. AD at-
tack II'CNP of S W6, 2 a-te _d I .... 17 alrplan ..... launChed _
Auatra1* baa. to locat. _d balb till_ oarr:l.r, but 1IpaIl dl.ccwel'lDc that
the coataat •• ta:: ':c, the Attack CrcNp appear. to ha .... r.tuna*' to it.
ba •• without hay1q dropped Ita 011 ••• caadar;J tare.t.
Allled abon ba.ed alI'Cratt. OODtlDued th.ir recouu .... ce 1Ii •• 10ll0
aDd .ttaot. OIl l.paIla •• AOI'e la.tallatlOG. in th. anu boreS.riD, the
SOtaiCli 8U.. !beh -b1Da attaolr. GIl th.l.pa .. e .aapl.c.rw ba •• 1D th.
ylc1DiV ot DDODI lel_d OD IIQ' 8th, loth IIDd 11th, d •• tro),ed • lara-
proportiOD of the recoanal .... oe ••• pl .... baNd there, aDd DwtrlJ.iatld
th. y.lue of the abore lA.tall.t101l ter further u .. b7 the 1&pIIU'.. !b.
_pport1D. ah1p. and tile l"881Dd.r of tbe ..-plan., nre th.retore wi tb-
dra. trca DIBOYIII 1.1aad -.d tba ba.e ebandGllad b7 th.
OIl .., 10th, oro 17.1, Ocweander Search Group, aodi1'1ed hl. pl .. or
... pluae MU'Oh trca IOUIU 1D order that he ai&bt .ora ettectlYe17 COD-
duct • MaI'Cb tor the eunlyon of IIOSBO and SDS. !hl_ aod1flcatiOll of
the _earob PUD i. OIl Maar- Q. At the .... U.Il., h. e,tabliabad
a dqllcbt antl-6ulaariD. patrol ot PBI'. the Approache. to IOOIIU
BarboI' to .. al,t 1Il furth.r d..... to Allied ahippiDC in that
area bJ the Japen •• e aut.ar1ne that MIlk the Greet ehip CIlLO! b7 auntire
OD IIq 7th.
f"nree Japan ••• 4-.ngiD. patrol .... plan .... re .een at TULAGI on .81'
loth, bu.t .ether th1. .ilht1ng .. , .ade b7 land ba.ed Ncoamaleeance plan ••
or bJ coa.t _tchera 111 Dot mom. At 10(() OD thi ... e dq • J_pule.e
plane or thls t:ype, apparentl)r upen.tinS out ot 'l'ULAG1, attacked a PBI .earch
plADe rrc. I<UI!:A in a po.itioo about 476 all.a b.aring S2sO ('1') tro. the
latter" baH. In the _auiDe .. a,_eat Deither plane •• abot do., &1-
.. the PBI aut1'ered alDol' d_,. and cla1Md to h .... c1eetZ'07ed 011.
eDIlD. 1D the lapllll ••• plane.
At .bout 0541 on the .0miDe of .a1 11th the Allied __ ar1z1. 8-4£ ifi
Lat. 5, Lon,;. l6S°-48' I., about b.tween mMA Illand. and the
.outhem tip or lfE1f lRELAlD, lank with torpedoes what Ibe reported to be a
Japane,e CruiIlU. !his Ja.pane.e crui6er, bowever, tumec:1 out to b. the
Japan.ae ain. 1&.7.1' OXINOSRIIIA, which had been 80 wcceaetul. in a
y
oldlDl
•• rioue c1aaage in the all' attack OD TULAGI OD •• Y ,.

l . _________ __ __
III ; 9 r Dr z '" SS? r 'U )' I? ri
...... "f •• '" +
1

J
j
alit,. cr £BlUm I'ORCI. lIlY .ltrIt
IWi..Dc the precH41D, operatloa. ot 'I'P 17 the Japan ... tore •• COD-
tinued the operat1on. ot th. pftll"iCJlll. eSq. th. strlk1nc Foroe ooatinuecS
in a ... ral17 north.rlJ direct10n tbroqbout th. r.d..D4.r ot the nl&bt
ot .q fth-eth. At 08)0 IIa¥ 8th that 1. about tortT-tty. a1nute. betor.
8Wlr18., in podUon bear1AC Of»'a (T), di.t. ... t us .U •• troa the c.nt.r
ot ROSSE[. lIlaDd, Cc.nand.r StrWDI lorc! launchtd u alr gearoh or abo&&t
10 .. areb pl ..... to .earcb the .. ctor ur to 2Sa'" (T). to a red1". ot 200
lin... At 0'700 the Str1klDI Pore. obaD,ecl COIlI". trca north to the south-
west.. At this BIllIe t.1ml: the Hcond GecUOil ot Crudly e, the IDfUQASA aneS
FUROTAlA, Jolned ud ..... a wlcc.e add1tion to tbat torue, •• it DOW bad
tour h •• Y7 cl'\l1.r. 1D it •• GI'Mft. At &bout Oe85 ODe ot th ... MArcil
plan •• reported aiCht1D. the Ill..,.. At 0815 til. Strlk1A. lorca l..-DcWd
u attack II'O'lP con.ht1D, ot 10 .ttac:k plan •• and 20 1'1ibt.re,
which " .. 41rected. to procHd alOll, tb. lIed1u liD. (ltO T.) ot the ... rob
•• ctor.. fb. 1' ... 011 tor d.part1a, hal \&.81 "'.pen ••• cSootr1D. ot laUDchin,
tb •• ttack plan ... wltb1D u hour ot the aaarch plaa •• 18 not clear, nOl' 1a
the d.1&,1 ot 40 a!nut •• bet_t1l the .i&ht1Dc report. ... d tJae l&WlobiDI ot the
attaok. Att.r lauobln" c- ·ad.r str1Ja:.1q loroe proceeded at ro knot. to-
WIArd th •• ettaatad poait101l ot the u.s. Forc ••
'l'b. ..arch plan.. bad. debt. falk Force 11 .t 0822 ud r.port.d 1 t.
poet tion, .t 0856, .. bar1Da 1'100, 41.tuat leo .u •• trca ROSSIL Ialaad,
and 1 t. coapoe1 tlon a. 2 Cf, 1 0, 2 CA, 5 00.** ft. attack IJ'OUP' "1'.
guided to th. attack1nl po.l tioa b7 _. ot th. aearch plu.e. Tb •• ttac:k
r: aad., and accordiDc to Japq ••• report., •• Y.17 IUco ••• tul. fb. lap-
ane •• thoulbt that th.,. bad .1tb.r 8UDt both carrier. 01' bad __ oae ..s
d ... ged the oth.r. BoWYer, a. _ ot th. pUot. report.d that bOth C*l"I'l.r.
d been aunt, ea.ueS.r StrJk1D.c lorc. reported to both CoIIInand.r 4tb fle.t
d to Toqo that h. bad aua.k two •• rican carri.r...... fh!! shew: that the
.Janes. pHot ••• 1'. not I'OOd in r.oo&DbJ.n, d_, ••• , at th1. t!a., both
u:xINGTOI and lORI'J'OW, al thouah hit, "1'. ud.rllla¥ and aak1D, 25 mot ••
'1.n, LEXIHG'l'OH _. not aunt util .bol.lt " boure later in u ..... about 40 .11 ••
to tb. eouth ot tb. bettl. ...... 1'h. JapM ••• ol.Wed, in add1t1_ to the
aarri.re, that th.,."bad baavl17 eSw.aca4 1 battle8hlp and 1 cruieer
(c1&. not c.rtain).
'h. J.pea ••• turth.r reported that in thl •• ction th.,. bad lo.t 15 plUt ••
through ccabat or AA guntir., and bad loet other pl .... e oparatiOll.U1l Duab.r
-
*!rack Chart -Battle ot the Coral S.a- preparecS b:r Li.ut. eo.dr • .....,. Salo.on.
Jr. tJSRR, in cooparaUoo with G-2 SCAP, fOOO, JjpAl. Japan.eft track ahart wort
don. b.J •••• ral J.p.u... otrlc.r. b.aded b.1 .x-aaar Adairal Toaioka, 11K at
... al War Colle,., foqo •
.... eo.b.t Report '0. 1, CruDiy 6, d.ted 11 .Jul1 1942, woe 11091, P .. 10.
***SUppl •• ntel R.port-TIm!: ..... al •••• al All' n.eld To_ IS, tJSSBS. P.28-I:.
-lOS-

• <)I
I
<.
,
,

i
i

,
j
1
I
1
j

l
!
-
-
Dot reported. Sea. ot th ••• pl ••• bad lllld.d in tb. water at ROSSEL
I.l_d _d aOlt ot th. pilot. bad bee Nyed.*
. Prior to retuna of tbe attack ,roup. troa tbelr attaok OIl T' 11,
the str'1k1ac Foro. had be. located bJ th. Allied plan .. and an attack
bad bHD 11&4. on the S8OItdU. Th. Japan ... lhip ... r. now operat1nl lD
the trontal area which had. Ihlelded T' 11 the preylou. dq. The y1albil1t,
1A the Yio1D1t, ot th. St.r1klnl Poro. YlU"led traa 2 to 1& .1le.. eu.ulue,
alto-et&1lul an(\ oll'N" cloud. oov.red the aru. Int.mit tent rain IQualle
la"alred t111nl oondltlonl .tlll turther.
1I1en the Allied plane •• pp.er.d, tb. mllAlCU •• b.adect tor a rain
'\111&11 and thu. u.rted attack, although on. _petant Japan •• e ob •• rt'er
'&7' tbat abe bad to docil. torpedoee. ec-ander St.rlklnl Poroe wal in tn.
ZUIlAlU. When the ZUIIAlU •• rled traa the rain .quaU., C0IU8Ilde.. strHdng
'oro. noted the SHOKAKtJ burnine. Tbe SHOltAXlJ reported that ahe had b •• n
hit bJ thr •• boab. dropped bl div. boaber., and euat.1ned 8 near .1 •••••
Sh ..... able to dod,e the torpedoea beeaue. th87 are launched at .0 great
a rllD" and ran ao 110-11 tbat thq .. re .. ally avoided." She r.colYed
2. boIlb hlt. torward, whiob badl.7 ciaa,ecl the tu,bt deok, rendered b.r Wl-
.ble launoh plan •• and .tart..c1 ,a.oUne tir... Tb. third hit ... Oft" the
et.arboarc:l quart.r and atarted tire.. All tir .... re .0011 put out and tt.
SROItAlDJ. without e.oort, l.tt the .oene ot aoUon at SO Dote and prooeeded
via 'I'ROIt to IURI laYal Ba.. where repairl .. re oa.pleted OIl 19 Juq ......
Tb. Domal d1stanc. b.t ... two Japan... carri.r. in torat1on ns at
that tla. 100 a.tera, but durinl launchlnC operat1ou. 1 t WIl. 1101'11&1 to iD-
creaae this dlatanoe to 1&OO .. tar.. Thie •• bee.u.e the Japan •• e rarel1
landed launched troa aor. than one oarrler at a tla. and the oarrler
launehin, pl:mee would orb!!, to quote StrUt1ng Foro., "Wander
apart-.
At the tw. ot the attack on the Strlklnl Foroe, tbe SHOUIU ...
launcb1n. addi tiona! plaue. ..d at •• lDg into the wind OD cour •• about 146
0
(T). Tb. ZOlIAIU, lIh10b ae not lIIIlnohiDl plaile .. , ... ..s.avorJ.D1 to olo .. e
the ran .. to 'I'P 1'1 a. .. po •• ible, and ... COllUM'''' CD ·cCNI'e. 19()O
(T) at blah .peed. A' a n8Ult. the two oarrlere ".r. untortunateq .eparated
b,y about 16,000 •• ter. at th. tw. ot the action. Coamander Striking 'oroe
stated later that he .rred 1n Dot tumiD, back when the attack appeared, and
*aappl_lDtal • I.,.al A1r r1eld T ... Is, tJSSBS, P.2I-B.
**IDterropUon ot CaptaiD tg·oU, I.J .1. OperaUoa. Ottio.r, start 6th
Air Flotilla, ussas .... &1 ADallei. Divle10n Int.rropUon ot lapq •••
otficial.. Vol •• I-IDterro.aUoo laY. lu. 10 •
..... edquart.r. USSBS, Toll;ro, .aval ADal1a1a •• oranc.l_ 10. 11,
elated 18 October 1946, P.l.
-108-
...... .. ... ...... __
I
I
-...2 .,
_d ••• orine to reJoin th. SHOIAIU.* 'bu. ab(JIlt on. balt of the anti-
aircr.ft bat.t.arle. ot tha t..ak toro. wer •••• nabl. to t.h. ZUIICAJru,
whlch aot.uallT dld not. require th_ becau •• of tbft raiD .quall, and wer.
denied the SII)UlU, which did require th_. Ih1 ec..ud.r Strlkh, Foro.
did not. Ite.,p hie ... nd tI'>,ethar with the pro.p.ct. of ... _.., air at.tack
18 not. known tor it appear. that h. thO\llht. that. hi. plue. had o ...... t. the
Allhd carrier. b7 aurpri •• , and h. appar.ntlJ dbaounted or oy.rlQOked the
oapabll1t.1 of at.t.ackln, M.a.
n.ediat.e17 attar Ca-a .. nder St.rUin, Force bad dl'C09'.red the daaap
to the GHOIAXtJ, be appeara to have orderacl b.r t4 pruoPd aortb t.o TRIJI
tor r.pair.. So, at. &bout. lllOO 1n oaapUaDoe with t.h •• e order. the
d'part.ad tor TRO'IC at. 80 motl. 'bi. indioat.e. ea.aDd.r stdk1n, Force"
ooDfldeDo. tIlat. b. bad IUDk tb. AlUecl carrier., and bad, t.hereb)', ,&1Ded
loaal ot t.he •• diat.. He u-.a.
In view ot the tact tbat th. daaIe to th. SIIOItAID prevented her troa
r.oalv1DC b.r plane. retirlD, troa tbe attack on tba Allied C'a-
.*Dd.r 'oro. apparantlJ direoted that the ZUIlAlU rec.iv" ...
,bt. oparaUOQ orowded b.r d.ck 80 auch that. lb. bad to Jett.1.on tb· •• or
tour plan.... Th. _bar ot daapd plane. landed tw·th.r ccapUoat.ad h.r
.tfort., ad It •• not _til 1500 tha.t she bad a total of nino plane.
readJ to lau{lch ... l.Ja."
At 1500 ea.ander ,th ,l •.• t. dir.ot.ad ea-and.r Btr1k1n1 Force to ... .
....
r.lr. and chanp cour •• t.o north.· N. diapat.ob ... t.1a_ IJ'O'lpa4 12<60 .. .....
B.r. qu, 18 anoth.z- del.q 1n t.ranal •• loa ot iaportaDt. ........ , 1Ih1oh
lndicata. t.h.t. th. Japane.. q.t.. ... heviA, ditfloult.i ••
und.r th. inor.a.ed load of coabat aaaeace'.
ec.ean<1er St.r1k1n, Vore. bavill, b.ard notbtn, ot the .. .inca 11.0,
tth Fleet ot tho :1tUAtlon a=4 atatad that he had v.r,;
t •• pla •• available to launch. • •• wbll., be head.d in a nortbll'lJ d1raot1oo
whil. an1'UDI r.plJ'. At. 1800 b. rec.ived a r.plJ dlrectlq b1a to proceed
t.o TRIm. 1Ih1.1. tbt. aotlon ot Cc:.u.nder ,th ,l •• t -.q .e •• t.raDI., in th.
l1abt ot pr •• ant dq mowlad,., it auat be rea_b.red that. b. bad baeD a-
toned that. bot.b .&lUed oarrl.r. bad bean IUDk and ita battl •• hip. aunt or
4 .... ed, and, turtber, that t.w oaabat plan •• r .. a1nad in th. St..r1k1Jaa For\J ••
At 2SOO caa.and.r 4th n.et order.d poatpoo .. ent of the lnv •• ion of PORT
MORESBY and dir.oted that tb. ea.mand rlnd.r'neee.aar,y a •• to the
*aappl ... t.al a.port-TRJK .... val •• aval Air Field T-- 13, USSBS, P.30-S2.
MSu.pp1 •• ntal a.port-TRUX-Iaval • levu Air '1.ld T ... IS, USSBS, P.M.
***Coabat. a.port 11, CruDiv 8, ?r1od 25 Apr. 1942 to 11 IIq 1942, dated
11 J'u17 WOO #1091 - P .11.
'7 rnq
F7J n
'n . 'SS )
"., '&'cttrt#t- tn' .....
I
l

l
IAD1IJ .... 0CIAI181M4 OpeNUoa, wb1* ....... 'ed tor..., lhb. WItT,
_ .. __ tuonble aU1Ul7 as.wUaa t_ utlUq, 011 .nder.tIl 11.
1.Mae4 tile .. cI1nftly •• 18 DOt. olM!'. It 1. ,... ..... tbowY .. , tbat be
tel. taaa ..... tDIIAIO, witll .... Ualt.ed a1I'oNtt. •• 11.bl. MOMl .. of
battle loa ... -.4 _tU ..... , .. DOt able to OGVV adequat.el7 til.
lDYul_ tone. apialt t.U Wl_ laad bued a1roHft wblob WIN1d be
.0000tered 1D thi' _phlbiou. lImal1OD. I •• peu. to bay. h.ld \hl.
ld.. .... tbouP hi. 0_ lud bued airo:ratt would baY. "- ill a .tJ'GDllT
.apportJ.ac rol.. It 11 po •• ibl. allO that b. tilt that tH opwatlOD,
wbloh .. padlDl" .l",t require both the ZUIbIU md the 8IIOIaa. lDWWer,
bb aotiOD' cUd DOt ••• , with th. apP""al ot ec-Uld.r ooab1Ded n •• t, wIlo,
d 2400 ord.rt.'CI th. un1hUaUOD ot th. reaatn'D, en..., toro ••••
ru. appear. to ha".. be_ tb. corr.ct d.ol.loa aDd Dot tbat ot ec.mmd.r
4th rl.et. Por, lt th. air attack bad b .. al Maoo.IIM a. reported b;r aa..
... d.r St.rlk1al loro., AD opportUll1t, DOW pre,ented it •• u to d •• troy aJl7
cS.aapd IMp. *lob had Dot. ncoeeded ill 1It.k1n1 th.ir .eeape, and, iD
addlt1oa, it alpt be po.l1ble to .0 d-aa. t1"iD, Allbd .hip. al to uk.
tb .. tall a relatlyelJ Yictia ot JapeD'" .urrace toro... !b. taot that
Maoh a OCIIldlt1OD did DOt obtain doe. Dot til wq yltlata the tboupt that
.... 1"J ec-ader 8houl.d •• a1nt&1n the .p1rlt ot th. ott.dye, aDd Ibould
.deayor &tter "1rT' aoUon to iDlUre tbat 110 lOll, a. It CODtl'1bu.te" to the
aoca.pll_ant or til •• trat'lied plaa, the .ax1a\a de.tructloo 1. d.alt tb •
... ,.
In reapoD" to tb. dlract1y. ot CCMaDlS.r Coab1D.ad n •• t to AIl1b1late
th •• -*7, th. Str1k.1Dc rorc. toll owed the track 1D.dloatad 1J1 Dial!'_ Q.H
_ h.ad1n, ... t, ud lat.r .outb .. "tward, CQ 'nder StrU:ln, P'orce appear.
to bay. ba_ _d .. ".orlll, to iDterpo •• bet ... 'fr 17 aDd tbe Dewq eetabU.bed
JapaDe.e ba •• at TUUG!, while at th. ... t1ae bJ.ock1Dc .scape throu.ch the
R!DILL-BAII CRIS'l'OBAL IalaDd Chaanel qd t.b. Strait bet .. an the Lo .. r
bllllld. tlDd th. Iili HEBRIDES. Th. St.riking Forc. change of cour •• at
18t50 .q 8th troa aa ••• terq CO\D'Pt: to a aouth .. tt.r17 caur •• appear. to lD-
dlcate aD appr.oiaUOIl ot tb. that the ml •• are ret!riAl to the aouth.
'fM. cbup ot OOUN. oould ba".. been ba.ed CD the report traa the I-re, to
dl.cu.sad utu.
'fbere 1. DOt!Wlc to indio.te tbat CoaaaDder Str1t1nc Force .ad, aD¥ air
•• areb... It 18 po •• 1..ble that he did Dot do 10, tor be w. extr.'17
-cc.iiat Report ,." Cr\&D1y 6, ,.nod 25 Apr. 1942 to 11 Mq 1942, dat.ed 17
Ju.lr 1942, IDe IHD997, P.ll.
IHt'l'rack Cbal't "Battl. ot th. Coral Se." prepared by Lhut. Coadr. Henr;y
Sala.on Jr. uam, 1D coopera tio" with G-:! SCAP, TOKIO, J AP AIf • J aplLll".
track chart work done by aev.raJ, Japane"e otflcers headed b,y .x-Rear Adair_l
foalob, I.TI at laval War CoU'se, Tokyo.
1
I

1
1. 1 11 ..... ______ _
llalted in plaD •• ADd pilot., and would probabl¥ n.ed all be had to attaCk
&a7 ah1p. eucount.red. a. apparent17 relled 01\ land ba .. d alr .aarohe.
tor hll ... cOMal.Nnoe and thl. abodd ba •• been a rea.onabl. prooedure, a.
TULA9I •• DO" 6lothated.
Th. Str1Jdnc Foree CODt1DUed H. oour •• at .peed •• al"1in,
fro. about. lO mot. to !O Irnotl. At 1200 It ... JoJ.tied b7 the tlr.t 1'.OUon "
or CI'UDi. 8, plu. IUBARl and om. At U'51q 10th, DO oontaot. with the
ha.in, be ••• de, coun. W. r .... r .. d and retlr __ t .a. b.l\IIl. At
221S Crudl. S, plu. tuBARI, "1" d.hohed and h •• dl!'c:1 tor IUT A on 80UCAIRVILLE
X.land.-
Tho Str1k1nC Foro. 1.D th. ear17 .omin, ot Iq 11th reoebed order. to
1ea.e tbe &!'H, tor at om 11tb, it ohuaced it. oourH rad1cal17 to oeoo
(T). It the beaded out ot the Coral Sea and a!'OWld the lOutb.m tip or SAlt
CRISTOBAL Ialsad at an a •• ra .. lIpeed ot about 25 mot.. At 2400 1&7 11th it
n. In Lat. 9 -05' 5., LoD,. I, 'pparat17 head.1ni tor TROI.
gp.r-Uoo. if oth.r lepage.e r.g lore.,. Iv 8th. 9th. lOth. 1WJ.
Ravin, .epar_ted rro. the .ecODd •• otion at 2SSO .., 7th the rlr.t .eetlon,
AOSA and IUIO, whioh h.d been cU.reoted to 'tud at .ea, proceeded toward. Its
rende .. ou •• ith the oiler IRO, which reade .. ou. had beeu d.'1cnated at 225
0
(r),
dlltant 100 .U.s rro. SHORTLdD laland. At 08S5 thb MoUea rece!.ed a report
that plane. of the Str1k1na Force bad at 0822 .potted an en.., carrier croup
conai,tiDI of £ 0\', 1 BB, 2 CA, 5 DO, be.riD,170
0
(T), di.tant leo all •• rro.
ROSSIL I.land. At 1120, COIIUIIand.r 4th n •• t. directed all rore .. Dot CODc.med
with the attack on the en-.y carrier rore. to r.tir. to the RABAUL ar.a, •• h.
had decided to concentrate hie aa1n efrort a .. inst the Allied Tau Foroe.**
At about thll t18., the Port lor •• by InvalioD Fore. cODIOUdated with CruDiv II,
conll.Una of the l1,ht crui •• rs TaRE utd and wlth DeaRO!1 e in tat.
S, tuns. I. ,tb Fl •• t'. d.cialoa to ooncentrate bi •
• "in .frort qa1n.t the AlUed Ta. Fore. and to r.tir. thct roree. Dot con-
trlbut1nc to thit effort, indicatee the overall be.ina exert.d br Coa-
.and.r 4th Fle.t _d turtber indicate. the .alu. ot of
,
At 1080, the IRO .... 1ehted and b7 1roD, the tirst •• eUon had OCl8lIDOGd
tue1ins rra. h.r. Bow.ver, tbb ruel1na bad no .ooner tlben a report
WaM recei.ed troa Ca..ander Strik1n, Poro. in plain that b. .a, -enealiD,
81118)' tuk roree, tOleth.r with CruD1. 8. Po.iUon no .u .. trc. TUtAGt
at 1250.- A plot of thi. position showed that the Btr1k1n1 'orce ... bearln,
*Coabat a.port 10. 7, CruDlv e, dated 17 July 19'2, IDe 11«>991, p.n.
**Coabat Report 10. 7, CruD1. 6, dated 17 Ju11 1942, IDe 11097, P.10.
-109-
" "rfn
.
b

1
1
I

1
I" •
. ......... , .
111
0
(T), dinaot. 286 aile. traa t.be IRU. CoIlCruDl", e dinned, a. he ._
Dot. wn ot the poll1t.lOll ot the AlUed toroe., t.hat the ruellnl be diaoon-
t.1mae4 S-ecUat.e17, beoau.. he thmacht. that. the allbt 8Urpriae b1II
whUe ruellnl and be wiaheel to ba"'e tHed_ or act.ion.-
At. UIOO, planea troa the 21th Ur notUla reported ha.,in, .18hted at
lOBO an toroe oon.bUIli ot 1 8B, 2 CA, and 4 DO beara, 28& (1),
240 aile. rrc. OIBOYlfI. TbeN •• , apparently, a ooalNDloat1on dela,y at
.b<Nt. 2i bour ••
Haylnll ellaoontlnued tIltliDl the f irlit oeetinn of' CruOh' a headed louth
toward. the u8a7 .t 28 mota. WhUe t\1ua ololin, 't.be .nta7, a report ...
rectl",ed, pn&.lllably troa StrUiDl roree, that the SIIOUIU had
been cSMated. A lattr report recelyed atated that t.be SARATOGA bad been
aunt and that three hita had be. aade on another Allled carritr or the
YORKTOIlf ola... Thla ft. tollo .. d b;y a report tb.t both Allied oarrier.
b&d been det1D1tely 8Uftk.
DUr1D, the atternoon, .hile .tlll en route .outh, the tir.t .eotlon
... cUrected, prelNllab17 b7 ec-uder 4th rleet, to oonyo)' ve.lela .outh
ot RADAUL, but rrc:. the tracka ot the rlr.t Mction'. _ov.tnte it appearll
thlrt no aotion OD thla ordtr .a t.aken at tM. tlae."
At 1&55, h.Yin, recd"'ed 4th neet' II dllpatch "stop att.ck
and proooed north", the fir.t .tction 01' CruDi. 8 dllaontlnued itl .oy.ent
to the aoutb ang b •• ded tor SIllRTLARD l.land. At £400, 1&1 8th, tM. aection
... b .... 1Il' 196 (T), 26 aU ... that hland.
Th. fir.t a.ctlon dld not proc.ed lamtdiately into the harbor. At
1 t wee cn!ered b,. Ct.:emender fth Fleet to ceeplete 1'J.=1in: and then j o1n the
Strlk1D, lOro. in annlh1lating the .nea, torcea. At 0121, it put into SHORT-
LAJ.D Illand harbor and Ca.aIDCed ruel1n, the IRO and the
At about 1200, the t1rst •• ctlon, .hich had tueling, wa. Joined b7
two .hip. of DelRan 8, the YOBARI, a l1abt cruiser and the OIrE, a
and then proc.eded to •••• At 0400, the OITE whicb had found th. ae.a dit-
ficult as the broke h.r brid,e ,l •• s, alowed and t.ll behind.
Tbe r.a1n1D, unita of DeaRoD a, cODahting of the DeaDiva 2S, 29, and
SO lesa tb. YUBARI and OIT!, Nc.iYed ordttra to continue their duUea under
Ca.mander Diviaion 18. O.oD1Y •• D engaged thereafter in escorting
Report 10. 1, 8, dated 11 1942, woe 11OO9131, P.10.
HCoabll.t Report 10. 7, Cl'UDh 6, dat.ed 11 July 1942, WOO IHI0997, P.ll.
-
-110-
t •• "7:'
- 11_
j
j
I
J
'' •• II1II .... 1 ... _ •• ____ •• ________ ........ ,., .
I 1 •• 1
the Port Morl.b, Inva.lon rorel to RABAUL.
At 1200, .q loth, the tlrlt .. etion plul YUBARI and Orr! which
latter d.etroyer had eYident17 rejoined, rlndesvou •• d the Striking
'oroe. Thul the tirlt and .econd lections or 6 hbd now rejoined
one another and CruDlv e (loss SAWAIII) beoue au ent.Hy agaIn.
Tbe Striking Porce, plu. CruDlv 6 pluo the TUBARl and or'J'E;
on to th; south until when the7 rt.'v@rsed course and retired,
rollowing the tracks In Diagr .. C. Bothing ftsslght .. d 80, at E2l6,
CruDl. 6 plu. thl JUBARI 1e •• the OITE, whlch apparently r .. ained with the
Strlkin. Force, were detached tram the Striking 'orce and headec tor !IETA,
BOUGAINVILLE Uland, where it arrived at about 18:)0, Iq lah.
CruDlv 6 log atate. thbt the Japana.8 forces at DEBOYNE, had had
moat or their reconnaissance leaplanel and shore installations destroy.d bl
A111fld land baaed air attack on lay 9th, withdrew frOID that bllBe on the next
day.
At 1840 lal 9th the submarine 1-:'8 appeara to huVG J116de a report about
an enemy plane from which ComCruDi\? 6 estimat.ed that the enemy forces which
were thought to b. heading for TOWNSVILLE up?eared, in fact, to be heading
aloni the east COli at of 11USTRALIA for SYDNEY, a.nd to quote Jaapanese sources,
were "beating a hl,sty rtltreat." CamCruDiv 6 estilllo.ted that the Allied force
was, at this tillie, 000 miles &1I'ay from hilll.It This e:;tilllste was correct, but
the direction appears to have been somewhat different than estiJllated.
The Force was ordered to discoDtinue searoh and return to
TRUIC.
The Port Moresby luv8sion Force, after consolidation with CruD1v 18
plus DesRon 6, Continued on towards RABAUL and arrived there safely on May
lOth.
The hir Flotilla on 8th, 9th, and 11th apparently engaged in
normal scouting operation.. It made a contact at 1030, 8th. with Allied
forces consistini or 1 BB, 2 CA, and 4 DO, in pOSition 2!S , distant 240
miles trom DEBOYNE, course 500°. speed 16 knots. Its log states that there
.. s no for attack becau.e the type 96 land attack aircraft unit
*Coabat Report No.7, CruDiv 6, deted 17 July P. 12.
_111-
,1Ji •••
................. .. liliiii I: 7 ns 7 PH nus' • ; ,. - ,.
'i
1
1
,1
I
J
r
""'· '.- ... ,

: I
,
f
,
I
t,

I
t;

"
i
f
l
l

{

c


r
<,
"
f
1
.
was UDs.rviceable.* Thi. "e .. s surpri.ing in view of the fact that the
log for 7th indicates that it was planned a powerful attack
all force a on any ene.y tore •• sighted on May 8th. Ihat, if &n7-
thing, happened to the attack unit. overnight i. not available. Alar,.
provortion or the Zero fighters transferred frOD RABAUL to LAE at
this time.
On 9th nineteen aircraft were aent out on search .tssions, but
made no contacta. Fourteen Zero fighters attacked PORT MORESBY with what
the Javanese called "fair results." No intol'lllation of the Succ,,,,, of thia
attack is ava.llable from Allied lIources. The 25th Air notllla received
orders from 11th Air to carry out immediate reconnaissance of TOWN-
SVII.LE Harbor, but aince all aircraft available were on reconnaissance
miSD10ns this attack wee planned for the next day.* This showa the close
contact that Commander 11th Air Fleet was maintaining over the operations
ot the 25th Air Flotilla, but it alao indicateB an interference with Com-
mKnder 4th Fleet. For direct b,y Commander 11th Air Fleet con-
cerning operations' to Commander 25th Air Flotilla, which flotilla was
under the operational control ot Commander 4th Fleet, unless approved b.Y
Commander 4th Fleet, could have an adverse effect on t.he latter's opera-
tions. SpeCial efforts were also planned on the loth agail.st Allied sub-
marines which were proving a nuisance in the straits in the RABAUL area.
Patrol aircraft were directed againat subnarines as their primary objective
unless special orders to the contrary were issued.
No patrol5 appear to have been made on May 10th. The DEBOYNE base
was evacuated on that day and the 25th Air Flotilla received word that the
operation against PORT MORESBY had been postponed until July.
On May 11th, patrols were continued. The enemy air forces in NEW
GUINEA and NORTHERN AUSTRALIA were attacked, and the reconnaissance of
TOWNSVILLK was carried out, but no enemy shios wgre sighted.**
The Battle of the Coral Sea had endedl
*War Diary of 25th Air Flotilla, 1 April to 11 May 1942, WDC 161725 P.S.
**War Diary of Air F10ti 11a, 1 April to 11 lIay 1942, WOO 161725 P. 6-7.
-112-
I, MNi);eAOq, '1
d
,1

1

1
.J
j
• """",""1"44.,_,
THE El"FECT OF THE BATTLE.
If victo17 at .ea were based alone on carriers sunk and domag3d:,
and upon teaporary control of the action areas, where the battle was
fought, the Battle of the Coral Sea would necessarily clussed 8S a
victory. For the 10s8 of the LEXINGTON and the slight dam-
aging ot the YORKTOWN, were more serious blows to the Allies, at the
time, than the loes or the SHOHO and th6 slight damaging of the SHOKAKU
were to the Japanese. In addition, TF 17 with the YORJrl'OWN, lert the
area immediately after the action and made no fUrther effort to attack
the Japanese carriers, whereas Japanese forces a sAarch by
ships and planes for two days to Iii,Bcover ariy Allied forces left in the
area.
Victories at sea are not necessarily always based on Ships lost or
tactical successes gained. They are Bore often based upon the effect
such losses or tactical successes have upon ultimate victory; upon
the extent to which such losses or tactical successes contribute to the
accomplishment of the strategical plan. In naval warfare it is not suf-
ficient merely to hold the action area as such; it is far more important
to ensure that the action contributes its full share towards the accOm-
plishment of the plan, and hence, towards victory.
When the DatU. of the Cor&! Sea is evaluated on this
point of reference changes. The reference is not upon the
but rather upon the overall effects of the battle ItsAlf.
these overall effects?
basis, the
action area.,
What were

In the fir8t place, the Japanese decided that, whereas they still
desired to capture PORT MORESBY, they would no lODger attempt to do this
'by amphibious invasion at this tae, and they delayed fUrther by
seac* Atter the defeat at Kidway, they decided about 1 July lS42 that
f'Ilrther attempts would be by land operations only. Thus the Allies by
the Cnral Sea action bad succeeded in cheCking further Japanese advances
by eea in the lEW GUINU-50L(WON Arca. Tbis was a cardinal obj ecti ve in
the Allied strategical plan for the PaCific War.
In the second pldce, it is possible th&t ,he report to TOKYO
by Commander Striking Force** that two American carriers of the SARATOGA
and YORKTOWN cla8se8 bad been sunk, assisted TOKYO in deciding to go ahead
with the .IDWlY Operation, which resulted moat disastrously for the Japanese.
*Interrogation of Captr.1n Yam,aoka, I.J .N. Operations Officer Staff 5th Air
Flotilla, USSBS-Naval Analysis Division-Interrogation of Japanese Officials
Vol. I Interrogation Nav. No. 10 Page 55.
**Supplemental Raval Air Team #3, USSBS - PSie 28 E.
-lIS-


1
j
t
1
In the third place, the damage to the SHOKAKU and tbe shortage of
oper&tional planes on ZUIKAIU prevented both of these carriers from
billing in the Battl .. of Midway.* This :1horlage of planes in the ZUIKAKU
was the result of battle and opel'at1ona! losses for which no aircraft or
air crew men and }Jllot replac .. ents were available in the area. While
there i8 no certainty tbat, had these carriers beGn present at Midway,
they would have changed the outcoae, the fact nevertheles£, reaains that
the Japanese attribute part of their failure to the absence of these car-
riers.
On the other hand, in the case of the Allies, while the loss of the
LEXINGTON was keenly felt at the Battle of Midway, this loss was not suf-
ficient to prevent an American victory there. The YORKTOWN had been re-
paired in time for the action and served gallantly.
Based on theRe facts, it must be historically true that the
of the Coral Sea was a definite and far-reaching Allied success.
BATTLE LESSONS
1. .The Battle of tbe Coral Sea was brought on in part by the on
TOKYO on April 8, 1942. Tbi6 raid did not accomplish any particular
material damage. It did, however, 11ft the morale of the Allies, which
at the time, considering tbe surrender of BATAAN and the situation in
general in the Far East, was at a low ebb.
The net result of the TOKYO raid was, however, that the Japanese
commenced offensive operations again. this time towards PORT MORESBY. in
order to eecure the safety of RABAUL, and as a first move towards extend-
ing the perimeters of their conquered areas, to protect their homeland
from further raid8e !he Allies forced to counter this operation witb
limited forces, as the TOKYO raid, naturally, had the effect of reducing
their means available for service in the Sea Area. had car-
riers in the area at the time of the battle; the Allies were only able to
concentratr, 2. Had the TOKYO raid not occurred, 4 carriers, the YORKTOWN,
LEXINGTON, HORNEr and ENTERPRISE, would probably have been available. The
LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN were already in the area; the HOSNET and ENTERPRISE,
conducted the TOKYO raid, were en route from Pearl Harbor, having
departed for the Coral Sea April 30.
L88sonr
This whole operation etressee the etrategic prinCiple that a raid may
atrategic consequences above th08e originally contemplated. Thie
*Interrogation of Captain Yamaoka, I.J.N. Operations Officer Stafr 5th Air
Flotilla, USSB5-Naval AnalysiS DiVision-Interrogation of Japanese Officials -
Vol. I Interrogation Bav. No. 10 P8le 55.
-114-
iII... .. .. •• .. ..
i.
fp(-__ .. _-....:::...::. ___________ .... __ '.I, _ ... 11111__ " __ 'l1li ••• ,. ____ .. __ ...... , _
raid was too .. all to do substantial physical daaage, yet its political
erfect, caused b.y the rear,ot was great and, in thl.
case, appears to have caused Japan to change ail1t&r,f ,cbedulee
tor other theaters. APparent17, her plan tor the occupation ct PORT
was expedited, and to go ahead with the broad strategic
plan, including the capture 'of III DfiA! • wa. til'llled.
2. The dlvided command Which existed at th. 8&ttle of th_ Cor.l Sea
an advers8 efrect on the rortunes or the Allied forces. CTr 17 had no control
over the land based air ,earebes and, a. a cODse<1uence, was rorced to accept
tt.at which was given hill. Rlld all uircrkrt been under his direct comme.nd, or
had he been ?laced under Commander Naval Forces SoWusPac for this operation,
it i8 logical to assume that the searches and the areas covered would
have all contributed as rully as practicable, rkthar than partially, to
the accomplishment or the plan. Diagr&IDs B-1 and B-2 point o\t pluinl;y that
the areas which he was were going to be searchod .ere not, 1n fact,
adequately searched at all. CTY 17 apparently, was not &dvised of this tact.

It is advisable to maintain the OVerE U cOIIIIftand of the Joint services in
the hand or the Coro,otand wi tb the par&llount interest. This was done by the
J'ap8.tlese, who plaoed the command under Commander 4th "bet at RABAtJL. Tbe
single cOlllllland that CCllUnnnder 4th Fleet exercised is apPbrent throughout this
study or the action. The forces assigned thits COllu,umder were, with the ex-
ception of tho South .seas Detached Force, all Naval forces. Thb includa8
naval land based-air.
3. The J'ailanese plwming for this aperation does not appear to have been
very thorough. J'apanese f:>rces were not adequately coordinated, with the
result the Allied task forces were able to strike them and destroy
certain or t.oC:lir forces separlltely before they wera able to
This appears to have the result of an unhoalthy mental attitude of
over-confidence.
Adequate planning, either mental or written, 1s always a "aust", and
is particularly important when a number of task forces or groups are to be
coordinated into a common effort.
4. The J'al'aneee ap:>ear to have relied greatly on surprise in all of their
planning. They appear to have entertained the naive belief thnt, when they
so deSired, they could conduct their operations with complete secrecy. Al-
l'ln.· Ir.·I17lfISlrIZlr"
i
ltrllil:r.· Mrilillr.'.r •••• ,.«iI·.·i!I"iIll1i111
i
.llIIl
i
liill"_Ilia.' lIi'IiIII" .... ·IIII!C._·iIoII" .... t'_I.'III't' .. tIlillH.W ..

1
1
It 1. that the exl.teno. ot their Foroe w •• unknown
to the Allie. until 1t had .tta"hd the NEOSHO, neTerthel ... thh w ••
purely. fortuitous oiroum.tanoe .nd, ?robably. oould not h.ve been re-
!)a a ted • The Foroe .hould h.ve d1aooTer.d by 8th by
Allied o.rrier pl.n ••• Th. Drobably kn.w .t this time of Allied
r.d.r. b\:t i 11 douhttul if' th.y knew of the extent of 1 til enlOloyment or
or It. o.p'bill ti ...
tel.ont
C;Urprhe 11 the in.1.otlon of the unexoeoted tor the PI:!"pose of oreatin@:
.n unf.vorable eltu.tll)n tor the enemy. 1'Ifhen judioiously oonoehed
and Buooe •• tully emoloyed it may be a most potent faotor.- Rowever, it must
not be oounted on too heavily in plannIng. There must be .uffiolent ... n •
• to In.ure IUOO' •• 'Ten .urpri.e be not obtained.
6. The Japane •• , .pparently, endeavored to the course of aotion the
en.my intended to tollow, .nd then ba.ed their olans on thh ,'stim.te of the
enemy" intaLtion. They do not aopear to have to other
important enemy oapabilities. whioh mir;ht have interfered seriously with thdr
olanll. -
It is unwise for a commander to base his plans sole lyon his oonoert.ion
of the enemy intentions, as 01'",n tile entllDY will do something else. It is
wiser for the commander to follow the method of oapabilities and to hase his
plans on those enemy oapabilities whioh may hi8 nlans, and
to list them i.n their order of p:rtlates't canp:er to him.
5. -"GthGr nl_:v-ad .. Orumlntlti:' rJar+' in this operation lI.nd seriously 8t't'eoted
the ou4joome. '!'F 17 1n attaokinr: 'hoth 'T'ULAGI and the SP0
T1
0 was nrotected by
the 'had we.ther to the south. qn\yever. in the carrier battle on May 8th
TF 11 was 1n olear wea4jhf.lr Ilnd henoe suffered heavily tn the f.ir
between the oarrier task p;rou!'lI. In this csse the <raoantlse carriers had
the adwntal1;e of w"!ather. thh use of the weather (Il)oears to have
b.en purely fortuitous. "'here is whioh indic8tes that any
on ei ther side olanned to use the weather as a nava laic '0 seouri ty. o!'
that he ita value until some 'time after t.he Rotion.
otten the most advantageous !,oaition during An Qir aotion is ohtained
by that toroe whioh is able to operate within or under the oover of a frontal
&ODe. This oonoept appears vaUcl today. r!:f'lrefore, ev"ry effort should be
-Sound neohion, 1942. p.n.
iii, ..... " .. ,· '. ',,! -113- _
$r7s ' J' ,
'm
"
• • S' st it OH' stn *' i '11" ' 's$
1
I
J
.,..,...,.", j,....,.-, '""', ..... 4if.,...- ,*,* 14·( Wi W
., ______ _
_ __ .a __ •
by • Commander to k •• p him.elr inrormed on the late.t ourrent .nd lonl
we.ther torec •• t. tor hi. oont.mnlaterl .re., .nd to
thl1 t.o tao+.ical .1tuation to In,url
t.hat he is a"le +'0 +:fI". of 1t t.o den:v lIuoh .(h.ntall:'e to the .D •• )'.
7. S.arohel oonouo'ed 1'roln l'.nd h .... and by ".pllln, •• re .rr.oti ... in
an ar •• when there .re a lu1't'ioi.nt DWllber ot .uitable plane •• nd
pilots to aooomplhh the .. aroh, .nd when the w.ather permit •• uGh
searohu to be thoroup;hly don.. Thh wa •• hown ln o.rt .. in .r ••• , notably,
on thft Allied slde, in the vlolnlty of where oontinuou. patrol ...
maintained rrom 'PORT .nd on the Jananeu aide, ln the vloinlty ot
Arohloeialr,:o, where. oontinuou. oatrol wa. lIIltintained trOll
DRBOYNF:, tAE and 'PAFAT'T.. Rowewr, in ;011 o+.h.r areu +.he ... earoh .. did
not appe.r to be err.otive, and the laok of d.rinit. information rinally
foroed the oommander. of the oarrler fornes on hoth .ide. u.e oar-
rier ha •• d plane. tor aearch.
Lesson:
Cmnmanders or nava 1 Galk roro ••• hou ld no·, plaoe 1:heir ... ouri ty on
I
u.rot,el made by shore bued pl.nee unless they ar. oonfid.nt that auoh
s •• rohes are .dequate. Th.y must keep thl. under con.tant .tudy,
and mils to make any add i tiona 1 .e.rohes whioh appear r:.eoes.ary, a. the .hor.
bMsed aearohes beoome le •• errintent.
8. It .. a not.d that the .earohea oonducterl hy the patrol plane unit oper-
atin!!: rrolll the TANGIER at NOUUF..A were designed to ooftr the ar.a trom NOtnIEA
to the .outheaatern border or "'hu., when TU!.J.CI rell, a large
unsearohed al'ea was unveiled whioh permitted the Foroe to paIS thl'ough
rest.riction. had heen phoed by upon outside
friendly foroea oOflrl\+;inp: 1.n his flrell fire nl':l+' known, ... it; is anoer.nt that
C'T'F 17 reI+; rt'!I+;l"'!.""erl 1r sf9al"ches +'0 the horner ir,dinatAd.
Lesson:
Art'a border lines .houle not be '0 ri,,1d a. to exolud. ou+',lde triendl),
forou rrom opentin,; 1n that ar •• if n.o •••• ry ..
9. based airor.ft, although they helped by in-
formatlon on enemy dispositions and oonoentrRtior1, and although th.yalao
helped by bombin,; shore installationa, esoec1e11y at l?AP}.lTI, .nd LAE, .nd by
almost daily attaok. on shippinr.. failed to furnish any taotioal infromatioD
-117-
1 •• n.'.$II'III'i·I •• .... .. II- .. IiI··.ZiIiliTIfIi*.$ .. jllll:HljIlllilIlli ..... IIII'.'IIMSIllii,,_ .. tll6'IIIo" dlloi'_ililtllM •• 'M21.,2III· ....... ,_, - ...... " .. , .
,'.'
f
f
I

--... _----------_ .. _---_ ....... "" ...
.ad attack apport OIl IIq 8th. Had attact auP?Ort be.a f'vIll_d b7 toM
8hoH baaed aircraft. OD Iq at.h, atter bad bHa 1Dtomed bJ
err 11 ot the looation aDd d18PO.lt1on ot the Str1k1n' roroe, the carr1.r.
ot that toroe .11bt .uttered aore d ......
Shore ba.ed airoratt aDd ne.t unit. auet be ooord1nated bJ lnten.1Ye
ooablned tra1n1na to bet hr wpport OOe anotber" operation.. There .. EWled
to be a alao.t c_plet. lack ot undar.tandlng of thb 't'1tall7 lIIportut
prob1_ bT the A:N7 Air Force.. Thb... in .. lar,e part chle to the lack
ot ooab1.ned traininc In th •••• atter., 81th.ouCh it ... alISO due to a Morta,.
ot IUitable plan •• IUd the r.oten ••• ot metra11an baH', whlcb nece.a1tated
etq1Da .ttack and •• arch plane,; throu@b HORN ISLAlCD and PORT MORESBY ..
Ad''i"ate air wpport, both reconnaillance and attack, by land and t.nder
aircr .. tt for na't'..:L optrlltion. cannot Oe str.saed too .trong17. Without
.tf1cleDt and r.l1kble support ot thl. natur., Daval tore •• are at a •• riou.
dl .. d't'anta,.. Th ••• a1r aupport unit., wh.n und.r na't'tU cootrol, .hould co-
directly with th. naval force. by scouting botb and
tactieall7. They .hould alao coordinate their attacks b;y doctrine against
the .near lUll! borne 'force .. in such a .anner 88 to directly- support the ob-
Jective .. of the N.v&l ForceB. They should loc&te en .. y forces at
earllest poesit]'. time, COIIlIuenSUr5.t. wlth the rkllge of thE; eearch planes
8vl!.ilable. As opnosing task forces Elach other, the search E.LJld
activities should be inteusified, and & continuous flow of in-
formation should be furniEhcd to the Task Force Communders. Radio
eliU'1Jl1ent for this purpose should be such b8 to insure prompt rece1:Jt of
this information, whether it be direct or by intercept method.
Where the lilr support. units are nnt controlled dlrectly by thtl Fleet
or Task Force COIIIIIlander, the responsiblf: Area or Thel.ter COIIlIIlWlder should
provide for thorough search covf;rbge and direct communications be.hl,'cn the
Lir and the surfLce concerned.
10. Each of the three large Japanese patrol seaplLnes thMt mMde contbct
TF 17 during the oper&tlons in the CORAL SEA was promptly intercepted
and shot by elements of the combat air patrol from that force. These
Japane •• plflnes were not e-iuill,ed with radAr and hud to clooe to vls'..l&.l
.:':tngt! to mllke develop eacb contllct. Th.ir alow .peeod and lack or 1IU1'-
ficient prot.ctive tire power ll6.de th_ .&87 prey- for tl'e Allied tichttlr
pAlInes.
Fast l:mg rlmge recoMais:.;unce 1 b.nd f1l!ines, with the most
advo.nced long range rudur und with aa.]'luute arm,\Jnent for self-protection,
e.. ........ -lUJ-
I
I
I
J

1
J
J
,
I
I

I'
..
.-
are preferable tor reooanal.8&Doe operatl00', whlob are de.lgneu to ae.elop
aDd tract a oOlltaot.. ,.t,. .. lar .. Mapl ... t. not al rut. nor al _ • .aver.ble,
nor ... 11 tor tbll pw"pO" a. the lar .. luad plaDe.
Lack ot IIU1table airfield. 'trail 1Itllob lon, ranee lead pl .... -&1 oOQduot
loq ,...e all' .ooutin, de.illled to conr an aNa wi tb1D which a nayal toroe
11 operatiq, a&7 "Ilub'e the ... of loec r ..... leaplane.. It the .. apllUle.
are u.ed to und.rtake tbi. recoaaatilanoe, the, will in all probabl11t, IUtter
creder 10 .. '" than would land plane. a1allar I)peratlc:.a ••
11. The AlUed carrier pilot. lowlched nOil-COOrdinated attack ... dnst th •
• in the •• rl¥ dq. ot the Battle ot the CORAL SUe Ho ... er, the, ia-
prov.d rapi417 1A th1s N,ard, 10 that on IIq 7th aDd 8th all attack .... H
cenerellT .ell coordinated withiD the incUvidual All' Group. involved.
L!.'.!!l!U.
The teat ot 11 the er.ate.t cnac1ble or .ar. EYen lIIlall action.,
I1lch a. that at TULAQI and the attack on the SHOHO, are lDvalaable in the
train1n1 ot per.onnel, and usual17 er .. tlJ 1aprove both the COIlbat ettiohrcy
and 1I0ral. ot the rore.. '0 enlaced.
12. The YORlTOWII apparentlJ laur.ohed h.r alr attack Iroup tor .ach .trUt.
81s810n, without de.1anating an officer to exerel •• tactical command of
the «roup. Tbe Air Group CoInander A. retained in YORKTOWJf a. Fighter Di-
rector Ofticer. The LEXINGTCIf AlI' Group CoMander accOl>an1ed the LlXIlfGTON
air attack IJ'OUp in eacb ot th. action" 1D which it participated. lb. .. both
the YORKTOWN and L!XlNGTOI air attack wer. attackinC together, no oVer-
.11 Ta.k Strike Ca.mander ... appointed to a.8ign targ.t., to de .. lcnate
the order of attack, to pre.cribt the int.rval b.t •• groupe and, geDaral,
to aoordin,t. the .nect. ot all attaok unit.. 'fbi. in an over-
expand1 tuN of ... Wl1 tloo tor th. claaa,e lnfilcted, and did not produce the
d .. a,e that .ipt r 6Ona1:.17 ha.e' been expect.c1 troa t.be nuaber ot .ortle"
tlom.
A flilbt or tro. one carrier, launChed for • etrike al.sion,
.hould hay. a d.sllD&ted Flight in tactlcal ca.aand of the yariou.
el •• nt. ot the tllabt. Iben .trike planes troa .OH thaD OD. carrier in &
'l'a" Group are launched tor the .... ail.iOll, a 'l'ut Group strUte Commander
ehould be de.ipated to .xercise over all tactical oc.nand ot aU p.trtiClpat!ng
air unit. rro. bi. Talk Group- A Task Group Strite eo..-ader be turni.hed
with adequate tilbte· ahoald not uan.o .... ril7 eater directlT into
&DJ actioo whll:''' . .4d .. ., L •• prlllary re.ponaiblli tT a. Otticer in Tactical
COIIIIand.
-119-
1
1
I

I
J
I
I
t
\
I
,
,
,.
,
........ _( •• 1
". ........... _--_._-_ ...
18. The t ..... cSou. ad .. nt..,e. inherent in rllder .ere tully apparent.
Had the ,Allied •• not bod r.dar, ther. were .evtrkl ooea.lon., notably
on the evenln, of aq 7th ""d the .omin, or .., 8th, when the JApanese
.l,ht attllck.d the Alll.d talk b.Y Certainly, radar
pve Dotlce or lDoop .... aad ot attack1D, plane •• it IUlded All1t<l plane.
to their bearl", aDd intercept1on. lt ,ave Ule a •• n.t of rea.on-
able .ecurltr .. ainlt IUrprl.eJ 1t ... invaluable. The Japantee, on tb.
other hand, be1Dc entirely without radar, nr. forctd to opel'.tt With .ort
81aple dtvlct.. Tbe taot that thty dld au Wtlll a8 they did under thiB ter-
ritic handlcap 1. a hlah to thtir courage and trK1n1ng.
Le&'9
n
&
Forcte Dot t4uipptd with rlldar have an almost lnaurmount£ble handicap
to overcoat. Ever,y tffort should therefore be to insure thbt the Coa-
aander it not forctd into action &gllinst an en_y better t4uipptd in tecbn-
0108ic&1 1 t.l.
14. TF 11 aad Tr 17 undar tht commnnd of.CTF 17 futled, in k very limited
area, for about 50 hours. Dlring thle tiroe theae two task forces lIantuvered
.low epeed and cro.sed and recrossed one another's trllcka. While
1n tb1. loo.e manner, an enemy submarine was sighted ubout 15 miles away.
eTr 17 apparently decided thAt b ... s not 1D any danger, for be
continued ru.llllg, and did not chWlge the task group fueling Iorea.
I.e.sonl
task forces bnd other forces vulnerab16 to ¥ttuck
ahould not r .. &iD in submarine oreas for long periods it 1& absolutely
neceoeary to do .0 in order to suP?ort. the basic plan. When practicable, t.hey
l1hould chanee their opera>tin& arau frequently Klld rtluic&llly frOfli day to duy.
15. It appears that the great advliDt.ages which TF 17 possessed, because of
its radar and its fighter director eyst_, .. al not exploited to the t'ullut
aciVClntage in the ac'don of MiIY 8th. The coabat alr patrol •• not .ectored
to intercept the incoaing untIl too late, and WhaD it waa
vectored, it was sent in inll.de'luate streDgth anel at too low an altitude.

When II bogey is detected by it is iaportant ttat defending
f1jhtere be vectored out to intercept at the earliest possible .ament, con-
ai.tent with performanr.e, and r£dar information.
-120-
I
.,
j
j
t
1
1
'0( l
1


,
'"
j
i
j

;

.,

i

,
"\


iI
v
L
!h. apeed or oc.bat a1roratt b lUob that the .1apMd u.. bet.... the
lnitial d.t.otion Nld th. arri ... al or th. attaCk o .... r the t"nat1on
doe. not pel'llit d.lq. th. earUer the r1lht.ra are .,..ctored CD an lDter-
c.ption, tb •• reate Mould b. th. di.tanc. or th. lnterc.ption troa the
rOl'llatiOD.. fbi. aMD. that tJ tlpt.ra .bou1d b. able to aak. 80re nan.
on an ,roup, I.Ild that tl I r chane. or br.akiq up the attack beror.
it reach •• th. rorution ahould be iaproYed.
Iben rllht.r. are .... ctnred out to lnterc.pt a tb. ,reat.r nuab.r
or th_ .u.t be plac.d hl,h lDoulh to 11"'. th_ the alt ..1.l.UUd advlll1ta,. ov.r
th. probable at t.i tude or the croup.
A r&1d CAD be broken up auoh aore .rrectl.,..ly 1t the coabat alr patrol
la .... ctor.d out to •• ct the raid 1D ad.quat. Itrengtb, rather than in IUC-
ceee10n in .aUu inad.quate crouP'. Furth.Nore, the UN ot 1arpr
raducfla contu.1CG of the radar plctur ••
$
'!'he naher or tl,htera a.,.&ilable in a cerri.r or 1D a carrler croup w.t
b. outflclent to prOYld. reasonabl. protectlon ror the tore. and, at th. ....
tiID., t.o p.1'II1t a raasonabb naber ot tighterl to accoapany th. air attack
group al 1 t. tl,ht.r •• cort OIl ita attack on the 81188,)" force. The aUonnce
ot 18 tlgbt.ra tor the YOUTO. and th. L!XIROTOII ft. not IUtrlehnt to a.et
thia requir.ent, and aa a r.ault of the experience gain.d 111 the Coral. S ••
thia allowanc. .aa increa.ed to 21 fl,htera for each
16. Recolll1tlon and Id.,tit1cation.ot both eb1p. and plane .... poor on both
aldea, and ... tor dectalons whlch reacted adversely on the Coa-
mandera. AIIone the moat glaring or the •• error. were-(a) the Japan •• e error
in alltaking the Nl.oSHO and SIllS for a carrier tau torce, and thereb,y cau.1nI
the Str1k1nC Force to expo.e 1 t. pr •• ence, aa .. 11 aa to .xpend ita air roe-
.aurce. UDIlec.'Nriq, (b) the Anrr Air rorce .rror iD bo.billl TO U.S, Sup-
port FOrce, a trUndlT Core ••
L,.,80nr
Correct recolDi tion and 1dentiflcation 1e or .xtre.. laportance. n-ery
errort ehould be .ade to train personnel in thll. utter 10 that the
plan .81 not be ac:Wer.elT atfected b7 ai.t.ake., or a trlendly plane be abot
don, or an air attack be allowed ,,0 lain an advantageoua position without
beiDl I5UbJected to att4ck bY' lUDa and plane ••
11. .ei tber the Japaneae nor the Alllel .ad. &D7 arran,_ent" tor the re-
plac_ante or eith.r pilote or plane. loat in battle or through oper.tion81
tailure.. In the caae of the lapanea., tb1 •• a a att.Jor error ad contributed
in a large n.y to thdr Itrateg1cal deteat. TbeT did tranarer 18 Zero fllhtera
to R.4.BAOL on .81 Srd and 4t.h, but there 1\0." Dot appear to haYe been any atock-
-121-
r

i

1
.•
.... ----------.... - -
pUe ot ourler baaed Vpe. then or aupb ..... 1 .. 1D the ana, with the
....wt tbat after the tiaal earn .. aotion th .... app..,..d to be no plan.
replao._t ... aUable.
Lt •••
Pr10r to oper.ttOD 1011.tloal .rraac .. ent. tor the t.-
.edtate "plao __ t ot plane. and pilot. ahould b •• ad ••
Loll.tic., pvt1cular17 fuel r.quina_t., ot .1 tal aportUlo.
1D operaUon. ot thil n.ture. !b. Japan •• e ... ldentq bad diloov.red thl.
t.ct in tb.ir op.ratlon. to captur. tb. Pbilippin.. aad the •• th.rlaad.
Indl... Tb.7 ••• ed to ba.. _11 oool1dered plan. tor helin, their •• rleMA'
\Ulit. al the.r OIl thll operiltloo. Tbe7 bad e.tablilbed in certain
kq location. ru.Una .:.atlon. wblob were "'1 ot .oc .... , a •• ot whlob were
appanntlJ prot.cted .. ain.t th. etoo. receaa at SHCB'I'WD
Illand-and thq .110 aoyed ol1ere with thdr unit.. In thll connectlon,
on. oUar wu r.ported nth the Strlldna roroe, &Dd a ru.linl con.oy ...
wltb the Port IIor •• by lnyal10n Eren witb th ••• arrenl.lIlt. thc1
enoountered rue11nl dittioulti.'.
!be Allie., OIl ,the other baad, .. re to&'ced to 011611'. 01117, aod nre
11al ted to .bout an. per t ... k toro.. Tb. 10.. ot aore thlD 011. oU.r could
ba.. "acted ao.t UIl tbe operatlon. or 1'r 11, and the po.e1bi11 t7
or 10 •••••• ouro. or COll.tent 1101'17 to CTF 11. It .. a tor th.t re ... un,
1Il part, tb.t be .a con.tantlJ r.rudin, b18 oc..&Ad t1'OIl the oUer ••
""ROIlI
.&val UDlt., whlch bav. th.ir treed. or aotion r .. tricted b7 • l1ait-
.tioD in th.ir OOIl8UllptlO1l, aq be un.ble to ad.quatG17 their
a.a1p.cS taa_. !b.retor. it 1. .aaential that ".1'1 erfort be expended to
1Dwr. that adequate tue1 11 a.&llable in olo.e bJ, but relaUYel¥ ... te, area.
tor wq nayal torcea anla,ed 111 c .. operation.. Tb1ri &lao appUe. to other
lOCl.t1, oj requi .... ant., .uch .. a.unit1on and tood.
18. Althoqb Dot a.tioned in the bod¥ ot th18 &D&1.7d., two dl.patche. "I'.
rec.l.ee! dur1nc the action, on. rro. COKIICR rel.,ed br eI.CPAC, iD a clpher
whlch C!I' 17 did not bold, the otur CDlCP!C, aarked operat1OD.l priorltJ in
the ... c1pbeX'.* .0 aean. ot breaId.DI We qlpber weI'. 8yailable. The con-
tent. ot the.e dlapatchee ••• Dot aade avail.ble to OTr 11 tmtll. .tter the
actlon, 1Ih1D CIICPAC, upon requ •• t, turnbbecS a tran.l&tlO1l. Tbe lntonlaUon
contained therein, could .. 11 b •• e been uaed by crr 11.
InteI'Y1-;;-ot L1'8ut. Couander C.C. RaJ, USN, COIInaWllcatlon orrICer, YORKTOWN,
in Bureau or Aeron.utIca, JulJ 16, 1942.
.. 122-
-
I

.j
1
j
I
i
I

________ .. ______________ .. ___ m _______________ _
Lt'_t
.'l'J .trort Mould be od. to b,ur. tbat dl'patohe. are •• t 10
OI'7ptocnpblo •• t •• whiob an beld .., tbe ad4re..... OlD the oth.r bud,
a.-w.r. Ibould eal\ln pdor to depart1q OIl an opep,tlOll that tilq bold
th.ir o_plet. allowano. ot cod., aad o1pber ••
20. Allied OUTler tonatlon. durlfta tbi. I'OtiOD oon.bted of OIl. 01' two
carrier. w1th1D a double .or ... , with tb' cma.1 .. r •• taUoetd OIl an 1Dn.r
.o .... n and the d •• tro1.r. on an out.r .or..n a. aup;»ortlDl ahip.. In tb.
ea.e or a .laa1. a.rrl.r roraatlon, tbe orui ..... were .t.tlODed
OIl oircl. 1.1 (UOO JUd.), and th. de.t!'OJ.r. OIl oircl. 2.6 (2600 yaJOd.)
traa th' carrl.r at the 0_ t.r. In the OUt ,ot a two-carn.r tos.a tiOll
the oarrler. "1" OIl olrole 1.6 (11500 1ard.) trc. the oeMI', th.oNi •• r.
nre OIl oirol. S (8000 JU'du) troa th. aenter, and th. d.ltror'I" OIl oirol.
4 (4000 yard.) the oent.r. Tb. D.ar •• t a oruh.r could be to th. ntare.t
would th.retore be 1&00 1ard., and th. n.are.t a d.etroy.r oould b.
would b. 2600 ,&rd.. The AlUed praetl0' w. tor th. IlUpport abJ.p. to MIleuY.r
with th. carri.r(.). 'l'b Japan ••• praotio. appear. to ba •• b.en loa • .mat
.S.Uar to the Allied praoUe., with two .xoeptlon., (a) th. Japan ••• .up-
port1Dc Iblp. appur to bay. been about twio ... tar h'f:a tb.ir carrlerh)
a ...... th. Allied .upportlD, .alpl, ... d, (b) the Japan ....... pport1D.a .hlp •
• an,uYlI'ed iDdlYldua.ll, wi thout too .ucb reterenc. to th. oarri.re. It 11
dlfficult to aq troa W. battle 1Iblcb •• thod •• pr.t.rable .......... er1D'
01' 1\14t1re. O.rtaiD.lr the 100., eooo 7ard Japan .... cn.n or 4 oNi •• r.
d.t.nd11l1 the SROIIO •• in.tt.ctual, and ptJ'llitttd th. SHORO to be rtadl17
d •• tI'07td. 80 .... 11', OIl Iq 8tb th. lapaD'" pilott did INcb ..... tttl'
to AlUed carri.r. thaD Allled pilot. did to th. Japu ... carri.r.. 'fb.
ratio •• two baab bite, two n.ar .1 •••• , aDd two torpedo hit. OD th. LlXIIOTOl,
plll. OD. boab bit ud 12 iIl.tr.ctiy. n.ar .1.... OIl tb. YORKTOIII .. ab.t a
_b bite ud 8 iIl.tt.cU.. near 111.... OIl the SIIOIAlU. Th. 8\100... ot the
Japul'" OIl I .. y 8th app.ar. to hay. partialq due to tho waathwr
whiob oOYered the'Japane •• carri.r., and partiall1 to tbe cr.ater experleno.
ot the lapane.. torpedo plan. pilot. and ta.t.r torp.do plan... The
pilot. app.ar about "ual.
L',,09r
Anti-aircratt romation. ahould be baaed on an &naq.ta ot .11 pertin.nt
t8ctors. The t.ct that the Japane.e cho •• to have their shipe aan.uv.r in-
kDd not r'17 priaarily upon guntir. 1. a clear indic.tion that
the Japan ••• thouibt that th.ir b.at d.fena. l&y in ahD.uv.rlng. It .hould be
appar.nt that.by nircling independently, a. they did, the7 d.etI'01.d th.ir AA
".tups and reduced thdr gunfire acourllcy, Tbe Alliea, on the other bllJ\d,
bell.v.d more in than in man,uvering kOd, although they did m&n.uver,
.,
1
,
l

I
J
.nd b.r ao did .tt.ot th.ir AA •• th.y .nd •• vor.d to k •• p th.
tona.t1on tOI.ther and to aanwv.r ••• unit. auoh 115 .. uree th'T wore
.ble to aa1nta1D • GOIloentr.ted vol •• or talrl, .ocur.t. rir.. Part ot
thia awm'17 oontlc1_o •••• b.aed OD r.dar, which .... Dot .vallabllt t.o
the •• t tb. tt. ••
21. Both the Allied and Japan .... viatora wer. on 000 .. 10na inclined to
b. hi&blT optia18t.lo 10 their ola1a. ot d •• ,. intlieted on ahip.'
m IP).·
and plane.. Tbe, bad • t.lIld_07 to eDlg.rat. tb •• tteotlven ••• or th.ir
.tt.ata. 'fbil Dalpr.tion appear. to h.ve,1ncre •• ed a. the et-r d.t.n •••
inona •• d. For .uapl., th. AlUteS o 1&111 a ot " .... 1nfl1ot.d at TULAGI,
.1tbOUP the ldmtitloatlon ot IfttaT aMpa and t,yp.a ••• 10 .rror, appe.r
to b.v. oth.rw1 .. bHQ oorr.ot. th.ir ola1lla ot d..... tnlliot.d eagalnlt
the SROBO .ppear to MV. be.n .pprox1a.t..q oorrect. Ho ..... r, th.ir olaJJaa
ot _... tntuoted ... iD.t the Btr1k1Dc roro. .pp.ar to b.v. b •• n lIuk.d17
looorr.ot. 'fbi.... .ppar-tlJ b.o.u.. ot the adv.r.. .rt.ot an !Der ••••
10 tlpt.r d.tOl1 •• , bad ... th.r, and an iDore •• ed AA d.fena. h.d on the
.ental .ttitud. ot the .ttaok1Dc pilot ••
Th. l.pane •• 0la1a ... daR th. NEOSHO and SIMS .pp •• r to h.v.· b.en
oorreot.. Bo .... r, th.ir cl.1aa .. a1n.t Tr 44 CD • ., 7tb wer. tanta.tio,
lad their cla1aa .. ain.t Tr 17 OIl • ., 8th .... alao.t .quall, ..... 'fM.
.ppe.r. to bay. Nell beeau.. ot the A.l d.ten.. in the oae. or 'fr 44, and
ot th. AA d.ten.. and th. rlpt.r and S"D plan. protection in the c... ot
'1'1 17.
Where airoraft are 11v.n th. r •• pon.lbillt,y tor .ttack1n, .trongl7
d.tended tau toro •• or b •••• , th •• ocurac;y ot the pilot. ob •• rntiona' a.
to the .rr.otlven ••• ot tb.lr .tt.ck ••• 8 to vary direct17 with an in-
cr.aae 1n the of the d.t.na.a, 1 ••• , atrong detens •• Ileana 1881
.ocur.t. eo-and.ra in .vatuatiDi sucb ob •• rvat1Ol1'. Iluat
do ao with caution, b.lD. IUid.c1 in' pMrt by the .eriou8ll". ot the op-
poait1on ancount.red and br the .zperiene. and re.pOllaibil1t1 or the
pilot.. 'fbla .tre.,. •• the need tor obtalniDI actual proot or daaage iD-
tl1cW br the u •• ot Qbotograp!lt tat_ wige g1'!!l.!!: the .ttack.
l .... i.illi .. t_.:OI."'.IIIIII' __ IIIIIII"_'''''' ........ h ...... ____
1
1
i

"

)
.,
if.
\
' ..
'I ,
,

j
-1
:1
,.

,
\
.'
4
'"
............ -------
_.- ....... _-_.
.---.-..
COMBAT APPRAISAL
of the .
JAPANEb.": CARRIER TASK FORCE Cc:MIANDER
Rear Tada1chi Hara, I.J.N.
.. - . -------_ .. _-...-
SF;;;:2 S' '2. tnt' l' ' art'" '(' - 5 ,.'.'WH' ;')'Stt'. at9.' wett )\M'
,
,
j

I
I
1
l
f
l
1
':
j
J
l

.I
'l
i
J
j



·1

j
·1
l
l
,
I
"" 'iT, -:WW.qtlQ!6C'F t>: . •. ¥V4'R"tqa.F . 'e;'!'*¥H lA' f4l4 .' ".' ....... .... -
Rear Admlral Tadaishi Hara

Rear Admiral Hara presents many of the complex person character-
istIcs which so often appeared among Japanese cODnanders throughout the
war.
He appears to have been an competent commander of a
carrier striking force so long !s the situation remained favorable, and
in with the plan, or when he was faced with immediate and clear
cut danger. However, once he had. found himself in what he deemed to be an
unfavorable military situation and thereby to suffer an unexpected
loss of "face", as when the SHOHO was he out almost blindly,
and conse'luently made several what appear to uave been very serious erro:-s.
As an example, the launching of the 27 attack planes against TF 17 without
knowing the exact location of that force, and under poor weatber conditions,
caused the of 20 planes and, possibly, of as many pilots under conditione
where both were vital to success and where both were irreplaceable.
Although he allowed his task force to become separated on the mornini
of May 8th, it must be remembered that it ap?ears to have been Japanese
practice to operate the carrier task groups r8ther loosely. He, apparently,
did not think, at the time, thnt the operations then underway for launching
planes were inconsistent with Japanese doctrine.
Like Rear Admiral Fletcher, he seemed to accept the statements of his
aviators without hesitation--note the incor.ect reports which brought on
action against the NEOSHO WId SIMS--note also the raports of the battle on
May 8th, where the aviators reported both Allied carriers sunk. This ready
acceptance of his aviatol"s reports to have been partlally based
upon over-confidence. He seemed to feel that his aviators were superior
to those of the Allies; hence their reported sinking of both the YORKTOWN
and SARATOOA was not u."lexpected.
In supervi sing his planned action he relied heavily on land based air·-
craft to keep him provided with information, and he appeared to flel that
not receiving informat!on indicated that all was well. Actually, there seem
to have been few searches in the east central part of the Coral Sea, and,
Camnander striking Force was relying on searches which .ere not
being adequately Whether be knew this or not is not apparent.
Lik0 Rear Admiral Fletcher, be was eager for action and sought it,
s')metil:les, apparently, without determining whether the time for action waf'
correct or not. He launcbed his attacks boldly, and effectlvply, by virtue
Ilff.I' 'JA. "125-
j
I
.'
j
.j
",
_______ . ___ ...
of which h6 gained the 1n the main carrier betion on Yay 8th.
On the other hand, he did not to best advent age when, after
the battle, 'be had decided tbat both Allied carriers had been sunk. He
appears to have considered that his share of the oper6tion hbd been com-
pleted, and at the time aade no further effort to destroy the Allied ships
remaining afloat. He appeared to be content to rest on the laurels of
part1al succese rather than to pursue tbe enemy to annihilation.' This
indicates a frailty in his military character, a lack of will to "all out"
vectory. Such an attitude was not conducive to futUre Japanese succeSE.
-126-
J
..'
::0,
WEMPII - 1-
Ql lAPAIII'§I m. lQB m fim1 MQWn Q
P
I1
RA
TIQI.
1AI1942
COIIIIDander 4th Fleet in ct (ASHlIfA at RABAUL
V. AdIIl. IBOO1':t, Narai
Ca> TOLAnI Invasion Force
R. AdIIl. SHINA, liyobede
(1) DesRon 19
OKINOSHIMI.
KllUZUIU
YUZUKI
(2) 14th Minesweeper Division
TAMA-M/.RU
HAGINA..fI!ARU
NOSH! RO-liARU
Nos. 1 and 2 epeci6.l duty
Minesweepers
(3) 56th Subchaser Group
T AMA-IIARU No. a
lfAGA-IIARU No.
AztJIIAYAllA-IIARU
TAlAHAE-MARU
(4) Base Units
Part of KURE 3rd Speclal
A part of the 7th Construction Section
TIFO 8 all. AA guns of 3rd Base Unit
One 13 mm. Machine Gun of BaBe Un! t
Two a all. Guns (M) of the 8th Base Unit
(Weapons Only)
a&
DO
DD
XAI(
XAI
lCt
2 .AIle
XPC'
XPC
xpe
(5) Covering Force
AOBA CF)
XAXO
KINUGASA
FURU'l'W
SHOaO
SAZANAJlI
V. Adm. GaTO, NobuJi
-1-
! •
• CA
lCV
1 OD
-
"I 1
. I
.;
1
1
I
j
·';, .. " .............. '*:""'.... ,.rJ
.. _-, _._-------------- .. , F .. QUa •• 4 ... _

(b) PORT MORESSr Invasion !dID. WIOIA, Sad_.chi
(1)
6th Destroyer SQUadron
lOBAR! (F)
OtT!:
ASANAGl
IUTStlItI
MOCHIZOItl
fAJOI
uzun
TSUGARU
(2) linesweeper 110 Unit
Transports
AZOIIAYlJIA--llRU
GOYO .... ARU
AlIBAl'oWA-lURU

ffAGAWA-ICARU
YUJllfA
DAIl'fI 10Itt -liARD
No.
IfOGAlillCAWA-IIARU
"
"
(4) Base unite (&abarked)
Greeter portion or lURE Special Unit
lOth Section
"
let
6 DD
1(21
lAIr
9 AP, AI, AV
Four 12 CIIl. AA guns ot the 8th Base Unit
Two 8 CII. AA guns ot the 8th Base Unit
rour lUll. .aChine Guns of the 8th Base Un! t
Two 8 C!II. gu."lS of the 4th &1:18 Unit
One portion ot the 8th Base
Personnel (PORT MORESBY)
Transportation Section
(e) SUPPORT Force
R. !dIII. IATSUY.AMA, MUsuJi
(1) 18th Squadron
mlRnT (F)
TATSUDA
HIJlRIICAWA-IIARU
IAlfIKAWA-IfARD
(2) Sth Gunboat Division
HIUIII-MARU
ItEIJO-ifARU
SHOE! -liARD
- 11 -
pm'! 2 s:r #;;5 r
. ,.
'$« t7& ' bg 'r. : ;'1
"
"
TO' ; an'; II
2 CL
2 AV
"
XAVP
'J t «, ___ ••
i
1
i
1
j
1
j
1
"
1
j
\(. ________ b ,. •••
(0) SUPPORT 'orce (Cont1aued)
14th .1D ..... p.r Division
HAGIW-IIARU XAM
NOSHtRD"'AlUJ 10. 2 XCI.
C4' Base Unite
One portion o£ the KURE Special Unit
One portion of the Ca.municatioDe Personnel
ot the 8th Baae Unit
(d) STRIKING Force
(1) 5th Squadron
nolO (r)
HAGURO
(2) 5th Carrier Division

ZUlmu
(S) 21th Uiv1aioo
SBIGURE
YtJGURl
ARI1t.D
SHlRAORO
(4) 7th Destroyer Division
USHIO
AJCEBONO

(.) SUBMARINE Force
RO
RO :14
1-22

I-::!8
1-29
(t) SUPPLY Group
IRQ
HOYO-lfARU
IIDWROY AMA .... ARU
V. Adli. HARA
v. Adra. T AUGI, T aJceo
2 CA
feu
4 DD
2 DO
AO
I Capt.
IIVAGAMA. .1.tsunage
2 OSS
4SS
25 AO
- iii -
7
• b."
.. __ •• ____
1
,
/
Ij
t
i
..
1
l
1 Pars 5 : tWx.
-- _ .. _ ....• _--------
(I) DUDISE tnm's ot the BlfIIARCJ[ AREA
(1) 8th sa •• Unit R. IJIIAZAWA, "'NO
8tb Ullit
8tb Ba.. Subaarin. Unit
81.t Garri.on ot Rabau1
6th Gunboat Group
SBI ZOMI-IIARU 1 PO
'et.h· Subohaa.r Group
EOTBUKI-IWW 10. 6 1 PG
(2) Air Unit. ot 11th Idr rl.et Baaed
111 the BI9URCE Area R. AdIII. YAMADA, Sadll10ehl
26th A1r Plotilla
'J'AIlAI Air Unit
FOURTH Air Group
IIOTOYAIIA Air Un! t
YOKOBJIIA Air Unit
(h) PORT IIORr.SBY InT.a10n Un! t.
IlaJ. Gen. HORII
. South seaa Detacmact
l(4th lilt. Relia.nt
1 Coapany ot the 55th CaTalry Regiaent
let BD ot the 55th Mountain Gun "Iiaent
lat ot the 55th 1D11n.er Reg1aent
2nd CcapaD7 ot the 55th 'J'ransportatioo R.giact
let Company ot the Mobile AA Battalion
In addit10n 6 A:lwy Transports.
-iT-
. :.: m rn 1 n 7 t
n t Sstb,' a: m ' tt ". :·t' t t ttf. '
,
j
i
,
j
:.
J
,
ill

----------------._-

,,",WI II I
I

61
114'1'. grIt. 1'OBt' apm.
Tt" OWIMIZWIM
OcwI.Dder '1'a* Foro. fM_t. .... 1a toRlTO.
(a) (17.1) Grgyp R • .A4II. T. C. ItDJra.1d
(17.2.1) .IINUPO:tJ:S
_ O!\tF.AIIS
!CA
(17.2.2) ASTORIA, OHESr.ER,
R. Ada ••• SIIltb
PORTLOD
B CA
(11.2r4) PBlLPS, DIllY,
Capt. A. R. larq
FARRAGUT, mwnr,
a.OIJOHa
600
(b)
'17.S} Q£2iR R. Adle. J .Go Craoe
AU8'l'fW.IA
2 CA
CHICAGO
ROBART
1CL
(11.S.') PERIIIS, WALlE
Caedr.r.% •• 0Inerne,r 200
(0) L17.S) Air
R. AdIa. A.W. Fitch
I
(17.S.1) YORITOWI •
LEXIlIOTOB
ICV
(11.5.4) IIORRIS, AIIlERQ,
Capt. G.C. ROOFer
RJlllAIH, ROSSELL
" DD
(d)
(17 .el rue1iy Group Capt. J .S. Pb1llips
JII:OSHO, TIPPECAlfOE,
lAO
SDlS, WORDEll
I DD
(e) (17.g) group
Comdr. G.H. DeBaun
TANGI!..1
1 AV
12 VP
12 VP
-v-_
or S7a1': 7 muW) ;' Slit ,S nt' tnt ! t bt .,." W 5 n :".#°1 N-N' ............... " .-" __ ..... "-,,,,, __ ••
I
I
I
I
!
T
._- . __ ._-----------
Sblp. aunke
1 o.etroy.r - IIIU 1AJ11
1 tare- conT.rted .!D. Roep.r - '1' AlIA IIW
2 Spealal duty coa,tal ain. • ... per. -
No.. 1 and 10. 2
1 Slall aircraft carri.r - SHOBO
1 liD. 1.,.r - OItINOSHIIIA
Shipe dUlasedr
,
1 lI1ne layer - OktNOSHIIIA
1 l>estroyer - YOZUII
1 Converted eulaarlne cha.or - TAMA IIARIJ 110.
Several alacellaneoua saall cr.ft
1 Aircraft ca,rier - SHOKAIU
'Plus
Aircraft loatr
From combat or operational causes.
5 Float
2 Float plane.
1 Patrol seaplane, 4 engine
1 Patrol seaplane, 4 engine
1 Patrol .eaplane, 4 engine
6 Torpedo planes, 2 aotored, land baaed
S2 Carrier planea
....!L.Carrier ?lanea
*90
Lost 1.."1 sinking of SRORD
15 Carrier planes
*105 Total Aircraft L08t
Personnel casualtieaz
900 (About)
8
IIa7 •
1*7 "
11*7 "
11*7 1
lay 11
11*7 ,
11&7 ,
IIq"
1181' "
11&7 8
Hay 4
lIay 7
110.1' 5
lIay 7
lay 8
lIay 7
lay 7
lay 8
lay 7
*Doas not include losses inflicted by Allied shore based aircraft. Neither
does it include planes recovered but so damaged as to make thea no longer
serviceable. The nuaber of plane a in this latter category was probably high.
noon 9th the ZUIKAKU hud only 13 ready for service out of a probable
75 on board.
zpSF ,r ttWtJ p", n 2 mrr SKM)'U'S ' "he'f " at

J
..............
I
,
nrrn
wp. lUDka
1 Deftl"Ol'v - SIMS
1 Airoratt oarn.er - Li:XIJGTCIr
1 Oller - IIOBBO
T
Sblp. - .. ech
1 Oller - DOS
T
Airoraft lo.t.
S Carrier plan ••
10 Carrier plane.
SS Carrier Flaa ••
ii'6
Lost in liDkta, or LlXIHGroB
S5 Carrier plane.
S6
*81 Total 4ircratt to.t
Per.oanel casualti •• ,
• ., 1

11&711
.q.
IIq 1
..,. 8
.81' 8
*IDclude. plan •• NcoreNet but ., a. to uke th_ DO laager
'."ie.able. Doea Dot include 10.... autt.red, by .ul1ed ahoN baaed
aircratt.
" ii
lit s tra z; , pm) t Mrp., ) t ',,:,We,-,£,.= vb ct' ! 't? t 51'. Mb. raft'
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
l
I

I
J
,l
,


1
·1
I


["-'-- .... _---
i8 .
COMBINED
--_._-------._---+--
NEW G U IN E
j
\
\
\
" ,
\
,
\
I
I
\
\
\
'-,
'" 7"""
A U 5 T R L A
', ......
- i -.
F LEE T
,.
,.,"" I,.
Kit
.. ,
1liio, CHOIIIUL I.
o 01,11,. 0
I
SANTA

SOWESPAC
•. Melli, .. ",.
..
«.;.be) Til""
8hl, 0,
"" ... 111,-
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
ACTION AREA MAY 4-8,1942
.',
,.-' ,
'-'1 " J
.'" (
........ 'lrl· .. $.;.;.rlr7.1 .. Nt .. .. .. __ ••• 5 .. ____
------4
IS."ttL I.
,
\
i
1
..
--------- - -- '- jO-- -
FLEET I

. "IW
I III'L"'NO
.'
f Utul.
I " I Nul
t=: -- --- ---


,
I
I
"'"" II,
Mit
hi .... , .... CHOISIUL I.
o aiel". .0
I
\
,
SANTA

<J.;.QO nQ.
ShI" 0,
11.... 111,*
.s,
IIAllL I,
,
MALAITA I


.
S-'N
SOWESPAC
Malll," "' .

THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
ACTION AREA MAY 4-8,1942
L,
"
'- .. _,",)
,
,
,
\
.. -;',
'-, \.. I
"
\
,
f--.:,
A·'onall1.
\
.,
&
, ,
....
'8, •• i ..... ,
•• 1 or at •. c'u. I-
011·
... SANTA CIIUZ ISI.ANDS
SOPAC
.

IANICS IS.
o
[ron.on,o I CJ
D.AGRAM-A

III·
20'
V
II Iu I'"
\
\
\
"--
NEW G U IN E
1--___ --1\--__________ _
o CIOIICutr y
J/
"OItI""LTY II.

I .........
, '
I
L-AIlIA "JIO
OY
I
I
,
,
,
,
I

,
,
I
,
I
0"0 AT 50
.. -
,
,
,

o
\
\
-+------------
,
'\
,
,
o"'''"LIY·
"',
----==1
1
1
1
,
i

i

i


1
, I
/'1'" SOWESPAC
--t- ------- ---1
! "'., / I THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEAl
I
L
/: ALLIED AIR SEARCH AREAS TO BE COY
/
<
.' .
I..i \
" .'. ? ..
,
EREO FROM AUSTRA!..IA, PORT MORESB
AND TULAGI AS DELINEATE 0 BY COMS
ON __ _________ . 1.
1III. ... i; .. ·I·rll'.;1I7.'.77 ...... ... S.73 .. ..... .. __ •• ... ....... .. __

-------------. ---.. --
T

I
I
./
., A"'. 'CAST" __ /'
__
I I
...
I
I
I
,
,
,
,
A"!:A "tIYl'O"
Twlc, Dally
,
,
,
,
\
\
"WIlEAT"
o
\
\
I
I
+-
.
I. -,- - -- .-- - ---
""IST.IOL I.
,
\
,
\
,
.... tII.h .n.
,,' SOWESPAC
I
'-.J
O·UTTUNUT"
\
. "\
'. ",'
" ,
------- ----- _._-_.
" '
I

: " ;
, :
THE BATTLE OF THE ORAL SEA
ALLIED AIR SEARCH AREAS TO BE COV-
ERED FROM AUSTRALIA, PORT MORESBY
AND TULAGI AS DELINEATED BY COMSOWESPAC
ON 27 APRIL. 1
-- .. ... . '-
----------
SOPAC
'.
"
.
II.
o
"'.. "I .. ,', I.
111,,1/ ,.
O· .. OON"
<.)
.8


DIAGRAM- 8·,
10.
1
! I
I
I
!

I;)
.. lUI\..'
--------=-=-=-===== -------
, ".--------- - - .. -----. ---------- -- -- --- - ------,
NEW G U
A O-.t , ""l TV '5

KOO
R

",,;:>' .\.
. \
-
====:=::::::::=-=---==-:=:::::
., ......
p
Q

",
"
"
".
" ..
"',
.:
0:
0:
• ,..-.
l-' •
Oil " •.
O"lIARlEY" SA
• ••
.
..
,
l
• '-,T •• "AIAUl
1\ II-'Tfailid 'a.lr owing ...
2 11-,1 ., ""IIAUL
, '-17 v, ""IIIUl' bad .1. her
I. 6 11-,1 v, Lilt
-P •••• II50W(SfAC
OCloncurt ...
A U
,...... . ,
___ --. --4--....... 4-
s T R A
'thelrt". To •• '
L A
,
I
... .. 7r._?_m.' .. t.n .. .... w .. ••• __ _
I
I
,
I
,
I I
-(j----" _ .. - -
"OATS" ",,-


\
\
\
0'
"Wllf41"\

\
,
,
,
THE
Ii M,lIt'" At
SOWESPAC
BATTLE
I BASIC
I
OF
AIR
'frr 1241 ,I,
Rnlll \ I
\ \ I
, , '
.. , \ \
\
\
,
o \
"BuTTERNUT" \
THE CORAL
SEARCH PLAN
SEA
____ .. ... ..- u _ 111M; 4. H, Q ............... .
KOO R
I
I
\
\
15 •
0" I'a.
,I'
P
Q
. '
.' .-.t •.. '
16 •
.....
,.\

0'·
....
,
"':

0:
1;:

00

__ __________ 05·
O"8ARLEY"
; Mollish RI.
SOWESPAC
\
I
I
\
\
I
IX
X \
'C;;;';OSIt 8111 l.l
ONdoni or 510. Cruz I.
.. SANTA CRUZ 'SLANDS I
'IS
SOPAC
\
s,

BANKS IS
o
"
X '. I
___ __ \ 51. _-,---,'....,5'-1·
-f ,,/ \ \14 \ Elplritu f"'\
,9.. SOntoa .2 ) ::Ii.
\
\ o
"BUTTERNUT" ..
", .
I
'a. 0 (\
\ U
\ \ 06 ';
'- \ ,.0
'\
I .-
\ \ \ • tJ)
\ \
'.
\\'') "
\ I
\
\
\
I
I
"" I
WhilO Sond I.
1tI.1,80,
I "MOON" EromQnQO I.
'. 0
I
______ 2_Q.·
·.C---:_' -----
, THE SEll - ';:;
I
-........ "


_ ____________ . __ .l _____________ .____ _ ____________ . __
f,--- .- .. ---- .. ---.--.-.-----------------.. -.-.. ___ r

It 10 1
""tIIIn _ -twa
::l1T%,*.
'1
1
( .......... ,<lii_*_·IiII._: . __ tilll ••• 771'11)111'.'IIII'III,ttt.IiIIitI' iII'MiI'.... iiie-tOll*' .. ntl:'""" .. "',_
.. .. ..
/0/
I
1

i
q
i
1
I
1
Shocltd area indicates bod weother bond for position of
tront at mlan time ot dio;rom, Fron101 zone moved
northward with deceierot,no velocity until end of penod
"h.n ,..avem.nt over southeastern NEW GUI NEA
beeolne slowly southword
1fII".' ,
'...,.11<,."" fA , \ ,", i t» At ;Sil? ,h.,,:q;;f.iP 0 ' + ' ..........
Ir
l
.. -",,:':" "'"
O,po".d TRUK I Moy \ ",p.r" TRUK Z9 April
ERING FORCE
\ 0, orl,d TRUK 30 Ap"l.

FORCE (Approllmat. po.ition)
9 lanes IrMsport.d Raboul (Fore. ,tapp.
NEW G U N
'@ 8-617 VS Robeul
) 6-617 1.,I.d lat,r duo
J w'other.
' .
. "
'-.
-----l-----. -----
o
Chart.r, Tow.r
A U S 'f R A A
3 1\ \
.... ,
" i
.'

i
I
i
t
<.:: .,: :.:: .. :-::::"
.. «:-.:.:.:.:.: ........ .
,/' I --
, ,
" l!QQ ",
I '
, '
,/ '\\
I \
" Area covered by Arm,! ..
',;"". -
I
of plan .. \.
\.tiQ9
'\ " ,
..
, ,
'-;.
"RYE"
")
"",.lIi.h RI.
SOWESPAC
BATTLE OF THE CORAL
PRIL 1942 TO 0820, 3
TIME ZONE (-II) 1.
MAY
--1----- ---.
STRIKING FORCE
Dlpa,tld TRUK I Mav
_._-- - ,- ..... _-------+\--
FORCE
TRUK 50 Aproi.
tKING FORCE (Appro.I",.t. pOlitio"'
tronipor ttd to Robo"1 (Foret
<J----t-J..-+------t-----, -.-.-,-- ---.----4------ .. ------..
,
/
,
,
I
'"
/
/
Arlo
-
"',

r." by Atmy
numb" of pion •• unknown.
I
--_._-----------'
•• ill •• :.!I.· •••• ••• ••••• :i.[· ••• • ••• I ••••••.•.. ; ..
"""::::::«TU/HT ;;;;::::
,,"'tllilh RI.
SOWESPAC
--. -- -.------- ·---Irt----·------·--·-

I
BATTLE OF THE CORAL
PRIL 1942 TO 0820,:3 MAY
<:--. TIME ZONE C-II'_L

.J
C)
SEA
1942
G
--- --11
SOPAC
n
If) 7 ct_
I
,
t
,,I
____ _
t- 14I!l
0
Shaded otea indicol,. bad ",olh.r bond 'or pOlilion 0'
'rolll at .... on time 0' diovrom Frontal lone mov ••• towl,
norlh .. ord unlil loword end 0' period when ",ov,m,nl ov"
lOulll.oll"n SOLOMON ISLANDS b.com_ "0 .. 1, .oulh"ord
and IIIOv.meni 0_ norlh"n NEW HEBRIDES b,co",'
practicoll, Iiolianor,.
,.
V
NEW
. >:.:-:::::
, :i/li
.
•• • ••• ·.! ••• •• !.i!i.il
, 5,.. . '': ',' ',' ,
,
, ,
I
J
'
I 2-B11 vs Robaul
@ 9-817 VS Roboul.bod .. 101 "
6-817 to Lal.
VS Bunokanou
9-P39 VS Lal,onlv 3 orri,"
due to wea.h-Ir.
A U S T R A L
,
I
,
,
,
,
/

'.
A
'.
....
". "

,
,
,
,
,
I
,
,

-"--- -----
.. _--=+-
1&&'
--.. - 'e --- -'--1
,
i
,
,
------
.. SlollPld-9plonll tron.porlld
.) - . 10 IIIOINMI for Tonion Aor G,oup,
- , . ¥ FUll Suppl,.
¥
___ . _. ___ _
r-_ -. ..... "" ',.. ...
'..... l
1300 ". '._
3 ___ __________ .. "" 0800",",-,,_=_,
" NIOlhO] jOi Id-'-:' 5
900
" RUIIIII
", Au.l,nli ] 1200
\ joinld
\ tT.F.")
,
,
,
\
\
,
'.
\
\
\
\
Rf.
SOWESPAC
THE BATTLE OF THE
I .:
I
.. ..
0820,3 M.W 1942 TO 2400,4
.. ZONE (-II) I
1:=====---=1=-==--=-::':""---==---- ---
·t------
I!! !I"
","
,,-,,'
SUPPORT FORCE." C


SIOPPld-')plan .. I,anlperlld
,/-::')10 Ro ... el 10' Tanlan Air Group.
Fuel Supply.
Ie •
-._._------------_._---+-----------
launchld 1311
..... '7/,." :Srd. A!lock launchld
___ 05"

... GUAOALCANAL I -' ____ . _____ _
_
,I.,
r_ ..
,
,
t ,

• I
,
,
,
1
1
,
,
,

T
'>, , .. .!,!ili: •• I •• •• • •• !.I.i.
\ ,Iotllllih RI. " "
,
1
1
'.
\
\
\. I
,--- -- -- ---L _
i
THE
..... ' ..
SOWESPAC
.,
. '
BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
0820,3 MAY 1942 TO 2400,4
. TIME_ZONE (-1
11
\
MAY 1942
-',
' ..
<,
,
,
--'---- -'-----------_.
F=- .-
'--In,rtt •. mn m
J
7f" '5'1 ':1 7 'fums m ) tutts·w". >;
\ \
, -I(
,
\
,
\
,
.
,
"(
,
\
'.
r • *'# Itt··
\
,
\
.
,
-,-- -- -i'---
\
\ • B
\ "I
, I
,
.
";6:::):::::::
Efale I. .. . .' ..

In <"
... , __ ... ,- ... _ __ x u __________ =:-- '_:: yr- - ___ . ___
-·,------------·Iif'"------iW - ,-h ___ -
<D T III Jop, ,.ton pl .... 1'0111 " .. _111., ....... U.I, OV '_ •. COIII.el .....
ShO.ed or .. ind,col .. bod .'01"., bond lor pOll110n .1 () 0"4111 U.S. ,10.' r.,o,II II.
'"",I 01 llleon Ii ... 01 dioO,olll. 'ronlol Ion. IIIow .. d
alo.ly "OII"IIO,d ew., aoul" •• II.rn NEW GUINEA.llo-ly (!> 10'11/11 O.!I. ,1, ... ,.perla I CAl .. ,'OY,
loul"wo,d OW., .reo aoul" 01 aoul".oll.,n SOLOMON ® U.!I. pl .... ,.po,l. I CA.
ISLANDS a.,d v.r, Ilowl, no,I"wo,d over (J) U.!I. pia .. ,.po,I. 10',. A',
NEW HEBRIDES (J) 1140/11 U., pl ••• I AV,
1--------------+--+--.-------
ssc\ ' Polroli"ll Ihi. u.. '
th,ou9" May B, /,"
,
.'0
0' ",
\''''''J /

____
,
,
."
<!> 1400/11 1.11. pia •• ,.po,I, ICA/CL ................ .
®
@

U,S pi,., "'0,1, I M.,.... ..... wit ... th., .lIi, •.
1131/11 SS tI,o,I •• by Yo,kl_ "4\0'. ,I
103&18 I CV,' JI' ,:OA,5DO·co" .... ,.... •• t All FIOI",
1200/6 pion. IIPO,II P. A' .... ., .. , :

131018
1311118
1113018
11I30/S
1.1 ... pion. ,.po,I. I AI.
,
U. 3. plan. repO!1I 1\ CA/CL.t ••• All ••• ' litO,' SS, oil .tet!
U,S. pl ••• ,.po,I. I AV· ••• II,
U,S. plan. ,.po,II 2DD.IA'."II,
(V attacked by 111 ......... ", .. " •• ,
i
_ --_ .. _._-.. -- -- ---- ---------------oj
mornin •• ot(':h.

o '-
Areo CO" tlrld by Army Rlconnoi •• anc".
Numb" 'plan,. unknown. \
""lIilll RI,
SOWESPAC
,
,
All Bl1.nd 826 on ol"t.
@ 3 II 11 v. lIuko PoIIOg.· Two err IV
3 811 v. Wood lark,
[ ... :
u 5 T R A L A
... _------
.... j\
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL
2400. 4 MAY 1942 TO 2400. 6
TIME ZONE (-I' 1_
I
1.
•• ____
__ ... ...... , 4P,.
' .... -·· ..... , .•iCJ........ M!"'*". iif1l:f"l1!"\" "44;: H."!!i*"SQiINf ai", ;; "f ......
- 1&0-
<D
,)
a>
(4)
c"'
<!'
\1)
\i'
Ij\




O.
@
(j)

8

4.t
LEGEND
T /5 JoP rocon plonl ',am RUIIIIII •. , ... ,It U.S. CV not 'ollow.d up, .hol down
0'54/5 US. plonl ropo,lI '5
US. plonl repo,lI ICA/ •• ,ICV.
1055/!1 U.S plan. repo,lI I CA. I Tift""
U S. plo" ... port. 10'0' A ...
1240/5 U. S. plonl '.po,1I I AV
1400/5 US. pion, ropo,1I I CA/CL,I ""'oll,n"lIIn.
1440/0 US plonl ropo,'" 2 ", .. ,hili .... w"" ,th., .hlpi
1738/5 5S "po,t,d II, yo,k.ow. 'C,.'!
1036/6 I CV,18B.3C",!!DD,ton'ft' rrtf//t:(., ,left .. 0' 251h .. or Floltllc
,
120016 U pi onl .. po,I, 2 ..... nc ......
1225/6 US plonl I Aa.
1510/8 U.S ... ,fAI<,lIo'moroS5,oll.toPpld
15!1118 U.S. plan. '.po,', IAV'lm.lI.
1530,6 U 5 plonl "po,', 200,1 A", I_I<.
1530/6 CV ollockld b, 117,,.,ul •• " ••• Iv •.
Qu •• n Carulln. Hbr

4
'"
morn;n .Iorch
Rf

r
I
.....
,
,
,
\, \
"
,
,
" ,
,
,
,
,
,
\
\
i
[A,eo co", r.r.d by Army RICOnnQI •• onc&
1"1
,Numb" f pion,. unknown
-.
II
SOWESPAC
"\, "',
..
'.'.
"" ' ' .. \
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
2400, 4 MAY 1942 TO 2400, 6
TIME ZONE (-I) J
MAY 1942
Allum. dlpartur.
at lunri",Ol!O.
..
1-
<"
<9
a


\
./

...
'If>
<"

If'
,
, '
\ ;
:)J
, ,

' ,

• \ji

DIAGRAM-E
i....llllt.t:.JI" ..• r."." .. r.' .$ .. · .. ...... .. ' •• __ .. __ __
[2.
/(J'I a

I
10·1
I
ZOo

,. 1 I (.
)

;:::=:=============:;:;:;;:-=-=-=--:..=:' ===--==-=-::::;:::----=-.-- -------,-
14 •
• "oct.d area 1,",1001., bod .,ol",r band lor po,itloll 01
'rOllt at .... 011 II .... of dlo,rOIll. Fronlol ron. alcilioled
,lOwl1 nort".ord olld ,outh.ord loutheoll •• II ,.rw
GUINEA. aver aroo _I" of SOLOMON and av.r
northOrll NEW HEI'''OES.
,
\,1
1------
.
l
\
}
)
4
SlIe ,alralln,
"'"U" •.
,
..
C 0,' II
€?" .-" .... M' ... " ... , .... -"1"._
OCIoncurr1
I
A
'>,.,. '., .. tt
l
',
".
-: ......
I
I
,
Numb.,
,
,
..
,

Corolin. Hbr
---\
I
\

1
i
,
-'1
by At"'1 .... onno I"on", \
.• M.IIII" Rf
,
,
,
,
,
plan" ........ o.n
"
"
"
....... ,.
'. ..
,
,
......
\
\
.
,
,
,
SOWESPAC
,
,
",
"
------------------i ------
'\\
THE DATTLE OF THE CORAL
MAY 1942 TO 2400, 7
Sr.A
MAY 1942 2400,6
I TIME ZONE (-II)
J _________________ _
J
......... .. ..
IS!!·
------
:
:
:
:
: :
:
:
:
: :
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
: : :
: :
:

b1 A'IIIY "..:onnol •• onCl. I
pIon .. """"own
.,M.lllih RI
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
I
I
,
,
.. J
SOWESPAC
------_ .. _---------+-----------_.
'.
... -.
,
,
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
2400, 6 MAY 1942 TO 2400, 7 MAY 1942
,
,
'"
,
,
,
,
,

,
.....
-,
\ :.
,
,
,
I" I
" \
,
,
,
,
,
' .... :-(::
I,
"
"

I
,
,
,
,
I
I
..
\ B ,
, ,
, .
I :
I I
, I
, ,
, I
:,
, ..

"tJ
.' "'"umed d.partur.
, at l.n.I,. 0830

55 Chloo .un_ by Jar. 5
__ 0
7 pIAG_RAM-F

1---------_.
QQ'
.19·
f3
' •...• ' ........ ........ '" .. "" ........... [T iN , ....... -
' ....
... &.& ....... _---.. --- -'.
I



I,

..
,
" ,
1.
2.
S.
••
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
u.
15.
16.
17.
Z,Tla. (-11J
,
QllMNOLOGICAA LIS!' or WElTS NO'lJI2 lB
CHART lOR PERIOD JW 7:tca
0619 YORXTOWN launohad air aearch.
o
YORKTOWN scout with sector 067 returned.
0625 SUpport Group, Task plua FARRAGUT, detaohed.
0e45 SUnrise T.F. 17 •
Contact by YORKTOWN scout 2 CAts, cour'e SlOo T. apeed
12 mots.
CarDlv S planes siaht and report NEOSHO and SIllS as
Allied Carrier rorce.
0745 Japanese twin float single engine eeaplane shot down
br YORKTOWN scout.
0748 B-17 contact: "Enemy Fleet 1 CV, 16 W&r.hips and 10
AP's bombed by 2 B-17 in Lat. lOO-S4' S, Long.
0810 Japanes& twin pontoon Single encine seaplane Sighted by
TG 11.:5.
0815
0820
Contact report received by YORKTOWN from her scout 2 CV,
4 CA, Lat. 10
0
-05' Long. 152
0
-27' E •• course 140
0
T.,
speed 18-20 knots.
FURUTAKA No. 1 plane sights U.S. Task Force.
E.
Radar oontact by TF 11 unidentified plane bearing 295
0
T.,
distanoe ml1es-CAP tailed to intercept.
0840 IIHUGASA No. plane reports enaay task force compoeed or
1 CV, 1 BB, 2 CA, 7 DD.
"
0859 SIMd aiased by single bomb dropped by reconnaissance plane.
000S Japanese twin pontoon single engine seaplane shot down by
YORKTOWN scout.
0926-0947 LEXINGTON launched attack group 10 V!, 12 VS, 16 VB, 12 VT.
0944-1013 YORlTon :i.a\llched attack group 1 vr, 11 VS, 7 VB, 10 VT.
0942 B-l7 sighted and identU'ied b11'G 11.S.
..,
V'II
-
., ",rrm p itT lit . '. un rkttrrn' ht H I wit .......
.) t n)'
• "e
"
' '
f
"
j

;]

.

.,
.
"
:r
.J
1
,1
1
,t
i
"
1
l
I

....... , . ..---' Cd J ............ _._ ••
\
I
l
I
I

,
I
1/
,

18.
19.
20.
21.
22.

24.
25.
26.
27.

29.

rrztu 'p
09SO n:osao tJi,htins asny plbllell in Lat. 1&0-05'
5, Long. 159°-08' E.
1044 Radar contact made by TF 17 unidentified plane cl08ins
on 045
0
T., dlstanc.le 41 a118s-1 section YORKTOWN
CAP intercepted and shot down one flying boat
about 15 milea from the T.r. at 1100.
1100 CarDlv 5 planes correct report of Allied Carrier
Force to be a Convoy. (NEOSHO, ,SIMS actually).
SHOHO attacked and sunk by YORKTOWN-LEXINGTON Attack
Group.
1110 Arm¥ Air Contact 9 vessels.
SIMS and NEOSHO att,acked by 27 dive bombers. SIMS
sunk NEOSHO-received 7 dil'ect hits.
J.;raly Air Cont6ct SCAt's.
1200 Army Air Contact; "Convoy, 19 ships plus 11 meu of "ar."
YORKTOWN-LEXINGTON recovered attack groups.
lSOO APproximately 12 Japanese carrier based dive bombers
sighted approaching by TG but retired without
attacking.
Radar contact by ,T.G. on group of
135
0
T. 28 ailes, later identified as 10 Jap-
anese single eosine aonop1anes when sighted at 1557,
apparently chasing a U.S. carrier Japanese planes
broke formation and retired when fired upon.
1410 U.S. oarrier (VSB) apparently lost and low on gas,
circled inside screen of T.G. l7.S and then departed
to northward.

lU8
1449
1457
".
! 5 '[0
Army Air contact 5 warehips.
T.G. attackbd by H: Bettys carrying torpedoes.
19 High Alt.1tude Bombers (NELLS) from &.bout 15,000
feet struddle with 500 yd. bomb pattern.
planes with 8S target
drop 5 bombs.
II(.
44
71tt . ......__ h_ '. __ ' I ,ae .. Me'
1
I
l
I
I
............ _---

S7.
S8.

40.
41.
42.
4:5.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
1&28
15S1
16S0
1M7
1700
1111
17U
1714
17S2
1'745
1811
1845
1910
N1!X)SHO reports ahe 1. 8inking in Lat. uf-s8
t
S, Long.
168
0
-28' E.
Radar oontaet by T.G. 17.S on plane bearinl 290
0
T.,
di.tlnea 21 Later identified at 18S4 as Japane ••
t_in float aingle engine seaplane. Continued to shadow
foraation until 1817.
AOBA No. 2 plane report. enallY force of 1 BB, 2 CA, DD,
course 200, speed 16 knots.
strange airorlift sighted burinl 24.,0 T.-d1stiIDcs 12
al1es from T.F. 17.
Air contact 5 AP, 1 DD-course 210
0

11th Air Fleet reports enllllY here on couree 180
0
• At 1940
report is amplified giving en .. y course, 8S 090
0
and ca.p08ed
o 1 cv, 1 CA, 2 CL, , DD at 1855.
Army Air Contact 5 AP.
Radar contact by T.F. 17 on unidentified plane bearing 000
0
T, distanoe 20 ailes.
Radar contact by on plane bearing 020
0
T., distance
19 miles, later identified visually &t 1805 as a PRtrol
BoIIIber. Remained 1n Vicinity until 1835.
Radar contact by T.t'. 17 on large group unidentified planes
bearing 144
0
T., 48 miles-LEXINGTON CAP vectored
out to intercept, by YORKTOWN CAP at 1803.
Sunset T.F. 17.
5 Japanese VF shot down by LEXINGTON CAP 1 Japaneae VSB ahot
down by YORKTOWN CAP.
o
CarDiv 5 Attack plane report8 en .. y here on course •
T.F. 17 opened fire on Japanese planes in YORlTOWN landing
circl. - 1 shot down.
LEXINGTON radar plot indicates air pll'.llee circ1in·g. Believed
to be Japanese landing circle.
Estimated movement of Japanese c&rriors during'darkne8s, night
of 1-8 lIay.
IPlliIS •• 'S.rl:rIPI1ITlIIIs.'m •• · ••• ? ••• , •• 1IIiIII:1I7'.mIlTMlizlllllL'iIII __ d't.iI ___ 'IIiI'IIII'&IIi"· ... _,,_· ....... ·_.· ..... IIII'IIiiI·· .SS.'Cc.liIIIIIi'lIiIItI .r_ ................. .

-1
"

I


I

1
1
5.
6.
7"
S.
9.
l
10.

1] •
12.
15.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST 01 EVERTS
Noted on chart for period 8-11 118¥
Zor.e Time (-11)
0055/8
0625/8
0815/8
0815/8
0820/a
0822/8
08w/a
0900-
0925/8
0954/8
1014/8
1017/6
10:50/8
1055/8
1051/8

11:12/8
1140/8
125O/a
1240/8
1305/8
MONAGHAN departa to ••• rch fo
aurviTor. and .end dilpatches to CINCPAC.
LEXINGTOI seo
o
air .rch.
2-5-£ make. contact with 2 CV, • CA, many DO's.
Po.ltloo of 2 CV, • CA, nany DD's as given by
2-S-2 in contact reP'?rt.
CT,-11 receives 0815 contact report from 2-8-2.
S •• rch plane. from Striking Force sight 21.5 Force
and report it at 083S as 2 1 BB, 2 CA, 6 DD.
2-5-1 chlillges course to am;>l1fy contact made by
2-S-2.
YORKTOWN, LEXINGTON Attack Groups launched.
2-5-1 locates enemy force and makes contact report.
Japanese four-angina flying boat interc8pted and
shot down by CAP from YORlITOI'/N.
seaplane shot down by B-11.
Planes from 25th Air Flotilla sight Allied Force
and report it at 1500 as I BH, 2 CA and 4 DD.
Radar contact large group of plune5 be&ring 020
0
,
distance 68 miles, closing.
SHOKAKU attacked by Attack Group.
attucked by Japanese planes fram
SHOKAKU, ZJIKAKU.
SBOr.AKU attacked by LEXINGTON Attack Group.
Army Air Contact. 1 AK, 1 AO, Heading south.
Army Air Contact, I DD, Heading north.
Army Air Contuct, 1 CL, 5 DD, course :555
0
(T).
,c \
20.
21.
22.
2S.
24.
25.
26.
21.
28.
29.
roo
....
.; ....
S2.
bS.
S4.
S5.

S7.

Zone T11II8 (-11)
l:s27/8
U40/8
1405/8
1440/8
1700/8·
1952/8
9 lay
J8OO/9

9 lay
1200/9
HOO/9
1500/9
1225/9
1250/9
1840/9
10 May
0915/10
1000/10
Army Air Contact, :2 AM's anchored.
!ray Air Contuct, lAO, 1 AV.
Air Contact, :2 AM.
Air Contact, 1 CL, 3 DO, 1S AP.
(T>.
6 B-17, 3 B-26'attack 11 AP and 6 other ,'arehips.
No hits.
abandoned and sunk by PHELPS.
At CEBOYNE seaplanes and aeaplane being
1 AV and " seapla."1es· d8JIaged by
AnDy Air.
False by YORKTOWN Scout, ] CV course
110
0
(T). Was LIIlOU Reef.
2 AP's by Allied Army Aircraft in
S, Long. E. No hits.
At LA! seen by Allbd Army Aircraft 1 AX, 1 AP,
9 barges, 4 amall vessels.
Army Air Contact, 9 AP at SALAMOA.
J.:nay Air Contact 6 men of war at FAlSI fueling
trom AD. of 11 ships here.
Air cruiserc, SOD, 3 AP, 1 AO
in BOUGAlNV1LLE b"TRAITS.
Armg Air Cont.ct 1 SS, Lat. lsO.lSO' S, tong.
153 -S28 E, course 150° (T).
Armb Air 2 CA'e, Lat. 15°-03' S, Long.
. 148 -44' E, Gourse oaP (T).
1-28 report. sighting enemy plane.
Three 4 engine VP seaplanes seen at
Tanker fueling DD off BUrN. Considerable shIpping
and 1 cruiser at FAlSI.
J., rTJl¥ Air Conh ct 1 CA, Lat. 11
0
-58' 5, Long. 1550 _
15' E.
..
XII

.• XI •• : ••• ·.Z.'.:lm.".",.·., .. '1771'.' II .'iI'.7I1111'III: __ iIIIIiI11IiIII·llllit .. 'ttlillllllll'tt .... r:i:trtIP-._ .. CIII'IiiIi'.:t.hil
tl
.. '.'.1IiI'iIIII)J.·.' ..... · __ ; __ ........ , .. _ .. _."
1
J
..l
i
j
I
39.
40.
41.
42.
45.
44.
46.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51
1.050/10
1050/10
1308/10
1545/10
0541/11
0828/11
0850/11
0850/11
0900/11
0941/11
0945/11
:000/11
1l3ti/ll
1.157/11
1550/12
Army Ail' Contact 5ubm<;.rine ('rash dived Lat.
14°_52' S, Long. 15Z
o
-Z0- E.
o
Army Air 1 AK, 06 -40' S, Long.
154°-04' E, (T).
Japanese submarine by A. j Army
Aircraft 20
0
-Z0' S, Long. E.
Submarine by Allied planes in Lat. 190 _
45' S, Loug. 157°-00- E. Near mi:;;s.
CM by 5-42.
Amy Air Contact Large :5htp with 2 D1) stop1ed
l.at. 01°-06' S, Long. 155°-55' E.
Army Air Contact 3 DD stopped in Lat. 06°-51'
Long. 155°-54' E.
Army Air Coutact 1 2 1 AP /3outh of
BOUGAINVILLE.
Air Contact Large AO, Lat. 05°-00' S, Long.
149 -39' E.
Air Contact 2 D8. 1 ss, 1 AO, 9 AP, Lat.
06 -56' 5, Long. 155 -SU' E.
Army Air Coatsct 1 1 DD, Lat. OSU-55 , S,
Long. 1SsO-1S' r::.
DF.BOYNE Iel. by Allied Army aircraft.
<4 AIr ste:wning '(:,0918.1 d XESSA, another already
PEY from NOUMEh eights NEOSHO and repor.ts position.
NEOSHO sunk by HEW.
, ..
i \11
-
•. . ,=...... "'"
"e, ")f$J m 7J t S l ....
--
,
I
.1
j
.1

!
L
(11
,"
I
14 •
I
_,SHOI<Ar.U lor
TRUK
NEW
.:.
:::; :
.; .
. :.
.: ..
.. '. . :. :
:::: :
,
, 1,..-
I /
Ii
J'
I
I
I
I

I
, /,(,0..,.
, ,);. oal
, .. " -' .. -
HOI ART ,WALKE arrl ••
!
i
10 .. .
I
) . '--' ,((,;( .. 1;
, -' .: .. /
/-' .'-;.' I
017
I
" /
., •. ' . ArlJ to.e"d by Army plan,.,
153!) . I' 10 WALKE dIP arts for 8,,"boo'.
I
TownSyille
68-17, 601+-';;;-r'''i'''1 NO'hit.-
18-17 •• CONVOY. Unabl. 10 lotol. 10 allock.d KIT08A
111-17 •• RAIAUf.. Fall.d due 10 "','Ihor I. YO DEBOYNE IS,
111-17 •• RABAUL. Fail.d duo 10 ,,;alhtr
38-26 •• TOALESS IS. noar OEBqYNE IS.
311-2$,2 B-28,98-17 ... kina corri" bul lail,d due I. darkn ....
7S-IT .. LAE. W.alh., bad 10 4BI-17 .. lJEflOYNE IS.
18-17 .. OEIOYNE IS.
!
o 98-11 unabl. 10 lind carrier so all"'k.d Ihlpping ot BUKA IS
'3B-17 toiled .s RA8AUL duo '0 bqd ..... Ih" I ••• OE80YNE IS.
8 8-11 Ichedul.d 10 ollack AAe,u:' ,concrl;.d flight due to .... alh ...
AUSTRALIf'
"nknown.
!
c.
"
Stippllr.g Indicat .. or •• j
01 of 1100,8 May
.. 01 ,,"ali - .tolionof"
TH. OD SQ. lOin. I ST.
CRUDI".' .. YUU'U j
----0
,
I
---,
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL
2400, 7 MAY 1942 1'0 2400, II
TIME Z ONE) (-II)
I
I
- - --- -
---- ---- ----- - -- ---
1
I
1
f
J
... ___
._---
I(;Q- -- ------. -;.-------

, ,-
-..
I
l/
-.. ,.- .......
I.
4 '
0"
.' ,J"
f
l'
'50
" , " > 011
017

f' :
[ Ar- co •• rod by Army pion •• ,
unknown,
".
. ' .
. _ - - - .- - - ----t _.. . - - - .- - - - - - ..
+- .. _. - . --_ ... _-
190'0 GRP. I-Iolino Ihon
PfOcnq,IO Srilbon.,
....
-, \
: 410 \.
"
'.
"\
. . " •• " 1M' T", ft ..... t , ...... ",'I ..... , .'.0
gOQ.
10
c.
....
·.0800
"10
¥ HENLEY dopart. Noumlp 10
lIarrh for NEOSHO- S 11015
I. u·'I l'totl.
. _____ O!l"
; - : ---- .:...-----
..
SOPAC
&
..
'Q

o
20'
q
II
i MINNEAPOLIS, NEW ORcEANS l I
\ ASTOR!.", ANDERSON, f'HELP$.rv.o.:
\ DEWEY 10 Noumoo, ,J
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA

2400, 7 MAY
f
1942 1'0 2400, II
TIME 20NS (-II)
MAY 1942
, 2JA{fSJ: YORK T('Wfl, GHE
\ I AYLWIN ,HAMMAN,MORRIS,
\ '
I ) ........
10 "--.-.. ., "_,_
-
10 (. Q_ • """
.. •• .. *.z .... r.: .. ' ........... .. .. .. .. __ _____ __
p
.0
,
,
"

,.,~ -.,..- ... --~............. , -

• • , ~'''~----..~ '~., ..._- +,........~-- ' -

.

,~_'""-, ..·'"'......... a

I".

f ~
~

I
I i

~r:urity

C'las!llfication
ind~J(it1"; Itnnot,Hinn

DOCUM'ENT CONTROL l'AT A . oR & 0
{Sf'c:"ur'ty (",.,,0'''.''0" ot ""0, bod,v of Itb!l(tr.C" ltnd
I ORIGINATING ACTIVITV (Corpora,. author)

BD/A- (/J/J3 ~S-3 ,
r.-p"" "
("a •• llled)
"IT

nlll.",

llf.' etlfCHftd w/lftn th~ over.1I
la. RFY

!ECUAITV CLA''''''CATION

tJNCWSIrllD N.yal War Coll... Newport, Rhocla I.lalld
3. RIE"'ORT TITLIE 2b, GROUP

I
'.
"

J
,T, .

.

~~

'~,
"

I
,.
"

f

j
~t
<.

Th. ..ttl. of the Cor.l Tactlcal Analy.l••

s••.

May 1 to May 11 Illcluely•• 1942.

Str.t••laal and

1,}

,:.'

'~

. lattl. lYaluatlO1l
8, AU THON,.,

4, OIESCRI"'TIVIE NOTIES (Typ. 01 r.porland Indu.ivlf d., •• )

-

('1,., nam., middle Initial,

I•• , nam.)

l t:

~

Hchard W. Bat••
II, "'IE"'ORT OATil: 7a. TOTA ... NO. OF PAGES

l f' I

1947
••• CONTRACT OR GRANT NO,

17g

rb'NC'~

._1'GUa

.

lIa, ORIGIN"'TOR'S REPO"l NUM!lI!:A.1I

b. PAOJI!:C T NO

c.
d.
, '0. OIlTAt!lUTION ITATIE"'ENT

lib. OTHIER REPORT NO'S' (Any oth., numbe,. Ihal ma" b. a •• '",ed

th,. ,.po,t)

i
i I
t

Diltribution of this document is tln11m1ted.
.,. SUPPLIEMI!:NT ........ NOTES
,~,

I
': :~
~

:~

j

!PONSOR'NG MIL'T"'''Y AC,'VITY

"

Nav.l W.r Coll••• Newport. Rhode hlalld
" .... !I.T ..... CT

;

! f.
:\

~ .,

~

I ."
1
"
'.',

attina • pr.c.d.llt in naval hi.tory, th. Battl. of th. Coral S.a va. the fir.t ..jor DAyal &DS.I..ant ill ¥bieh the outcome wa. d.terwin.d by air oPQ~.tion. only; there ... no gun actiOll b.tween .uffae••hip •• Th. J.pana.e and Alli.d forc.. att~ted tc destro, aaeh other simultaneoualy by lIleana of earri.r-baa.d air att.ea. Allied and Japan... data ar. the baai. of thia r.cord vb.rein th. d.plo~t. and diapo.it1on. of th. for c•••Ild the import.nt weather faetora are .ddr••••d and tha three pba... of th. battle op.ration. ar. r.counted. Plat.. and diaar'" clarify th. cour.. of th••ctiOll, .nd battle 1•• 8011• •r. dr.wn fro. the eneoUDter. Whil. the 10.. of the carri.r Laxin.tOIl r.preaent.d a ••rioua blow to the u.s. Na.,. n".~lh.l... thi. batUe va. an Allied .uce ••• and laid tha aroUlldvork for miaappr.henaioll. by th. J.pan••• commalld, r •• ultinl in th.ir thorou.h d.feat .t Midway.

':1
i
~

~
"

J
j

1
Hl'Pf Udll' I,d

hy

NATIONAl iTCllNletli IN rORMI\ TION SF.NI( I
u .
SpllflJ~tl"~I!

n,"p,Htr1\"rd ,d Cn'!,!] v/\ . ;-'1 1 .1

."\ t '

I

(PAGE 1)
SIN
0102·014·660~

Security Classification

..

'

-

Auth· -- -0: •

C1_ alt~~' tl Oft ehal\,I. ,. •• ___ _

.1-_-

11'--- __

~ava.l ~ar CoIl,"
por.word Introduction

'" , •.,'-_........... --. •• 1;,; - - _

I

.· .,'(!,_._.......

UIIII ...._n1.........,. .,. "", . ........ O!llI.II_lll........,

~.

'.

1 8 8

'lb. strat..to Area - Coral Sea Weathor in the Coral Sea Japane..
C~and

Relation.

Intormation Available to Japaneae Ca.aandera Japane.. Diapoetion. Japane.e Search Area.
Ja~ane.e

" S
7 9

I

Deployment,ot Naval Force.

......,...

11

1

Japanese Plan Allied
Ca.m~nd

18

Relation.

18 19-20 21 22 24 28 31 81 32
~2

Info~~tion

Ayailable to Allied Commanders

Allied Disposition.

Allied Land and Tender Baled Aircraft Allied Search and Reconn.i8sAnce Allied Deployment ot Naval Forces Allied Plan General SUMary
Actio~

at TULAGI

SulDmary of the Japane.e Situation
Sumaar,y

of the Allied Situation

32-33 33-A 33-38
36-37

Weather-Cl'Ola Section ot Atmo8ohere Pbte I TF 17 Strike. TULAGI

~

1'""1~""1'\'" 8-1.. ~ ,)

! ~,
~
-~----..,

~

-_ .

.

l ...,. . -.' iI. __
,""m 1

r'fflet,,,,,,'d

'W1

*;

·'t'"t",ttW*I*z+*Nf+ .. h'4&b."• •S+""

·,)1rtno:d' •

...-w·t.,

nt"

*t~... """--'----._~.

. the S1 tuaUon The 8&81c Japanese Plan is Cont1n~ed 48-m 51 51-S2 52-68 " SIS OperationB or Other JapaneBe Force.a1nat !ULJGI I aft. ~I Ila.a Air Strike to .v-:-"''(--'C1-8-.4 .:88~ eo.lIlt on the Strike A.:Jospher. Tr 11 Air s.:" ".r '. at the Japan ••e Ta. Operation.organi •• aDd Rap111d1h Op. or the Japan ••• Oov.r ' li L""':. Allied IntelUgence and ReconnaJ. section or A·.. ~&17 ot ..t JPorees Rendeavou. or the Japaneee Striking rorce.AQI and IIISDIA W.'. a..-.ath. Iq 5th and 6th COIIIIIander Fourth rl.saanc..tir __t ot T. rore•• a.r and Plat.Initial Oontaat. off MISIIIA 54 55 58 58-59 .r. M8¥ Sth " 8th The Action orf MISIMA Weath. rw. EYente htnen 'l'UL.: f r «¥.et-Eet1aate..: ¥+...J 42 Allied Ta. ~---" ______ .C g. and.SAGE Initial Contacte on En-. A • Ho. su-ar.... _. 17 Launch.eUOD..r. 5th and 8th 41-45 4S 1 j 46-48 I r Operation. Attacked The Attack on JapaneBe Force.r 2-42 Allied Moy"eot..ring rore. 17.y Planes and Shipe T.ration Ord. II Showing Cros. SIS-A SIS 7 _~ "1 Suport Group Sent to Cover JCIIARD PAS.~ll } ..arch~f.ISDlA Area RlOSHO Reports Bein.

~..f ~

,

_

d

n.aa.e elataed, Inflioted and aeoeived Di.cu•• lon

or I.S.

l'l.hter Plane Dellcl.OJ
Sl~~.tlon

T.r. 17 Eltimatol the

Analylta of CTf 17 'a Decll10n Ur Coabat Between U.S. CAP and Jap Carder .. Plane Strike, nulk, 7 ~ C.T.r. 17 Decide. to Retire Durin. Nllbt Attack on the SUP?Ort Group The Attaok on NEOSHO and SIMS Operationa of the Japane.. Strlk1nl Force, 7 .a7 NEOSHO and StKS li,taken tor U.S. Carrler. and Attacked Afternoon Air Search and Atta~k OperatJ:on. Operations ot tbe Japane'. Carering Foroe, 7 la7 Search Operationl -nd Contact. Attack on the SHOHO Retlr_ent ceoillonl ot CaaFourtta Fleet
88
t:1-72

12 72-74 74
75

18-78

Operation, ot Other Japane.e TalK force., 7 I.,

78

18

25th Air Flotilla-Attack on Support Qraup Tbe Main Carrier J.otion, 8 lay aelatty. fl.t1U Str_sth W th.....cb'o•• "ot.1cm of AtAolpbere Plate III ..
OpeI'&tJ.QD of

11-81
81

It

....
II

f.r.

17, 111' 8tb

-II 1-

m

mE

m

..

J

n_

'WLl '+~

I

,

(

(Cont'd)

,

Deaa,.

Cl~~.d,

Intlicted and aeceived

Diacul.ion

or

1.5. ?ilhter Plane Detlcleac"

T.F. 11 I.timatol the Situation
Al\&lyaie

or

aTF 11' a t>eoil1on

Air Caabat Between U.S. CAP and Jap CarrIer. PIKne Strike, OU,k, 1 ~ C.T.r. 17 DecIde, to aetire Duriol HIibt Attack The Attack
oil

the SUp?Qrt Group NEOSHO and SIMS

oil

O?eratione ot the Japaneae Strik1nl rorce, 7 I., RtOSHO and SDIS 11Itaken tor U. S. Carrier. omd Attacked
Att6rDOoQ

86 87-72

Air Search and Attack Operation.

operations ot the Japane.e CoyerinS F~roe, 7 ;Searcb OperatIon, and Contacts
Atta~k

"7

12

on the SHOHO

14 15
18-18
78
'/8
"~81

Retirement Oecisions ot eo-Pourth ,leet CoaFourtb fteet Supe~la •• the Plenned Actioo Operation. ot Other Japane.e T_1k rOrC.I, 1 .ay PORT MORESBY Invallon
. , ."

Forc~

26th Air The laiD

'lotl1l.-.lt~~ck

on Suppvrt Group

C.rrl~r

Action, 8

M~

81

We.ther-QrO.8 Seotion

or

.ltao.phere Plate 111
,~

Operation ot T.r. 11, lay 8th
-111-

~

~'.t.· • __

__.. mrs" ...... .. ____..__ _n" *',.
'ttJr ~
$ 'n ~ ''Me
~

Me

,. 1

.

*.

M t' 10 .•

'*1

0

---.-.~

..

-- --.-

Ii i('OP'

III

tw.
Allild Air Slarohi. and R'lUltlnl Contaot. T.'. 17 Strikes Jap Strikinl Foro. by Air Japanl.e Di.posltion - Platl IV [)Mall Intlictld by T.r . 17
COUDt~r

88-86 85-89

09
90

Attaok by Str1kinl 'orol
Filht.~

ADalT.i. ot Allied

Dirlotion

91

Plot ot YORKTO.... Rad.r Contaot., Plat. V A.rial
Torpt.~o

92-A
98
94

Attaok on YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON

DIIIIall to LEXINGTON
D!

eau..d
Oil

by Torp.do ••

v,

Boebinl At tack

l,.nINGTOH

96

Ba.b

Daaaa'

to LEXINlTON
OD

ge
96 96
97

Div. Bambini Attaok

YORKTOWN

i~

1

Bomb Damase to TORKTOWN Analysi, ot Allied neten.iv. TaotiO', laneuver., and Soreening Di,~olltion. Reoonstructed Track Chart.-Al11ed Sh1p.Platl VI TF 17 Track Chart tro.
10~9

l

j
11

97-A
98-A

to 1215, Plate VII

The Scr.enlnc V ••••l. a. Slcoodar,r Tarc.te Evaluation ot Japane •• Plan. Lo •••• Analysls ot
~apan...

98

A.rial Tact10'

100 100
10£

CTF 17 R.-eetiaatea the Situation
LEXI~GTON o.aai~

Gro.e lor. S.r10ue

.,
1
1

lOS Operation of Alli.d Shore Ba.ad Plan•• Withdrawal ot OT' Th.reto
i
t
~7

101

j

I

,

and Operat1on. Incident lOS

-IV-

I

I

~n

tp,.

; iten

. '0 h.'

-, -

5

M

NM ,

" )• t

rn Ns"»drD 3"7

eslrability of Rigid ::Jet..Loa 109 l09-1U The Striking Force Seeka to Re-engage. Un\..-.-....... ~ Taetieul & StrlltegicEl. an~ 106 Plane... I~ 11th Oper~tions of Other Japineee 9th...unte and Thorou6h Plana 5.. and Finally Retires from Are...:lu:>ervisell the Action AiMir Commander Combined FIllet....WldfIJII" Fourth Fleet . --.ee Version of Camage Inflicted Loat by th... _ .. 105 108 Striking Force Comea Under U...... Air Attack SltOI(UU Damased and Ordered t. " ( ? WI&.. . Command Relatlo~s-Unified va Divided Command 115 115 115 Planning-Importunee of Adc..--.o I'RUK Comm&nder Striking Force Retiree a8 107 Victor 107 109 • I C<':'I::... \ -v-_ .~-~~~-...... --.nnl:d Methoas-Int~ntions va C~p~bi:iti8S 116 6. Ql ~ (Contld) i ~ f!a Operation.y OpEll'ution I' i:' \ t 8..reh Artla Border Linea 117 'M Y'.--------- .lf·. 7..ll.~-----. 3..... Steos In ......... ..c.. The Effect of the Battle Buttle lessons It 114 2...l Ulle c'f Weather for Ade4uate fiell-Coordlnatfld ::Jetrch 116 117 NeCCG8ti. 10th Md 11th Ta~x Forcea May 8th.. Planning ~l£..S.------_ _-"" . of Strikina force 161 8th Japan.

.. Task Or.... carrier Taak Pore. 'Clalal ot o.. .. Value of Early A Strike Command~r 118 119 119 12~ ~all Action in War U. Reee •• ity for Faat..a Intl1ctQd b.. for Tlaely and Effective Recogn! tiOD T~aifling Rap1ae..._P7" __ ..y of Alliod Damage '". ~ .. 117 10.....-ain1n.~ __ .!4W4 4 .Japanese D6IIIage) ) ) Follows Appendix II SWaaar.. lU. .. T. Esr.y Aircraft OaIbat Appra1. ..- -VI..-. for Dn'eloping and Track1nl Contacta 11.. 1"" 122 12S CryptographIc 1 Anti-alrcratt Formations 21.-.+F_ "'_ ..entia1 1n Air Strlkoe Iaportance of superior Technology Deaonutrated Meoe...J ... ... "Q4Ioo. 17.----..ent of Pilote and Planee LOiletiel ~~pport Rellabl1i~ 121 121 I I 15..eee.1.r At (1$ $U. Caamuderc: 1£06 R r AdIIIlr&l 'fadaichi Hara...~lt1 fo~ 106 • Changing Areas During FUe11ng lfO 120 16.- ~ a.. IS....AppElndlx II &1mm817 CJf ..a...." . . ..aity for COllb1ned Trdnllle of Shol'tl Ba. ReconnaUaance Land Plane. .: ..ed Aircraft and rleet Un1h. ~I R~lI. +4+'4#"·4 $' ..... I.eelelt. Japan.t be Fully Exploited M. -... _.g~tlatlon-Append1x 125-1:28 I F0110W8 Coahut Apprbisal Organisatlon of !aak roree Seventaen ... 19... • _____ ~ . . ... . . Tecbno1011cal Device.. .. .".. 16.....al. i.. 20...

."'C4. .".5~. ~400. Follows P. FOl\.z""~""""~ ___-""""-.lOO( -11)...'" _. l! Croll section • May 1~42. .~h. . . &ck 8-1 Allied Air Search Areae.... !.J. Dlagrll/ll A Diagr~ Dl~grMm Action Area. Back bf book. 194~. a Muy.8~. 240l). 6 lay 1942.. 1100(-11).""". ~9 SMcle of book.)n of the AtAAoaphere.o~~h8r9. 8 May 1~4~. Diagram E Diugrlllll F Diagram G Battle or the CORAL SEA. Back of book • Battle of the CORAL SEA to 2400 11 lay 194~. to 08~O.~S.. 08~a. ~ lI_y \1942 to 2400. Foltows P.r. Battle of the CORAL ~~A. -VII- - -- ..~):::. R80.' the Atllo.. 7 May 194k. J j 1 Plate III ?lute IV ?luta V Plata VI Pluta VII Cros.SS.ow3 P.98._--.-''''.:37. _.4"'C"""'~_"~ :!~ . 4 lay 194~ Battlo of the CORAL SEA. April 1942 Dlagr..1o of the CORAL tiEA.)n~tructed Tl'~ck Cha. ~40a. Schematio Diagram! of YOHKTOYIi~ Attack 8 May. Follows P. S MUY 1~4~. B-2 Baslc Air Search Plan. 4 May 1942.. 7 II~ 1942 . Task Forct! 17 Tr(&ck Chart frOID li)~9-Ul5. oJ. Back of book. FOll. Follows F. .m C D1RgrkID D B ck of book. 1100 ( -11). I 1 erolil seotl. to 2400.- Plate I Plat. 1'34~ 1 1 Batt. or bocik. __ ""~:""I+_p. Back of book. 0" Plot of YORJ(TO"'N'e RadRr ContBcte. Seotion of the At. FolloW8 P.4"'''''''.. 7 Nuy 1~4~. 8 May 191:-':..rt from 11lS-1l:2. •. SMck of book..ow8 P. May 4-0.''''.. 6 Illy to 2400.

trca both Allied and Japane ...ea Wflt> th" fil'8t real war teet of the tlLcticd fOl"lllation. thut the teat of battle h UU~ only test "hich proves the combat ubility of Comm~der~ W8S relearned.OurC8S wAS not avail. ....manders and thus to improve profeSSional jud. All information from all .._ _ _ __ .. rinal~._ _ . mora complete mel more up to date than that avallabl~ to write~a of a1milar material puhllahed during the war. of the Fleet as w l l 8.. of thIS Cord :. The ability or the lack of ability of tha vlU'ious Communder~.= m.h and it would have beCin nothing ahort of mirllculou15 hnd such d. tha principal Comrrumders.. The pages of hhtory halve invllr. wider.. 4..ably revealed defer. . the lesson 110 often forgotten.ble to the NAval Jar Collflge.. ___ - SIiIoI' . Th. " I ~ __. in the art..o tim. This analY. V"lor alone was shown to be insufficiwt.-.II<_S'. j 1 6. 2.. from time t. hoped to provoke earnest thought . f~ . ____ .. and as quickly applied.\_~_ . who very prob8._ _ _ . .....ong prospective ca..ht. Battl. I As a result of battle leaeons learned.. But this CMlUlot nf'cesBurlly be aaid of the COIIlIIIunders of the futura.8 the tactted ability of . S. 17 indicating what appear to he Bound and unsound dec1elontl. and the apparent rea.' facts and oircwlltance& mo.. reaeone tor changee in eetablished doctrines and in the development' of new onel5... It 18 bued on information.d by the Naval "ar College. -VIII- ~ t .1. For that rea Bon.one for arriving at th.bl)' Wlll be inexporiencad in COIDII\&nd in war. the abUi ty of the Navy to conduct warf.o l1r. it i. The indi. for valor ia not an attribute of only one race but is an attribute end a heritage of many racas.. of war became apparent.. ~_.fecte not beon pr~aent in thie actIon. ' . )r~_ ... h t1nle went on.ent in coaaand.t.menta and critici8IDs are designed to be constructive.re Shadily improved. prepar.. whlch !Day change &Jome of the analys •• produced herein. The pl'811f1nt Benior officers of the Nllvy are well aware of til . . of the Batt~a of the Coral Sea . all ca. which i. .)' come t. ..i. "auree. I 5..penl&ble ~ualifieation for comm~d was ~hown to be the ability in combat to apply the scifnce of war to active !Dilittiry situations. oe._-.

-----. Lt. G. SOWESPAC CommMder 4th Fleet Commander Striking Force Commander 11th At r Fleet Rear Admiral T.illllli"'.r...A. Cuee._ _. General Douglas MacArthur..~... Vice AdmiNl T. -IX- n$ $) Mtsttw..' .----~' .... R. Pacific flut (CINCPAC) Commander Allied Naval 'orce8 SOnSPAC Comman~er • Vice Admiral H.J .... Fletcher.. ritch... ~ i' t .S. _.N.~.. u."!!IS.' .~... U. I. I.~.. ..A.. Al11eo All' Force a H... CCllMMDiRS ~11f!1 Commander Task Force 17 (OTF 17) Rear Admiral Frank J. ...N. . U."""'.. U..""P..._~. General G~oreti U.- . __~~~~--~~.S.. Brett.N.. ..J.a.e..S... COIIIlIander Tull roree 11 Coauaander T__ " (C~SOnsPAC} ~CTr 11) Rear Admiral Aubrey"......N.N • Commander Southwest Paciflc Ar •• Commander 1n Chi~f.~'. Nimitz.. SUkahura.~... Force 44 (CTr 44) Rear Aduliral J... U... " 1" AO_A.N...N.~ ~'-._'P4_~. Hura. Fairfax Leary... Admiral Chester W.

~\_"-l..t. Ail... ___ . .::.~ • • •f _ _ _ _ _ ~_ .... _l.. _ . -XI- .. .. tan !!l thb _&J.)... "...••... _~ (-11.•...l.uu. _ _ _ _ " . __ ...l8 JJZ!! Ha.._ .

The second phase..'.INTRODUCTION The Battle o. In this phase the LEXINOTON was sunk.• . · . :"~ I 1 I Ii I: .. to the desire on the part of the United StateR to deny this further expansion in order to obtain time for building up her strength in Australia./. The battle consisted of three phases. The third pha8e. Thla ~at t1(.N. p. 17.sue was decided entirely by air operations.. i ~. the Japanese carrier based air attack Oll the NEOSHO and SIllS wherein the SIIS was sunk and the NEOSHO damaged. !z'" "/' ~' " I f -1" I f ~. trom lay 1 to 1~2 Yay 4... .tl . end bel" frontiers ever more to the south in order to ensure the safety of RABAUL* and to ~lt the lines of communication between the United States md Australia. and to obtain time for the COllp1etion of her traJning and production programs. In four months *Interrogation of Vice ~dmlrai rutudome. and the abortive Japanese carrier based air attack on the Alli..*** Japaa was influenced greatly in her deCisions oy the eaae with whioh her Army aud Havy had completed their ini~ial operations.'. as well a8 the Japanese search for additional Allied torces After the battle.5 ~?t. I. The fInal battle was unusual in that both Allied and Japanese torces sought to destroy each other by air operations at the same time. the SHOKAKU. p.rbor and Australia.. all by air atta:k.t~'~·_lc~ t . __ ___ 'J . weather played an important role and seriously affected its outcome..H~[ n. and YORKTOWN ligh~ly damaged.. • . on the other hand..... ~ ..'. was the innitable reeul t of the desi!'e on the part of Jap&n to ext.4 ~ I ( ~ .S ***SulUllary Report.~ carrier task group.: t. .. and of the Allles in endeavoring to disrupt that operation through air attack.t_·Mb~'A. the abortive Japanese land bal8d rir attack on the Support Group. from 1~2 Yay 4th to 2200 May 7th. ... The first phase.** and..*5: .$~rt.fi24· **SUMroary Report (Pacitic War) USSBS July 1~6. fraa 2200 lay 7th to 0600 lay nth. Among these operations were the Allied carrier based air attack on the SHOHO wherein the SHOSO was sunk.. . The resultant overlapping found the American c~rrier air groups attacking the anemy carr1er3 and IUpport!~g ships at virtually the same instant that the Japanese carrier air groups were attaCking the American carriers and supporting ships..r~in. l'. and the Allied carrier task forc9 cn the other..f the 'CORAL SEA was the tir8t major engagllllent in naval history in which the i. _braced the final action referred to in the prtlceding partlg. 10 gun actione between surface ships occurred.._..J.. as well as some smaller craft. ~: ~) ~. ~..r-aph between the JapaneCie carrier taflk force on the one hand._... embraoed the operations of the Japanese in capturir~ TULAGI.?3. Throughout this action. (Pacific War) JSSBS Jul)" 1946.. end in the islands lying beheen Pearl lIe.9-12 Deceaber"l945 USSBS Voluae II..~"' !~"~~ . t5 .. embraced the operations between the above Allied alr attack on TUL~GI and the recovery of the Japanese flyers trom the dusk air attack on the Allied carrier force southeast of IISIMA.. p. wherein the Japanese lost the destrcJdr KIKUZUKI....

. .' ". Otficial aeports by Fleet Adlliral Ernest J. adequate to support such an operat.~ **Ottice ot laval Intelligence Publication 19415. Japanese information received. Pearl Harbor. . . p.ring the surrender of BATAAN and the situation in general in the Far Ealt. *SUllllla17 Repc!rt (Pacific War) USSBS Ju17 1948. was only able to ooncentrate two.. ot which lIlany at the objectives had been plannad previously. .S ••• .rs ot war industr. out of BURIA.IIIIiIiaii.'S ****CIlICPAC Operation Order 2s-42. .r on April 18th while cheering was only a nuisance raid. it IUcce8sM. Japan initiated a ne. c '.. shown latClr. whicb attack took place during the vorr ttae tbat ber planners were discussin. public aorale needed st1l!ulatUg..r$a OD SO AWil.uered vast areas lncludinl WAD. which proYided.l "*0.* It should be quite evident that Ihould these 1Il0ve. .:".le of the Cor&! Sea""" states--quotea "Air bombing or TOIlO and the other Japane~e cent. . U. to combat Japan in the Coral Sea. The LEXIBGTOIf and YOmOllR were i l l the &rea."**'*' There . A.& lavy at War 1S. ot wartare will probabl1 wonder wba~ Il1gbt haTe OCcurl·ed to the Japanese forces had all of thes. tour carriers would probably bave been available to the United States..s8tul torces. _ . the attack was stimulating to 1Il0rale.~~. p.1 Ibe bad CODQ. "Whatever the deaage intlicted by the.~." Fleet Admiral ling Itatel.8 to have be\tll no serious ... . new operations tor their suc~. Had the Tokyora1d not occurred.trategical rEason tor tbis raid. In addition. be IUcces.0 tum back rony laovement . SAIIOA and the FIJI Islande and 0: let.ferred to cam. liDl. into the SOLCIIONS and PORT MORESBY long buforp her training and production progr.came necessary tor her to ••deavor 1:. . it b. . an advance into the SOLOMONS and PORT IIORESBY._ _ . therefore.S(a). will b. wa... thd line ot c~unication between the United states ~d Australia would be definitely cut and all advanced staging areas west of Pearl H81'bor would be errectlve17 denied.tul~ accomplished. which at that ttae.S ~. She was allo strongly influenced bytbe Doolittle raid of 18 April 1942 on TOKYO. Theae carriers were the LEXINGTON. a.e. "The Battle of the Coral Sea".advance in'l. at this sporadic attack.~ ~ j I \ 1 I ot reducing the . ._ . . Thi..___ ~ . the United State..**** Student. Para. .. having departed tor the Coral Seu A. IORKT01lB. by a further . .1-194&. p. a result ot these di'CU8si. the Uni~ed States could not p~rmit and. carri~rs bean in this action. A. ~ •..0'. GUAII.e bombers. other than that it was a "nuisance" raid and that tb. available tor service iD the Coral Sea Area.J . p. the initial 1Il0ve.er1tan lIean. consid. tbe deciaion to lIake the Tokyo raid had the etfect J '1 . Coabat Harrative "The Batt. profound. and bad driven Allied forc.. Tbe ettect on tbese planners.. were en route fro.. the HORRET cnd Pln'ERPRISE which conducted the Tokyo ra1c. . Japan had three carriers in that area at the time ot the Battle. . lEW GUiNEA. HORNET and mTERPRISE. ftS a low ebb.."'II"~Wi .-2.r. to be tollowed. . _ ..o NEW CALEOONIA..j ~.10n.~ns in TOKYO. since the surrender of Japan indi~~tes that it is quite possible that the strongest pressure for the movements above r. RABAUL. trom the Doo11ttle raid.er lIloves to capture MIDWAY and to temporarilr occupy the ALEUTIARS. plan.

re 18 .. in the . moved ott the Auatralian oontinent.bou~ 1860 .. f ~ Th. There w.d .ln . the louthe •• t trade.mi-permanent high pres. . haw.e...CORAL SEA Tbe CORAL SEA 1••n u:t... tor orul....mISUD! A~CRIPELAGO. .t PEARL HARBOR.-ther in the CORAL SEA ..Dvil . tro.rd.lonl the northern bound.aoh a • hip' in • nub. ..lly interru. dominated by the s.mergenoy.mple 1'00" tor. ~ j'-("...ry probl.1'•••• o. TORRES STRAIT to ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND ADd 950 aUe. ~uatinell ! t 'I. • o. JAMES BAY.... Th~. NEW CALEDONIA.... .ot . under IiOl-!("IS dis~ut.otiviti •• . t'... and NOUMEA.. whioh blow over the CORAL 3EA with great yon.re were no Allled harbor. th.d with little or no .. on the north by South. .oilitie...mall i.1\ Equatorial current entel'iDS thie ... ...e •• re PORT MORESBY.. we.".r than W~~ . 00oa.I' bOUlld.' -3- ... north ot ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND divide.-.. o.nohe'f one.ncr tor M~t or the year.et.ather assooiated with suoh a ~old front tollo~.. ~.. p••••• northwestward ..t b.tlObi bu\. ~re..nd .l.u.thel'. ~. ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND.mi.. Row. ..l."-. and aquAlls..r .1' harbor.a not und.nd SYDNEY was v...ed b. Sou'..h.+ r. NEW GUINEA.rl~~1' r._.titud. op8r. NEW HEBRIDES..a. to • d.maller or. on the ea..hap.' . At SYDNEY there were rep.pable 01' dookin.ft.. the .t A"STRALTA . lD oert.. When the Sattl.pted by the pa.long the ooa.t be exeroi." .ure ar. ST.t by the NEW HEBRIDES _Dd LOIlLTY ISLAND Il'ouP' and MEW CALEDONIA. while .ther in the CORAL SEA Th. ne.round thi.hlp. and OD ~h•• outh by the l. jor repair. t M!W rmIll'!A.ver.. W.Dd ~be SANtA CRUZ ISLANDS. the ROSSEL CURRENT.oattel'ed r~et••Dd .. 2&0 Sou. . _.. the AUSTRALIA CURRENT.....~ but . .re. fln ar ..ll0 Are. Th.Dd •• Th.nd 1t.outhward . t ..ile. . the olassio pattern--towering oumulus type oloud.. t-oarr1er t •• k 1'01'0.quipp.t ot AUSTRALIA. It 1••n .. . 'the' a~i1a'hi1i-ty ot any ot the hftrbor. ""•.pher•• Ciroulation .el" . .ed ..r oommand or the Amerioan foroes nor or the Japane •• roroe. trOll GUADALClNAL to 25 0 South •• Thu.re•• uiably equipped to ett..re••xtending .u.. might b.ion. the SOt OVON ISlANDS .1w body ot .tio. u•• d in an .Dd into TORRES STRAI'I'.. of the taot that the CORAL SEA was an ar. the T. Mtntlon~~ oth.1·••• under w. ot the CORAL SEA ooourred th...t. We.r ot .. The trade wind oiro~l~tlon 1. instead.e 01' na~catlonal hal..D.I'Y 01' the CORAL SEA .. in the ar•• whioh.ir r.ak Allied oontrol. .dlate .. .. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . tlow•• outmreltnrd through the o.' . high produoe.rri.utlon MU..a cf the South'rn H.ntral portion 01' the CORAL SEA and then . 11.uP?ort . ahower.d OIl the wl1l by Worth. into two br.sage or • o~ld tront whloh ha..re.r •• t por~ in Allied ha~.ver~ beo.. 110 pOllible to b.-. in the ba. It . l~ra~.o.m.. iDoldent to .rea i..

strategically .js tbe en. but .che. Tbis gives tb..panese if tbey both retired at the . was gener. .e as their carri6ri atAaaad into the wind. it. Towering ~ulu." the carrier or carrier task force will find its freedom of . J.~~$ -4- .eOgraPhical areas.bined neet cona1lted of the aoblle fleet and the 1st and 11th .n-...e tta. uarrier task force nommander increased freedom of action in dete~in1ng tbe b.ndl !lll . of lomewhat leiS concern to tb. A.I!P!Qete C'!Qd Btlation. were und. northemIDoet Hait 1D the vicinlt. it waD diDaavantag. However. .&1 coYer a sone troll 50 to 160 milea wid.. a carrier or carrier task force on offensive operations may advance towards the eneay freely. In its movement to tb••outh.r­ in-Chier ot the Ca.a fleete which were relpon~ible tor and wer.1' the Coral Sea.. Allot the .pane. on retirement it was favorable to the Allie.pan •••• .atber 1.iling winds.o be pre.d to turn into tb• •ind to launch and recover.peaking. thus neceasitating frequftllt retuel. should the wind be blowing towar.!8uen ad the tront will lIIove back to tbe lIOuth un.ction ••riously curtailed and its expenditure of 1\:'81 and t1iDe operating 1D the direction ot the wind excessively high. provided that the wind is blowing from the .jer the intluence ot a stronger Circulation north or t. . April 1944. aircratt carriers are part of the force.1r~ rapid olear1Dc behind the tront.lr fleets.y.* Tbe direction ot the wind i.er. restricted to ... ot sO 8 to 120 S. of serious concern to the Alliel. the related we. ~~.~ I I t ~. tbis tront has lIIost of the charactGrietic. Tho aobile fleete con. that the !d:!!!!.r airoraft are used as a major weapon and whet. A. well &eI the naval air neet.h. tront gradualll 110w. 60ft ad H.bowers and markeci gustiness may al. tront. . This is beeau. and unfavorable to the J.J.tber no longer follow. accompanied by ..ck course. the ueual cold t~on~ patt~rD..lly adV'antagvou. ruel coneuaption .. Then it otten bappen. Thi.a alone the front.. and a wide. to the Japane..st ttae tor .11 ot which could operate anywhere in &n7 areaJ and of certain ar. Tbe prev. lowering vi. . !be band ot bad . will be .."'\"'.hown later.ibility.outheast in the Coral Se.pread area of precipitation.tituted the aain *'I'be Battle 0. of iaportance in *D1 naval operation but 1t i8 particularly iIIportant in operll. and ~ce a~ from the att. were from the .1tlg.t!oDs wherev. Ho• .etl a.- .... " . The Ca. . AerololY Section.lvlnl ~ to t. Area neet. .r the ccamand of the C~ad.ous to the Allles ~ attack because ther b... with tb-. exceptiQn ot the Chin. w1. Otfice of Chief ot Ifaval Oper~tion. ot a c~nventional wara tront-altocumulus and altostratus clouds....ent in the region of aax1aNa oonve~ent activity along the l:iul'face front.bined Fleet. tyy)e clouds. .ction.e Fl. no longer oontined to a narrow Al. .

and all were under tbe overall c~and of D&val officer.t.. the general area ot oper"t1ons.ined for work on the Chine. 4th Fleot who was also CGUQIlder South Seaa Force.f. un!... b\1t wh1ch bad a divided ca..~and. bb8'~ at WAUL..spons b1l1':. H~.e lainlund.~ Tbe Ja?8D8Se Ca.M Th.stionnalre Ho.. This infora.. discussed Illter.. waa in overall o~and or the PORT MORESBY Operation. but t. U&mS (Pa~..nY overfill weaknesses aDd room f:>r confusivn. In.'fo..'t. -£- ..**** Uwa11y. woe 161725 Group 7... .. .~ .. and b.. . a 6 I..-.bort ba.y.)ft w..t the atrength or the land-baled Aaerlcan air torc... ln Japanese joint operlltbns..?"'. but who was t . under the oa.. . hle to take any Itron~ offenal•• aotion without aad. the 11th air fleet Da oOlllp06ed of land ba.. No a~ alr forcea were a!slgned at that t~e becallse they were trb. wh. 11 la1 194~...q.s and an arm1 South s••• Detaoh. t.... ***War Dlary 25th Air Flotilla.\lable to .ployed on the Continent and in the HOGleland. • tri~ingforc.. The COIlUIInnder.. of the Oombin.¥fCi JI!IiiiiL4iiiP...tance frOll the lIobUe floeta •• ThE: lot :d.rea.4i~ .')1" gen.. 1 April. A....s in thls operati. BiSDArck Area Baae Air Force. ~\!' ..d Forc.u.her& app. *. May 1942-Vo1 . Thid 18 to be contralted with the Allied or g&niaatlon! whicb will b. which was a lubd1vielon of the 11th Ur Fleet.~:'f"'-.__. 11 to aNI 49..Apjijf~AVAt ORGAlIZAiiOM-..~ fleets wero n~~~lY d. It..at oper.ral17 un..Uon was reasonably i. I I I i I **** j I ·IIIC'.Iapaqe~j£qlllan<te£.. """" •••. 1.. 18665 P(WDI).r....• _ _.d that i t probably nUilbered 200 tlrlt-llne planea.al:ln in eom~and in the Cor~l Sea Action. All bnd btatied alr torc. G.:.*" The 11th Air Fl. fQr all forces eng~g.JIand r. The 25th Alr Flotilla was under the operbtion.cILuse they were not tra1nlitd in canduetlns joint operations with the nllval air rorcea..aand with a naval officer (V1ce Admiral) in ca._~ .. who~8 ueual h ..tiJQntrol 'Jt Coiasander 4th Fleet.....tloq . in the Australian ar.re nllvd and were a.*t4 1 '~~'. Aa a result ~r that policy they were generlllly ...d were nllval force. Japanese CO:II::IWld structure evidently hlld m6...ars to h.mander tn•• ~l..!vl.. Page 1.ve been DO cootu..nd of anay un! ts for the occupation of PO~T MORESBY.d Fleet.& bad been lncrnsed t. ty of cOILlland was rue....-Change No.mand of an army M~Jo~ Oeneral for amphibious operations." D1agr~ "A" ahow..por" rll.)RESBY Operation did have direct unity of ca..sisting hla and hie nlLval forc..qvert the PORT Y... were n•• bl air forc.ailgned to the 25th Alr Flotl11A..lnnd of all l:lvllsion f~rcea lind an Ill"ll)' officer (Major GeneI'd) was in cOIa-:o. __ .fol'Ju..r fleet wait compoead of carrier baaed plan"..-_. VJ Doc..d all ..ed aircrllrt 1n tbe Pacific Ocean Areal. th~ ur.s. were at TRUK. A navlll officer (Rear Adair~l) was in dlr4lct cOlll.ed plan. in chILl'aoter and . Separate command for botb fl~ and naval u~it8 WbS the general practice.. **1\111 Tranalation ot the PORI' ~OIID)BY Operation.....) Anawer to IIUltary AnaUysll Div.d~~rt.fens\.

Hf! alao Ime. PORT DARWIN and TOWNSVILLE area..~. own torce •• * '0 l He waa confident that the American tas~ force existing in the CORAL SEA are. that the Allle! had a.. and that the aerial aetiyit1 tro. In thll caae.bled oon. wa. . th_ SARATOGA. -8-- . 'or that reason we ahall lee tbe Japanese report in.. R (U. claaa unknown.*** The actual task force which did appear.ed.ry effeutiye al to require hill to provide inere. 4 ¥p4Cqa44Pu. .ll translation of the Port Moreab). in th1e action. .tth them.. two or three heaYy crubers and one battle8hip..aed aerial protection for hi. ---~~"" -j 1 oorrect inlotar al operational aircraft .** He further believed that only ODe carrier and that. but the Japanese chose to believe their inforaation whioh in .. • • •" .* H. to Australia waa gredually increasing.e of the following facti' (a) the enlllY bad uled carriers in the attack on the homeland on 18 April. May 1942 Voluae V General Headquarters Supr. had the four American carriers orielnally designated for this arlM arrived....:~. I' .p..o(.krines were operating in the Bi_vck are.. a light eruinr..l . the Japaneae cOllllander alight have run into wen aore aerious ditficulties than he did. "rull tranalatioD of the Port Moresby Operation..ere concern.e. found it difficult t~ conceal his plana fram the Aaerlcan recODDai ••an~e plane. have battleships .. would alway.e ar~a8 wa..rror • I • we. it became a fira intention of the Allied forces.Coab.a.* He had noted that the transportation of airplenea and needed supplie.. • f'· ... M81' 1942 Voluae V General Headquartera SUpr.aander Allied Powers.Operation. """..-AUA.ethod. to be y.t Report Battle of the Coral Sea.e eo.. CruDiv 6. He understood that the British Navy had apparently deapatch~~ toward the AU8tralian area a compolite force of destroyer.. wa.0 He believed that one or two Allied sub.. instead. It was a definite Allied capab11ity to have alore carrier8 than the SARATOGA. '. and the daaagiag of one battleship of the Warapite cla.~ 1948.. ' ... a8 had bIen shown at SAL. "1"":1'" . He con8i~ered the low altitud~ aurpri.s. Th1e lnforaatlon 0 8 correct excepting that there were tour Allied submarines there. .ay l~~R. in the area and that ahe wal to be the nueleua of • strikins forc •• H.iii. not lar. (c) Allied forcee ware only suppoaed to ~avft a few carriers left... and one battleship. than thia beeau. . th.. conleuquently yiloroul.e attack .trength in the PORT MORESBY... Alao the Japaneae were in error in assuming that the Allied force..'!'!'''''*'''' _fi t "''*'''''* .. therefore apparently surprised ftim._~""~... It was a capability and Ihould ha•• been considered but.l . (b) carriera had not been eeen in the louthern area since 10 March and finally. WOO 1~97 p.' ~. e C~d Allied Powers.lt that the carrier force could not be larger... IDI-Se.. .. *ru.. the sinkinl of one battleship of the California claas.lderable air . of the heaY7 bieh apeed armored "erican plane. 4 4. r.

above ba••• .. Howev. distribution. durin...d operations were as indicat. Utu ADd D!AU£.r. battl. tb. ArIIJ. botb ot tb••• lattar ba. land and air torc.nter into the Battlo ot the Coral Sea . SCAP-ATIS Doc. TULAGI &Dd GAWl'U OIl FLORIDA ISLAlD. As the land rore. located at TRUI.aroh ot tbe . a ba •• tor patrol ••aplan •• involv.r of' 26th Air Flotilla...ctivel)" u.l0 op.7-Ita.c! onlJ beG oocupied OD a Iq &Dd GAVUTU on 4 1&7.ral ar. and tight..d .h Air rle." DltpO.ries at TULAG! are conc. Thla air tlotllb was tonaed . d1acr. gen. *Pull Tran.or• •tt...o insure adequate a. tb'J 1IJ5SELL ISWOS. to the . Grp...d.s did not .er b. IIW BRITAIM I LAI. J~2&D'" Land-Baled Aircraft All land ba. 7G -7-' . ot the varioul subdiVisions of' thi..d f'aciUU . 11tuat1on d_anded. all in tb.r. an iaportant •• oondary ba. don. con.* ot tb. It . in a po. the 10TOYAIA Air Group.in.l. WA'l't1I.s in th..• laP!9. location or tbe air torces 1ft 01 inten8~ laportance.. the toKOSUIA Air Oroup. Japan ••• land and air roree.e.1t1on' ~' I l i Tb.ain.ition to inf'lutnce Alll.o ••rY. dir. tb.as were NavY' airplan.ecur1D1 ~b. witb RABAUL a. Thla wa. WDC 161725 ***War D!ar.a ."l Sea ar•• whioh wer.Jpe tlgbter. lev. operat. or the TAlMAN Air Group. AlIIIRAL'!'! ISLAlIDS.d.rn.t PORT MORESBY and al. LA! tI. tb.aa. prior to tb. land f'orc.0 bomber plan. will no lon. IDd lat.indioat •• that th. KIETA and BUlK on BOUGAIlf/ILL! ISLAND and rAISI ISLAND In the SOLCIIOKS.ider. antI-aircraft batt. Japan. Jap~ ••• in tb.. Nul PORI' MORESBY." iD cooperatioh witb tb. fbi. where W-tD Zero t. WDC 161725. bal.a. tb. ISLANDS.a. It oonsisted of' the 4th Air Gr~up. and BUiA ISLAlD.s ot the 26tb Air notl11a" a part ot the llt..t AII.a..oved •• tb.d io this discussion.** Tbe principal Jap&D.outbward.lmiab.d but were . not onl)" t. GREEN ISLANDS.rtb. In BKIT. In QUIDA. wer.ore lIIportant ar. all bad been oaptured b7 the Japan ••• .. Cor. f'or land-ba••d f'ilbt-' ers and bomb.rs miibt be ..ptiOD ot PORT MORESB!. Battle ot tb' CORAL SEA witb tb• •XO. but alao to insur.itiOD br oocup1lnl &Dd . SOLC*OR ISLAlfDS. bllb c~and t~ •• cure a . -- .ou tb bad dir. aIr f'lotI11a were Dot p.anentlY' fix.tratell0 area. SHORTURD ISLAlfD.d in PiagraB I "B-2-.d rro. above ba••• . • •• ~\IlfI'" .1 wer.d in ••arob•• to the .. Japan •• e lADd-ba••d aircraft op.pting insotar a. naval and air ba •• in th. lWW7L. that the ~ber. ••aplan•• wer. in early April. additional bas •• had been eaptured b7 th. th.&DI KAVIDl..trat'rio po. On a Iq th. &Dd SO to . MIW lBELAlDI TSURDIII Air Sa•• .rat1on~ th.xc.ed aircratt ot the Southern Ar.cted the capture ot RABAUL. tro.*** The locatIon... 1D cVr'1iDl out tb.~d..rs at IUBAUL. ba.rated .ctiv. I In addition to tb. cour •• of' th.e .8.t...r..lation ot the Landini Operations of the StrategiC points of' tbe BISIARCIC and SOLCIION ISLANDS. SAJ·WAl1l. had a rather wid. b. but TULAGI b.ain...ric&D tore•• rro. a Ba•• Air roree on 1 April 11M2 with Headquart.r. 18665A 5/22/48 "War Di&rJ'ot 25th Air rlotl11a-l April to 11 lay 1942.d a. .

.. F171Dg board tichter... land ba.ed aircratt on th. to bay. to the nature ot the air oper.ain.. . YOIOSOU AIR GROUP . Ba..earch in the are..... the tol1bw1na a •• lan-eDt ot aircratt.. operation. .TTPe 1 'f7Pe 98 Land Att.ence of an an~ etrikinl torc. oafs 1Dt. .pected pre. Plbe.-.. 1942.ltioD ot th.t...ed airoralt 11 "t e.. eouth ot TULAOI.iOD ot toroe.lCi4 _ _ _ _ _ .. -.. and in reoODn~i •••nce.-. ... but it i.. .... (Zeta 11) (Batt7 11) (NELL 11) (UVIS U) VWluanau (Rabaul) 4 2 8 14 17 i U Rabau1 l ~. . ill' . a.r.. and boablnl op. ~.. _.ryen1Dl between the 25th. b..ot certain. op.. ot the need tor .• MOTOYAIIA Air arp.e ot her om airoratt both 1&Dd aDd . i. 1 April to 11 • .e TA!IM AIR GROUP 4th Air arp.oini t1r~t to SHORTLARD I11and aDd later to both SHORTLAND leland and TULAGl ._. u.rationa..ade. . word ot the attack OD t~l the. It will he . -8- _ .hlp baled ia .1 ___. err 17 app." 1D the ear17 dq.pan. ot the war •• due to the la. of the 4th of "8. After Nce!YiD. b..tioD..hlOm later that the Allled laYal..tiv.. H_. TULAGI ... .ound chance in y1I. prG91ded a. ObJectlYe .J laDd ba ••d aircraft rather than ~ laDd-ba.in. to the ..t air !bi. TJpe 9'1 TJpe is Ship-board Zero Ship. .. · - In addition. ot which.pb1biou. The nOld tor a tnans...t_rd UPOD the C~plat10D.ar.ration. . doten..ir o~. boat.· . (Clude 14) ti~hter. ID Yl•• ot the eu..._. ident17...a. .ed . polit10n to aupport the reconnai ••anc. conduoted b7 th. in th. at ot 25 April. The re••on tor . in rel. the. bad little tDto~tlOD a.... ot April and the 4th ot • .paolll intere. _____=_. lOEOSUIA Air am. Tt. - . Plane.pparent to th.. Coral S. WOO 161725._-_... taaediate17 .. attaok. t I u. ~ _.--. . torce. ba.. and ftl a . u. Land Att.ith at la••t 12 t17lns boatll at LAE.. a relUlt.. ~ UIUIJUS_.cau.hare ot the ored1t tor tbe rapid Japan ••• w!Yanc. _-...reat .. J.. di.ircraft tor tb.War DiU7 ot 25th Air Flotilla. ._ .y returned to SHORTLAID ISLAlfD.ed .per....~--~.eant • chance ot operat1Dg hal.* Thll.a.1' th.. knom that on th ••omin.. boat..e t11iD.e ot laY._. bel1M'ed that a .a relied priaarl17 OD !raT land ba.. Rabaul Lae 24 --r ""i2 14 28 - 14 The exact diapo. ware dispatched on ..~arcbe....

ft. Th.ed aircratt on the d~.. 1..hter. It will be Ihom later that the A1l1ed layal forc. Land Att. ••OD tor .) t1.. lI"eat ..d to SHOR'fW[) ISLAlD..1' '.~ the YOI[OSUU AIR GROUP ba. PUn•• boat' (ZO.. . bad 11ttle intoraatlon al to ttte nature ot the air operation. .. War .ed 1a _ph1bloul operat1ODI aDd in Hoonn~lIalllae.th of . 0_ III yl•• or the aulpecwd prelenoe of an . 2. OIl th• •0miD. int. . and WI.. ba.d tor a chan.tJd with at leut 12 tl71na boat. b- . a.lam ot toroe. Th~ r. Fqu. It 1. t171n. 4. . dllper. to haY.nta)'" . oonducted b1 tb. 18a._~ r~ 1£'-' " " " "• ... ... . TAIIAI AIR TJpe QROtlP 4..alt.. in relatl•• poa1tlOD to ~pport the reconna1. ot wb1oh.re dlepatched on I.ed a1rcraft i. ... md baaed airoraft tor th. ot 26 Apr11..hue ot the and1t tor the rapid Japan••• &\1YAIlC..th 611' Grp. air oOYer. err 17 appear.'. IIOTOYAIIA Air YOI[OSUIA Qrp.ro Ship. earl1 dq. op.__ .th ot ~ 18 Dot oerta1D. AI a r. Air Qrp. TJpe 97 as Ship-board Z.r==_~"_·--_--iMl~_.. .eant a chanee or operating ba.t to SHORTLAID bland sad lator to both SHORTLAND Ialand and TULAGI •• becau•• TULAGI ft.. boata ."--~__-_·-_-----'"---_ ~ .ra7 .Typ. 11) (Batt7 11) (NELL 11) (IUVIS 11) VunulD.outh ot TULAGI.epacial lIlteH... ~ _ _ _ _ _ . .. board Land itt. 1 ~96 ti. Atter rec.ain.t air attaok.. ~ 8 1. 1dent17.bln.. lNt it 11 mom tba\. WI• •adel Ba.. to the .r aircratt both laDd and . ot h.I proYided al a dateDS.. 1 April to 11 -&7 1&." lUI.t.. ca.. 11 2 a 14. the)" return.. w_=.au (Rabaul) bbaul bbaul IA. In addltlon.hlp ba.raUOIl.1y1n..010& tir.trikinl toroe. at LAZ.aance ObJ. (Claud. at the Deed tor ••arch in the area. !hil ule ot 'a~ lad ba.arohe. * .lUlt. the 25th. *War DiU"J ot 25th Ur Flot1lla. WOO 181125. the tollbw1nC a •• lcaaent ot alroratt.'fed that.t .. beU.hters Plan.ctiy. in the Coral Sea rel1G4 pr1aarl17 on I. ot th. • I "8 ar IT 28 "14 Th••xact 41epoalt1on ot th. . ot th.. ot .ouod chana' 10 yie.. word ot the attaok on taLAQI th. ne. 24. Artq.rd upon th. lud ba.1n. ot Apr1l and the 4.* Thl.I in ·!'>h...d1ate~ apparoot to the J...pan. operation. and bc. .ed alrcNt rather thaD Arw7 land-ba. a ..a due to the la..rTan1nC bet..plet1OD.

. ot aotion . 1 April to 11 I~ 1M2. 181.ua IUlm.e ••aplane:J operated troa SHORTLAHD laland tor tb~ tollowiDI .y. LoDe.r i • . th1a per.. Zero I f f . taot that tlT1111 boat..11e.ec:t 10 Lat. *War M&rJ ot 21th Air notlU&. ~~ter obtained at SHORTLAND liland.r DlaJ"7 usa TdOID (A'S) 10 IIq 1M2 1 -~- _ _ _. ot tb•• e plaD•• ~ hay. appear.. TJp. IIa7 11.bat air patrol at 0810 OD 5 Iq 1a Lat.rd ot that Thll a ••~. s)() .OUIJA. 1 111125.rat1q fro..a.t.~ .. bVIS r. 1D error. . . 1M2 • .r 5 1Iq...1tted ••arch.r to ••tabl1. th.t T)'pe a8 Shipboard Shipboard rilhter tlehter (ZIjU 11) (WW2LW 'l)'pe 98 Land Ut. th...dq operatlq out of' RtJSS!J.8tabl1abad CD 1 tollo. to the louthw. 01 • ~~I ... 1.en 11a1 t1Ac beariDI' leso and 185° fro. 1Dd1oated by th. to th. CULL 24 11) Boat (MAVIS ll) S 11 La.1tlDc be&r1DC' iIldlcated &boy.11e radiu..land .ralttec1 an ad. a.L I.llUed attaok. to a rad1u. AIR GRP.ldenc.... op.nt ot alrcratt a. 1 t i. wer.t p.a b.."uat. Sb"rtland MAli 8 S la -. to b. ot (0)-860 . S!vob April An. rra. TUUOI. A. 14°-65 a. not on the 4th.port. and freedo. 10110al 1 aa8lUcb a.. . JOI1lstlK.I abot down b7 a IORlTOII co.** Another . dailJ 'e&rob ot two 15° ••ctor. aft. eneaeed and d. teDd. b. WOO "AeUOD report USB IORI'l'O..uB ~ itb ~ ~ T1Pe 1 Attack Plane (IITTI1U 12t12tDA. .. and. UD°-01 1. TOUGI area OD aDt'. Search ar. or th.D tb. tt. a. to . poal1ble that ca. ill new ot tb• . 'I'Jpe 91 I!!.ce YW7 el0'.h th.t.. that b•••• ba.w.how that all ot the...ar. 150 -52' a and LoDe.. ~._~_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _~-- _ _t_rl_ _ _ _ ~ __ _ -. probabl.. OD. been operatiDe out ot SRORl'LUD. OD the other bud.0 -25' I.k. at 1045 OIl 10 Iq b7 11-P-2 011 pat~l troa Th••• two aotloD' took plac. aod t_d furth. . SOM. t61IA1.. !Dolud.. .. but th1. "re .. 8- 17 U- 12 I I i ~ The a ••1puaent ot 8 MAVIS to TULAQI .. PbDe rlT1DC i Rabaul 12 . Serial OM. . y1tal ar. aboYe aoUoo took pl.d the ar.. . tollowina aesian-.!...

plan.h~d a. . and.ld..~. i t thi •• reA had b... ***War Dlarr ot 25th Air Plot11l. 2 R t Z '" 8JO mileo fl)O 2 2 2 milol 800 lIilea «X> aiha 2 • Shortly afterward.ed at tAl. It will b. Ina . . tor *War Diary ot 26th Air not1l1a. eo~nt Lia1t1ng B.. ot gi&hnoe 650 milu A'ror.tlon available on th.pan. e. Coral S••••arob•• . 400 . 450 _750 760_1050 186°_1660 lSOo_l8)o 18)0-19QO Q. indioated belowr fa~£2l 6£ea D e .ector.r. It is theretore reaaonuble to assume that the aearchea from LA! wer.". however.o••••ry.. aseilDed... The 100 . but Japanete diaaru... cogld bav.ed at that field at that time. 11 no tnfol'll.ve been . R.peciMlly in vie... SO . It .i..ctiv.~ thi~ ..archea oov.t... assigned for .earoh.ly. objective ot the •••earch.*** In vi •• ot th••bov. The SALAMAUA field waa too ~all tor heavy aircraft.rora.. not. I ~ t Th. 1 April to 11 lay 1942. ~ ~L~tt~ _ _ r .. obJ.en given the atr.1 atsce ~ 111188 No. . ctorl with two plaue. . The disposition of forces bet.. 97. ..t that could h.e had &IIple planes and pilot. woe 161725.d tbat ..tion ot J'panese Ottio1al. . nothing but fighter.tabli..r r wspe 4 A4 •• n ¥4+ .. The J. Y and Z L~d ~ay possibly have been provid~d to C~.uch a. r:. e.18 not considered that the8e aearoh•• were the be.~l·Yl hit Point P WAUL RABAUL RABAUL LA! 1. covered a con.aoh .ector . ba. I • -10- I .vantualtty.. .f~ KOO RABAUL S..1 they could . 1700 _2100 No. Ro.re not operating from LA! during the Coral Sea Operation .A! Lillitillg geadna.. it 13 considered that the aectors frOil this point ot origin . an additional patrol area oalbd the KOO .ector. i t :.Mde with the planea available ..0 " .. theae flying boMt.a was the protection of own foroes thru recoonaillance and thadowing to locate And trail any enaIIY foroes in the area. ot tJ.r.carcely cover the area adequately. and other evidenoe tends to indioate that no other planes were ba. .een 1 April and 4 May ahow.eotor wi tb thr. WOO 181725.rable portion ot .dditional plan •• .en aupplbd.d Arter that d~t. Th.g10 laportanoe it merited.. 01y11ioo Interrog. .. 1 April to 11 May 1942..ere probably not .ector and on.v. **05885 (Paciflc Raval An.. of the weather at t1111 tlae. con~eted by MAVIS flyln€ boat. ..arW.. 1 .. b.. ~ .d tlv. .fter " May.. 3nd prior to the 26th of April.

plo.nt ot tb.a to r. . tenduI.r 1942.. or troa ahor. 1942 to 11 Ma.~uat.ctiv. 10 th1. tor Alli.nd..lin.. thl.1asance through medium bombera.' .ooana18. i6 (DAVIS) or both. nre _pl01ed to .. J.d their carrier planea tOl' s.~d.r aar!nl alon.d by land ba ••d aircraft. . in thi. and that ..dvano. as . tlo. ot vi.d. farther louth tor prot. .. indioat.Ul..ot.. oth. .t. and to provide air cov... to ba •• . I I i In addition to tb.. land-ba •• d .d in aaking lt po •• ibl. air oov.nt consi.7 Iova.ell •• ot patrol and tloat plan. that tb.C.r provid.d tore •• to strike without warninl. Icb. South Seas Force.. Th.d.ir . . of the Battle ot the CORAL S1" wal in fUrtherance ot the basic plan to sd •• b. 8 ••~cb doctrine appeiU'a to have b.ploya.a. to auc-.n.ndently. purpos ••• It will b•• ppar. tbe BIJIRIlA'" Mana and the KAIIUA"A MaN .ea. plan•• usually w~t out and. A.pt .\on .* Tbo weath.d dlr.~o ••incl. ..r b••• d aircraft and aubmMrlnea. .r. n.r it.d aircraft.. CruDiv 6) .r tb.ir *OperatiQn MO and the Battle or the CORAL SEA. str. toro.ened the value ot the •••rche.se.t dut. a minor one and d.r. unit.turally l.t. group.LA .r SHORO tor the P~rt Mor••b. I j j 1 f I I J'PID'" D. the capture and occupation of PORT MORESBY by ..y seldo.connaissance.r.eu to accOlllpl1sb all a. when a cold front paa ••d ov. 1A.rial r.. art.1. r.r.ood axc.IUL - .ctlc.. .a. ~. Tbe Japanea.ro (PITtS) or typ.. whlch op. Both ot the. in u ••• tl' ..d trQl t.r &rl4. a aaJor one..ot17 to the 10 radar 'q!l1P1... 7. rloat planes. SHOHO'.t.obed aircratt to th. ~O Occupation 'orce (Coabat Report Nc.. on.plan.r ar. W8' not ad.v.lth tb..a not otbarwl •• .t bi-plano. .. tt. t. and a. d.b~ b1 Under. flying boats (pGtrol plan•• ).roupa were .t DEBOlME on lay 8tb.pane •• fore •• at tb.lon 'oro.po ••d ot ihor't ran.lbility. Th.. b.arch.iroraft. ua.d two .. .d toward8 its de8tination more or l.ovinl southward '~d8r the oover ot land baa. Japan ••• r.r tTP' Z. r. apparlQtly~ on blttine a bad n...th. Combat Report No.rob ot an . Tber••ere evidently two ~peration. eriod 25 Apr.r.rs Wire .urtao.siined priaarlly to obtain • baae for air r. J. tabl1.siat. that tb.iroraft and patrol plan•• tb.con.. the arc to cuv.d b7 the ..upent the DOl'IIal ••arob.alis. ar•• w.lly .s.pl0Yment N.lr att.zaRM'" pllAl' " iMp UI•• ba. tend.ss ind. Tb••• unit..ch irouP proc. Japan ••• pr..1tb.p.all carri.r.nt tb. .tir.gic d.r to~ . -11- -- .arch but instead used the above planes. radlu.l Foro•• Th...~ 1 Thos8 . the capture or TOLAGI--the other..pan ••• ulI.h . oc::.ptlD.plan•• oouth.dul. conn..ted ot flv ••Ul.nd. . support.turn.nt tb.d ba ••• tor provldln.t thi.d .etabli. and sbip-ba8ed aircraft not carrier ba •• d •.r condltion. and a . tthus leaving th.d.d .

min•• .e foro •• movina aouLn were looated about al fo11owl fro. about 0820.ioD.quate t~r eith'r . lon.** The co.posltlon of tbeae force. *Tactic a . 1ovolved. carri.thod to b.1rcratt to coyer tbe ar.. 10gioa1 a.r plan•• ne..·ier forc ••i tb two t!r.~~ . ar. At th.d be u. . . Dot known exactl1.played by Japane •• Air Forc •• in attacks on Navkl and •• rchant Sbippinll Op-S5 A. operat1o. polition wit~out . the objective at the other rorcea was ·protective". and i 1 (t) The Subaarine Foroe location 1..ctiTe of the TULAGI and PORT MORESBY Invaaion Force ..ouod and 1a th.. It . the oa •• durln. .hould be noted tbat whereaa the obJ.. but all six 1U~1ne. a. . bo. aol.ed tor ..r. ot u. (e) Tbe Strlk1nC 'orce . Japane •• tound urlent D~.e it .nt .tra11an.1n. Au. the oocupation of TULAGr. ot th.. Battle ut th. i.r plan•• and th1 .tward ot TOLAO! and aouth of HEW CEORGIA Ialand. ..tr. ahown in Appendix "I". .vacuat. .. 1n whicb carri. a over 150 aU. Tbll practio.d b7 th.d a. In thls oa. . . torpedoed. eaoh able to reach their launohin. .aa a typioal bilbly mobUe car . tlme ot itl occupation on kar S--it bad been . . .t.* !bert .r oarrier baaed plan. to b.1no..t line carriera.. adequate and can be relied upon to turnhb th. tor the Japane •• Str1k1nc Poroe and T' 17 . 1.lon Faroe had oocupild TULAGI. It will be noted thAt at tbe a~ent th. ..t& (a) The PORr MORESSl Inva. (d) The TULAGI lovaal~n Force wal at TOLAGI. indicated in Diacraa (C.0 The first operation wa.r1k1ng torce.. AS Par 1 or AUI.r.. th. it oon t1oue. 1. w.aUaDle to aake up a liaziau. Greek ahip oft HOUKE! OD 7 May..a. to tbe we. lntor. non..ooutiDI. (c) The SUpport 'orce .. wben th.r.. 1945 **War 01&17 USB TANGIER (AV-B) 7 May 1942 ..I.1y ·capture and occupation". -12- ..D. not ad..loo Force waa at anchor 10 RABAUL. Coral S. a. (b) The Caverins Force . MaJ 'S.ation required tor the ... aD May 2-the deploya. .pl01..aa in tbe aame area and wa..eouritr ot the toree. 60 al1ea we8t ot the Coverinl Force. TULAGI Iova. about 6&0 al1es north•• at or TULAGI and on a aoutheaaterly courae..re oooa. . land ba... The Striking Force .d tor ••arob by oarri.at to ea.id. d. other Japane.

with two tenders. the RD-5:5. (Actually. SHlRAURO. AUSTRALIA.. and one de~troyer the SAZANAUI. Doc. (3) To reconnoiter* *Full Translation of the PORT MORESBY Operation. r-28. destroyers.king forces which come into the Co'!"&! Sea. and I-29.y~ (a> striking Force (1) To cover PORT MORESBY Invasion Force.. the SHOHO. RO-54. the SHIGURE.!!!. 1-24. None of these shiae were equipped witb radar and one of the carriers were fitted with "homing" devi. and American planes and ships being 'delivered. (e) SUpport Force (1) To support SOUTH SEAS Units. the MYOKO and HAGURO and sb. (2) To destroy Allied Fleet (which might I ~ppear on the Icene) (3) To destroy by air raiding operations on TOWNSVILLE. V. The tasks assigned these combatant forees by the Japanese were as their names impl. this task was left to the discretion of the Striking. (This and PORT MORESBY Inva~ion F~rces) (d) Submarine Force (l) To destroy enemy st:i. which is an ex-submarine tender and ex-oiler. the Covering Force was a su~race force ot four heavy cruisers. ARIAlCE.Force CaamaIlder) (b) Covering Force (Referred to by Jap~lese as PORT MORESBY PrinCipal Unit of Main Bod¥) (1) To cover operations of both TULAGI ard PORT MORESBY InVasion Forcea. YUGURF. May 1942-V01. the !OSk. KlNUGASA. the ISHIRO snd the HOYO-MARU. the Submarine l"crce DS pr1maril¥ a submlil'ine activity with six submarines. (2) To destroy enemy shipping. the Support Farce was a light.'1. force of two light cruisers the TENRYU' and the TATSUDA with gunboat8.the SHOIAKU and ZUIKAKU. 18665 (WDI 56) ~braces both the TULAGI . I-22. USHIO. minesweepers and auxiliarles.. there. and with a screen of two heavy cruisers. AKEBONO. ![AKO and PURUTAKA plus a SDall type carrier (CVL).

vessels not adequately p~otected were usually destroyed by Allied submarines." .. unless used in concentration with carrier forces and land based air forces.. . therefore.arine atta~k even thougb air cover thru an inner air patrol was provided. and in support ot the operatio~ at PORT MORESBY.. which had beretotore operated in the CORAL SEA.l ! ·.. failure to do this adequately caused the 108s of the SROHO.vulnerable ano. The Japanese appear to bave believed tbat this type ot a single carrier task torce would continue to be _ployed by the Wies and that they would meet one group with the SARATOGA only. ot the arrival ot the various units in the Soutb Sea area might have been changed. _. so long as she remai~sd as part of the Covering Force. as the AOBA class were SS knot cNisers.... tOl"lled a carrier task force or two carriers. Tb6 lone destroyer. and appears to have b"en adequate tor the purpose. she restricted its freedom ot action. consisted of one carrier on~. A study along this line by the Japanese would probaD17 have indicated to them the necessity for mutual support and concBntration.. However. two ot these carrier groups bad been employed in t. without a destroyer screen it was subject to sub. The Striking rorce was designed to meet the threat of the Allied ligbt carrier task forces from tbe south as well as land based aircraft from Australia.he attack on LAE and SALAllAUA..placed witb the Covering Force tor protection.. \ . The f~rces assigned this group were inadequate against Allied forc . had... with one exception. all' aearcbes for lilllited sectors. botb in defense ot the cruisers and t.ransports. ~ . It will be remembereu that Allied carrier tf!sk forces. .. at least. They.-. wbich is believed tO'be a plane guard tor the SROHO. The SUpport Force was designed to assist in escorting both the TULAGI and PORT MORESBY Invasion forces as well as to support landing operatioDs by guntire.. nevertheless.. Also.~"·lt. As it was. and the timing. In this one exception. sbe was very . althouch the lack ot I . She could provide anti-~ubmarine patrols. it could be destroyed piecemeal by strong enemy raiding torces... _ _ " ....." '. The fact that only one destroyer was provided tor these cruisers suggests tbat already the Japanese were finding that they did net bave sufficient forces adequately to support their many tasks. and ber planes could be ot conSiderable value. • i 1 L. The Covering Force was evidently designed to cover the landings at both TULAGI and PORT MORESBY with priority to the latter operations and to provide ~erial security for the PORT MORESBY Invasion Force. whicb was designed on the premise tbat the otfensive power of the two silllHar carriers i8 mUCll greater than twic~ that of one carrier engaged in a silllilar operation. was therefore. Although the SHORO was a 25 knot CVL. This is especially so regarding the earlier arrival of tho Striking Force. Should this group not be employed with carrier forces or with adequa~e land based air.. . Later in the war. believed to be in the area.. is considered entirely inadequate for ~estroyer screen. aineaweeping and kindred activities for that type of operation..

" . knd has chosen the morning 01' that day to transter 9 01' th_." '.. . This would indicate that more submarines were required i f the area was to be properly reconnoitered. one of which was the TULAGI InVasion Force. any direction excepting from the north. The Japanese apparently did not weigh very heavily the Allied capability of attacking TULAGI.•.Actually. .. It was tran8porting 18 planes (Zero type) trom TRUK to RABAUL for the Tainan Air Group. Copies of his orders state that the Striking Force was directed to directly support the South Seal Units. until the Port lIu~­ esby Invasion Force had left RABAUL.. ... ' i :I 1 The Covering Force evidently covered TULAGI from the west at a distance of about 150 miles. deltroyer8 lert the foree vulnerable to 8Ubmarinel..1 - '. Wh7 the Commander ot the Striking Force cho8e to transfer bis planes at this time is not apparent..•......... is not known..... to laplsment the relatively sketcbT air reconnai8sance... Then the Striking Force would head south and west at high speed to catch any Allied carrier force which might attempt to interfere with the PORT MORESBY attack. The Striking Force a180 fueled on the morning 01' the 4th. were operating in the southern part of the CORAL SEA. The Striking Force was far distant trom TOLAGI on 5 II~.. The reaaining 9 were transterred on the aorning of the 4th. '·_ . which was the least probable direction. th. _ .0 .-101)5 .... Had they considered the Allied capability of attacking their torces at TULAGI and had they positioned their forces to counter this action. as enemy information showed that Allied 8urface and carrier force.S being held baCk in the area north of TULAGI and beyond the reach of Allied planes.. Why the Japaneee did not use more submarine... no Jar-3Dese submarine reported TF 17. The SUbmarine Force was pr1Jlaril1 a lublar1ne actlvit1 with neo8saary tenaera. AS the TULAGI operatlou was scheduled tor early morning 01' lIay 5rd...because of its dual covering function and because .~ . Be was certainly not in position to cover the TULAGI Invaslon rorce fro._.. AI will be shown later. Instead. it appears that his location violated the factors of securit1 and concentration. The taske asslgned this torce were doubtful ot aocoaplisbaent except in a m08t ainor way. '~'.. a submarine contact by a plane of TF 17 caused CTF 17 to consider himself discovered by" the enemy. -. and therefore the Striking Force 1I8. The dotted lines show where these transters were made. a1ght have caught CTF 17 with reduced forces. It is possible that either Commander 4th Fleet or Commander Striking Force had decided that there would be no attack on TULAGI by ~he Allied forces. because 1t 1s almost 1JIpossible tor six lubmarines adequatel1 to reconnolter a large area or to 80 cover an area al to insure the destruction or damage of en~ striking forces which come into the area.. they appear to have decided that the Port Moresby Invasion Force would be to sole objective.

anDer. IDC #160465 KSuppl_ental Report-Truk-Baval &: Naval Air Field Te8111 IS. unless discovered by a subaarine. Such an opportunity would ap~ear to have been presented by TULAGI.nt or bOth.. would come into the Coral Se. . maader to warrant attack in torce. of 16 dated lay 7.. ohould an Allied toree interfere . howc:" . the Japanese appartlDt17 did not think that TULAGI w .y into a vulnerable pOSition. the COYering rorce actually covered the TULAGI landing b. that they must be 80 disposed as to be able to coordinate their ettort with other friendly units in the most etrective . USSBS.uttic1ent17 attractive to tbe Allied Coa.oye to the support ot TULAGI by air iulediately. web as PORT 1I0RF. a tact that 1t it i8 desired to bring an ena. although the latter operation ~!!2l ae_ important enousb. beyond the eastern shores nt thoee islands. it should be atrelsed that concentration at sea today ~oes not mean necessarily that ahipi ault be wIthin visual signal distanoe ot each other.* Tbia OoverlDi rorce would bave been ot little value against a talt carrier task group ot the tn>e _ployed by the Allied toroel. It la. 1000ething be values. in till.pl071nc three (8) carrier tighterl and attack planes in that operation. oetween SAR *saOHO Action Report 17. they would destroy it by a sin. ot course.r. Sea. although with radio ailence In ~rrect this tactor is wort~ot serious consideration. So they sent the Striking Force south on courses which carried it Just clear or these searches and clear ot the coast watchera. and theretore the CoyerlDl roroe reaained at aucb a distance troa TULAGI aa would per.t noted trOID the chart or air searches that the Auatrall&!'1 land baled air searches covered the SolOilOD.it it to . ThUS. They estimated that this fore. The Japanese thought that the Allied Caamander would be aware ot the movement ot the PORT MORESBY Invasion Force and wo~ld send a torce into the Coral Sea to intercept it. IIlUSt be threatened and he aust teel cOllpel1ed to e%pose himselt in order to protect it. In this cODQection..e tae would pemit it to retum to PORT MORESBY at L"l econOilical apaed and.BBY. It doel mean. JAPANESE fWIl It rill bI..'lle or double envelopa.y . Aa a matter ot teot. Tbe Japanese apparently knew that. this rorce would be an unknown torce ot great strength which would b: available tor a ISUdden strike against any Allied torces which attempted to tnt.errere' with either the PORT MORESBY Operation or the TOLAGI Operation.** They planned that. Tbe searches acrocs the Solomon Islands reached their max1mua radius about 45 aile. . unless _ployed in coorclinetion and concentration witb a Japanftse talt carrier talk torce or with land based air in strength. and yet. to oover the Port Moresby Invasion rorce.r I ot the iaportanoe ot the PORT MORESBY operaUClI1. or. 1942. the SolOllClll Islanda and limited portions ot the Coral Sea. lID opportunity must appear to be presented to the weaker adversary to inflict a relative1r greater 108s on the stronger than he expects to Burrer himselt. at the a.

outh where hi •• uoport .n thoulht in tel''' ot laD<! operationa.pane •• "1" hopef\tl ot their tr.nd ~rtar.nd ln •• out~.bl.. 15 Septe"ber 1941. to explain to the Fleet how the Cann•• oould h. otten tail beo. no talk ot • TSUSHIIl or ot • NIL! or ot • TRAFALGAR.trikin~ trom the .d .t.rrler toro.ft.l wartare and l.ot.. Th.ttu 7 d.. ot on. r i"port.e Hi&h Command .top it. th. •• • 11' . too 100ie . .p.n de.mpt.t...n dlreoted to join TF 11 OIl "y 1. If.i~ht r.ertul _J. 1' ot Alli.bout SOO . wa.. Th. in '1'1'01' .outh..rror. ot the CORAL SEl. di •• imilarlty. whioh had p•••• d b.o that hi would be in Ire.ed .. SEA troll TONG1TABU on May 1 . And at TSUSHDIA ."dolJl ot lotion.d objeotive ..n a little 11101" realhtl0 they mi~ht ha~ deoid.l.treot the AiUed tr.ider. lopment.ther of' a land Yiotory. It had proo.o •• there WIl.ition ..l..bility or .in.y would ha~ probahly arri~d .al. the cann. venter and or • double enoirclement with Itron~ foro •• on the enelllY'.e -.rma ot • na~l viotory but r. o...re ••• wl11 be .ther th*n trom the e •• t where he .n .d to the CORAL. Th.~ I t .n oDoortun~ty to an alert and po."in in .r torOl.uLF where thelr wavy wa. r t f I f I I ~ I " I ..nd •• yor to .ktoro" in th.outh.n Ii ~n l .l. there w•• on.t the enemy o.adily be di. r. .y.nrtb than h...nstb. and oppo.Dd that nawl oper. . .nd ..t.. it au.ho-D later..outh ot wh8re .pane •• pl.nd tr.d l.~ll. In the tir. apparently. the ...~ the thoulht of' the Alli. .e.tioD with .hould ha~ be.ble. The)' lIIilht ha~ eXplot..tr.. Had the J.They att.nd provhlonlnl.ir •• tl .nd .I t I CRI!TOBA1 I..il.tt .~rl..l. to have overlooked the ll1portanoe ot TULACI to the Allied co_nd.t pl.y ott. oorr. maint. pointed out that na".ORESPY.o.. theyw.otion lay.and ywt at the WILE •• 11011 enysloped the rrenoh.. ot r..Y"upke.e StrIiIns Foroe TiotIo...t b.e lde.nd o. iD the .1' . In thi ••• timet.nn.tr.tro.p.treedom ot .ent at Sr•• t l. I' tront Had they be. In the . apparent when one oOD8ider.nd oonoeption.1I10Dl b•• ed OIl l. onoe .r. and UDd'1' tb.e .d w t to • po.outh ot the NEW HEBRIDES. The oap.oovered by J. TF 17. Th.~ b•• n oon.u.t. wh..otion in the CORAL sr~ by reoonnoit.rrier toroe had r.hould h. .otioD and would th. -know Your Enemy·.Dd at TRAFALGAR the enemy rleet bad be.xploted by the J.pan.lailer .d it at the CORAL SEA.rn part ot the CORAL SEA . de.outh ot PORT V.pane.. • oour.pproaoh tro..~ .d 1 atter the Battl. They •••• .~ be. alwaY' thinkinS of' • C.d but .d pi.~ility ot .d that their f t .nd-b••• d airor. and whil • • uoh thought h wlu.y att.ld.noe than th.nother o.nd th.r.y .n BFATI . Ther.. the J. ne~r thou&ht in t.e~ond pl.eded vi.rins muoh tarther to the .o.aker toroe r.~tion ot podtiOD.. whioh o.t troa the . r. however. the oono...tu •• d to be h.. i.nd henoe hi'.nd ore.rly dir.retofor. 00 .ented ..oted. aDd whiGh had be.n . TF 11.oeme.d it tra.ed the failure of the J. Their •• ti_tie that Allied toro•• would know ot the PORT MORESBY toro• • nd would .m~ted thi •• t LETT! r.pan•••• iror.t. The re •• on tor thi. w••k tlank•• .edoll ot .u •• ot thl. the J.turn. pro~d to b."'98r...p .t the time ot -hi •• sti.roh•• 1'1'011 ther' would .n~c..outh.nd ESPIRITU SANTO I. are not .pane.nd EROMlNGa or .ubmarine. the ••• t . .n.or • holdin~ oper.tro.Dd view.ti~ pOIition .

e blows on isoleted weak detachaent. SUpport the op~rations ot friendly forces in the Pacific Area and in the Indian Theater.munications within the Southweat Pacifie Area and tts close approachus.""'~'" r . NEW ZFALAMD. the Southeast Pacific and the Pacific Ocean. t. actini~under his authority and general direction/ would exercise command ot the combined armed forces which at any time aight *CINCPAC O~eration Plan 2~-42. This area had for this purpose been divided into three larse areast the Southwest Pacific. I..acArthur had been aade SUpreme COIIIDande'r or the Southweat Pacinc Area and'had fOnla11y aS8Ulled ca. *** Review of War in Pacific Arau-Navy Staff Colleg. •. the latter being further subdivided into the North. thence south to Latitude 100 South.en-.-CM~taln T. ThE> t'ertinent portions of the northern and western bout~dariefl of the Southwest PaCitlc area were: frOll Longitude l~OO East along the E~uator to Longitude 1650 East. . • Alli~ COlllllan~ Belatioga The entire Pacific area had been desianated as an area of U. -l:e~ . Central and South Pacific area•• The boundaries of the Southwest Pacific area. Admiral Nimitz was directed t. 1 I ~. aircraft. '1..tense of their invaslon forc.iral Nimitz &6 Coamanderin-Chief.Dd bases in Eastern IALAYSIA and the NEW GUINEA-BISMARCK-SOLOMON Island Region. The South Pacitlc area wee bounded on the Weat by the Southwest Pacific area and on the North by the Equator •• General .B. and southwesterly to Latitude 170 South. and those of the South Pacific araa. At the same time.** At this time he had been directed to. Robbins. Pacific Fleet. Published by Head~uarters Army Air Forces 1945.pon8ibility.o appoint L Commander of the South Pacific ar~a who. including as it did. H~d they done thia correctly they would have drawn their forcea aore tightly together and thus in lured a aore ade~uate d. **~y Air Forces in the War agaInst J~pan 1941-1942.hence South. the LOYALTY Islands.s. the NU' HEBRIDES Islands and the JANTA CRUZ Islands was set up as an area command under Aa.y for quick and destructi. Protect land. sea and air ca.*** OCV~ (b) (c) The South Pacific area. NEW CALEDONIA. Longitud~ 1800 East.. Paclrtc Ocean area a aa well &II COIIIIIIander-in-Chief. strategic r~.S. Coral Sea engagement for it was within these areas that the operations in connection with this action were conducted. USN.ang other tasks Ca) Check the eDeay advance toward Australia and its essential liDe of comaunications by the destruction of 3neay coabatant troop and supply ships. 194~ . .re of considerable interest in the study of th.Dand or this area on 18 April. .~~ I·~: .

ho exerclled no control over the supporting forces but who bad full control over their own navu torc. ln the Pacitic at tbat twe. whether or Dot the.. Robbinl...ed D~ control over the. CIICPAC and it " ' . thu senior of ricer of either power would be in cOllllland.r.aand re8poD.bo~e. in the South Pacific area. bet.___ p~lt· • . .t Pacitic . did not havQ aD7 oontrol 07ar the AM7 Air rorce. to the CC*landv. UD1tecS Stat•• and the Soutb.. OYer the Coral Sea Area..aunicatlon betw.m&nd because ot the nature of c. Iq8tbH wba.t. fbI' U'OUtiOD.) Hold the i. 1~4~.r-1n-Chiet.. ec-ADd.. Mlpport. South Pao1f'1c area. apparentl1.. Captain T. •• it bapp_ed. PaCiflc Fleet and hl. . **CINCPAC War Cbry. theretore.1Dated. oj . . contributed to hiM own planaJ on the other band.b'. tlJing 1D hi.ithin its boundari •• b~ outaide torces aight be 8ucee••fUl. required within the Southweat Pacific area in order that the naval oper&tlona .. ot the toro. U~N. that oaa. decided thMt when an Aaeric.d to hSa •• lt. too~ . aDd air O~\\IIlicat1oa ••• At the t1a. there wa. j I j I *Review of War in PacifiC. Aairal llalta had not .-\' (. that CTF 11. Re .y hlBb degree of coordination _..B.rrler oper..e toree •• 0 (b) 8alpport the operation.1t~ Australian forces~ the . CINCPAC that he controlled the carrier taak tore•• in the Coral SH. the CoamQDd.. traa the .lbl1l~ tor naYal op«retloDI in the Coral On tbe oae hand .~ ~ be a ••iIDed that area.rei.ed c~&Dd 0ger the DAyal torce.e operationl.. .d aa. and aupport1a& na~al...one oth. .1lDd po. tbe Ca. Thu. . It . eoamander CTr 11 . taak torc. Mopril.rtaiD talk. It Bbould b.. A "er. Southnlt Paeitie area who exercl..UiOD.en with the Australians concerning Britlsh Qr Austr&ll&n coamand of combined force. Pacific OCHIl ar. recion. II~ 1942. but wbo .n carrier unit was operating .tion.ould be in ca. Army-Navy Staff College..O•• M!'7 tor the MavitJ or the liD•• ot ca. ***CINCPAC 'ar Dbl'1.t Pacitle area •• (c) Protect the ••aetlal .*** 0 S..poneibill~7 had arl.. likewi •• .ouaed OOImand ot tbe pacltl0 Ocean area~ altbouch he did ••sua. 11 ' .a.u~a D.lludar. apparent.. ot the Battl..oec the•• were to - ·0 .._" zm • .b. there exi.ted a dlyld.x..t the lapae. operaUOD. b)' ~irtue of bll author1t. otherwise when the naval forces of the two powers were operkting together. th.. called upon to support th... Aairal I1If1ta a. ac. lSMI.ea the. ot th. Coral saa. in the &Nth. all' end _phibiou. which had be_ a •• ip. and no carrier operations were involyed.t a.a.t ter.enior Aaerican naval otficer .r-iD-Chi. the battle had beeD wo. a ••1ped o. Another question of divided camaand rc. .and at 1100.

. •• lt bapp_ed.. trca the .ad at 1100. Army-Navy Staff College.d.e ooordination ". tor th.'.uthorit.nd 0"81' the DaYal torce.bo~e.hen an .hen the naval forcel of the two po.••• tore. 11ke. A_iral .ted a dl~lded oae-&Dd re. 41d aasua. CDCPAC and it . on 1.y out. ot tbe Coral Sea.. by ~lrtu. call.o.wo bad full OOIltrol over their own navd tore.. A very bleb degr.xerci. OEN.. to til. **CINCPAC War Dlary..d OQIaand ot tb.be. the Austrllhane concerning Bri Ush Qr Australian coarnand of combined forces in~.1D& Da~al. I 1 '. Robbins. .a... theretore.apport.d tbe carrbr tau torce. r " *Revlew ot War ln PacifiC. M&f 1942..... PacUlc r1ut and hi. there exi. ~prl1. outh P. a..Ano~} T qu£at1on of dhlded coaaand roaponaibll1t. .. ... In the Paoitlc at the+ tille.. . and no carrier operations ware involv.k t~ • c~ander CTr 17 who exerciud no control over the supporting torcer.lIBeIS that ana.O. _~.1".r band. dld Dot have Ulf oontrol onr the Ara7 All' roree. air aad _phlbloua operaUOD. C~ander. 194£.. appalWlt. South. ~ 8CNth Paoitl0 area. the Coellllder-in-Ch1et.. lioil. ot bh . ..• .y.. aupport.tlona wlthln ita boundari~s D.rrier operatlons. erlcan carrier unit was operating with Australian forces. the .ere operktlng together... *ira). required witbin the Oouthweat P. &Dd a1r cc. ***CINCPAC War Dlar..1d.t Pacltio area D.at Paoltlc l • ! ar•••• ! f ~ (0) Prot.. Tbu.y had arisen with . 11D•• ot o~\mlcat101l batnea th••• r. contributed to his OWft plane.. the battle bad bttera u. .rtAlIa teat.b~b. Paoltic Ocean ar.d.~ otllCI'• •1ob bad belill a ••1IDed to Ma ••lt. ta.. a (b) &apport the operatioD. tlJiDg 1D hi.B.d upou to &upport thea wh.-'i. i" the Cor. 1I1ADd poaltlOD. the senior officer of either power would be in coaunand. bet... but wbo . Ua1t.t tezw1Dat."-. •• eua..m~d because ot the n_ture of c.I\UIllCaUOIl ••* it the Us.t the ". ot th.s decided thMt ..t Pacitlc ~ea who .cific area. tbe ec-ander."...cl 8tat•• and the .*** S. tor U.lIdti •• ca-aad. MCNr1tJ ot tb. AaGal th••• ware to - :~ (&) Bold' th. ~.. Captain T..era . torce ••1ght b• •ueee ••tul • .. . l " 8cNth. tbat C'1T 11. Re exerelaad ooaa. paclfl0 Ooean It Ibould b._ in order tbat the naval oper. .lblll~ tor na~al opar..lped o. appanmtl" aa . IqltbH .enior Aaerican naval officer would be in co.lalta ba4 Dot ..tloD.autiOD.ther or not tbo. It w.r-1D-<:hlat.\j ~ .~·t' .t araa~ altbouch b.BoriC that he controll. and .l On tbe one band _. .pon. ot the Battl.cific ar.a.a1D.ed D~ control over tbe •• operatlona.loa. tbere .en th. 1 be a'.eD. toro•• in the ScNth. over the Coral Sea Area._ >..__ "'~~_11!1'111111""""_--~P''''_T' • • __ . otherwise . that 00.ct the ••• entia! . 1D the Coral Sea.a.

the.e.. to~ li~ht and bomber.) RABAUL had two op.I Illud.a durin.. at.irtield.The ~o VJ~ .17 VP - stren~th in th~ ~~-RA~Aut ar •• to oonsi..t thl majority of thl •• ba. QASllATA Md an aerodl'o.ed by boaber•• KZltA had a land plane tield whloh wa.rThe A rio.taotory tor iiI'l'nary o~ .nd OASVATA. beln~ e.3 VP 6 vr *ctF 17 operation order No.. lm'J BRlTAlll.e'plane.ted on the waterlront..... i (b) (0 ) (d) KAVIENO had an 'Irtield u. BUB IllaDd. 101l0Wi. the period under dllou.airoraft "vaUa'ull ln thll ar.n oo_nd'l" 1m. RAlSAUL.hore bas.. ..t. IAVIlNO.. (. ' .ld .iI . WAT<II.r •• j e. li. FAlSI I. tional airfield.d in the harbor ..1<& VP 2'<& 'IF LA!.t of thl rollowlng. end bomb. In.o knew th. 1noluded .. ao a.. for April 26 and vay 4.. <& vp BAYUL.hioh . .e.nd LA!! in DIf OUI1Q:A.r••nd a third ti..tall.20 VB .. had oooup1ed b. u. . .tJmat. ~ u•• d by ri~ht~I" and bomb. aDd SALlMAUA . the Japane . u•• d by patrol .atl. under ooftltruotlon.Dd BUI.Dd ULU IIl. OD BOUOAInn.. 26 April MBAULt III aft -.land had had buoy.n• • oorlns.mall . t1on•• \ (. ..ted by the Jape_.ne opera'in.. re lon. or ••• pl.40 VB .d airoraft 12 n' .ted below. and a beaohln~ ra.omewhnt but their dhpoeitlon. ~ :I .ion varied . the follawial pl. NIW WLAND..d a..41 \IB .Dd. not . DDUL .d that the .had a harbor whioh wa. and tishter. 14 'IF .uitable not bein« u.. 2-42. S'. u.pl. PAISI IIl.) ~.p . .ht be u•• by patrol •• aplane •• a (t) SALAMAUA.Dd mi. JUIU .. HI al.r03l'o. ~ had an aerodl'ome whiuh WI.16 VB . 12 VF . an .Dd.oe. RAMUL. an ad_aoed field b1 RAMUL..aplan•• . taol11'1•••• lndio. .ed.d by both flsh'e". Innex •• - -20- .

He con. but '. The a1.rou. 'e.yinl out the directlve tram the hilb oaamand to chick turthtr advance. the lo. MOUIIEA.t LiE on the . the SHORO which in the area we.ed t_po ot all" attact.ot . Be telt that the increa.. ~f• • 'I._-_.r. just north ot Cape toRI PDlINSULA.re ba.d up to 'MUGI with th. ot CarOlv Fl.orninl ot the 4th. not inolude. "onl the..paneae n. *CTI' 11 Operation Order 10. 1 aDd that aq haYe .ta'llDi field t~1' alrorart procI.. Qther de. and DARIII. had e.turn to .and thll cruller.trike OD roLAOI and did not r.ent toward South•• t lEW GUIllA. 2-42.tabllahed operational airfield. t~at RABAUL we. MEW GOIlfU. I I t He had intora. FIJI ISLANDS. kDotm that OD' au_arlne tender and thHe or aore _ _ rln.-------_. and that a laree nuaber or tr. ZUIIAKU and SHOIAJ(U and four d•• troY8r.tr~yer. r . a ..port... PORT IOat. 1D the RE1f GOIBEA-DOLOIIONS area bad eltabUshed bales in TOIGATABU. CLOHCURRY.~jor operation.aplan•• troD the IlYOIAWA MARU thkt wer••hore ba.l port tor convoy.. tore •• tbat oocnapbd that baH.re alao reported to be in the TRUI area.er SOLCIIONS or both. Th1a intol'llAtion was leneruLJ correct. MEW HEBRIDES.t . Annex "C". S iP --------. had been at WAUL ln reoent dayt..tt..eaborne lnvalloa or ot OCCUP71n.ver. althougb lt .idered that mo. bad been noted there reo«lt17. Thll intorlllltion proved to bl correct. Includ.. • detaohaent. 1n the RABAUL area about April 28th .ov. CHARTERS TOlER. !lEW CALEDONIA and ElATE.~~ ~on­ centr. .d in the'lle unU a were reportedly three c&rrier'..r.t appr. ft. by the en.tfld n..rd .clable J.dinl to and traa the . aauinl ln thll port . IIYOKO and HAGORO. in AUSTRALIA at TOIISYILLE.t kABAUL on .t •••• Re had intellliance th.ith the obJectlve ot capturinl and occupyinl PORr MORESBY by a . HORN Ialand.. He kne. Allied lavy 1n cooperation nth the ~ in carr. probah17 alatalcen tOI' tbe R!UItAIU.tkftt Ihip. and I\lpplJ Ibip• •er. e iF Tbi.' on· H:lRII I.er "oelvinl word ot the :ORKTOWh" . The patrol plane ..CW'ed out OD a .e naval atren.n. l\JII._-----*_ .pane..bat..ar TRlllt or _a en rout ••outh••rd. the carri.a. and the carder RYUKAKU . ca..t J. had beln d~eloped a.pIMIl'ent~ tor ••ov.val unit.11 '.ed .earch to the . the prlncip.th .nd TULAGI contll'1led th ••e lntentlOft'.irfield at PORT MORESBY.LAt.ed .J -21- .sBY . tJdcTIU '\ t DISP98ITIOIS I f Th... Ho"ever. 1ned .* while the Am7 Air Poree.NeDce . how. tabulation doe.land.tion that the Japan ••e would Ca.rt1eld.

r••" UATI •• lD tb.hlpi ot any draft and th. !b••• t1.. re aloed. tb.al are. althou...lins polllt tor h•• ler plu. f ~ !JIt~.e.all. '1'110 of' th••e plane ••t~cked PIlSI on the 11th or April . ..xc..t.. the ti. with lDautrio1ent d1.land ar. 2.ea are.le.ttacked br Japane •• t1lbter. wb1eb _re 10 • poll tion to intlu.o a detended ba.per.b&rcilleDt GroUp.1d .teet that baH on 1Ia.e tor . cround. coaplation at 17ATE..nce Japan••• operat10n'.ft inyoly. P-dlDc the coapleUon ot .idered a COod anchorace tor carri. ot that dat •• An a1r£1.-nant. end richter a1rcratt ..ed on11 . !inee Mrly ..+.tlon of' op..: I -22- '4 --.ped an . y.. en route to the Nn RlBRlD~OI Illand u •••. to lIEU and the .. TIlDA WIP. R.arah. Nn CALEDCIIU and aDotber tor richt.ted at White Sand P~lDt and lIeli Bay. tlDC! nlcht A 01' the 8th photoll'aphia SquaclroD.riD..' n. belD.w. In D1acr_ -8-£-. and tb.alle. un!t bad beeD enpeed lD recoanal.ntore..tion Order Jo. S.'f'J Baabardaillt Group. "t'_ratlODu Wlit. ba. had been conlalldated wlth un1t..pt BULAlf Pais . and all turtber a1r reooanallaaDce b7 Al11ed toroe.I 1 l r· at POIlT MORESBY . Au. t P.. AIm_x -C-. A IOOd lud1A1 f'leld .chelon.t Wlit.rationa ..cUia Puroe loc.ld . 1. iiMl-42**Oft' 17 Oper....t IUpportlnt operat1onal airoratt... u.ae AI'lIJ All' Porc.tntcted at TOtn'OUTA. tor PBY tlJ1n& bo. or . bad heeD operatlna & t •• Cat. con.r.1a:~ed ot the 8c:t L1cht ac. Coral Se.lanc. been in the proc ••• ot orpn1a1oc and aaklD.e or quaUtlecS 111' Oorp. tbe .1d. Th. ba...bore det.r... tro.e cealed a..tence at TOM'l'OUTA but..tra11an... cOll.ed aircr.rl and d1Ye beaber.liD. this torce bad.* I ! A Wllt ot the RAAl had beeD operatln. a . \Jt the U-7 l1r Porce lD thia arM a. i' r I t aoUlll po••• . 1n ai. fro.* !h.tr. &otiy.d in the Ooral Sea op.1onl. tftlt a aborta. were .. perlODD." Operata. exi.** "1'. troa thl. JOOl!A . Wld . not COD. not a. all110n. preparation.~ and . .l extllldf'd do_ to the .H tre~u~tlJ .tward or TULAGI. ba •• tel' tilbt. the 22Dd lIed1ua Boabardllct Group.. the 8th. area.t.~ indicatlld.1 o..t Ja!)&D.re tho •• ot the IJ:r&7 All' Porce ot the South. I i On I..2-U.l Ara1 aircraft traa TONTOUTA.. that c(Wered the SOUJIOH I. the 19th BM.ab .up Blatorlou Je. and ~ber. I I • f IWMED WG..t.nat1ye -lft7 All' Porc•• in the War a. area. S6th and 49th n&bter Group. and airf'ield. . out ot ~I with OatallDa t17lnC boat. .. MJ2..ain..ted 10 AUSTRALIA and at PORt MORESBY.tion. the Philippine and Jaya operktion.lc location ot Allied laRd in and aroWld th.. prooell ot beln' carrilOned and orian1aed lnt.llent ancbor_. arr1y1nl rraa the United Stateli. Wltil tbe 2nd ot 1Ia. barbor ad all entranc•• exc. tor ooabat oper. to . Tbi. . uacW All land ba.. GAvuru Harbor at TUtAGI but tbe.r~ pr••ent.

-.. AU.... • • 1WD t1cbWr' ~.7(..... TOIlER T~IJ...TULADI ___t. .i' . .'.~~b..t Mt1ate of tIM wtal aw.at GriP -12 Zbd Bo...u. tr. 10 00 CUJICUIIf PCIlT IOlESBr .·eH *CC D .tt ".. ~ atte..l-M ... ~ . . . tuM .tto...n. . =1hrlz . 19 19 14 12 eo ~ 100 -~-_L.pt baa be..• ••• liz lI4d1t1oaal PBT-S'. . .. • . 1Mb tftIa ~ I.."atat the ...barcl ~ I-ZS 1-11 1-1" ~) ~ - 19t1a etta np-.. ..ltuWilllllllllllll_ Me ( t'$ _ .. 1a ..1r P. •• ..4 aDd t:heH pa-a 1IS...a ...U7 yp-n '!'ObI. ' dt • . rOb '.l1nnft ..a4 ta .barcl 'il 1-21 ..' 80 AnA 1 4B 1.I 19 I Ii 1'. . . -. e... . I l ~~ ___ .. . • • -. n~ ...~ Air Poree. Srd Ba. ~ OC.. 10 .IID SHam aD ! i l i a BAIID AT"ICUft AI ~ 1 IIAY 1M2 BASE .jrI~ .. • orBS..j.. . 10 j 1 -10 IH<B DLAIID iOARIII ZJTwn T'JUGI 90 ~ ~ J 100 .Ue1e .~ _ 2 .. -AnIr J. 1a tJI.":" " :L : : DJlPOIl!'I(IJ r:. . Ie ~ P-& JIIr-l PIr.l ..e war apiMt .-4. . !be t~ OIl AnII.l-ZO jCIWlTERS .. . d ... .. -:'&ble 1 .__ ..11 d 100 t I . rzl' P-It &0 ..r Uren..:. i . 'f '.1961-1162.<mBA Itor.. .s . ~ 41ttetrtilRia'M lNtasull Open..~.. . Sell. ..1.n 'I' .. YP-72 U"I'1ftCl the ~ of ... . Pi&"PiP'"" .

.t the ·rap.CINCPAC ~.tive "Army Air Foroes in the \'. llabl.t.t plaoed in .tt a .hlppln« pre .s able to ~t only one plane 1n thl . .tion 1.r ot cetrol plan•• WI.l area •••• . ArllY Air Foroe.1Iapd throuKh thll latter ba .trallan ar. ... ot the . not known. .. to the Alli.r~ avallabl. r.l.1-. t Au. In oonjunotlon with the rloonn. • hawn by the toregoiD« table is III out of proportion to thl few mi •• ion. dur1nK the perlod that It oooupi. (If u'm:v .stro. In add 1tion to the above d 1tt1oul ti. d. '!'he tot.t .ome P!!Y' • . no lnrormation •• to how many ot th.d oommand thl Coral Se..11 arfeoted the oper.. at PORT WORlgBT.·'f-.l nUI'1"e.rt •• nd tools. y. at U • • being oper.lnat Japan.t..r. tt~r.. uMF Historioal Narr...cain on thl 21th of Apr11~ It 1.xpl. experienoed by the Army Ur Foroe due to . numb. rlown during the period involvod..tione.d on 1 May.te th. b.ll.. ml~mum numblr ot bomblr. It TUI.d .d th..t le •• t ~ C.. llok of .d TULlOI.". May 1942.ok..tion a.rt avallahle in the ~UC.\. at I~E. . cll. in oom:nenting on the dittioultie. .r Diary.d almo.ed liror.VI.i ••• noe .ble . Patrol and bOMbin~ mi •• ions were exeout.. operatlon.tion. enoountered by the 19th Bombardment Group durin~ the latter p. th. lnor•••• d to twel.tory not.rt . TAIOIlR w••• tatloned . Th. ·. .. and tilht.IAN . I i ~ 1 1 1 i J ~ 1 I I -23- .t NOUMEA wlth I1x PBY-5 p. (a~ATA and RlBAUL and .on . lnrlio.". OS·oo'S. aroh•• or the SOLOJION Se.inK tlown. ot the totll ot 498 airor. Lon~.10" Th. but T..tralla tor un a.trol pl.n operational • tatut • Th. lt exlIIt.ln.d in North.. oper.ir Itt.r Diary.ror.forl ••• ~d that thl.. to li. and Jan aotion. ooupl'd wlth the tlot thlt one ~Y .lified by the . ather.'!'RAT. wer......bl. but thi.s proTide.omet!".d .I may h.re p. and that the rfll"e1nln~ .d onl Pl!Y 10llt traa enlmy aotlon .. Therl 1. probably only about 200 or 4~ were oper'\t1onal for .. •• qu. r 1941-42" ••• UNGIER' e W. .bl..n. abandonld on 2 "'ay.M pr'er. de'pite the taot that .~t •• 11 tend to indio. Oay 1942.t vital oondit1. 1&&°·00'1.tt oontlnu. lone to PORT MORE~BT and oonduot... .1 t. material.ir..vail. .~· . Area trom that bl . Thl. tlnally..tal1na. on Inemy . .ta11na. The. .quadrons were .hd trOll or .d at It • •oorlns.Ar. CORAL SEA optr~tion••••• durln~ Th. na .tter the Phllipp.. stated.1 ..... CINCPAC "port..ble 1.ir 1n..1ror. the..ro •• ~rlor to 'nd durtn~ thelr expeoted movament to the louth.e •• nd.. C.itu. lt any.n.p...iror. the bl.nd r..t •• ti~t.a •• " .t Ol11!/4 In Lat.. l fn. I .rt of April 1942..i •• lon..h. the oompletion or th..htlIn b. athor.~.l whln TULAOI WI.tigue of o. unit h. Winy ot the •• plan•• may Dot have b'en a.. IXlat number of land ba.n.. nt in the .rews •• nother mo. ln the Au.tional efrioienoy ot thfl «roup. and the wburned ~ut" oondition of oombat orewl .upport of the COJ)AL SEA oper... wonrayor..nd . ..t daily..

and man1 tlying bour. assumed th&t. to some extent tor the actual operation. ho. whiob plane.r.hiob tb. ~h.ny . All1ed Searcb and Reconnal •• anOI Ca..mander. wh. ab1Lit3 ot the Air Foro.e th. .r~1 on~ the Tital areas ot 6nemy activity and ahipplni concentration. in the SOLOMONS and the other bland. General MacArthur. to the fallur.". in general. The sone ott TOWN~VILLE was to be patrolled to a deptb ot 500 mile.q.d. b.a was to be oover~d daily with tha .pparently again modifl.tano. the reconnai. .u. pArt ot tbl •••ry pilote. . in ord.r. opjration. planes . whiob •• arcb and combat planes may operate trom . Each ar. or the AlUed Ground Faroe. • .:" .a.truot." 4A_' . I t J f I i .d ln rangl.nce their 'aarcb..ach area is not known.ted WhlQb aade all other ditfioulti•••pp ••r uniaportant. ba. and the CORAL SEA area west or TULAGI.ck ot ba.e •• rlouelr t.o .. ba.d by . 1n his report on air operations oonducted in eupport of the naval toroell in tho CORAL SEA Battle. fllld brinel fortb thl iaportant tact th.ir b. Tbla requir. po.ed. then westerl1 along the south side of the LOUrSIADES to PORT MORESBY.1anoe to bl conducted .ever..dequ. Owin. to tb.ly curtail.lvel one. Thl l. found tb.d back on tb.t air power 11 aa yet liait.arob thl CORAL SEA ...te . in preparation tor the IUpport Ot TF 17 during 1t. . previously lx1stin. wa! 10 ere at . Blrtl..tralian aainland wb. north.. I· I ez1. tbrouab HORN hland and PORT MORESBY.* This searob plan •• s . mi. Auatralla to tbl SolO8on.d or patrol plane.d AI~ Fore. and it it 1s to bl rul~etrlct1ve it must be provided witb suitable b•••• fro.talin... to the north bad . th~ ••r..d twice each day.d -&n7 planea. the Al1i.. southeast along the north coast ot NEW CUINEA and the LOOISIADE Islands to tbe limit of range. were nOl'llal17 not available.ou.earob 'xceptlnl wltb alar" nuaber ot lO~1 ranl8 plane. air patrols were oonducted in the area trom BUNA.l t.dVantageous relative poeit1ona. tro.e to '.ralLJ to b. ..er. b~t in Ti •• or the te.u.eneral area ot the SOLOMON Islands tr~ NEW IRELAND southeast t~ the boundary or the Southwest Pacitic Area.ition 10 . dl. The number ot planl' to be uled tor learcb in . and ~ormal patrols conducted acroas the mouth of the GULF ot *COMSOUWESPAC SECRET Dispatch 270840 or April 1942 . etrlct.advantaa..xception ot area HYPO whicb was to b.. Au.earcb plan. Soutbw••t Pacitic Ar. wa• the dl. aucb la. in the CORAL SEA. RABAUL..e to d. 'rhi. coy. it i. rorc. Allled Air roroe.erlou.n oon.al intended to be primarily a perimeter searoh coy.d to Ilve up th.ht have be.d. to bold TULAGI and other in the SOLOMONS. on tb. indicates that his searoh operations provided tor a tlank reconnaissance patrol ot the area THURSDAY ISLAND. extensive reoonnaissance ot the . of the leland.vailable. indicated 1n diagram B-1... informed erF 17 that he had moditied hi.1d... al.en. . PORT MORESBY... __ fG.r that be migbt cover thl area.olln. In addition. forc.

The lIethode _ployed in theee operations.. I i l y!~~:' ~:::~ '" After Yay 1st. e.s involved. IIlwmar.*** This search was about the maximum that might be expected with the number of planes IIva!. . -25-_ .l5 lay replying to reL~uest I . The planes aveil&ble.'. no air searches of the ocean areas to the east of the SOLOMON Islands ware made by the RAAF fx'om TULAGI nor by planes of the Army Air Force in AUSTRALIA nor at PORT MORESBY... as will be apparent from Dbgrwn "B-2". From lay 1st to and including May 4th.he nort. but the continuity of contacts indicates at least daily searches for this period. Had this search been conducted fran EFATE or staged thrQugh EFATE where ~ seaplane operating area was available.' and the lack ot planes of suitable: types. are . however. AS prE/viouali' stated. m\t the searches from TULAGI ceased 8~ of lay 2nd ~hen that base wus evacuated.* DiagrHm B-2 shows the areas being ~atrolled and reconnoite~ed by the Allied land and tender based aircraft as of May 1st. How m&n¥ planes were a~tually involved and how oftan the reconnaissance flights were conducted 1s not known. . ~ : ~: h" . The areas SALAIIAUA. there were no searches conducted in the CORAL SEA proper b. With the single exception of the sector searched d~ily off TOWNSVILLE.. LAE. GASliATA. with the exception of those conduoted from NOUMEA. and the searches conducted from HOUKEA were modified cn May 5th to conform to the directive contained in CommAnder Task Force 17'8 operations order. and by organized bombing and stFafing attacks on the areas by bombers and fighters out of PORT· MORESBY. armed reconnaissance ~issions. **TANGIER (AV-8) War Diary. made it impossible for any such searches to be made by the latter forces. from NOUKEA for a distance of 700 miles using a scouting dis~nce of 50 miles. The dbtance. were sufficient for only one patrol a day and. ***TANGIER (AV-8) .hown only in a gene!'!!!. and an aSf'tlll'led rAdius of vleibility of 25 miles.** A study of the numerous contact reports made by Allied aircrsft from AUSTRALIA and PORT MORESBY for the period lay 1st to Kay 8th shows that Commander Southwest Pacific area ~as placing considerable emphasis on his reconnaissance flights in the SOLOMON SEA included between limiting'bearings 0450 to 1150 from PORT MORESBY for a distance of 480 miles. 1-4 lay 1942...ietailed 1llformation on the subjeot.t ~. the TANGIER ~'as in NOUYEA tending 6 PBY-5 patrol plnnes.~. ]n gener&l. 5 May 19~.' " .CARt"'ENTARlA and off the DARWIN Area.y aircraft from AUSTRALIA. 1 '{. the reconnaissance of these areas continue1 throughout the operation.md SAN CRISTOBAL Islc.nd or through tlny of the passages to t.War tiar. . the rddiu8 of tlearch might have been extehded to the northwest 180 *Gener~l MacArthur's secret dispatch AG 719 of. the search could not hope to insure the detection of Japanese units entering the CORAL SEA from the eastward aro• . 'BUNA were frequently covered by photographic missions. due to lllck of c. she empl~bed three of these planes on a daily parallel search along a median line 540 T.lab .r. MADANG. £~! ~'.' from Army Chief of Staff fo~ information on air operations during CORAL SEA BATTLE.h of this Island.

to assist in preventing the Japanese plonned invaSion of PORT MO~SBY--tbe other. Ther~ were at that time. cover the areas 75 miles to seaward of the eastern coast of KALAlTA leland. i ! t 1 i -26- 1 ..-y surface unit. but did not receive Commander Task Foree 17'8 operation order Mo. Thie would have inoreased the pos8ibility of detecting en. to assist in preventing the extension of Japanese power into the lo~er SOLOMONS. shipping and aircraft. to a limited degre~.* Up until this tilDe.allIs on the western leg to include TULAGI and 210 ailes on the eastern leg to.:!rtherancA of the basic plan to check further advance of the enemy in the NEW GUINEA-SOLOMON area by destroying enemy Ships. ALLIED. discussion will show that this lack of air coverage. Later.tle of the Coral Sea was in i'. 17... one . It will be apparent that the forces in this deployaent were two carrier task forces. furnished with information obtained by Allied land based and tender based aircraft wbich operated out of AU8traH~.~1 airfields and "ut of NOUMl.A and PORT MORESBY assisted by reconnaissan~e by the submarines of tbe Southwe8t Pac1tic Command. The preceding discussion shows that CrF 17 with Task Foroe 11 and froa the time of his entrance into the CORAL SEA on 50 April. the COIIIIIlanding OffiJ. entering the CORAL SEA from the . These two carrier tusk torces were. independently. 2-'2 until lIay 4th. Both of these forces were in the southern part of the Coral Sea and were fueling and reorganizing.:er of the TANGIER was apparently ignorant of CTF 17' s plans and appears to have bean doing the best he could with the information and facilities available. Had the search been conducted tram ESPIRITU SANTO Island it would have extended the radius even farther to the northwest to the tip of CHOlSEUL Island and also provided ~overage of 7S miles to the eastward of the SOLOMON Islands. and *TANGIER War Diary.2. two prospective operations in View. In view of the necessity for radio silence at sea. more or less. May 19.astward and would have probabl1 actual~ resulted in contact with the Japal1eSe carrier forc~ on the 5th had the three-plane search been continued from EFATE on that aate. PEPLOJMENT NAVAL FORCES The strategic deployment of the Allied forces at the time of the Bat. The TANGIER and her 6 patrol planes were assigned to Task Force 17 on 28 April. especially that to tne Aastward of eTF 17'8 position did not appear to give CTF 17 undue concern. was' without adequate air coverage not only of the central and eastern areas of the CORAL SEA but also of those ocean areas to the eastward of the SOLOMON Islands that were so etisential for his security and hence freedom of action.

in view ot the tact that the. This was because the major portion ot the air . SUch a condition did not obtain during the Coral Sea action becau. located. and ot equal. or moving southwards.rD.ition might be Jeopardi. because of limited number of plan•• of suitable type available and because of the fatigue of the crews. heavy cruisers MINNEAPOLIS.~t. CTF 17 evidently considered that TF 17 which was composed. ~~~. when the earlier phabes of the acMon·had been completed. had been completed. in *CINCPOA Secret dispatch 220345 of April 1942.e would probably be lost and an advantageous relative po. nowever. but the communications at that time were far from good.nand. RUSSELL. heavy ~l'\lisers ASTORIA.1~t~t:t~**~.. importance.~ .*r.e~!r~".earches and reconnaissance was being conducted by the Commander Southwest Pacific area who was an enUrely separate command from CTF 17. '!'he combined carrier force was to be under the command of CTF 17. WORDEN. . This 115 an extr.• ! .:e. tor a portion of a raiding force's strength lies in the element of surpri. in order that the carrier based planes may be relieved uf long range scouting aud may be ready to attack. Also.. for the operation of land based aircraft. NEW ORLEANS. aindtul or the prevention objective. the element of eurprl. although it was deeired to use land based aircraft for long range search. ~lIqll.8 Allied carrier task forces were definitel1 ot the raiding t1Pe.. any target. This merger actually did not become effective until lIay 6. AYLWIN. Therefore. it became necessary for the above land and tender based aircraft to operate by doctriPe rather than b. These were two Single carrier task forces "hich eDlployed high mobility and heavy striking power and were ideally composed for raiding operations of the type which had been in vogue up to the Coral Sea Action. with full groups.. CHESTER and destroyers MORRIS. the carrier task groups were f~rced to augment the land ba.el~ important i t . . in ca. b~th strategically and tacticall1 with fleet units.•!.'M!. USN) consisted of the carrier YORKTOWN. The task assigned these forces was: 1. shore based aircraft must be trained to coordinate their operations.·.~I_.• __ ____ . USN) consisted of the carrier LEXINGTON. and TF 17 (Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher. ANDERSON. CINCPAC had ordered these two carriers to ferm a single combined force of two carriere upon arrival at POINT BUTTERCUP. MONAGHAN. FARRAGUT.tc. and destroyer. TF 11 (Rear Admir&l Aubrey Fitch. of ~. To destroy en~y ships.!M)~!~e_· tn~n. The two Allied carrier task fo!.7~ '~w* -~W_*·.ed 8earches by use of carrier based p18llt!s. ).s PHELPS.e of the reBoteness of Australian bases.'. PORTLAND.y dispatch frOi the task torce coaanders.ent that this ne" striking force ~dhave greatly increased striking power when the me~ger of both carrie~ group.~a8 were TF 11 and TF 17. Both the LEXINGTON and the YORKTOWN were equipped with search radars and homing devices.e and in relative po. DEWEY.I I especially.ed.__ . Allied land based aircraft did provid~ considerable valuable information. SIllS and WALKE.:t_$*r..ition. HAIIIIANN. and fUrther mind1~1 of the increased Japanese carrier forces in the TRUK area.y to break radio silence to tranamlt instruction.* It is appar.~»M'_'" ~. shipping and aircraft at favorable opporpart~ tunities.? . Should it be necessar.

.at with Ta.trioted by hi.urfaa..garded el normal. ~- .re en route. There was a shortage ~f oilers in the Paoitio and the task foroes had to fuel when they oould... He used oiler •• oarri.d"t~... . TF 11 had b. a. - o. n.. Theretore it wall i.s and attaok his lunply shios.th be ayailabl.' ..1 500 barrels ot fuel. Thi. the SARATOGl and TORKTOWI.t Pa01t1o.en en route trom PEARL HARDOR to CHRISTMAS Ialand when it bad. and topped ott 'aD the 2nd of May.a on the baal. TF ll's fueling operations.. . air and . a1waY8 onnoerned lest the Jananese diloover hil logistio.-. "--'" + . Thil wa. pewer would haft been oVlrwhillains. It hi of great interest to note that the ._. ot one oarrier or the h 8 avy da"sln. ~.e oarrier.e ohan~s are to be r. on 19 April. ~~ . Had the HORNET and ENTERPRISE.. CINCPAC hoped by thh oonnen+'l"ltlon of f(')roll t{" lurorise the . the ability of TF 17 .e~.~'. May 27.e ta.Jfloan"e 'two-oarrier ta. at l ••• t the equal ot thl Japane.H. However. ".iYed a di'patoh trom C!~C~AC di .ting ot the eHI~AGO.k roroe~ were bein~ oombined to one two-oarrier ta. PERKINS and TIPPECANOE at Latitude 160-OD'S. an equality in fighting . ot the . at all ti .he . wea~ne. oould nave _ very retard in. to the south and to obtain l~oal luperiorlty at the deoi. ot on. .ed of the SHOKAKU and ZUIICAJro. on May lat. .tement by eTF 17 to Comwodore ft.. U.. September 19'6. .lotion Report CTF 17 battle of Coral Sea. bauI.' 4. the fueling .l" tlme and plaoe.. oppo.k toroe oompo.~.k foroe wal aoparently deligned to oounter the Amerioan single oarrier ta. in preferenoe to hh OOIDbatant ah1pl ••• Ra~ +.. He wa.portant that _xtlllWD oarrier . that the two Amerioan single oarrier ta. en...Lonsitude 162 0 • 20' E. . and oruistlr."". AO'Oarently..hort of oarrierl in the Paoifio aDd the loa. in the Southwe. thl Allied preponderanoe ln oarrier.r.arded without due reK&rd to oaloulated riak. "!i. rtin~ it to the CORAL SEA Area and direot1n~ that it reoor+..trength..ly r. CTF 17 cHreoted eTF 11 to join a refueling group oonai..~.. lo~istios and felt that his Ireedom ot aotion waf limited.k toroe to oounter the Japane..ouroe.oommenoed at about 0800 on May 1st..oil\ .. reo. Atter TF 11 had joined TF 17.uoh .. an unavoidable oondition. and to tuel all shipi to maximum out ot the TIPPECANOE . 160-16' S.k Foroe 17 at thil ti. .hioh had been direoted by CINCPAC to return to EFATE. organized to obtain.ually oontaoted TF 17 in Latitud.. ~na ayailable and . were .. the AIU . The oiler DOSRO..S. even the best laid plans are lubjeot to unexpeoted ohanges and the.. +'0 err 17 for . al a minimum. .. arri~d prior to thl aation. bring' forth the taot that in war. 'Tr 11 Yi.i.ers. whloh w... .tren.ee that the oombined TF 17 wa. had been fuo ling trom another oUer. or both.. etteot on Allied operation.k toroe at the . meanwhile. .Taoanese In their planned . and esoeoially his o11ers.de it a praotioe to ruel all destroyera from whatever supply was available whenever they oould reoeive al . .TATllinaSe ~OM +."""'#Pi". 1942 • •• st. eTF 17 wa ••• riou. Longitude 161 o -45'E.s !lll'l~eu1"ull~. CTF 17 .. .ame ti. ThuB we .l.. operation.. TF 17. the NEOS~O.nd that the oarriers be not na. l ~ I r \ .

... ln the fu.lA... •• to..S.. . . *7 • ln laUtacS.te .. In ..11 d..... t... It ... iDo .. lon.. 'l'bII wind ~I! tre.. ot 011..'I'P 1" ill hl.n pr. to.ppe.l thou.. the SI . 1&0_00' S... he sa" tu.. 'bu' 1t al1ht ha .obed TIPi'E<alJOI.. II'ft "'P 1.e .be d •• tro...tlno.. •• Whil.... Cft' 17 dwa)'l .nou..e. whlon allhil be • • U"bl. and 111 1181 th1. too tar to'tbe .tro.. durinl M ...\lap'loa ot .1nl . 1610·00' I.Dd•• fOred to n..Yiou. ~ M*y at whioh tl~' TIPPICAlItS . 'l'hll •• rl. Puelln.en _d. 'fhl. ot Ca..arpri. •• C'l'P 11 bad r.~d ". o...... tbe &D•• o Squadron.01n"" rend... b.. t •• t COup! to .. hlp.. oou""..".y had the 0 ... luellal deoldonl. o.. Glu•• d .o~1D1 ot • OIl 1Ibe atterDoOl1 ot 2 *y a YORK'l'CJn( all' 100u1...~...1... WI.kedly o".._"...d to 0'1'1" 11 that he would not be oompl. ilh. '!'P 11 would ha .....''9OUI on 'hi ..Dd rej01n '1'J' 11 . ...llnl trCID 011. tu..Unp •• bappeniiJ tJUlouShou\ 1iiii 51 1ihi ot6.~·OIpt..ubMrlD11 OD tbe '\II'taoe at 1515 beariDI 0100 (T) dl. ot the d •• t .. appar...tlOill..r. .aoh o~nd to b. dl". n..outh••• 1Iftrd. hlp..Un. ett....n lt • • trOll the aai_d nWlber ot aU...•• tay In the Coral S• • • xo.. . trOll tbe 1.ht wh10h SU1ded r. ot Yltal laport.. the CHICAGO . loped be ••ua.. ~ ~ .Dd '1'be. ~011 ot ..."..l oon. AUS'l'RALU aDd B•••A. be.. _ ... _nabl.d a . wa. tbll r ••• OIl.l. 11 ..D"J ...Ue.... l..".. .l to tbat ot tbe 1. had u . deold.d ..tt.UnC oould haw b..oa thl 'l'IP"CANC8 •• rlJ on 2 1111 .n • • 0Wld ODe..tinUe ahor1lac..d lntol'lDltlon on the ~DIJ 1IhrouCh lnt....t nl. d. • n.nt ot . CO'!~"" _ _ t4!''''''' . Po. p .. lt wa • .yllp.... t . .paO dllpatohe.... tor .....1" priorit.... ot paramoUDt iapo . d the t . troa D 11 .1111 noon on the 'the BOIf .oon i:o be de...~ol"Md bJ WCltDD.. that tM ..._ . ~. 10nI1t\ad...t 1830 to join 'l'P 11. that had b ... . a d.Unp trCII the 1...t l~lO.Dd !'DIm....d.ot on Al11ed aotioM.o-. d •• tro..."=."'!4@W40""'~_ "t~:i" .. 'l'hh praoUoe ot ru. ouda.. hlpe • •nd the n..Dd bad it _ken a. C'l'P 17 who had reOll .ntlJ a .h1l.01l10n ot the t •• t C oup . be. to crr 17.- ••_iIII_ __".nd the to . ot tu. .. Be tbereto .nd w..uoh • poor •• t i a .d_nOl on POIl'l' lI(ltBSBy.ddltlon. to ha ..-noed h..O . • hlttinl th.. ot rr 11 wal ooaplet.hlp. to. d&ht.tu.otl" de . been tar Hmowd trfllll the ... o..hlp..Dd wlth tbe pro..-r.peot ot ~d1.e at nllht .erJ .ot ot toroinl the Ntl".bout SO .... ano.. 11 not mown...ntl .. .. two . D 11 plu...U. BOBAR'l'. d...d that hll ~nd WIl. dlreo'tled C'l'P 11 to tuel hl.. ~... _jo.l d•• tro.. .. th. ~...ked lno .t tbe time ... 11M ..SC7R. r.. not .terl.lin.. rend.t Por~ tt. there tore ....tion ot ruellns .d .rpr . OIl • nor\h. . hia. 'l'hl.e. "'1'.1Ilnc ot B... d5..... . de_obed with order. wind .ntuallt. t~ pr..... 1Ih....."..otlon fa01n. on • northn. to fu. . trfXI '"h..oldon ot CD 17 to tuel '1'J' 11 d •• tro. ..n oUer wli1h hh toro.'. 110 proOled 110 Ir&'!'I..... d•• -4 .. . - 11'.......llht ha .. lDI tll.. oaapl. Be bad tbe DOSHO aDd tblt .. o. wore detaohod . .."ult. . b ...DI d"..rranl'd w1th '!'e. nd.port.p ..pUnl wben . "lJ the 0 .uoh qutate ..ad had 'l'P' 11 tueled lnto 'h.t.r ... ot 'fP 11 to operate in the C~L SEA . terl' oour. OIl • • tdb.q".ht oper... _JUnl tiDal preparatl0D8 tor the .1Iazloe . 00Dll.......n . _~!...

ain. TO..rl trom the NEOSHO on the ~rd.c.peed while ruelinc.e.inl.ecurity that two talk groupe closely concentrated alght bave given hla. longitude 1590 -24' E..d with1.en 1515 and 1545. at the tlaa ot tbe occupation ot TULAGI by the Japane.* CTr 17. and on • w t.. The aubiariDe was not •• en agaiD. Why he t. ...rwn trom a .) trOll the YORK'l'OWN' s 1515 posi~ion and Wi thin 15 ot Tr 11.aunication8 or for tbe additional . b. (b) Tr 11 wa.hould not r .e.ti.rg••• • err 17 d. r. iDdic. SBD'" launcbed by the YORlit at 1645 witb 6 d.d an «aluated su•• a.t a carrier ta.pth ch. or cour.tltud. .. boab. two t.re pl.bout eo al1el iD a nortb-soutb dlrectiC:1 "--...ported • I t .ly .e about 0820 on lay Srdr (. location bad b••n r.n 15 .. .rly cour. to d•• troy thi... 1I01t of the •• aaneU7. Tbl. subaariDe betw. ~. th. In this . tor b. •• I f ot int.ighted and attacked. bearin.lin" does Dot app. area. IIq 2nd. SARATOGA.11 . p. on the oth.. AI has b.. Tbe aOV"entl of both Tr 17 and TF 11 bet . night and again ruel.ate tb. The great danger. lNt.. Tr 11.rs occurred within .. He apparently did not teel the Deed tor visual ca..loD . in l..rt trca the YORlTO~ .. iD an east-we't dir.ition ia .&rin••a.d d. concentrat.. troquentlT and radically troa ~ to day.k . .. CTr 17 apparently decided that. Itate .atroy. .idered it uece. the aublllarine danger ns not great a. within about to .r.ction and .Ue.. doe. but should change their operating area. has b. contact.arine whicb Jap~.r hand.roup ot \lIlkn01ll1 ocapG. d. err 17 decided Thre. not n. in l.r. lat.... attacked It dora and .ithin about 75 an.ar to have con. atter the N~H CAROLINA. had be~D inforaed b.d.d 2 d••troy. and WASP bad beeD torpedoed under circumstance.1ailar to the above. 1.riods.ct.en lay 1st and 1181' Srd are . to that hi. t.tftrd throughout tb. tor lDn.port. ..hown. by tour carrier plan•• ...h. to have . 194~. tor about 50 hour. undamaged appe. during this ru.ade no report whatloever ot tbe cont. talk force. coamand for he continued ruelinl and did Dot change hi' ..eparating tro.11 area . aircr. Att. of a t ••k tore.ck. "C".e. It doe.about 15 aile.oi. 0180 troll Tr 11.r .il.r. lSo_4S' S..lt thil ny is not clear.ep hi.aring Oleo (T..1k fore •• aan_UYered at Ilow .d...ain in aubaarln. to endanger hi.ht have bee tera.titude 160-26' S. what ai. Here. and croased and recrosled ODe another" tr.c••••rily ••an th.fueling area.y to k. upon arrival *CINCPAC Seri.y CINCPAC that both TF 11 and Tr 17 •• re. the tact that a aut. How«.eD locat. longitude 1610 _SO' E.0 . and on • northwesterly courle..bout 45 aile. not . au~arin.ecurity Itandpoint.tacb. Thu.t.. 508e 1I0nth. Tr 17 coot1nued .t the t ••k forc.1' 1n the po~sib11ity ot action by ene=y 8ubaariDea.r. six or which were in the CORAL SEA ar. althoucb inye.en prcYiou.) Tr 17 ft.l OSl68 ot Octobvr Sl.n .8ar. CINCPAC directed that carrier task tore. shown in Dlagr.

ltuat.K'• . _phibiou.nder ba.trike.roup.er to baYe oo. whIch ind1cf.bould &D .trqtb a"ailable Ihould the Deted arl.. &Dd be auat baYe reaUHd that i t • • an on-7 'OapabllIt1 ot DWlber OIle priorIt1 to COf'er hi.. it Dot appear.aADd-be bad neelYod 1I1tol'llatlon tbat tbe Japane"e would probablJ atart their PORT MOR!SBT or lower fk>u:. whIch a1ibt baYe expedited tbe ruelinl.. .~.tward and northward.I ....cu..oon to b.cund.. at TRDIt or ell route ... .to YIeual17 aDd to CODcootrate the a&x111\&11 .ed CORAL BEl. 'it indicatel on the Japane. on the Allied .A. to keep hi.tander. and.pleted ruel1D.i£D&l dl.1 CIICPAC or.. were not within .ire tor troed~ ot aetian ..e oarrier diYi.e--hi. crl 11 . de.. baYe kept tb.ooC7 ari. at the lea. South..0 _s AlUtd Plu Tbe ba... two . tn be oa. tor the aboYe land1nc' . tbat • truittul tar. a. theretore.~ a .ired to break radio . to oecup~ PORT MORESBY aDd.._ _ _ . a.ingle-carrier toree. togetber that he would be eoabled 1D aina_ tlae to c~Wl1c.. ~ ~~. ODe ot which a strong two-carrIer ..ore to the . aDd aeroplane drop •• Dot u..e the torce. would ba~e beon DOWD to bla aDd he would ba. i t It would bave beeD wi. apparentlT \1DJm01!lD to C"'l 17.cee ot tbe Japane.. ~re roUlblT 1D the . oa.... .ely . bad appeared. -. aupported by . directed b. •••ed in bie plannlnl.ide. tour surtace torce.lI ot the Allied plu ..wo talk toree.e t. .. but could not the..-..e ot oller... .. a dq earlier tbaD planned. Dot de. aDd . in carrying it out..r f ~..k torce. Bad tbll boon done.lOD-b18 dea1re to be .pect~ tor ~ediate actlon...ble. ..iOll. either troa CIJCPAC or tro..ailable tor tbe .e de.lllate th..t&Dce. lS. err 17 ..e latif-ude and but fJ) aile. B18 de.blDod the two ta. it happened.-------~. t." and. b7 AprU 28t.. action acainat whieh would contribute toward the b&. ~ . ".nlth. fl 11 had ooapleted rueliDI.. ..ketc~ land aDd tender ba.. a. ..be taot that. ""'_. Tet.. . c~d readT ill all re....iDC operation. Wbc be recebed a report ccmeeniDi Japan••e aOf'_ent..t It ..S.:>lIS operation. •• . a pure rud.. proc ••din. \I...e lid..ain.. l . ~ _ _.b1Decl 1ato a '1nIlo taat toroe UDder hi.et. . action .ilence.Iaual ...ted.. but it will appear later that crl 17. becau. .trike TOLAGI with two tull tau torce.. apart at 2000 OIl S . I wa....er. . .. eo.'F .. Thi. aer. two-carrier torc. Japane •••tr.oaewhat inadequate land and t. !'IIt...bbe baJ beon 1Dtol'llod ot the pre.. it .' 0 ' ' .Ire. haye beon obtained witb • ooabined toroe' Doe...ed Into on.:.e been able to ..r .ti.ow. at POI1ft' BUTTIRCtJP.a... wait.t. apparentl" tUled to disc.. . . to undere.... anziet7 OYU' the d'tYelop1D.e~loo--bi. aupported by extr.....ith air &Dd aurtace power. or botb..ed aircraft and aubmariDe.Ire to bo readT tor ~ediate .. preceding di. . to take auch otfeneiY. the.. are all appreciated.. '-'-'--"'- .. appeared advI . .ie plan.. the tact that Tl 11 had oo. Thia plan ..-~. ...aion caaplete8 the background tor the action ot the In general. Card1.outb.at Pacitic Forces or troa hi_ om eoaaand.od.rn the Japan ••e plan ot eneireleaent trom the eaat which near17 relUlted 111 diluter..e' Also tbere could baye beon aD interchaD. General Bu'aa Th..

ll1lent17.Japan••• ot po. to ita pluned poa1tlon. IXOept10e ot th. at 1100 Ird. Aft.Japan. obalD ot aa.celyed _ report troa Ca. TtJUQI bad 3••t __ oOCNpled.aDd. t'blt strlklDc 1orc. .po81t101l bad bee "porteeS..d CaMed.n1 'l'ULAQI in ord. ot th• ..._.a.c... South . OOIl. toward. . tu.lOll. t r At 1100 S -.Jap. Support rorc • • a "tU!"lllDl to join th." •••• all'" . PORT IIORISBt Ia.a. Soutbweat Pacltlc 1oroes wblob lDdloat.r 'l'ULAOI bad bMD oOCNpled the . _tl lnt.4.ir OPlratl~ t.. ••ralq . WD2I CAROLIB lWtBOR...Japq••• plaD which call.terrbd tro.. th.. 1 alrOraft aDd alaarSn•• witlDl 'loO tab ottc81••• OUOD acain. .rq caur••s and COlltlnUln. k1acl ot "POrt w.ltloe rrc.r.auth ot lID QJX)RQI." C'1'P 11 r. P.t.mander. "'l'bll 1.. ~. th. dated - . Ara7. Allled rorOl.riDl Porc.llnl on the Srcl.lGI ope .. ot that bas.rring o.r.* ~..t th. cOYeriDI poalt1on ..t !VLjQI DOW that lt bad been occupled by tb. .r to daDl"' t. All .borou~..aded ba a DOrtb..o plan Uld to bav. whlob .. "1'.procHded accordinl t.. Be atated in hl. . AlUecl rOI'O'" 00 tb..___ _.. been DO tboulbt In the alDd. on a lOUth._... . whlcb • • _ rout.. torO".part troa JWWJL at 1800 OIl . It tranat..tlrq d1reC\.1on ot . DaYal o.1Dl toroe.aaloe Poro.l ISLAlD. Both oaapi.rtaln plan•• to IWW7L wh1ob~ plan•• bad b.Juq 1942. and b. . PORT IOUSBY n.r coaaud ot th..lIIteeS cU"l1 ot lavaal.1" ft. acUon "POrt.r. ~_d. Just th.lipatlO1l at '1'tJLAQI. W~ tbout oppa.. Tb. oth.Japu.r bud. at _ . and all "1" unel.. tor "coanal. . althou&b thl8 tact was appar_tq Dot mo_ to err 17. at the Coral Sea.. it •• to tuel prior to Joining tb . OODa18ted ot both AftI7 aad I ••al tora. Bad thq etucl1e4 th. . 11 .lve. s a atrool Allbd capabUlt1 ot atri. J_pappanDt17 talled to aaaq. " 11 and 'fp 11 weI" on . TROI. PORT 1IOR!S8! Illva810D Porc. nol'tb• •t ot TULAGI.ay 4. 1. .. _tlon.at. BUI.aacl. not 1Il vq WI' 1D the . 4 At th..ate.porarlq the us. tc d.ted tu.-. trma the vlewpoillt ot the Alli. _ " . a aUll at aDohor ill lWWJL" ~ ....Jd.. _ " in aceorG_c. tiM of th.Ul. TUL.. Detaobeel Poro. :: .re .d that the Japan••• bad b'l\ID to occupy 'l'ULAGI BarboI' in the S)L(IIOIS.rq and nol'tb..d tor th. A. toroe.llDi. _a 210 allla north. aorl. I. th. .aalon Porc.cvall.. their 10oatlOll _d oo. lett It. ft. bad bleD wa1UDl two aooth. tllld that. aca1Dat tbe AlUed rald. 1D ttl.d torcel aca1n.alble acUOD b.alt ot lEI IRELAID _d abCNt ao aill..cOIlOllleal Gpeld. Allot th. undll' ••parat. wblch . wao..o stated *CaaLat Report 10. . with th• .t"17 OO\&I'a.Japan••• CcW. to rec..l Illand and h. tbua . al. tbe7 lI1&bt haT' realised that th. WOO 1«)991.I')'tb1D1 bad ." \.. with tb.... tOl'o".

CARRIER • • • A-1f1 ".t'e. ."_ ..~. _ ...~ __ •. _'" ".:'-..."..l.. ::.. A~..':-. THE BAD WEATHER AREA ASSOCICOVERED MOST OF CONDITIONS J BUT COVER FOR THE THE AT ROUTE TO TULAGI.. . ......)! PLATE I • _.'. 1100(-11) 4MAYI9UI - ~ -..-' ...~: :".. THE YORKTOWN WEATHER NEAR TULAGa LAUNCHED ITS ATTACK ON TULAGI FROM AN AREA OF BAD A WEAK COLD FRONT...--".. . ". _ . .-:-t~... . ~ " .~. "...... -~- wat· ftC t« .+ '" . _ 'E ~~ .AtiJl • • ..... \ . .. THE SAME TIME AND THE ATED WITH THIS FRONT PRODUCING UNDESIRABLE FURNISHING ATTACKING EXCELLENT PLANES. ~ ..'. ----- ---::# . .~<'r4'~"?'~. .....1>41- ~r~' r f '~-~Oij-oF-n.<....- ~ v skI ~ ttrii "1 . "A_ ._-.~ ...

.r YORKTOWI (t1aC).oid. TF 44 to proo•• d immedi~te1y.quaia•• tr.y wer.. b•• ~ hi. r.iated C~ 17 in ma~1n~ ~h.-. oted thl nos~o to noti ty e'IT 11 .ider the .0tiOD would be j.d It. to lome d•• lcnatld rende. H.tion ot tuelin~. It . . furth. Re 11k.ar. WALD. and d i ..nd by 0700 on . tu. REOSHO aad RUSSILL were in the T10inlty of the May 4th r. on the Gth 1.ltion Ihould suoh support be neoeuarr TF 17 oontinued on a north.ndllvoU.opardla..ual Il~al ran~. out ot 'ri.nd.oau•• ot hi.ind oonditlon. aiat. V1a1bil1ty . Thi. not knGWn..rseia. At thi. ln ~rd. He 4a. H. diDI to attaak. b•• n hi.do.d b.. 15 0 ..bould have direot.ak.11••• outh••• t ot OUADALCARAL I. h•• truok l_dillt. _de at latltud.. renclllvou. military ..i. iahaia h. tavorabl. tre.oh.d the NEOSHO to dlreot CTF 11 plu. .tltude 11 0 -10' S. at l.upport TP 11 . d.00' S. What moti.you. HAllMAn.tabll.r oooo1tion. upon aompl.oau •• the •• J. .. or.. to ha . Wl'" dl1'1e.duo.hed 1n the CORAL SEA to the ..ed. longltud. A moderate oold front had lett th'"Au.nl'b.vorable tor flying. ..r•• beoame r.. trade . aad It app. had b••n r.. and b.linl. th.li. PERKINS. open to arsument.xploit iah.oau •• ot radio 1111no.r to obtain a more taTOrabl •• upportinc po.arinC in thl TULlOI ar•• with •• tronl oarr1lr t •• k toro.. ANOOSOI.t.~.. . and were thu.port.. with r.4 J 4l.d b.iiauatlon iah.d a point about 100 .t that h..nd the d. but whioh had not r. hea. pq l.ll iniao a trap b. TF 17 now a~D. the rend •• You. . time. TF 17 approaoh.tor.. 1580 -49' I.. H uao. tro~r. d'oielun tor TF 11 plu.laiai~ly w. in thl rir. TF 44...laDd.r.outh of the front ft..e1. TF 11 ~had oompl. whioh •• re unt. CRES'l'ER and PCaTLAND .l. 160°.d launohing po.my" oapability ot app. would b. tor May 4 that h..hould •• udd...d toro•• . 4 • .. hi.arly t.. but iia will b•• hown la.hlp. that. normal to the .1tlon it ran into . .aok.otion ot TULlOI.trAl1an OOl. WN -julo... MORR IS and SIllS. doe.b.d iao atteok th••• t...outh of th1a tront.e direot.u~rlDe aad. ASTORIA. in ad. T' 11. at dayli~ht QD May 5th.ia ..00' E.d to hi. immediat. .ak toroe. n.rly oour •• t~roughout the nlght .atinl tor iah•••• 1.e.por.d arl ••• A. .d iia. Ther. without waitihS iao b.. and unable ~ . loncltud.t and mO'YWd northward •• Th. ..t. b.t that h.n. to oontinul on to • nlw r.ay 4tb lt had re.n ne.1on to att. tor.taahld the NEOSHO. n... 1. proa. had 'houlb' .l. to ha .r. '-rpt.. joined b. it appear.r that h.. 1(4 .. b. ath.r. . TF 44. tul in hi.li.d the BOSRO to iDtOI'll aU .oau •• i t . it not appear oorreot that CTF 17 .d ot iahe o.he.nd CTF 44 a. or .ly d.till dld not ooa.d to Noosn1 •• and .pan••• tail.rri.. 4?4'" -. with the RUSSELL a ••• odrt. orui •• r.. about 250 mile •• o~th or TV 17. bu. plann.d unl . a .you.

. exl. IrrOl1n Wflt u"u. with ooo •• ion. h.l.r over TULACI obtain•• ..tta"".r ..CA NAL IIl.tion •• April .ttaok .d ite north. th.ruo.d l.ome hour.id.ll. ollrd. we. 1.a. very 1. Tautio.ntl1 elthe~ ft.d launoh.rrler ta. It .n~. . oloud.oo?ery by . in three .. to work up to the north . o~ ~llie~ nllne •• WI.rrter b••• d pl.nemy not be o.. » 4 c. ft. l. ot 0.o be equ.ln ..rao~inn.qu.e.lt.d .unohln« .rried but 18 tlght.tr. ideal.i1••• Th• • ky w•• oyeroa.nd th. wlth • south••• t wind..otloa.: q.bout 100 1111 •• b. b~ror.11 •• 'h• • l~ .ntir. with the hominr. o.ne.. rou't. 14 4 . M.d fully by it..&i~l .lly helpful to t~ J.ok to the . and mad.otlon or the wind . .round TF 11. .roto~ ..d w th.outh in ord.. hop.lly r.o~ars to h.oo~oenied it.n the ta.ual in th.k foroe . had beoome aooar.klng.te.r .s.:''''' -~4- .d.nt.unohinr.rolo~ s.ne •• non.CNON~ the .unohing po.rr. and beo.red r ••ot•• By 0101.urpri •• to the J. the po•• lbillty or •• rly di. r the SOt.hitt.ir . the att. ln the atternoon . ~h •• outh••• t wind would b•• xtr ••ely helpful to the Alll ••• It would al. (r4r-S).r ta.aint. to the A~ll. oold h'ont had ..upplied to . . thl dlr. In whioh 0 •••• no n•• d tor tighter. 1n the tron~ n.roup ot 12 torpedo pl. ly .hower.u•• it we.1x plan•••orkin.nll..r.k foro. 'Yhibll1ty adyer . ~I ~:"'l.k toroe in 0••• ot toro..r.t 2& knot.d oommeno.e by .d .treot o~rat1on •• nd.tteotl. and TOLAnI..11' ~trol ot six tighter. A ooabat .r. Should the ..u~ht by . tly1nl!.k toro. ot ~6 knot •• - ft. Th. b.te ..t .ngth oould be . ol.d .ok • oanpl.nd good w•• th.. ~~4. TULAOI 1tll. Th. w•• in ql •• r w•• th.1r patrol.r .1r patrol ot .pan •••• 'hould th.tt. r.n•• appe. thought n. J •• 4 . 1' . . it would norm.a. or ~hI Cor..portant that the ta. onoe ad..ition 1'01' the f1rlt .t .tlon of oloud 00 .r..r air patrol a&ain.. h~' that ti.e • 'F.k toro.~ be.t . • xo. w•• maintained thrQUlhout the d.nellY ••• roh pl.l ~u.uttlo1ently low and d. Should the .1' 100. (SBD) .uoh • oOllbin.urpr .r ta.rlJ wlthdrawal but.a.tron~ nount. ~ 17 nrofl~. Thu.ll.nd 16 boaber.n•• (TBD). .nt.ting .urpri •• but. int.lly be over . tollowed by • oo.lly .u •• the YORKT~N o.t. w1th m~.nd.d o. . with the bad we. .outh ot nUAJ'lIIr. the orul •• r.y.nt oono•• lment tor Aill.. Th.n b.upport b. 80 low u to lnterrer. ar.e.t S.• 11 ot whloh . trOlll ~h. ~ow.xo.t .a •• outh. would be withdrawlns.ttaok would gener. to hne b•• n oorr60tly oho •• n a.pe.uttloient .d over the . Ipp.~ly oour••••• thl. to Dr.y. SacS w..d throu~out t~ d. (RlVAER 60-1T-12). This ."red a .hould h.ind. support 1n .d airoratt.nt. in. (SBD). .ne.r to ."l.urpri..rPir•• 'he Chiet ot W l Oper. !h.trlk.lI 0011 111 on JUII t ..d by. lt Dlo.twe..round the oarri.tratooumulu•• oumulu•• nd oUilulon1abu.n .r •. pod tion to wi thin 20 linn ot TOLAGI.r oondltion.vent .d to o..er. Bad ". and .. Or ~r •• t oOl:lltanoy.a . of wM"h h.o•••• ry tor oomb. the . ott.quire .t with .pan.n beo.ub•• rin•••• nd the YORKTOWN h..nd the . hut no+.u~ht by .b.y be o.t no ti~ht­ oreneded it ". It pro-del.ot.oa.-t _.r w bad..nd taoilit~ted rettrement. IS 100Ut pl. nENNEL Iliand • • i~ht ott. J."ther exht.okin~ toro. appar.ne.tah the Japane. The oc..n inn.ooutin~ by the JaQane .CANAL tor a dhtano.th.s •• ry dur1n~ the day.rt.ather now oo.t•• outh.r.ge.hould be on • • outh••• t.~ ""~"". outh ot OUADAl.nd Mi. reMh.lIIpolltlon or thh . I i ~ I I I .

. ral~ oo. . be .her. be..quadron proo •• d.G.t • Dul. b...~oup•• .r....iderably in . Ind report the r ••• lt.' . I ~...d.tion.. o..' alrorat. (8-10.. 1 CL (JINTSU Cl..~ oontudon. plrtioipltinS in the tir. OKINOSHnaA KlKUZUI I.1 richter direotor ottio. l a' TULlGI •• oh ..ann.ander WI.n'l. May II. !hi.• . to reoonno1t. a.. Sw~ePlr. 1 larp AV.any other in.a.r.I o. and •• oh . SerIal OS4. and no other . ~ IWDI ot the a'taok plan•• w. oth. .)... . -Xotion Report..~'" .s.-'~\4..d 1. TAKAHAE-MARU .quired on the oarr1. u. No..t attaok. r. YORtTbHN.pDrtan' r. and 1. indio. & I. naturally re. w... r. "1'... ot the attaok... to ma1ntain radio dl. durin.on tor thl.'rike croup oa..n••y . wblob .oipline...aplan•• anohored orr MAlAYBO Ialand and numerou•••• 11 patrol boat. \h•• 01.ady ot the Japan.quadron. or Apt.r.1lI. 1' .r thl tarKl~ are' durinc thl ln1tial attaok. 2 2 AlIo .n "oordlna~. w..a.Why no strike Oroup Ca.te..he .000 tou) ..tanoe. r' l.xpenditur..ulted ln . 1 AK (&.plo. nnt apparent.. p...oosnition ot type" althoush the &otual nuablr ot . .pnrt attaohed . Ixeouti .r ...r . .UDObl.r ot attaok.tal M1ne t)' . the war in thl PACIFIC. or thl attlok •• ha ..000-1&00 ton.. pr•• ent ot TULlOI at the tl ...35.d. oon.000llpiny the l". ..rror ~n r. 4. a'taok. true in .. in the a"l~n' ot tarce" and ord.. appoint. ooordlnate the Squadron. 'loUon report. reported by the plane.~.. f. '0 . Th.d a ~rea"r .anoe '0 'hi at'-ok .DJ en'.onably aoourat•• A . been neo' •• Iry had the a'''ok.ok Group. ).. UPOD arri . appoint. apparent laok or ooordlnation app.llh.3. Roweftr..). tor the TULlGI Ind PORT MORISBY oper.ort. Th1.be Air Oroup co_nder did DO' . 2 lar" AI'.d WI.d. in .' . to\lDd .. TUZUI I 1 lCJI 2 DD Coa.hawn the Deo••• lty tor . ot ertort that would h.. and oaul.".nooun'Mr.. 1942.r.. XPC - AZUIIA YAJIl-~RO.and. report.hlp.d..000 ton. 1.hat . w1th 11'tl.. Air operation.. . pboate (1.~'J... An 1."r '0 '.r in the attaok are. had lonr.quadron... ~I: l The tollowln~ . . 1 and No. hl..10•• w.. Attaok Group rand •••ou•• d by .aD'lolpa-.r.iIJI... . 1.ar. a.mand . 2 DDt. tilhier •• pine' floa' (llan•• • h1oh had beoa.tor. pro'MoUCNl apln... ~ . to bleD tbe tao' . and to ob •• r .quadron oonduoted It.. ...... '. or no ooordination wl'h the a''-ok.d to !OLAQI ind'pead.. Ott1oer" r. that thl tollowlns .r ot tho••• arly da. hereto dated 19 ~y 1942. wa...

IS VS ot Scoutinl rlYe and 11 "' or Torpedo Squadron rlYe JNre lAunob. 1 .d bet. Thie plan ot . at Oeste The ooabat aL' patrol dQ" not appear to baye been launobed Wltll 0700.ht.hate~er bomb he may be loaded with.i.arm.owhat li.t and reportinl tbe pOlition ot abip.:.ooutinC th.d The S~ol)nd Attaok Group con.aanders. app..ere dr09ped mucb cloler later during the Coral Sea action.t.d t.eat and Northwe. thele th. t. _I . a at 0862 and .The Fir. range droppinl of torpedoe. to upwards ot SOOO yard" in tb. Thi.een 10S8 ADd 1120.•tinl o't VB of BClllb1nl Squadron rlv.ere expended by the s8cond Attaok Group on the OIINOSRIKA.ornin. lahr attacke.ain.quadron prooe. initial attaok oa-aenoin.ly. targets were still afloat in the area which were better 8U~ted for the 1000 pound seneral purpose I . This was the first experience tor some of the pilots against AA fire ~d it appeared worle than it .as •.ere complet.ea to ...le werec in the attacks~ 1. to the V! Squadron. in fbct. provided he considers the tarset worthy or the effo:rt.. a. 1S VS or Soout1a& Squadron rive and 12 " ot Torpedo Squadron P1Yt wa. to the 'eat and North. r. . Nothing should r~8traln tbe plane commander concerned from dropping . R (c) Thirteen 1000 pound general purpose bombs . Squadron Flye.d. Torpedoes .coutin.quadron oa.a. At 1882 tbe tbird Atiaok Group landed.medi. that a low percentage or hits must have been made to have only achieved what the Japaneee describe as wNo dirficulty in battle cruisin" 80me caaualtiea. but which was.d at ran.. Aaon.et Ar. aeoond Attack Group land.nt17 to tbe Tar.d at OaSl and . The present reca. reported aa heavy.pend.medlat. witb tbe VB and VB aircraft . sa.t Attack Group oon.ers expended by Bomblng Squadron Five on three gunboats.t and report1nl the pb. Tb1e lon. to bave be.i. wt h. whioh . (a) Torpedo. twil1aht 10111 pr.. and 9 VB'I ot JoIDb 1ng Squadron llv ••as launcbed at 1·.ere dropp. sbow. and air operatlo~s against TULAGI .oeded tbll. not coordinated but were initiat.d b1 indiyidual .ar. tbird Attack Group conlistins of 12 VS or Sconting Squadron [1Y. but in thiB caee. 'h.t1D£ u~ IS VB or Baabin.qu¥dron. launobed tor It. trom 500 to 1000 yards tll't~t attaok.ter than a riv~ inch rocket.s Yar. (b) Thirteen 1000 pound bombl and eleven torpedoes .rin. tho attaok ••er.a. Eaob . The Firat Attack Group land..1 .itioD of . SUnriae .ded iDd.mended primary arming plan ror this type or target calls for nothing gre. Th.n caused by a desire on the part of tbe pilot I of tbe torpedo planes to avoid Japan. ar.se antiaircr~tt·fir.d at IS19 and waa r..0UDd. Certain errorl or ooamission were noted durin.bipa to the V'I' .~.ara.00.

been neKllgibl. parated .olved. or Sooutinl Squadron Fi~ and B~bing Squ. in the vioinity ot TULlGl. Torpedo Squ. would ha~ allowed the bombs to explode . to . on larKe ~ •• el.quadron.. d.ted e destroyer whioh wa.n. that the re.fiO oaUber maohin. .am. w. U!Um. although her Captain and many other• • ere de.01 .tr. Four VF's .dron Fi~ were eaoh armed with one 1000. throuKhout the day. tht!!ref'or'e. .appointin~ .. p. to have been mostly top. b..quadrons wa. .yailable.botDb.ell insid.ot fu ••• with .nd NX 23 tall ru •••• The. All fiP:hter.Danes.d that .. w. di. noe ot the tarpt ar.nd landed on the South oout ot r. "'hh deatroyu w..ne.urrioiently.rteot .t in.anne" •• to be. by~he Commanding Otfioer ot the YORITOfrW at the time ot the aotion. The commanding Ottioer of the YORKTOWN.my . Both pilot.ure thelr de~truotlon. now . Thi.tTADJ. 14. and app.. USS fORt16NN.. Oroup Caamander.. the YlTZUKT whioh the J.troyer ot the ASASrO 01 •••• No de.d that a slower ru.d or wounded. ide damage and the minin~ ett... l'I"U8nt _t 'I'ULAr.ult of the use ot the . wa.uoh a . float s. The pl.taok de. to have been a new two-. deaorlbed by the tiKM. would hav.eoond fu.d at 1310 to prooe.e tar~et.ma~d on May 4th at TtnAGI by uarrier plane. state . in hi. ba •• d on an evaluation or Allied pilots' reports mad. pound YX 13 ~ne"al purpose boab with MX 21 no.re r..e in this aotion.. wa. the ~ype of . only. to h.dron Five had eaoh plane arm.. ~n. croo •• ding ln oompany with the A1..d to TULAGI to d•• troy ••• plane.e fu ••• were eaoh 1mp.eoond delay aotion. ~lon l 1 fieport.ar to have been the only on•• available tor the bomb •• mployed.01 .hip. on the larpr .eotion beodme . not dama~d . hoWever.r. The •• plane • • i~hted an' shot down three .. aotion •• tated. oonoerned ln . the. During the r. In.. She wa.ot trom n•• r mi •••• apP4ar.red at TOLAGI in. enoount. . liy 11.. The evaluation on Page 38 oompares the damage inflioted. tward.re ariM~ with .d. report of thi.ere launoh.soued that night by the USS HAMMANN. been 'pparent.. and oould than ha~ been a •• l~ed to the . whloh wer •• ttaoking the bomber. a •• yaluated trom Japan•• e souroe.tead of mol" n•• rly Gn oont&ot a.ult. Wl th prope" l"eoonnai ..I I!'nd it is.~CJ.r pilot. The armlnK plan tor the ~riou. the . 1942.ingl.25 •• oond.nd reoommend. the damM~ inflioted by direot hit.r to norlihw.e tu'~1 . obtalned trom direot hit. prov. with that of the ~llles. and torpedo plan. w. A' a re.e ot . Serial 084.d with one MK XIII torpedo wtth a d'pth settin~ of 10 feet.. effioienoy.turn or these 4 VF's to the YORKTOWN.NAL Island near CAPE HENSLOW. one .eriously her '-ttl. They then . .tl'oyer or thh 01 .hip. appa~ently the oa.e. by a strlk. appear.id.aplane.

.. SlJINAPY OF DAMAGE CeO. .tro.fi70 rounda ot _50 oaliber and 70. the tarpta.SO caliber _ohine £Un ammunition • . de.~.e..ered 1 VT - Duaged 3 VB .weeper. Ixpend1ture in~uded 22 Worpedoe. .ered Pilote reco.insle float . by bom~B or torpedoe •• 1AUA VARU by bombs or toroedoes. Beaohed XA~ speoial duty mine . ot this attaok whioh indioate.Cr. IUs oe nane ous I 1 AI (lar.~.. . 'e~orted 5 • Ingle float ..eaplane.. .~-.by 1 DD KlKUZUKI by bomb or torpedoes (beaohedand later sunk) (see YUZUKI DD) bOlllb•..--.096 rounds ot .II... 1 AJr. plan.~...t.. . se.. naber of planes attaokins.2. 1 AV by bomba ~ps (see OK'INOSHIMA CM-6) Damaged 1 eM OKINOSHIMA by bombs 1 DD YUZUKI by strafing 1 XPC TAM! MARU No. -:58- . obtained. ~ ..hi.-nty-six 1000 pound genetal purpose'bombs.ed lariou. 11 ~raft . 1 and No..unk or d. Pre."" . ) .'~. SUDk 2 AM~ 2 DD' s by bOllbi and torpedoe. No. . . In. 8 by bomb.. Dot reoo. pd by . .-) by bODba 6 . destrol'd. OWn Los.))a~ged 2 VT . type ot AA tire encountered.tratins.Da-sed Th8 followin« table "Summary of the TULlG! Attaok" is a coaplate analysi. 12..ent lvaluatlon 3 VS - 2-" ..unitlon expended to result. by torped08' I 1 Shi'O. ttera ot analytical intere. TOLlGI operation was oertainly disappointing 1n terms of the ratio . various ••al1 oraft sunk or damaged by strafing. ot a.\ torped 08. 1 CL (JIITSU Cia•• ) by torpedoe.. and other aimil~r . ItituATtON TORJrTOlIrN PRESENT EVALUATION ship. Ships Severely Damag9d 1 DD (ASASIO ala. and bomb.

110 BU •. ..0"b111tJ' Gt .."""....Inl 12 SlID SrlSl' 12 .:..~.. 1 .•• ..• '1 z·.!I _ttiDI:.. tJMYr~_ 11'(1 I IPC . .!'~'.. t "'• . eb .:... SBD 1 ..1Jocl.7 15) 1 :5 3BD " SltD . altn_ or !IO hft.. tlU•• -..'!'IC!I no:: _~:>O!s A/A PlII! DeCl!!'ftED!) CLAn. _ _ 1IItlloo oae to leL. ~ ~t5n'e • .d P'Ie. all .~ . aiaor ~p.. _ Ut tor toot .. 5 1 1 Wo4ence bat 1Mthotl" u: '. T~"C..._ . -~ ~..epa tiro. £IO' . .e t. I S!l) .t eDlp' t1. _be ...~~:£.s Ulo t"._ral _11 latmfbel .... laaIe4 Gadal-..ek.. 1 Mal' ai ..-.~_ ii:' .... "... .. U.' .~ . :D.It. to l11«li paoli &lid _retoft rot..1 _ _ _ ... • 11.. ter~ _ IPG 1 IPC 1 Ire S SB!I 3 S!!n t!l. I C" . _ d _.'. Utla hU CII-I onJIOSP. Iq..Y !'AKL-PAJW. I I In 1 AT. Itit 1 Ut . ~1n..!M:rt~. _ ntt . 1 A <JUJI!9IDa. Ut._ . .1U:- i 1 S!l) _ _ 1 A. .. tNt .~. _ 1 ~. ..l .:'~ -~~:.. ··*+r£··Ft ... 1 Torpo4o h11. .. 1 to Mftln. at ftIICIt of ~ te . off._ • I' t m!e..oi~ Se••l .. rl 4I'oppe4 1ft Un .-.t reI.t. .1111 .u _111.. Cl.-.6. .1\ • s. IlUa..". 3 VY • • ple.ttack. "'1. . . . O? lOCO.. ..e.....-"'*.d by 10 pleoel a.UOII 001_1041. ... '..•• . (4' Ua _rob 10 . I 1 jlll-5 fa.- 3taA. ~ __.k..1aode 'l. r e _ tMt II1Il\ " 1500 V5-S I AI: (1) _11 leuncbll "..rM> DeR.4 _t..~N%~i.mit.. ~ +.!II09I'I!'. ..:A'~. Nt with 10 toot 4ept.-.of .~ m neo~ ... _ _ ftO)l~ nt~ 1550 17-42 to HIO 517 . :wr 5 TIlt 2 !"!ID ..... troa I reI•• :. 8t. t:. .. ! 6 JI!e • . j Oft" 80 ~1t •• ..~~~ ij 'j .pd. .... 4aok..":'"{ ~~~~i . 12~ ~-5 1 AY IS) 1 AT 151 CIf-l G¥-! 6 ?'!n 5 T!ID .. LUI T. JWOM. 1 po •• lbl.- . _ " .Ult..eaTY and ICO"Jl"a't•• 2 rlaDli. aa4 I po•• lbl.tnt'lac . ....r . 04 auto- ..... 'WI..n. 100 '115 n-~ Dn 1 3BD .'-. po •• lbl...o4 1.CA'!'IOW leL... .-:7.. eM en. ..a:n rMaoKlbl.. ea...t1taa..t: lal ODe ILlC trn UI..s-.~~1r.!!!I-~ able po...' "". 1.. .. .. 1 U' f!l 1 147 ~ ~) 1 L\J' C11-6 C11-6 . OP P!:!S!!P!' ~I- PLA.11ot. 2: . 2 bit. . .. beaebl4... . 1 po .ttzb'n" -'6¥*-S'i-M~"'-'-"' .... 1 "oet .. . .'" 1 PI. j -n. .1ta .'!"rA. GP!t'113S 1J!!C"1'I~ r-.T (3) C11-6 13 Sl!I!) pr. 1Io-...~~~. .. u~._ _ _ f : -. n'l T"'-l'rY..e noorc! .ra.. .~. .. witb 8: n co. 3 1 13 "n.x- JIO. . . or >!It XIII lIIO~ r._ d l1&IIer alUt_~." . :.'reitr -~..plaDe..."-5 801M record. ru . atH!''' noet SM . ~- ... =4 \.era"•• ao4 4enr0J'll4 "'11. bit.8 lawft"l. 12\ 1 L\J' 1Uf".n 15 S!D • TlIn l' s- IIKInSt'II _ _ ~.. _ _ 110.. of t=5OO t . .aak later "'DO ". . RaI<. 1 • ~ 4 Y4r-3 nraf'ed P1N_ ... Ot'~ . _ . .pla.lloat _ . ..~'t 4~ S 11ql. 110 _ _ • ar... dl.. f:-:~''C''"'~~~.art. "i':.:: ATTA-.. ~-"-'. -"..r... .cr.. -... -_~:t':. .ooII&R. ... 110 ~to.. 1 b'-. ~ 1210 T3 . 4. rr.ret: -'Met.~.. 'forJeIoea n1 . .4 .'.. pl . ~ I . I to 1000..t"tack:.- ..74-. ... OD Cl . ..!)- TDI! or "~A..plaDe .-.Da.4 IPC~ 1 1.4 toaias at wl• ...~T 0' T'!LACI AftACE S~TTA.t rtedlt1 .... .. s. flo" J 2.ttlos. Ib) All 1 AT Cll-e 9 SlID 9 :::'::w.". or<DUBto4 m_... AI: 1 ~n.blp •• :5 b.. ..~ .-..._rlo. fioat _.. at at lM..~ ia. ot ."5: (eJ '!orpedOl. i " -.''..':!: S!~{'W..U.onatll••to Ie tlloo All ~b . alUta" o~ s. j ~ . ..0 bIt..l probabb ~U JIAJWIII JIIdswt ITALTTAft'D 1 :l!.!DD neg_I! • AXe 1 1 AX III ltr. . pla• • 3 100 ASA..... . 8: IS tJa11 . .Capkl.' .~-3000~ rr.! S:"tn: P'C/!II' TAFlfJ!"f' ROlf A~A~- I~:- I I "".. .ell u r _ \0 la.. tr.... t .~S 1110.. eMe I I Y? lU..'"_.910w4 AD4 1 •••los all .....» 4. 100 .. 12 SIlD aD4 .4. Iuutt1a1• • •1aMa ft to 1A. -t~ r A.~.. fS-...lawr - I<IIWIIll I .-_:~.1. .Tu.. .--.eri"" ~ . 1 Dtvala•• Sll1f'l' . oN.k!.. .1ISe _pproeo~ t"ra-. ".l. 1 LW "TIIHI _11 la'J!1cb'... oel' ·::P20 YS-' ~-5 1-DO 2 AYe 1 .) 1 XU! 1 1 _tie ....!rO plane.=t e'·'"a. 110 ~U..

even though such a course would probably place him in a poo~ supporting position because.. p. lay 4th. a180.taking measures in accordance with their responsibillt~ E:'s.'W#. CTP' 11 headed on a southeasterly course which took him about leo miles southeaet of that rendezvous. did not consider the enomy capability of opposing CTr 17 in strength.ell to be in a more southerly area.. Head of Department of AnalysiS.fleJlY search planes from RABAUL...bout 8 planes which searched the NW sector to a radius of 200 miles. •• -_. This soarch appears to have been made because CTr 11 did not teel that the Allied '1r searches from AUSTRALIA were adequate for his skfety. Had CTF 11 headed in a northeasterly direction he would have been. Naval War College.CINCPAC oblel"9'ed that the perfo1'llance of the YORKTOWN Air GrJup. Bates. the forces at TULAGI apparently managed to send dispatches concerning their plight with the ~esult that the. and at 0900 with TF 44. ·..** It would appear as if this reasoning of CTF 11. t. therefore. Serial 0782 ot lay 27. He evidently felt that his other dangerous area was being protected by CTF 17. TF 11 rendezvoused with the NEOSHO and the RUSSELL.". May 4th. and he did not wish to be caught by surprise. and the desirability.pbasized" how much proficiency drope off .. Tr 11... Navy.S.ttnWC r. destroyed w . CTF 11 states that he chose to steer in a southeasterly direction until 2000 rather than in a northehsterly direction.e.t~d~&~'*""~'·*M. ~.~ **Statement by CTF 11 to Commodore R. Then. U. CTr 11 launched an air search of &.. of being in an ade4uate supporting position. at the rendezvous Bet tor Yay 4th..S. which apparently coincided with the views of CTF 17. The Striking Fo~ce which was transferring planes to RABAUL from a position distant about 440 miles bearing lSlOo from TULAGI does !lot appeal' to have received information concerning the attack very promptly. he did not know what fortune CTF 17 was having in his attack on TULAGI and he thought it . At 0642. U. ___ - ·6 H ________ • ~~ _ _" e .... ot the enamy air stationed at RABAUL and LAE. in warttme and the necessity for target practice at every opportunity in order to keep pilots trained in all pha..Action Report. 1942. in accord6llce nth instructiWlS. REACTIONS or JAPANESE TASK FORCES Meanwhile. First Endorsement on CTF 17 . Ibile TF 17 watil preparing for and making the above attacks at TtTLAGI. ~. He knew of the Port More5~y operation and. of aerial warfare. June 17.II'~'''~'._'~).r cr3ditable willingness and effort to keep after their eneay objective until it . 1942. th Me ____ = "Ma~ tfM ."~ h~~~~ . with all three groups. when he changed to a &ortheastArly course and headed for the 0800 rendesvous for May 5th.he Japanese coamand was quite busy.various Japanese commands began . about 250 miles neare:' TF 17 and would have at the same time been beyond the normal rWlgtl Qf e.W. It complAted transferring the planes and then rueled.. It appears that some time about *CINCPAC Seriel 01704. At 0800...s approaching his designated l"endeSToul for May 4th.)''~§. Although caught by surprise by the attacks of T! 17.. owing to radio silence. at 2000. despite their ~er. He hele this courSe lmtil 2000.

Striking Force in thio situation 1s eomeahat confUsed. heaaed for rendezvous 40 mi188 northwest of VELLA LAVELLA wheh it received word of the attack on TULAGI.. possible that he la. composed of the AOBA and the KAKO. This information got through very promptly. was. One group.>lus the lIIIIa11 carrier SHOHO and the destroyer SAZANAUI.ND Island. the Coverin. Certain of the reports say that he proceeded to TOtAGI but this is b. P. May 4th. . while the Port Moresby Invasion Force was still at ancho~ in RABAUL or in that vicinit" was the containment of the Allied carder force in the Coral Sea and its destruction when he could do this advMDtageously and with surprise.::lucb action se. compoced or the heavy cruisers KINUGASA and FURUTAKA. by 2400 of the 4th.n~on. I t \ -40- . May 4. but as the ranee approaobed the aax1aum c:wabat radius of his plautls. when it was informed of the attack at TULAGI. The Covering Force* was still headed for ".{ of the Cannae envelopaent and i t would not bave been wise for him to dash through the islands on a direct CClJ"le for TULt.lDcornot.y the Coamander. Striking Force to continue on a southeasterly course and outside the SOLOMON Islands 1s considered to have been corrttct.ildS otf the south coast of the NEW GEORGIA Islande. for at 0915. for the support or that place. ~orce was reorganized into two task groups. It appears that speed had been bcreased to 25 knott about 1200. which was returning from the NEW GEORGIA Area.Uev'lld to b~ . apparently. the group was especially weak when compared with an Allied carrier task force. .bat Report Ho.unched plane.n b. The other group. *Co. It I. as the enemy carrier force might retire to the eastward and out the Coral Sea. The ~ctlon tak. . It reached its former patrol area. Hls objective.a iaprobable.t. continued on to consolidate with. CruDiv 6. It would be of interest to know why Commander Covering Force divided h18 command into two such relatively weak groups. the second •• ction of CruDiv 6. This latter group ste&led south at high speed and endeavored to track the Allied task force wbich bad attacked TULAGI and which was believed to be about ~10 miles south of that place. some 20 to 30 . dat. This decision")f COIIIIIlander..~. It did not take ~ action against the Allied carrier forces which had attacked TULAGI thut day and continued on towards its rendezvous. the t'irflt section of CruDiv S. 1. WDC 118)997. reversed course and headed southward for TULAGI. The SUpport Force. He was the left wln. His surface force appears to have continued on a eoutbeaster~ course and.. it was about leo miles southwest or SHORTL. May 4th. At 2400. to the TULAGI are. Striking Force.UE&1 CAROLINE Harbor for fuelin6. had reached a position 90 8i18S north of the south tip at SANI'A ISABEL leland.y the Commander.GI. but bad no success. Such an obj ective might be acc(8pll8hed by a sweep frOID the northeast and around the southern end of SAN CRISTOBAL Island--it might not be accomplished by a strike through the SOLOMONS. The first group bad no air cover except what could be provided by land and float planes. arriving there about 2400. word ot the attack . the PORT MORESBY Invasion Force. May 4th. received b.ed 11 July 1942. Neither group was effective.

a higher pitch than ever and the task force was convinced that it had destroyed a large part of t. 1942. CTF 17 re~uested Commander Cruisers to nominate two cruisers to go into SAVO Island lo clean up the cripples on the following dawn. Thus their origind pilots were gradually expended. • r . At about evening twilight. . mIS" OF Tl 17. CTF 17 in apparently reestimating the Situation.. p. also. Not only did they taprove the mOrLle of &irmtln. at the time of the Coral Sea a~tion. in a large part. t former Commanding Officer. Fortunately. ~s the two cruisers would have been caught by the Japanese Striking Force.. and failed to establish Air-Sea Rescue on a very effective scele.S. They un~er­ estjmated the value of their original pilots.** This incident is introduced here merely to indicate the extreme confidence which permeated the Allied Command anq to show how necessary it is for the commander to supervise the developing action with great care. ~ -41- : 7 * t n et _ .. most of whoa had enjoyed long peacetime and combat training.Interrogation of Captain T. .. not as yet explained. and they did not feel that these pilots were particular17 iaportant to success. on the other hand. This was a wise decision. II!..he Japanese Navy.r I '"/ '. For some realSon. off. .M. The PERlIIS eearched UDsuccesstul17 during the night for the crew of a lost torpedo plane and the HAMMANN recovered pilots frca the two fighters which h&d landed on GUADALCANkt Island. west of SHORTLAND liland • The TULAGI Inva. Para. .4.pletod at 16~2. were directed to Join other units generally connected with the PORT MORESBY Operation. . had be~n left behind on "Search and Rescue" operktions. May 4th. 1 The aorcle of TF 17 was now n. they eaved for the Country trained aimeD scarcely replaceable. but.hus their fighting qualities. CTF 17. if not the first. did not mate much effort to eave pilots. Serial 0782 dated day 27.N. Comm&nder Cruisers noainated the CHEb~ER and ~h€ ASTORIA.May 4th. However. arrived at the con*Action Report. Japanese pilots. and t. Naval War College.. The Japanese. U~S CHE~~ER.".. They sacrtflced protective features in aeroplane design in order to obtain better performance. *. 12. Shock. the attack was cBller. Tbat such rescues were of unquestioned taportance bec~e more and more evident as the Pacific War progressed. were still original pilots and their coabat quality wae high. TF 17 plus the CHICAGO less the HAMMANN Bno the PERKINS continued to the south 1n retirement and headed for the M&y 5 rendezvous. after the Battle of the Coral Se~ what appear to have been two of the first.. The HAIL\1J~ and the PERKIN~. U. instances of Air Sea Rescue in the "estern Pacific of avbtors downed in c~bat with the Japaneee. 1 October 1945.y CTF 17.ion Force was dissolved at about 1200 M~ 4th and its units.'[ 4th Aft~r the action h~d been co.* Thus was initiated b.. on.. not required at TOLAGI.. by the Japanese Covering Force bOd by Japanese land based eir power.

Jourle the reverse of hil bf:)Rring..lJ flyinv: boat was aho+' rl()""n ntlsrer the LEXINr.t Latitude 15 0 -00' S•• Lon~itHle 150°-.y. t . eTl" 1."5 knot!!.A and the NEW HEl!RIDES •• i J ~\ ~ £.r. noat whioh had been disoovered hy raohr.'nT air ~J!lut had reported an enemy submtlrine ')n the surfso6 at 07:58. and 160~ E.h .a8 held until 19S0.lIj1. 11 or 'T'F 17.lng 01. the remainder nad oontinued ~. if it did.t one of his oarrier ta.lMANN a~d F"~Rnr~:~ had rejoined prior to this tiw<:. r"rthW8rll ~ o.. P.. ~. Aotua11y. "Is at 20(\() feet and tOPI at 7000 feet. ~s . Ifhioh submarine was he. both in dlreotion and vel ooi ty. l operation.l are.'.()V:'. Th1. The shootin~ dOWf' of this flying bOflt.~ . now operating WIlS appftrently wlthin the rrll~(! of . April 19404 • •••ar Dier7 26th Air Flottlla.a. the YOflK'l\WN hlld sl~ot down a Japanese 4-engine flylnp. from both TULAGI and SHORTLAND Illand. May 6th.te the flllhrnArj '. The next day.he twc t .'CI"tlorl.Wirr. .. talc1ng on the oharaoteriltioe at a warm front. a8 . j .he ournu lue ":.S.:-e ~l'Jems to hAve ~'gen :lome queltion •• to whether it W8S t. lelDl-permenent hi~h p1"l9uure area louth of NF:ff CALEDONIA moved towarda the loutheast. this flyinr.ma"le to looe. it if.. TF 17 fueled from the NECSHO during the day ot . 1 Aprtl 11 May 1942. Islllnd u a warll'l front.:-..'l'mN TOLAO! AID 'HSIMA -.nd weather wi th partly oloudy eklel I the base of t. 1.1:)' r. TF 17 whioh had retired throughout the night without inoident. The task foroe 1n the vioinity of l()o S.. enoountered tY!"li . of the CORAL SEA.ded on a . pOlition aorol.TON than the YORKTOIr' ~T1~ ~r.... As fA YORR"~=. • ~. Wlnda were s('utheasterJ.rom 24M \liy if to 21M Vay " The . roat elther did not make any report ~. rok Area Ba. +.. 1'1 this area was an 1 ..~~'.~ ll\tflr. Bil.S. A. .olu.ay 5th on a south. ealterly oourls whioh oaurae . unwi ••• EVENTS ~F. . and were quite eteady. the r~on~.'al trade wi. .fQuane. .. towardl HrSIMA and east-eoutheaat toward. (RAVAER 60-1T-12).. TF 11 and TF 11 p1u• • lerologyand laval. lerolol7 Seotion.tated previoualy in the dh c:'1l1S ion of Japanese searohf'ls '~ area in whi oh CTF 17 wa. \ f At 0816 on the mort. .hnt the flying boat had been dir@Ooting the 8ublUarine toward I' ' I N or '.'r~'.zvoul had been effeoted.lon that auoh an attaok ..outhward. Oft10e ot ahief of . An air sear". A)'out one-half hour before thil r~nd. ather oondltiona on May 5th and 6th were bad in oertain ar. rendelvoueed with TF 11 and TF 44 . -&2- ~.e . The IOC.'7 had e ?8ry reason to a •• ume that the oompolition of at lea..[ ~. ~!'Ohl'" . th~ report wal not reoeived by the Japaneee ••• . May._~ ______ ______ t*_H ~.. RENNELL Island in a dir8otion weat·northwe~t..rai1:nr.. WOC 161126. k foroes.. un NEW' GUINF. t~e NF¥f 'ffi~~TDF.. .5'~·__ 7_=_'________________ '.k foroe • • as known to the Japaneee. The oold front to the aouth ot GUADALCANAL had reaohed lta moet northerly politi on byway 4th and by May 5th had begun to DlOve 110wly ..~. had oome more and more under the inf1uenoe ot the wind oiroulation to the north~ on M*y 5th.e Air Foroe..e airoratt oper"'t1n. the front extende~ from. ~. The Battle uP the Coral Sea. part of the front had moved to a pOlition I!Ibout 150 mi les south of HENNELl.

TF 44 ~n.r.lly .t•••• d within Ti~u.l .i~l dl.tanoe or •• oh other. Thi. oonoentr.tion .oplsr. to h.~ been. lmpro~.. nt o .. r the .epar.tion whioh h.d exl.ted on the Srd .nd 4th or "y.

,..t

eTF 11 e"idently made oertain air .e.rohe. on the 6th ••• it wa • • t on th.t date th.t on. or the YORKTOWN plane. di.ooftr.d • • u~rine 150 .11e . . . . y trom the ta.~ toro •• , but what .e_roh w . . .de and in what . .eotors, i. not indioated ln the aotion report,.
~138

In "iew of the raot thltt the .nemy .ppealed to be prep.rin! to IIOWI towards l)O~T MOPE~'Rv. CTF 17, at about 2000, prooeeded with all foroe' to the northwestw.rd ~urln~ th~ nl~h+'. The three task groups olus the NEO~RO oontinued on a northwe,terly oours. throughout the night without inold.nt. At 0100, MCiY 6th, eTF 17 deoided to plaoe his operation order Number 2-42. whioh he had hal.l1Jd on Way let. into orreot._ Thh order organized TF 11, TF 17, .nd TF 44 into a oombined t.sk toroe to be oalled TF 11 wit~ an Attaok rroup for the pur'po •• ot maklnr, day and night att.oks on enemy surraoe oratt. with • ~upport (;rotlp of oruhers and destroyerll to nroteot the oarriers: wi th .n Air Group to destroy enemy toroes reporte~ trom any souroe: and with. Fueling rroup 8ss1~ned to a d~finlte rendezvous. There W~II a proviso in the ord~r that the Attaok Croun and the S\lpport r.roup runotions mi!l;ht be interohanll;ed .s .:treated hy r,'!'F 17. Inst.ruotions were als() "lftn to the ~eaJ"oh Group whioh ocnsillt~d of the TANGIER .nd 12 VP h •• ed at NOT~ oonoerning the .ir Itea 'ohes to b( made from NOt~. eTF 17's order r,r..~-e u it. buia pl.n, in parap;raph 2, "This toroe will enemy ,hip., shipping, and airoratt .t'favorable opportunities in ,order to assist in oh.okin~ fllrt;h~r advano .. by the enemy in the NEff GUINIA~OLOMON Area."
d~stroy

.
,

This Oporation Urder failed to provide a ~attle ~ian ror use when the oombined roro~ wae in oontaat with the enemy during n4ght or low visibility or even for day aotion. This is oonsidered to be an unwi •• omission .s it is muoh limpler for foroes to un'~erstand dootrine when that dootrine has been promulgateil in ad vanoe. ';;ulJh a plan Ihould indioate the projeoted oompositiC'n of foroes, the approved battl!!' ranges, the looation of the oarrier fornes and m8t~ers ot similar imoortanoe. It will he shown later that thill failure to issue su"h I!I "'An 0"u8e"', II S"M,.a~lon of foroes and a laok of prooer !':oor~tn"i;~,on •
Immediat~1y aft~r the order beaame effeotive, TF 11. TF 17, and TF 44 wtlre oombined into or:e task foroe by eTF 17. whioh new teak foroe retained the old task toroe title 1F 17. This final deaision to oombine these two

-Aotion Report eTF 17,

~erial

5182, dated May 21,

1~2.

para. 14, p.4.

-43-

toroel, 1aoh oonliltine ot one larrilr. into one two-oarrier t~lk toro••• ppearl lound. Thil wei done by CTF 11 beoau.e h. oonlidered that tb. I'rata,ioal L1tuation .aa now luoh that to 10 oombin. them wa. logiell •• Al.o. aad \bil wa ••• laportant oonlid.ration. 'he apPlr.ntlyplanned to _ke CTl" 11. .he ottioer-in-tlutioal oOlllllland durin~ air operationl., el though .uoh a ohan~ in OTC il not indioated in hil operation order and CTF 11 .a, not imformtd ot it until .~ hnu~. hetor. +.he aot10n on Yay 8th... No 1'1~ortl had b.en 1'loeivet.' , wl,4"l. il\dioa":ed +.he .~T'o,1t)il"g of' +.hese enelllY oarriere rlpol"tl~ in the"" OUTIEJ.-lfE'f ~RT'T'An'-~OT(1'C'N Area but C'T'F 17 evidently e.timated that they aieht be Itron~ly grnuped as Ividenaed bY,the previoul reportl ot thl SHOUIU and ZUIUm.
~alk

J

crr 11 'peoifioally detined the areal to be learohed daily by the Searoh Croup and he turther lpeoifild that t.he Inroh would be made by six plenes. The are.1 to be inoluded. oonsisted of the m.in area bounded by bearin~s ~05° and ~600 trom WOUMEA, the northwe.t boundary ot the South Paoifio Ooftan area, and latitude llo-30'~. and a Imiller area defined hy thr~e definite geo~ra­ phical point. that .al apparently d.si~n.d ~o afrord a o,rtain amount of antisubmarine aeourity for the hue heinl!; estahlished at FoFATE. A further provilion in the order, directed Commander, ~earoh Croup ~to modify these searohes if latlr deftloDmentl indioate a need thenfon, and keep the 'T'uk FOl'oe ~om­ mander advi.ed." •••
Thil learoh plan W.I unulual, in that the radius of searoh in the main area was limite~ to the ealtern boundary ot the Southwest Paoifio Area. nd . did not adequately oowr the area to the north and northwest of NEW CAL! DONIA. AI may be seen frolll Diagralll E, the new searah plan inorealed the unsear,hed distanoe betwlen the louthlrn tip of SAN CRISTOBAL Island and th. northorn limit of the I.aroh from 26 lIIile. in the searoh previously in effect to 105 ~ilel in the new searoh presoribed by eTF 17. When CTF 17 made his estimate and iss~ed his orders. TULAGI was in the hands ot the 'Australians .ho were makin~ searohe. from TULAGI to oover the SOL~ON Illand. louth to the Northwest houndary of the South Paoifio Area. CTr 17's plan for the pRtrol nlenea WAS evirlently ooordinated with this searoh. When TULAGI wall eva"ufl+'ed boy +:he ~"strfll on 'MRv ?, +.l,i.a area was no longer .. arohee' from 'J'TJ'T .AGI ann Wf\S p;enere lly beyond the range of searohes from AUSTPALIA or PORT MORESBY. It apoears that Com~oWesPao or his Commander Naval Foroes should h~ve notified CTF 17 of his inability to searoh this ar~a and then CTF 17 would have direoted any neoessary potion by Commander Searoh Group. Whether CTF 17 was so notified, seems doubtful.

1

iII""

The searohes trom NOUMEA had, prior to Play 6th, been oonduo ted by six patrol planes (PRY-5) employing three at one time, but the new s~arohes oould not he oonduoted adequately hy le9s than twelve patrol nlanes. The six additional patrol planes required had heen ordered to report to Commander Searoh .tetter from Captain ,f.B. Refferman. U~N, Historian of the Navy, dated 6 Ootober 1946 to Commodore R.W. Bates U~N, Head of Department of Analysis, Navel War Colle~ • •• st.tement by ~TF 11, Vioe Admiral Aubrey Fitoh, USN, to Commodore R.W. Bates, USN, Head of Department of AnalYSis, Navel War CoUe~e. :30 November 1946 • ••• C~F 17 Order Ko. 2-~42. para. Z.(e)(~) p.4.

-44-

.~.J

''''',.'''''''

..

"'~","",

........ '.-.'. "0' '. ,,", _....,", •• ,.~ .. _

.111"-" ........... ,,.

1

,
I
f

Group at NO~~. These planes arriTed on ~ay 4th. On thi •• ame day, Commander ~earoh Group reoeived CTF IT'. operation order.
d~11y
mornln~ of ~'av !'\+'h, ~~mm"nde" ll'e.l"oh Group oOlllmenoed the six-alAne aear~h nr~~nl"thed ln the ope"ation orde". ~e dld not know when eTF 17 wa. go~n~ to make it erte~tlve, but he did know that it would be .oon and that he would probably not be advi •• d. He, therefore, deoided to operate by dootrine and, therefore, plaoed the plan ln etreot. Th1e deohion appear. to have been oorreot, tor CTF 1.7 wa. Maintnining radio silenoe, he waa already'operating in the CORAL SEA and he hAd sent no orevlous direotivea to Commander ~earoh group a. to the type or extent of sear~hes desired in sup~ort of the operation.

~

On the

t

I I
r
~

CTF 17'. aearoh plan WAa inadeou.te to loo.te any enemy foroes whioh rounded SAN CRISTOBAL Island within SO mile. of the shore, and theretore dllregarded, to a degree, hh ob.1eothe of destroying enemy Ihlp.. It failee to looate the ~trlklng Foroe whioh pesled into the CORAL SEA .bout 1900, on·~ay 5th, beo.uae. from NOUMEA, the radius of .earoh et the .e.roh plane. WI. too .hort to extend into the more vital are.s. The three-plane parallel learoh previously in effeot would .lso have railed to looate the Striking Foroe beoauae the searoh pl.n~s, in this oase, would have reaohed their northern 11mit at about 1300. or six hours orior to the p•••• ~ of th.t toroe. Had more plane. been provided for the three~plane .earoh and had that .earoh be~n oOLtinued by more frequent patrol. throughout the d.y, the Striking Foroe would probably have been disoovered even from the BOUMEl ba.e.
At 0730, Mlly 6th. CTF 17, beoaun of wind and sea, o}.anged oourse fro:. the northwest to the southwest and oommenoed fueling TF 17, preparatory tor further aotion whioh appeared imMinent. We.ther oondl tions were otherwise
good.

About l~l~. roder ~on~8nt. WAS made on An enemy plane. And about the same time, the t~v ORLEANS re~orted visual si"hting of a J.panese snooper plane on the radar oontaat bearing. The task foroe disoon.tinued fueUng and assumed an anti-airor.tt disposition • • ~though fighters were direoted towards this plane, they dId not make oontaot. CTF 17 deoided that thl • • nooper had reported his position. Thi. was onrreot. The Japanese had been informed ot the looation and oomposition ot TF 17. Aotually, their estimate of hia looation was reasonably aoauratel their estimate ot his oomposition waa ln error in that they report~d among other .hips. one oarrier and one battleship.. There were, in raot, two oarriers and no battleships. CTF 17 reassumed fuelin" dilposition anc reoommenoed fueling. During May 5th and 6th, intelligenoe report. trom CINCPAC and COM~OWES­ PAC, plloed • large number of anemy ships in the NEW GUINtA-NEW BRITAIN-SOLOMONS Area. ~r.otloally every ty~e of shtp was reported and it was tairly

.Wer Diary of 25th iir Flotitla, Bismarok Area Ba •• Air Foroe, p.s, I April
to 11 May 1942, WOC 16lT25.

Serial 0782 dated 27 ~ay. evident that an advanoe would be made on PORT MORESBv throu~h the JOMARD PA~SAr.e ot hi •• ttaok on TULAGI the preoeding day. Re .roh but wa.. ion wa.termin. May 7th. aroh. operatin~. . hy oarrier ba. r crr CTF 17.. Aotually. pilot.aatt.E 1n the LOUI~lADE Arahloelago and thlt a ba •• would be Iitablished in the DEBOYNE I. ob. but ODi aarrler. The torae. the J. bearing ISQo{T) tro. Serial oT82 aatea May 1942.. certainly the ~trikin~ Foroe wa. in Latitude 14 o-0S'S.outhw.. tor. Rendnvous for the ol1e.~lble Ine. CINCPAC had gi~n May 7 or 8 •• the probable date on whioh the enemy adYlno. ~he n"~. well within the radius of ae. been alerted by the £llied oarrier attaok -lotion Report..ed planel on the 6th.a. appear.. and about 310 aile.oured in the oold tront.earoh on ihe 5th. . a. they did not round alB C~ISTOBAL I.ot•• Thi. were aontinuing their plans tor the PORT MORESBY Operation. ot the northern . on thlt dMte.ition by daylight. . mhe forenoon searoh WI. mi.' ( ····~·~~eII . Longiturle 166 o-26'E. paDa. apparently beoau. OPERATIONS OF JAPANESE STRIKING FORCE k. NEOSHO and SIMS at about 1726 wer. merely happened to mi. A. The Japlne •• plan of enolral'ment by the ~trlkin~ Foroe wa. lt w•• beoominr.oont1nue ruelinK. Neither of these . distanoe aearohes whUe rueHng 11 not apparent.na gay 6th •• aawhile. _ .t • 17. it wa. D!BOYNE.ade two extended ~eArnhe. ••Aotion P'port .'. beyond the radius of . had been ai~hted in the area. aroh and.e. para is: p.rd Ind immediltely headed for POINT RYB.ahed to operate to the . IDd that the S~OHO.d that thr•• airaraft aarrier. All had. OTF 17 ••de one ext. the afternoon aearoh wa. . 15. 11 not olear. Why CTF 17 did not . m1sht be expeated. By the afternoon of the 6th.e. 1942.lDy 5th. .eotor to a radius to 275 miles.ell within the Gold front at this time.earohe.1 of thie Inroh are 1l'ldefinite.. ~hether thi. to'the northwut. the Striking Foroe Wla just.e toroe.ve exp~oted atrong ~ountlr-aotion tram the Japane.land until 1900. 'l'he radiu. It.eotor to the aame radius.aJre more lonp.ay 6th.6. whiah oovered the are. to hava reported an) ~ont.y po.r 1n +Ohe afternoon.~oh. one in the torenoon.' . he might h.tanoe dt po.nded alr .definitely d. det. SROKAXU and ZUllAKU wer_ not as yet in the Corll ~ea. aa yet undeteoted Ind aoparently unexpeated by C11 17.r his vi.~~e. ot the northwelt . z1. led by tho pilot of th~ se. no oammon d1reotion ot movement. WIlS on odd daYI at POINT RYE. in order to prooeed to the nortbw•• tward and be within striking di. . •• C!F 17 deaided to d~. p. TF 17 wa. This 11 partioularly true regarding the t\lel1n~ on l.l~ndl. on enn dlYI .roh plane oovering the seator in whioh the ~trikin~ Forae wa.t POINT CORN.. at 2400. in the atternoon . and limiting bet\rinp.y 5th . were in the ar. in the morDin. wa.s the Strikin~ Faroe throulllh hard luok or w}~th. Th.e beaau. May 5th. were .red and thlr.

onable expeotan~y of pr~teotion trom . DurinK the dayllKht hour•• Ca.d w•• th. At 2. Suoh • oold tront .terly oourae. and to le. 2tOO po. to a radiu. ~e.r StrikillK Foroe made a thoroush oarri. by late .eotor.bout haltway betwoel\ SAN CRISTOBAL .oving to the .:o 17 hsd l18ertlhed the northern seotor.d to.• ile. northerly oour •• aDd had .ble doubt •• to whether he l.i~ . toroe.ia..iatlng in the . when it reftlr .CANAL.11 tor . .aneuvere" f'or a"oll11 2 houra.irorart tor .r balod learoh he would probably have dimuuv.ted nreviousl v . when it .nd.ed .M t r· t n rt . . However.e. that crr 11 w•• well within ranll ot hi. exoepting reoently o'ptured and reoently attaoked TULlOI.avily on land ba...l. tor the .tion... the Strlkin~ Foroe rapidly olo. TF 17 fueled on •• outheasterly oour .ither ..r tor orten.p. or the oold tront whioh WI.ne.t battle intorm. trOM the Strikin~ roro. tor intorm.hould Si~ rea.nd.rri. it wa • •ell into the CORAL SEA.i~ion ~orth ot SANTA ISABEL I.ot that durin~ thl atternoon.had tail. fhi. TF 17 whloh wa. a. It nould ha~ been ..ay 6th or eth.ve the o. ne. it • •ay tth.. tro. at . ~ft8de" .h and oon+. Thil •• eml to have been beoea.xoellent opportunity to . . Commander Strikin~ Foroe 'pparently .o doing. Po.. e.ttaok T' 11 under oonrlttions ~la'~VI~+'A~ou~ to that t •• k toroe. ~.t C. where it .rty oour.unohed any oarrier pl. any Japane.lly itt . •• y 6th and p•••• d . WI.. on .r. Th. the striking Foro. per. at slow .outh.e l. In.0 due to the t.p•• GOADAT.ed 25 knot.land at 1900.rrl. it ahould be noted that there were no J.nder ~trikins roro.rohe.e until about 09S0 ••• y 8th. the Strikins roroe wa •• 'pp.rea. aOMrentlv Wlitin.uoh •• lon~ r. arohe.outh or the oold front whioh WI.relt -47- ! .ir aearoh.26'8.ed the r. and within the go01 weather.e polioy to rely h. .looat. with1" the b.6 .ir b•••• ne.00 Illy 6th the StrikinK Foro.. parti.rternoon.nd.tion indioatea that had COIIII.nd RSNRlLL IIl. A t. on' thi. it rounded the .e.eourlty ot hi..il•• north ot RENNELL I.d.il •• .rby.ooord. ot 275 . 114~ it. rue ling. A• • _ttel' ot taot.I I I on TULiOI. It oontinued on ~ northwe.ed an . di. ft.trike. nd headed oorth.. Lonlitude 1670 ~5'B.peoial~y in view 'ot the variable viaibility within the troot.pane.. w•• to the north and beyond the nnK' of' the Allied plane •• Therutter.n..n~e. Thu.bout 2000. At. d oour. at 1800. there .rently.tt. sradually .r . the morning •• ot •• y 6th.l. WI' . It WI.e toro •• in that . .noe with Japane. and.ir .t Latitude 12 0 .t. a~ the time.ure. by UOO.Iot11 .rri~d at • po.inued on •• outherly oour.re. wa •• apparently. The strikinK Poroe prooeeded in\o the CORAL SEA tro.e . attaokinK airor.t.d .peed in olear weather. By dawn ••• y 8th.ou+.m. 'pparently took no 'Ploi.eourlty purpo.l .ee•• to be oontider. .nd on • northwe.ition about 110 .bout .1.nt about 90 Mile.outhl •• tern tip ot SAl CRISTOBAL I..e.

. how..ore. U.. i ~ OPERATIONS OF JAPAN&SE COVERJNG FORCE May 5th and 6th Tt. there a... the objectiye ot the Strikina Force had been tbe destruction of the Allied carrier task group wherever round in the Coral Se~.n opportuni to take advanta. !fo r. rayorable ailitary . a aore •• rioue blow than had been ori.aoh otb.h a suitable covering position..ion rorce was underway. and ahow. ar18. or a ne. in war. Be in addition.r on tbeae two day.17 \lAlmoWD to both oa.. Hil decl. _.he would strike them by a surprise attack from the east.inall1 intended. when it reversed c~urDe and headed northwestward. DUring the early morning. it.Ue..asona baYe heen advanoed by tb. ~hOWD later. but.. the en._ aoyina down into wa'er.. Ca.Stuation and .I I [ .ted durlnc the ni.. that objectlv.n. AI will b.by Invasion roree whioh he had been ciirechd to cover.y tnTallon rorce out ot RABAUL.aenced ruellnl operationl which appear to haYe been compl.fore 0800. and h• •aa aoyin...e aomewhat north or Welt! 10.t •• rd th. be had the relpon. e whtD thq were.. ft" W. and would it not have been wller lr he had changed to • cour.d cour. theretore.t 2000. a entir. 1942. but it can be pre.ht and b. but no. trOlD hll 01111 air and surface support.S. became of lecondMry t. lIov1nc a.e. \lIltor. \ that th.r..portance to the protectlon of the Port loresb. Force did not go to the we...d . Prior to tbe movement of tbe Port Moresb.200 . apparentq.y r~~ ttie Port lore.and. P.t It be did 80 he might be discovered by Allied planes whicb were in strength oyor the LOOISIADE area and the yital elelIent ot surprile would be lost.e COU~I..y Invaslon Force throu. Apparently the reason Commander Strikin. tbat the Port .. tact . Covering Forco continued patrolling in an area abo~t ~O lIiles to south of the NEW GEORGIA Islands until about 0028. At 0200 it was rejoined by the second section of Crudly 6 which had evidently been recalled.. Re wal on a °northerl7 course at 2400. a .. about 10 .trik. two toro •• approach. COIIIIander Coverine Force desired to launch hl~ ship based planes to se~rch the area to the southwest of TULAGI.ed courl. but he dId not do so as the sea condltlons for recovering planes p by Japanese *C~und Military Decision. May 5th.* U. he nearly succeeded in this obJectiye.lon. er. to chL~. ! At about 2000. ~o the north appears 10glcal. than by the Japane.. Tbi. Naval War College. in so dOing... he lost the SHOHO.aander Strik1nl rorce'r. aore controlled by the en.by lnY.uaed that he felt that he .lbillt7 tor coyerin. apart. wal . to tbe nortb ~ld apparent11 ca. Evidently he wished the eneay to get into a ravorable pOsitlon tor striking the Port Moreoby Invasion Force and th .. Japane •• al to -h7 Coamandel' Strikiq roroe reyera.e.

gu.de on her.t..ot . but from.my trom his own pl. Oroup 2b.ny inform.pp•• r th. but her orew . Co. headed tor SRORTLANn I. -49-_ . How.r. it not . . M".ition.t.y had e.r.ok.nd the Cowring Foroe. but w.. mi.nter.iled. w'r~ m.id.ne •• t lO~5 th. Re t~retor.nd by pl.4". •• w.nd it. th.nd .m. Th. K.y. whioh h.lt.$$ • • 0_h".ion .t I".nd .n"l1 of e.oover..n oil supply there. Covering Foro.in.rther south. let't SROPTLAND Island &t 08~O.. deoided that. thi •••• roh would be m. attention..r one hour'l fueling..nd. detaoh.d .ition .robl. from RABAUL . the rem.ling from ..bliahing tuel1ns depots i. . Comm.e g.ntly .r.s direated to fuel at SHORTLAND rsl.r.tion .ve .tabll.n•• on the •• me d. Y'Y 6th.l aonvoy of the Port More.r.nder Striking Foroe did not ord.nd where it aommenoed ru.rty information from other souro •• .l po.ver.nd direot. obaoure.nder Covering Foroe. By 1400 this .t thil time with its .otive in reduoing th.r. be loo.d hi.t.nd.ll •• by the pl. f.nee and not having r. wl •• d. \942. (ii.r dlrtloultv In the . w...ir logi.unohin" and r.iTed . Appar. Th. For . Commancl.rin~ Foroe 'ppar. ~ .ken hi. whioh r.a 11 .he w. the fueling WR.e depot.oontinued .1thouSh full moont1ght wal .ition d. whioh had l. Item 25-J.d . ooapo.ited for inform.-.bl.inR provided.ooTerin~ ••• pl.nd it. p.ion Foro. or in oontrolled n•• rby .d .l.ir oOTer w•• b.noountered 3imll. pl. probl. fu. She .oiaion for the Comm. to the J..d oon..h. App. Covering Foro.ve l. 11 not known.nd t.ny ••• roh•• ..in. IM'150991.tr.rrived ftt SROFTl~ND Island at 0100. May Gth •• The SHORO oontinued her air oO'lf'r duti . until sun.m.r..y 6th.tion at the en.otually· oommeno.tt RABAUL .ve thea. Com•• nd. 17 w~re l. Commander Covering For~e did not ohoo •• 'to employ the plan. doe.s ot the ~o~o for .e.r .nooun'.' • ••w. Aft.red to have b.t mornin~.ome reaaon.t the ••• roh 9h••• of hi.. It w•• or utr ••• i_port.e ~o fuel tram . for ••• roh . ahano.l1e. .thod.et.immedi.oid. tu.tt. aonaid. *'" .. did r.d the SHOHO . di.de by pl.n .rd. .ntly th.ble.bout ~oo mile.t44CU • • 44Q:P' m. would h.ne. .n•••• Wheth~r the Al. Deapite thi..d the SHORO to pro.. . ~RORO .nd •••• r.otioe of the J.red harbor. po.d by lilied pl.a did Comm. This pr. Co~rin« Foroe to h.nd. di. Crudiv 6.ne.ide .hip b•• ed ••• pl.tr.unoh.tiol problem .t ~it. oYer.t 1800 on the oreoedinR d.n.en .oo~rin~ th•• eith'r . j . ino lud inp.y.hed the.. until 0630.ider. .mrhUe. that the J.n•• tlown into T~~OI.no. I • $. diffioulty .inder of' the Co"rin~ Fo~o.nd SAZANllII. Roth TF 11 .d.rut:".tely . gre.t 0800 th. oon.n oil aup~ly in •• tone reo ••• ther. in thoG' ore •• -combat "eport Woo 1.t d.n•• of the Striking Foroe .ir oover tor •.ne. diffloulty in pioking up pl.ne.d the CORAL SEA th.vail..ntly. WDC • 160466.t. May 6th . on r..rah.. the SHOHO .how. the SAZAHAMI.nd tr.nd ~.t the Allied t •• k foro.linr. re.fter whioh .n. .o. pl.d fuellnp. Crudh M.r Diary of the SHORO. therefor.t it would ha~ been.ttaoked TULlOI.d .hioh h.t 0830.p.by In. d. .0" 1 ~ot bein~ able to o~taln . but no .p. and aomplet. .p. Door.

~ be done .d oombat air patrol.ltion about 60 miles sou4:h of BUIN. suoh a praotioe was effeotive. 1 April to II May 1942. oould not . although . At 1300. not quite so fa.nd. al.rd area .riDg Foro. landed within IJO m. due to su. it wa. that at 1036 that morniag.ble to oQntrol . At 1030.te an air attaok. h.ame time he direoted the Covering Foroe. wa. whioh hacl not oompletely fuelfld lit SHORTLAND I.lw.!(we bomb.where their shlp' were to operate and arrab~ements were made tor both day and n1sht fueling. but the SHOHO did not mea. the Co~rlng Foroe . both underway and at anohor.. that no air oO?er . Command.hip.ed word.r CO?ering Foro. tor the remainder ot the day. at thll time.. Thl. The OOv. The Japanese appear to have felt that the Commanddr ashore wa. would not be able to Dlok up aD air attaok untIl lighted by eye. indioate that the Japanese wire ~ood at ni~ht fuelins.ary.t area .ed air ••• rohe. it appear. launohed her fir. However. from TULlGI. direoted to prooeed .t ae fuellng from an oiler at anohor n~ :rom a dook. to aooompany another fuel oonvoy of the Port Moresby Inva.. not the least of whioh was unrestrioted radio. and. ot 1 battle. not explaiDed. MunwhUe. 3 orulser. trom CommaDder fth Fl~et. was direoted to oOMpleted fueling trom the HOYO-MARU~-looation unknown. . Co. e being pro?ided by the SHOHO whloh. Commander 4th Fleet postponed the advanoe ot the Port More. .trategioal ooer~tlons than waf the Commander at •••• beoaus. Under soma oonditlons. the SHOHO about l?OO DrQvid.ht. The AIUed praotloe. land ba. reoei.ion Foroe Into the LOUISIADE Area for about slx hours. and anti-submarine patrol. a • • War DIary j l or 25th AIr tlo+'tl1a. This attaok would probably hMve not ooourred had the SHOHO been provid ing the air oover neou.ny taol1itle •• shore.lon Foroe. 1 airoraft oarrier. known that without ~adar on hi • • hipe h. and he must hav.. ~c 181125. failure of the Commander CO?ering Foroe and the SHORO to pro?ide adequate air onver betore 1200 i.o. Thi. sion Foroe wa •• ighted by Allied plaDe.tant. the SHO!-JO. the Port Moresby In. Report.~ heen awar. but under the oonditione existing at this time.peoted presenoe of the Al11ed Task Foroe. during the attaok. p.ander CO?erin~ Faroe mUlt h.. or the 26th Air Flat111a had spotted &D Allied ta. realized the inability of suoh plan. -50-_ . ~y gth. norm. must ha ..s to loo.ters of the AOBA. of'the m..s.land.by Inva. in a forw. but possibly In the ruelin~ ~roup beln~ esoorted. bearing 192 0 d'. ot the thinness of hi. aDd the heavy respon. No damage ooourred. and 5 de.uoh as the CORAL SEA. tlght~y held by the area Commander who WIIS aehore at FABAU!.as to tuel at lea trom an oiler. Indloates that the oontrol ot the operations In the southea.r •• After the Al11e~ planes had beeD driven oft.tandard.lly. aftelr lea?ing SnO~TLAND Island. f20 mile. better .t fi. At about 0830. appareDtly.k taro.troywr. ot douLtful quality. wa. looated..ure up to ·thh .ibility plaoed upon the Commander CO?erin~ Foroe to insure adequate Droteoti?n tor the unit.. ~hre8 Allied B-17s attaoked the oomhlned foruoij ftt a po.. durIng the period 1115 to 1500. At 1100. At the . plaDe. ot the Port Moresby Invasion Faroe.. Thi.outh agaiD.

~ee oomments under 25th Air Flotilla. It is possible that the Japanese had obtained the Ilode t:or the t period by breaking it or by reoovering it trom an Allied plane.. . 8S yet undilooVGred. The Covering Foroe was also available to assist the striking Foroe in this destruotion...'<''''~:#J!'i'''''''''''''+W'''~~'' well as were the foroes whioh had arrived at DEBOYIE.. The Allied oarrier tesk forae ~ad been looat~~ as had haen ~ntioipated •• and the Japanese Striking Foroe W~8 in suitable ~rsition and strength to destroy it and was..52.hat plan 8ound.he LOUISIADES. whioh interoeptions stated that it appeared as if the objeotive of the Invasion 'Foroe was the seizure of MURUA (wood lark) Island. Informa~ion is not availftble as to whether these transmissions were by voioe in plain English. were land based airoraft from PABAUL. Commanders should be aware of the vast organiutions set up today for this ~efinite )'lrpose. in the ooding and tranam~. p ' f ---.. beoause they had interoepted radio tranlmissions from Allied planes.. May 6th. ~he latter two are the most probable in view of the fact that the rang~ was too ~reat for voice (about 300 miles). . direoted that present operations be oontinued. The Japane. This indioates that he had studies the ohanging situation with referenoe to hi. I I i t r I I t i 1 At 1520. This was a oorrect assurptlon.i... I 'J j f I . . '. This interoeption o~ dispatohes and the breakdown of oodes is of enormous importanoe in war... ____. May 7th.. or by dispatch in Gode... the COmMander 4th Fleet at PABAUL. .. and it was unfolding ... fou)'Id no rlepflTture fl"om his l'RS. _. The whole Japanese plan was based on the as~ump­ tion that the Allies would know of the moveme~t of the Port MQresby Invasion Foroe and would aot aooordin~ly.stimated that TF 17 wa. I I I .~-~~-----"""~'-··"-"""""""''TW'''''_-'. apparently. .. basio pla.. is the ability to reoogr. at that time.~ l.1. was oorrect. 'rhis shows that.l and had tound '.iu that the ohanging situation presents n new n~oblem whioh requires a departure from the basio plan.o olan necessary. ~ ~._ c ___ ... .._ _~>_. The Jananese now."U_~.._"_. at 1500 May 6th. and should insure that every preoautiou.saion '1f messages. by dispatoh in plain En~ ~li8h. _. ot' to reoognize t ~ohallging situation is in aooord~ with the basio plan and that no departure therefrom is neo'iisary. In this assumntion they were oorreot. oonsidered that the Allies h. is fully observed.transmissions by Allie~ nlanes were not seoure from Jaoanese decryotion. whioh were shadowing the Port Moresby Invasion Force. was the basio plan. ~he Jananese fur~her estlm~ted that there W8S "reat nosslbility of an attaok by eTF 17 on the fo11owing day. .d disoovered allot their Pnrt Moresby Invasion Foroe with its aooompanying lupport units.e .. a. Comman~er 4th Flee+. A primar~' 'iualifioation for command. Thi.. the radio . ot this information that CTlo' 17 had heedod to the north"estwr ~d during the nights of May 5th and 6th.. for it was ?n the basi... This I)stimatior. about 500 miles to the srutheast of their oombined forces new moving into 't..

! 26th AIr Flol. ordered to W1 thdl'aw to the nor (oj-) beoaule of the possihility of battle. This estimate. to eaoort the tran. OPF. notably.TIONS OF OTHER JAPANESE FORCES. Hnw8ver. nort~e.frra~'~prI1 to 11 Way 1912..port. On May Sth_ this air flotilla oontinued the searohes of the preoeding day with somewhat bett~r f~rtune. An alternative attaok was therefore made against PORT MORESBY. the VUBAPI plus Desdiv 29 leu YUNAGI. May 6th.aa not funotioning adequa~ely. were direoted.ough the LOUISIADES and WQS at 2400 about 66 mile. one of the flying boats.et at ~ABAUL . At 2200 it ohangod oour~e to abou~ westlouthwest and headed for the morning's launohing position. Certain of its esoort units.s he stated later that he had reoalved no information oonoe~ning enemy o9rriers until the morning of May 7th. whioh had been direoted to prooeed ahead aod whioh had ar~i"d at DEBOYNE about 0130. was oorreot.P.· whioh had bee). but the looation was too indefinite to wfifrant an attaok.herly oourse. system of Commander 4th Fl.1v +'0 ~om~anrler ~+'ri~in~ ~oroe. One flyinr. 3 heavy oruisere and 5 deetroyers. Thus it would appear that the oommunicatior. At 2400 it was ab~ut 90 mile. It. it was not reoeived by Commander Striking Foroe. made the oontaot report. previo~sly commented on. . and on May 6th. 6th. northeast ot DEBOYNE Illands.aooording to planJ The Covering Foroe oontinued on a sou'i. boat failed to return. At about 1100.t of DBBOYNE. that the flying boat hf:ld been shot down by Allied planes.by Invasion Foroe prooeeded in a southwesterly direotion to a favorable position for passing thr.J. on the !!Iorning of the 6th. while on pitrol in pOlition 420 miles 192 0 from TULAGI. ~ad this been *War Diary or 1 l ' I t '. For some unexplained reason these transpnrts were still at DEBOYNE at 2400. but no oontaot report was reoeived. for this oontaot report should have been relayerl d!~eo+.. The Port More. Ma. Wbc 161125 . At 2400 it wae 80 miles northwest of DEBOYNE. of 1 battleship. May 6th and 6th ~he Supoort Faroe apparently assisted in esoorting the Port K~r •• hy Invasion Foroe tor a time but later it seema to have disoontinued esoorting and headed to the northweat. so it WB~ aesumed that this flyin~ boat had been shot down hy Allied oarriar planes. 1 airoraft oarrier. 6th. The air at~. pl'odGJed oombat air patrols for the Port Hore.Aok grcups were alerted to attaok the Alli~s should a oontaQt be made.* This report Appears to ha11e been broedoast by Commander 4th Pleet.by Invasion Foroe until sundown 1816. Vay. oarried out intense patrol aotivities tltroughout the day. The 25th Air Flotilla was thoroughly alert to th~ presenoe of Allied task foroes in the area.

. e ' -'~-kt 1'-t -r .00 (-.tr..e<vdi9iret·-= .~-". M()"''''~'' -:'\ ~....~41. . -.-...___ •.-. ..~. ..~-'.-.-.. CLOU D TASK FORCE 17 OPERATED SHOWERS IN Aft AND AREA R AIM WIDESPREAD C OV E R • 5 CATTERED SQUALLS...._..5'x '0' • .tki "n.. I ~s~ SECTION OF THE ATMOWHEU..~.."" . I r POUItA..'.. THE IN A JAPANESE RELATIVELY CARRIER CLEAR SHOHO WAS 01 S COVERED MISUIA... "-.2 dFe .. tf '>me . IS UNFAVORABLE WEATHER FURNISHED EXCEL- CON CEALMEN T... T V..~fj .:.~.. rt'I'6" .D-- '-TROP.. r -'d .........I.-..... :1 I ....: ~! \ ~ ~. -- THROUGHOUT OF THE DAY. ....1.. s-6.6'~ ..IeII.TA. .~.. AND SUNK AREA NEAR AVA-IC-1fT . '='... 1... ..: PLATE 11 ... LENT .rof:eae ..- - .eu AUL MAIlITfMr--- ~.fK FOL/lC£ /T ".:........1) 7 MAY I94Z \I I .POLAJl A.cw.. _+-. ·~*iM'/:t.-..

In the early morning the~e were . a. m. the searoh to the . The frontal area ended about 5~ mileB to the north ot TF 17.oed to leu th.. "'he .ition. THE ACTIO~ OFF MISIMA From 2400 }. oovered with frontal alouds. and ther e were 2 oarr ie rs. CTr~ 17 felt that all 3 enemy o~rrier. than those repor ted by the plane. As TF 17 moved northwestward on the morning of May 7th. This embraoed most of the LOUI~LADE Arohipelago and the CORAL SEA to the north and oast of t.'ld Inorea81 '01": in ~8tS to as muoh as SO knco'c. blowing at 12 to 22 knots fI.ed hie estimate. At 0619.. . TF 17 was in a oloudy area assooiated with the front whioh then extended northwest and ~outheast just to t~6 north ot its po. necessarily. This sky did have sut. be. per hour. April 1944.ith the eY-oeption opf the soout with the leotor med i. the weather was fine... I . the tinal phaee of the Battle ot the CORAL SEA would.. 1n the areB where it was red\.rlolent breaks in the olouds 80 that the task fo~o~ was er.n 067 0 (T'. This . beoause none of th6 oarrier airoratt involved were equipped with rada~ or other advanoed navigation.· ••• nothIng when in fog or limilar1y den.s in the shower areas. after oovering about 165 mile. ViIi\'il1ty"A' 10 to 15 miles exoept in soattered rain squall..e of bad weather. Thi.a.l devioe.he LOUISIADE. mental proo •• s . All of theae soouts oompleted their se. .t-northe~.ual.tated afterwards that ~unrortunately. with unlimited oeiling and with ~slbility in exoes~ of 20 mile..d weather.e . I)ffloe of Chier of Naval operations..~ i I ! Had thil been done. In this area to the north.nd streftses the neoessity .hows the etfeot of inoomplete searoheo.~d the pilot. Aerolol!:Y se~tton.freot upon any oommander.· oau. u. have been fou~ht on the 6th rather than on the 8th.t. and an ealterly wind of 7-15 mile. oontu. Suoh lnaoouraoies in reporting of enemy foroel oannot but have an adver. i . oovering 5/10 of the sky.1nt! was eut to eutsouthea. alto··stratus and oirrus. n • mile.. This pra~Gioe ot returning. enoountere~.e weather.abled to launoh and r~vovet' plan. and may advereely atfeot hi..in the solution of his military problems.tillY 6th to 2400 May 7th· t f r' f On the mornlng of May 7th. 1naoOUi'ate tor there were many more ships in '!'i'~ 17 . might be within .as ~nerally sound for th~ early days of 1942.tward was not oompleted due to b.The B. By noon the Whole sky over the task foroe WI. oumulus. plane denied CTF 17 the positive or negative intormati'ln that he was seeking alXl. the YORK't'IJRN launohed 10 soouting planu (SBD) to searoh the seotor hetween 325 0 -035 0 (T) to a distanoe of 25J miles.trata-oumulus oloud. probably. I 1 J -53- ..Thus the retirement ot thi. report wa. f ! I ! r I I..rohel . Arohipelago.e without diffioulty. This II oout returoed.ttle of the ciiRAt. .11{ . when bad weather wa.triking distanoe and he . C~F 17 ordered that air searohes be made in an eftort to looate the moet suitable objeotives for !lotion and to obtain poaitive or negative information regarding enemy ~arrier8 of _hose movements no information had been reoeived sinoe the previous afternoon.

ur. ~ithout ~.W. The Support Group in no .he !trenr. appe. By detaohing thle group he hoped to have it tree trom damage and there· tore able to drive baok the port More. tor a pilot to oarry out hi.. -54- . 156 0 -43 'E.40' S. one was to oontu •• the Ja~ane •• a.G. Craoe.G.. ~ ~ " r eTr 17.N. It retired mishap. Batis.ent thIs . l.acherl T. he appear..a reasoning ot CTF 1.J . the oom· mand ot Rear Admiral J. balio plan i. however. flalbing light. ften a pilot tinds his balio plan ohallenged he must then and there reeltimate hi. basio plan.tt detenle •• Perhaps he Was motivated. Long.t.20'S..e. to t. 17. Crt "'. 10°..35'S. on oourse 310 0 (T). the ~upport Group consisting ot the heavy crui...".. in Lat. 10lt to the Battle ot the CO~AL SEA tor whioh it wa.pe.Fubl"e student. operating with out air cover.ion Foroe.~ oapability of attacking the Supoort Group whioh wa.''. *'t ott..October 1946 • •• Comhat Report #7.t.S.rd. dated 17 ~uly 1942.. By 0626. that hia taek toroe would sutrer heavily. balio . T.roup on ahead to at+. all unde. !:'z.hips ohal'enged him by .rs to have minimiaed the etteot that th~ detaohment ot the Support Group might have on hil anti-airor. Fortunately.h ~nd looation ot the A111~d Forces •• --the other wai to oause the Japanese to exoend on 'this surfaoe foro. pOlaibl..deplane in L~t.ay aooomplilhed it. no doubt. ' . May 7th...~. TF 17 was In T. and 1i~ht orui. The Support Group was attaoked by the Japane.. loouting talk it it il humanly possible. •• it wal a detinite menaoe to their planned operation: it was al. exaotly the lame a.ongitude 154°· 21'E... Ita detaohment appears to have aooomplishe~ two erre~~s. a1thou~h they did diaclos.. At 0745 a YORKTOWN loout shot down a Japan~ae twin fleat single engine se&plane over MISIMA leland.. ane hour .. to have minimized the Jap· ane. These . Hil relponllbility to bi. in addition.o attacked by three U.. "! oeM :1. the . and it wa.troyerl PERKINS and WALKE plus the FARRAGUT. with great intere.awhile. ~ ~ ~ t t ~ t " Me. of this battle will. CTF 17 here rle+..t TF 17. view th1. eTF 17 oontinued on to the northweltw..p. tntw· .N. All of these oonteots were at a oonsiderable d\stanoe from TF 17 and. the light oruil~r HOBART and the de.aok enemy tranlport.d of the Department ot A~alyei •• Naval War College .r. At 0736 a YORKTOWN acout reported 2 Japanese heavy cruiser.o'ped wi thout damage...ituation as does the Captain ot a surtaoe oombatMnt Ihip.. R. lntend~d. 110.ers AUSTRALIA and CHICAGO.S. He .e.d lZ Imot.' .. Re.atl":ucie 13°. Period 25 Apr. another YOPKTOWN soout shot down a similar .S. "raw· . It thereby was laved tor later aotion.e he expeoted an ail' duel with enemy oarrier.' tltr 'tMrr. Long l5So.. but it wa. their land balod air power whioh might otherwise hav~ been direoted agai~.. it e. the faot that an Allied oerrier .-~~~~__~~__~ II.ncl twenty minutel late. 1942 to 11 May 1942. Army bombers because ot faulty reoognition. misaion. presontly.J~ 'Sf. _ _~H""''''.ers which were reported to be heading tor PORT MORESBY Tia JClfARD PASAAGE. CTF 17 Itated that he had detaohed this ~roup beoau..pon· libility ot thl Captain ot a lurtaoe oombatant shi? to hi.by In~.Statement byCW-l':' to COIIIII\OOore R. CruDive.~ . U. a... 15' E. . in this detachment of the Support Group by the thought that neither of the Auatrallan oruiaers had maneuvered with TF 17... WDC # 160997 .

. Long. Launching took place within 210 lIliles of the 0815 reported position of the enemy carriers. due to an improper arrangement of the pilots' code contact pad.. and 8 VF of Fightlng Squadron Forty-Two._. The YORKTOWN search groups returneJ aboard the YORKTOWN shortly after the Attack Groups had. This contact appears to have been correct in longitude but somewhat orf in latitude.. At 0926.uadroD Two. eacb armed with one 1000 pound bomb. each armed with one 500 pound bomb ano two 100 pound bombs. He.bined attack group be launched fro. instead of these ships.!1ppeared on the screen at 0633 on bearing 2950 (T) distant 50 miles.' ~ 1 I i I j -55. The LEXINGTON War Diary states that at 0915.aparations an unide:ltifled radar contact . CTG 17.g S4uadron Five. 10 VS of Scouting Squadron TWO. If this order was the one initiating the launching of the air groups. This indicates the necessity 1 . the VS and VB were each armed ~th one 1000 pound bomb. Preparations were iJDIlIediately atarted to launch attack groups from both carriers. At 0815 a YORKTOWN scout reported 2 CV and 4 CA in Lat. Air Group Operation Order Number One was placed in effect with objective enemy carrier. was 2 heavy cruisers and 2 destroyers. In this latter Air Group. the LEXINGTON commenced laun~hLng her attack group.. then the launching was commenced within eleven lIlinuteG of its is~uance by the LEXINGTON and within twenty-ninem1nutes of its issuance by the YORKTOWN. 100-OS' S. Long.il . 100-03 t S.-y carrierb r~ported in the area and he was determined to destroy them as 600n as p08~ible. was in error. the cont&ct report or 2 enemy carriers and 4 heavy cruisers in L~t. thq did not necessarily indicate its 10catiOD with any degree of accurMeT. 1520-27' E. The LEXINGTON Attack Group conaisted of 15 VB of Bombing SLj. speed 18-20 knots. 10 VT of Torpedo Squadron Five. [i I ! i I. CTF 17 apparently felt confident that these were boo of the three en. 8 VB of Bombin. 12 VT C'f Torpedo Squadron Two armed with torpedoes. each of them apparently armed with bOlllbs. therefore. ~~d the VT with torpedoes. &Od by 10&0 both of the attack groups were well on their way to the targets. For. what the pilot had actually seen. and 10 VF of Fighter S4uadron Two. both ·the LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN~ 1Vhlle making the above pr. Thus the attack groups had been launched un a false mission. An element of the combat air patrol was vectored out but failed to intercept the contact. been launched. About one half hour later at 0944 the YORKTOWN commenced launching her attack group. The YORKTOWN Air Group Commander was not launched with his air group but rem~ined in YORKTOWN as Fighter Director Officer.5. 1520-27 E. The YORKTOWN Attack Group consisted of 17 VS of Scouting S'iUadrOD Five.was within roo milea. When this order to launch planes was issued and raceived is not known. and it was then discovered that. COur8~ 1400 (T). The LEXINGTON Air Group Commander accompanied his Air Group with 3 additional VSB. directed thnt a ca. ~ .

an !ray B-17 had aichted.t .. three of thaD were in the araa. it the ana1ye1s of the previous dq was correct. in Lat... as the attack grou~o approached. Errora ot tb1a kind.17. tor it was apparent that he was in batter posltion to receiva an ~ir attack wi th his attack planes ill the air than ha wae with th_ on deck. No information is avallable as to hie reactions Ilt thh point. which aq sas sllght at tha tima.municatlona. -56- ~. Long. been extr_ely valuable infOl"llation to have mown tha\ thay were carrier planes. as well as ln combat technlque. She ha!! previously reported lighting a&l17 planes in tbis aUle poai tion at v9SO.'I?)". C'1'F 17 stated later that he did not know what type ot aircraft had attacked the NEOSHO and that it would hllLv.r.WN coabat air patrol . instead.ay? Tbat this decision was wise ftS apparent.. about 25 miles to the northeast.* At 1021. atating that Ihe .de contact with the en8a1' north of IIISiliA and r. although it appeared to be about S5 miles t~ the southeast of the original contact.wa" actually made on the Port loresby Invasion Force anct that the carrier reported was not in company with this force but was.as being bOllbed by three aircraft in Lat. basidee.llas."!7r"$'rt~'). tharefore. Se wa.hot down a nwAHASHI tlJing boat about 15 aa11d~ 'f'. beyond the range of land based boabar. but. 2 or IS CA'. be carr led out. A study of the Japanese posit'ons at this time. bg into the wind at about 20 knots. instead.iscellaneouu warships sud 10 trbnsports on course 2850 (T).. lSOSO'S.tor lneuriDC tbat all pl10ts are adequately trained. as m.§. The plot of this report indicated that it waD probablv tho same torce. Scouting Squadron Two.~*~ ~ . •• ___ __ __ M_ _ _ _ __ .i.oted 1 CV. in viaw ot tha report received at 102~ tI'Olll OOlllSoWespac 1 t. it commenced a&neuverinl. or part ot the same torce that had been reported ~ the YORKTO~._.' ... OTF 17 was now placed ln tbaposltion of having to de term ina whether his alr plan should be changed. 15&0-08' E.th~n r.'om the task force. as now available. in a sarioul position. When first sighted the Japanese for~e was st.. 181' 7. 1942. 10o-M' 5.hat at 0748. and 1 or 2 DD'e in the force aigbted. traa RABAUL and. were they not well on their . which was in the van. The carrier had not yet been located and was not located until about 1055 whan the LEXINGTON Attac-K Group... 1 carrier. Tbe first attack waa apparently i48de by the LEXINGTON Air Group COII- '*Report of action. err 17 receiVed a dispatch from the NEOSHO. u.n. shows that thb latter contact. ha had tbe moral courage to resist this pUggestion.J~T~r.r"'.de by the Army . However.'S~t ~R"~~ ~h~n~'_=~' ~*_·e ~$~b'. aq force the Coamander into an unsound dacision.od yet. apparent.a tha proper precautioa8 in ca. This plane had been picked up by radar at 1044 bdEU 1.11es closing. and exarcl. Poasibly the course of'action of recalling the planes auggest9d itself.. and. At 1100 a Hction or the y. No an~ carriers bad been seen . or whather it should. Long. lS . CORAL SEA.t ~Cy·~·tr. repeated sever-al t1.$. A study of locations and dbtances involved would indicate that the place where the NEOSHO and SIllS were bombed was. the planes were ao't probably carriar planee._~. 152"'SS' E. J 0450 dietance 41 .$.

.t attaok wa.r"••. that her sole .ttaok .nd made num.. l ! i[ ~ r. __ __ W!.roup Commander to lead attaoks.. foroing her to 0 •••• 1.nd 1~30 and •• ..bled her ..M~_rtM~ ••. rbi. ot . 160486. made neo~ mi. and at about the .~'~I~ !~.ining .Tinenoe nf fire on the SHORO and thkt the o.dron..rrier wa.n.ea.rter the initial attaok by soouting Squadron TWo had been oompleted.y •• The ord.dron TWo attaoked in a ooordinated attaok .. fairly oontinuou.e range.. The SHOBO reported that .ted between Bombin~ Squadron two and Torpedo Squadron TWo.tt. the overall taotio. greatly helped by the bombing . As she already had 3 in the air. Th.r Diary of thi SHOHO.avored to launoh Idditiona1 fighters.en oompleted. p.t dee1gnation and ooordin. .ive aotion.t high apeed. pro~. Bombin~ Squadron TWo .dditional 3 p1. Soouting Squadron Fi~ d~opped it._. of 6 fighter •• During the time that the SHOHO w. this would indioat. himself unno .ok squ. fte. made by ~ dive ~nm~er•• ~e8e nllne. this praotioe " . &t the moat.ve been . m.ok group from the YORKTOWN.qu.ir defense oonsisted. apparently. hit. mander with hi._ The torpedo pl. bomber. Thi. and thi.hortly atter the other • quad ron.r of .eou. the SHOHO end. with the SHOHO'. ___ ______ .nd expo • . oheok.tter flight deok elevator. making.tion ot . After thh attaok had h..W.attaob. YORKTarN Air Group. at the most. i. so that the hit. dropping their torpedoe •• Thi. report..~... Thft .( .tt..tarboard quarter.he was he.drons 'ot the LEXINGTON .everal near mi.S.rently onmmenoed it•• ttaok . Bombing Squadron TWo reported hitting the SHORO at 1120. plainly .'r.de by anyone .. _.quadron oannot be detennined •.ttaok and ..t attaok.7~'M~. 26J.s.dw.~. ot the LEXINGTON Air Group had oommenoed their attaok. he automatio~ ally violate" thtlt re.bout a.: between' 1111 and 1122. at. tollow. I t 10. YORKTOWN Air Group app. anJ. whioh oaused her to lose he.nd by the . Althoujl:h it wall the prantine in those dflys fer the Air r.~?n.nti-airor.vily . . with 1000 paund bomb.s.~)_t~""$~-.t . hh balio funotion i. for the SHOHO reported that the fir.rg.'.ition bator..he bad been hU by 2 bomb. . both remaining LEXINGTON squ...r. as they oommenoed their attaok~ they noted no . squadron reported that it.~ 1aunohing the above .. oirolin. IDe r ~ ~ t ~.oked by the reme. r • • bl_ to gain an ad~nta.tt. ~..t~7~t.ttaok.nd Torpedo Squ. re dropped between 1119 and 1122 ..ponsibility . two wing plane.~~.unohing and to take eva. 1£ he mRk•• the tir.--. 1125 to 1130.uoo ••• ot these two . and about the ••me time reoeived a torpedo hit on her . rlly to the hazard. a. Group 26. was tol1owed at 1110 by the 10 VS of Soouting ~quadron TWo whioh was not partioular1y etfeotivw." t~' . fir..~".howe the great 'Value or ooordinflted .l o~and of his group involving t.ne ••• r. rtr" *. that olo.i. suooeeded in launohln~ 3. torpedoes .dron.ppean to h. This attaok group or ! div.ft tire at olo. attaok oovered the period between 1120 .ame time or ~ry . po.ll20 whioh die. found to be unwi .nd reported that.rou.e ooordination exi.

and th~t the t>ilots of three or the:d planes were later recovered at DEBOYNE Island... bowever.UNGTON Soouting S~ lad ron Two Bombing Squadron Two Torpedo Squadron Two (b) YORKTOWN Hits claimed on carrier 2 6 9 Hits claimed on carrier 9 6 Scouting Squadron. p.followed ver......dth a 1000 'pound on a similar type vessel. One additional twin float seaplane was shot down near MISIMA Island while en route to the Target. Tho Japanese admitted lS bomb hits and 7 torpedo hits. The Iquadrons undoubtedly made -&D7 hitl but claimed mucb more BUCO•• I than tb. Group 25. that at 1135 the·SHOHO sunk. Japanese rscords.. \'''.however. where they had made *i&r"Diary of the SHOHO. the YORKTOWN pilot.2 . WDC #160465. were presented ~tb a very favorable target . The target in eacb case was claimed to bave lunk shortly afterward..~ 1 1 1 . that at the height of the attHC'C ahe had only 6 fighters in the air.ituation."""". AI the carrier wa6 apparently almolt dead in the water with her fore and aft axi. Tbe combined air groups claimed tbat during tbe course of this attack they shot down 9 enemy fight ~rs and 2 enemy scout bombers. boab at 1126 and wal. into the wind. Suffice it to say. ahow the SHaHOto bave been the only sbip damaged or sunk in this action. . This shows the great difficulty in e$timating hits on a target being hit by many bombs and torpedoes at appro~nately the same time. .Five Bombing Squadron Five Torpedo Squadron Five Total bombing bits claimed Total torpedo bits claimed 10 22 19 . Damage Inflioted (a) LE.'. . The SHOHO records indicate..y clo~ely In the attack by BoabtDa Squadron Plve and Torpedo S~uadron rive.. Item 25J.. . Japan •• e admit.* Scouting Squadron Two claimed one bomb hit with a one hundred pound bomb on a cruiser and Bombing Squadron Five claimed one hit or near miss '.

FO'lr of these fip:hters were assi/tned to oover ~oroedo Squadron TWo and the remainder were assinged to Bombing ~quAdron TWo. it is Quit. tenaer •• I r l Airoraft losses s1J. and 1 VSB dAmaged by enemy AA fire and djroote~ to land at ROSSEL Island. the allowano~ of fighter. however. A. about 1240 TF 17 oommenoed lendln~ its attaok ~roup3 and by 1~38 had reoovere~ all of the returnin~ planes.a foroed ~hot landin~ in the vioinity of one of their •• aplan.ed by 1'P' 17 in "hh flt. "'he YOPKTIYTN Air Group inoluded one dhision of 4 fighters assil!. it was a total of thirty-seven 1000 i'l)und general purpose bombs.. seen on the return flight when it broke off to attaok an enemy Atroraft. "<:B down b~ enem~ Alrotaft l 1 '~B missing. throughout the morning.ned as tlsoort for Bombin" Squadron Five and another sinlllar division of fighters ass ll!. with the result that the bomhers experienoed eome interferenoe from 2 Japanese right~~~.1eotive near the soene 01' the morning a+. No further missions were ordered for the.e.. indioated that his position and disposition were known to the enemy. oh.th with the atteok groups was realhed 'by CTF 17. '\ I t t -59-_ .~at he mi~ht have rliverted some of the attaok to the oruiJers in the soreen.t. This deoision was based on the estimate of the 3ituRtion whioh CrF 17 made at the time.aok and of launohin!!. serious ly endangering the safety of the oarriere and other surtaoe ships of the task f01'08. another . He felt.reat Rnd that tho looation of the Striking Foroe. there had been an overnll taotioa 1 onmman(hl1' . ten 500 pound general purpose bombs and twentytwo torpedoes were launohed 8~ tho SHOHO. As a 'J'6sul t of 6xperienoe gained in the Battle of the Coral Sea. ••• 1 ' S tts . The number of fighter esoorts aooompanying eanh of the attaoking air grou~s was not suffioient to provide adequate proteotion for the bombing ~nd torpedo . and last. This laok of fighter strerlr. but additional fighters oould not be spared for ~he attaok groups w1 thou+.. mi~ht quite possibly be within oarrior ranjl. inoreased from 18 to 27.ned all l'lSO'ort for Torp~do ~qua(!ron Five.tack was no~ !1.quadrons had they enoountered the fi~hter proteotion that mi~ht have been expeot~d over the two oarriers they were launohed to attaok.he LF. in the air.a1.ible t. as was done in later aotions. He oonsid~red th~ advisability of sendin~ in another Rt. .een in nnmmand over the ~~OHO.XTWCTO'! Air Group. for a oarrier we. Ten fighters were inoluded in +. T1ad suoh a S+'rikf' Oro'lp COM"'anrl~r l.e attaok ~roups that afternoon.'. Ina. that the probability of findin~ a suitabl. At. padio oontaots and radio interoe·)tions. aroh.e pos. These latter r~ghters did not follow down with their bomhers to the attaok. althou~h unknown to him. An analysis of these attaoks on the SHOHO shows that better ooordination would have been aohieved if.muoh as f I I l ~ t I ~. l'l(IW t~rmed Air rroup Strike Commander.bok inoluded 1.

On the _ay out they passed c:Ner a formation of enemy planes which promptly disappeared 1n the haae. so that sight contacts with enemy planes were on~ momentary. distance 48 miles. southeasterly direction at 1000 feet altitude. but. however. that eTF 17 could not have locat~d these targets. instead. He reali. In the meantime. made contact with a group of enemy carrier baeed dive bombers and shot down one of them. *Action Report eTF 17. . This contact came within visual range of TF 17 at 1629 and was identified as an enemy seaplane. attacked them. 1942 Para. He noted that flying condltions and visibility. An element of the LEXINGTON combat air patrol was vectored out to intercept this contact and. 18. made contact with "hat they identified as nine lero type fighters letiring in s. He therefore decided to rely upon sllore bUf'd aircraft to locate the enemy carriers. bearing 1450 . after flying on ~nstrwuents for a portion of the w83. Serial 0782 dated May 27. The remaining five lORK'l'OWN planes shortly thereafter. to have been Bound. air patrol was vectored out but failed to intercept. . with m~ squalls. A plot of their track showed them initially to be closing the Task Force. but that they should.* This analysis of r.. . At 1747.. Another element of fi~hters was vectored out to intercept it but they failed again to mc~e contact and the contact disappeared off the screen at 1647. The weather at this time was very bad.. and relanded his pJanes during dayligbt. The combat air patrols were retu~ned to TF 17 by means of the IE homing equipment. they veered to the left and took up a ". be held for a counterattack on the. five enemy planes were shot down.S • .TF 17 does not appear complete. were becoming increasingly bad and that frequent rain squalls were being encountered... of various types. In the attack that followed.- .. distance 18 . . p. . -00-_ . An element of the combat. I enemy carrier toroes were probably in the viainit7. at about 25 miles. His decision not to attack them appears. for numerous suitable targets remained in the DEBOYNE area and had been reported by Army aircraft. ' . in his vicinity.. and poor visibility. once they had disclosed their prese~c. Two YORKTOWN planes attacked thea.1les. he did not believe that anT other objective should be considered tor hie air iroups.e carriers. none of whicb had been in the force that his carriers had attacked.". additional combat air patrols were launched by the LEXINGTCB and YORKTOWN and at 1803 eix YORItTOWN fighters were vectored out to the same contact.. therefore. a large group of enemy planes was picked up by radar. It does appear. it was quite probable that there would be insufficient daylight for an attack. ~ong thase were transports ~ld warship.ed that if the enemy were located by an extensive search.'sterly courae. ~losing At 162S a contact was made b3 radar an an unidentified aircraft on bearing ~50°. ulth the loss of one YORKTOWN olane.

.re fired upon bJ various 8hips in the f01"llation and one ut them .pted by the LEXINGTON coabat air patrol ~uet have been ot thie type. ie true. *Japanese Notes of Battles.. p. 1 . ****CTY 17 Action Report-Battle of CORAL SEA-Sere OOlON.t.e planee "..d toward TAGOLA IalanJ and try to make land while he still had sufficient ruel.$. action report. At 2028.. were established With hill and every effort was made to get him back on the radar screen and back to the . t. described byth. L~NGTON radar had unidentified contQcts on planes cirnling. Cine Combined Fleet log Coral ~ea Action of lIay.5(ComCarDlvOne)Act!on Report-CORAL SEA-Sere 0251.5. Between 1900 and 19SO. .. in turn. who..on bearing qao (T) about 30 miles from the disposition.**** Why this information was not reported to CTF 17 for about 2! hours is not known. Fore.Z""!1____••• ~ . had faded troa the Bcreen. at 1616. **LEXINGTON Action Report-Batt:e of the Coral Sea.en '•• en to move off in this position. P.hot down at thi~ tJme were part of a «roup ot attack plane. but it did indicate that at abouto the . and not fighters a. I ~ f At 1860..e en.4. but it is presumed that this thought of landing on a carrier.ileo to the eastward to CTG 17.. an additional tighter wae mi8sin" but he evidently bacame lost in the melee . a sinale plane was Circling at 25 to 30 milfl~ on Dearing 000 (T) and .*** This information "88 not received by C'IT 17 until 2200 or two hours and a half after the contact..re report. for radio ac.as reportedly shot down. 11. LEXINGTON in it. to be the missing YORKTOWN fighter that was eventually directed to proceed to TAGUL\ L8land in the LOUISIADE ARCHIPELAGO. As a result of tne aotion betw..ta.e to have been 12 dIve bomb ere and 15 torpedo planes.6 and 7. They w.. the LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN each loet one fighter. USSBS (Pacit'ic) Interrogation of Japanese Officids. dated 18 May 194~. At 1910 while Tr 17 . r'ported it to eTr 17..htB on and blinked in lIoree Code on an aldi8 lamp.a. Commander Air Task Group. They crOGSeel over the bow of the YORKTOWN to port and "ere f.. The. Inaauch as the enemy plan~s that tried to Join the landing circle at 1910 had b.. dated '.y the LEXINGTON. After the combat patrols had landed. Para. intero. in the LEXINGTON. -61-_ ~ll. Vol.• b ____________ •· ~~--------~·~f*-- .-y planes attempted to JOin the landing oircle. that this radar indication may blve been on en~ planes in a landing ~jrcl~ about JaP4b~a~ c~rriers.d ~ the Japane.munlcatio.._____ t • • ••.en the combat air patrol and the enemy planee intercepted about 1800.d b.2. at the time.n~ carriers only thirty . p. 19.ide ot the YORKTOWN with their U..7"~"*-. it "as assumed. PAra.. Japanese planee . s later tracked on course ~lO. Serial 0100 dated 15 lIay 1942. landing planes. This wae believed.' th. 7.** Th9 LEXINGTON ~eported the indicat.7 lIay 194Z.round the ship.hip.'" -.I1. then the plane.* It thi. The YORKTOWN radar dld not inciicat6 a situation slailar to that clata. ***CTG 17. launched bJ the StrU:1n..1red on by a fighter of the combat air patrol. the YORKTOWN directed hia to proce. page 539. Para. three enemy planes tIe" by the starboard . __ hi4AWfC_iP .ing still unable to locate him. . b. ~~ . thr.d pre6ence of .

. I!S the enemy carriers were.. for the Support Gro~ was away. .!O' .nat force.umcd to be in the area.j to haad to the northwestward during the night to intercept t.tion to CTF 17 occurred is 6lso not kno?n. For he now was fllced with n situation which chnll.. the conflicts with enemy plunes. .~ deluy in transmi t.y.. p.t lng the informb.. he feared that not only th. und the fact the LEXINGTON hud reported thut the enemy carriers were fairly clo~e. the enemy wo~ld continue on towards POHT MORE~BY and would probuhly pass through JOMARD PAS~. _ ' . 'Where th.5 previously stated. Act-ubi1y. .• : ' . 155 -56' E. th& dest..ontinued on to the westward at At 0810 un enemy twin float monoplane was sighted by the CHICAGO.ffected. Th -y may.May 7th I ~ I i Mean~hl1e.. .hht t. I::. In any cuse. and the remaining 6Ur~orting ships were rel1ulred for the deftmse -. . .ed now thut he had detached the Support Group. bond. Rupport Group. ATTACK ON SUPPORT GROUP . During the eurly ufternoon CTF 17 hud decided tilL! . .5.tely to the Force Communder any new InformLtlon on enemy contucts. or evl'O in the .1' his commund. but decided £.wae not given serIous weight until lnter. in the mind or the LEXINGTON' 5 Captfl in. o . .. dated 27 May 1942. . Although he had not located the two J8.~ . ~5 knots.J 1 14 -O~' CTF 1" cont. . ". What should he do? He cons:l. bowevCJr._ _ _ _ l. • ~/It.AGE by morning. ".:ided as he did.Perh£lps hI' regrett.'~~. 1\'as now t.> decision. F. have been clrcllng in order thut they lQight be p. Therefore he hud uecidf . espoclully that from the LEXINGTON.pan~sf'... . b . "J ' . c.he enemy curriers were. para.. these plLlnes could not hu. 19. 95 mllt:s away.but also the LEXINGTON and YORKTO\\'N might have to cope with u Jlsastrous air uttuck next morning beraro rejoining could be . fo~ had such sn attack been luunc}". for the plot from infcrnwUon now available sh(wl:I t. t>ut it cou ld have occurr ed in plot.hree hours' old Rnd t. Ehould he detach them on a night search and attack. . it indicLltes the importboce of report lng immedlr. 8er. (1nl1 besides. TG 17... and should they not be able to rejoin by daylight. He felt also thbt he could not spare a strong enough ralding force. 9S ruther than 30 miles away. carriers additional to thr :.inuedoon a Boutheabterly course. . OOlOh.. . caused him to recol1~id€r hif..1r.. r. *eTF 17 Action Report-Battle of Coral Sea.t leust. mind of CTG 17.it -62.-\. sbove referred to.d it would have failed.t 2400 was in Lat..t the time.HOHO as~.ruction of which.owever. S.uided heme hy c!lrectiun f\nrier bearings from thf:ir carr·~_ers. Long... eome of it.nged his basic plan.herefore would not indicute the enemy's poal tion very BCcurutely..~. However. _ .6 & 7. .dered making a nilht attack against the enemy currier force.. '''us his primary objectiv ~'. c..vt been Iflndlng on a' carrier.. Commander A. he felt that at least ono of them woula accomrany the Port Moresby Force...gainst ~uch an attack on the sound ground that the informution was too doubtful. i t was well that he dec. 5.

. type.wd Some minute. " I At 1345 radar indioated thab a group ot plant.lighted and proved to be 10 enemy sin~le en~lne monoplane. 12 so-oaHed Jap. at 1426.a. only 8 torp' ) traoks were observed I theu were apparently direoted. .r. about 26 miles away.wo minutftl after the torpedoes hed oUlled. unfortunate from the Japanese viewpoint.re theu planll o_m. two of whiah were oloee enough near mi. appear. . bomb attaok was about 500 yards in diameter '0 that it appearo to have be~n a well ooordinated Imall pattern attaok. 12 twin eugine Japaneu airoraft made a torpedo attaok. Th. one of thuo oontaot.ne~ retired at 14~~. ~~int of aim of these horizontal bomber....ad. Tho Support Group opened fir... . after the high level bombing attaok had been oompleted. during the attaok. .ton but retired . Pera.. The Japanese made an effort in this attaok to ooordinate the torpedoes with the bombs. suooeeded in . both on Army noonnai .. The indivi<iual . TWo torpedo planes were shot down 'before they dropper! their torpedoes and another two torpftdoos may have made erratio run.. they paued. At about 1300. eTF 44 Aotion Report-Attaok by Torpedo Bomber and High Level dated 21 May 1942. Suoh pl~r~.of tl-e tuk group !I1aneu~red to avoid the bombing attaok and it 111 possible that thh them from possible hitaby the near lIlisses.h. torpedo plane attaok was pu. _"'''N""AW but it remained beyond gun range for ono-half hour at a diltanoe of approximately 20. the other at 1136. The pattern of thi.. ... 10 and 21 • ..ere fighter.. At. a group of 19 hl~h altitude bomber. The enem~ nl. ) .. appro:dmate1). and.. oarrier baaed dive bomb. made their approaoh.. to .uoh a high level (15000-20000 feet) that the A.k foroe. ran. Wh. At 1416 radar indioated a ~roup of planel beMri~g afiOO(T) di. batteries had no etfeot. at 0940. During the morning two additional oontaotl were made. must be de. 1s the I1mple. from il not k~own. ships a. approaohing from doad ah..t plane. gainst HORART and" a!':ainlt CHICAGO.hips . . another oontaQt wal made on a group of plane..t ind ioation of the need for aool':-ate gunfire at lon. At about 1438.ithout attaoking. A number of the plan•• managed to get into t. and suoaeeded to the extent +'hat t. tor~do attaok. appeared dead astern of the ta. J :.that bore oDened fire but made no hit... was approaohing and wa. 13. Pera.. and at 1440 from . due to damage reoeived by the plsnes before they were released... Thi.000 yardl.hed well home..s •• a.A. group wa'... at the desired launahin~ pOIJltiou •• Upon the oompletion of ~\i.troyed before they oan arri.h~ ~o~hs rell within +. to hllve been the AI'STRALU whioh was etraddled by bombs. All bombs missed. All ehins .hat had beoome leparated from the bomberl and torpedo ~lanel whioh they had been eaoorting. Thi..trafed the variou. two . The faot that it misaed . At 1357 thi..hootin~ down 5 or the enemy planes.. 3 against Al" J'RALIA. ne . be. but it il aSlumed that they .eft 44 lotIon Report...~-. anoe bomben. tormaUon llnd . from RABAUL +..ring 03()O(T) d1etant 46 mUe.tant 75 mil •• and. 1 .ok by Torpedo Bomber and HIgh ~e~w' Bom~er Bomb~r AlrorartAiroraft- dated 21 May 1942.hake..e again. of thi. approaotwd th_ format.. -63-_ .

- . W • ' . Long... (b) At ah'ol1t 1005 ten liircraft approached from 140 (T).nes hti.. Armr 3-£6 from t... At 2400. .. -....~.. l~-Ol' S. All fell close aboard to st~rboard._ ."""'!!"Y. These hits were made by 4 JaphneBe planes which dove so low as to be destroyed by gunfire or by the blast of their own missiles or by both.... Long. dropping three bombs from high altitude.i*_>"'1'. immedi&... It appeared later..". .. developed.......reen. .... Tr._*..s with what appeared to be SOO pound bombs.Q -I.. and the J~panese p:o.7'" '~-r. (c) (1) At about 1151 approximately 24 enemy dive bombers "ere sigh~ed I at high altitude.-. .F. made no hits. . his group wes in Lat...... by about 07:30 lay 7th p when they began to contact planes both by rli. appeared in groups about ss follows: (~) Japanp-se At about 0900 fifte~n ai:::'craft appeared bearlng 0250 (T) from the NEOSHO at high liltitude..4..~ by a n~ber ~f Dlring the late afternoon the Support Group was apparently shadowed Japanese snouperB but no further attacks developed..nes flew away.. 'l'r.~..lles were U.... .. but some of her personnel were saved by the NEOSHO. ....ree of these planes cttacked the !lEOSH0.. was attacked by a single reconn&is~...... '''''. ! ~s a result of these attacks Commander Support Group headed in a southerly di~ection until about 1950 when he heade~ on a we~ter1y course... followed by a third simil~r plane. .....~.'''''.>:1..... po"'"'.!II'. 1580 -01' E. Il....i?.- ~.-~ F» .... .. which was ahead of the NEmmO as an onti-suoouirine sc... after the photographs taken by the above ple.. _ F· ' .....~""" -"""""'-_""""!"__ .ance type plane. Kay 6th.. They had res.. that these 3 plb. At 0859 the 8lMS..."... .ery but.. i Both ships commenced speeding up and preparing for attack.. • ...... 1042... 0 ........ . • "". appeared at about 20000 feet and dropped 5 bombs ~hich missed the FARRAGUT by about 200-300 yar~s. 149 -59' E.d beer.~r ~. Para... =~_""'... l i ... ...dar cad visually.: l! .... .. ~85° (T)6 ~peed 25... 12b -44' S. *C'd 44 Action Repvrt-At..ched a position at Lat. The NEOCHO opened fire with antiaircraft batt.._.... but was not hit by the bomb dropped..... '..... . These planes did not attack and it is presumed ~hat they were the torp8~O planes which were not employed in this phase of the action.~-- __ """"'''''_. -64- EX)"FIOEN nAL . upon being detached at 1725.r."... plune~ I .... _1...tely headed for POINT RYE in accordance with fueling arrangements..... ~'''''_'-'..e Attack on &nd Loss of NEOSHO and SIMS! Kay 6th The NFOSHO!Uld SIMS. The SIMS was sunk."'hij""'4t".2\l"!...... These made heavy attacks frtE all directions for abc~t 15 minutes and succeeded in hitting the SIMS 5 tlmp. ' ee_ •••• . Kay 7th.tack by Torpedc BOID~ Grs ~nd H1gb Level Bomber Aircl"aftDai"·i3d 21 Ea. H.USTRALIA. .'. ~' I f multi-engine land bombers..

However. She remained &float for severa.his time d. I t All hands fought the rires caused by the attack and succeeded in getting them under contr~l.the southeastward ~nd at O~OO to almost due south. 150 -58' S. who had reported her posltlon incorrectly.>line because of t!1e attack. USSBS. ship anyway.1Y of the personnel abhndoned. her position was determined to be Lat. Navy PBY from NOUYEA appeared and soon guided a destroyer.cked the NEosHO also and she received 7 direct hits and 8 near misses. she auffes. indicating G. failing to receive any infcr. d'. The t'act thnt the All ~.dually f'lled with _ater.ese bo.1c to ~RATIONS' .(2) Tt.abera ath.val and NHvt\l Air Field Team No.-" . No order to do 80 was given but ma.-or tn navigation by the Navigator of the NEOSHO.. At 1200 May 10th an Australian Hudson appeared and was notified of the NEOSHO's difficulties. heavy damage from a suicide pLane which. 155°-56' E. in particular. to the scene. By 1112 May 9th.~8-B. I OF JAPANESE STRIKING FORCEj..II. Long.eo. 80 a fin~l conference was held to decide on ab~doning ship.* He knew where his own forces were and. By 1542 all personnel had been removed and the NEOSHO was then t'Jrpndoed by the HENLEY wit. There is no information available as to whether this plune reported this incident or not.. "ll. having been damaged. LAE or TULAGI *SUpplemental Report-TRUK-Nb. ttbout t. In addition.l days drifting northweot. Finally most of these men were recovered and brought on bOurd again. the NEOSHO gra. 150 _35' E. when it changed course to.h 2 torpedoes. This action of Commander Striking Force appears logical. had made an estimute and had decided that it was an enemy capability to be to the south and had decided to search in that area before he moved into n favorable covering position to the westward. 1560 -55' E. but no help appeared as a result of t~1s cont.ct thnt Commander Striking Force. he knew that the Port Moresby Invasion Force which he was directed to cover. It appeared afterwards that the long delay in finding the NEOSHO was ~ err. ohe sank at 145::' in Lat. At about 1100 May 11th tfie NEOSHO showed signs of sinking. was in the vicinity of and approaching JOMARD PASSAGE. However. falling off of disci. This reversal of direction was apparently due to the fa.ed Force had 'not been located by planes from RABAUL.5.ndon ship.act. . lIay 7t.nat1:m concerning the Allied Carrier Force Since it had attacked TULAGI. the HENLEY. Long. chose to crash on her deck. Soon after the last bomb fell the NEOSHO prepared to aba. p.h The Striking Force continued on a northerly course until 0115 May 7th.

. This had already occurredt It will be remembered that CTF 17 had fairly definitely established that three Jap141eSe carriers were in the soa area between NEW GUINEA. However.. regret. a . Now the Japanese pilots nad made an error in recognition w1th.ly searched.. as matter of fact. 1tb \... however. Long.~ . . not unusual in these early days for either the Japanese or Allies.n.bItf'eC.28-Bw -66- ~ •.rlkiGC r~rce ba. . when. the above o~aes..rn ~ HA.. the 8MrCbeo WQUld ban been found VII.. .r based aircr. ..7 MCt.uch neg&UYe infonaution could then have disaiaa8d the aouthern area frca fUrth. . .lone. from the Japanese viewpoint. which were entirely . =w 1$5 . 130 -12.Ii'IIIiI'IiIS.. 1580 _ ~~. Howe\rer. t.uca 1eoO M4 ~1fP (T). at ~. This had had an adverse eff~ct upon CTF 17'8 estimate of the situation.' S.ou~-.. reb rUe'.tltel to . to the lIOuth not been increased in scope.areb plaDea operat1ac fro.ed to .. where the enemy might alao be... be.et bebiDd bi. but one was in that area.c. . .'I"iIII.or Nt _ _ l~ to ..:>1' Mare:. rch the lOuthwest sector be.'IIIi'tILlZIi'IiI' ~M"'t IIIImllll'IIII _IIiI'_ _ _ 'IIIi1PIIIIWIIII'illlllIbllillli""_ _ _ r _*___'. as will be apparent later.. but only on the Japanese Side.~ ~t ~ s...a 8OUt~._ ...de~uately. NEVi BRITAIN and th~ SOLOMON Islands. A'fu~ther reason.t' ~ . tbe ln~rea.. ~ at Lut. westem tip of REllNE~L Island.. and that was the SHOHO..ance of 2dO lIiles. .a most adverse effect upon Commander Striking Force's estimate of the situationl *Supplemental Report-THUK-Naval and Naval Air Team No. . Hut he _s not sathfied with this 1t cla ~l CO¥er tbe southem area .. ror~ \MNf". ' t ~..rd •• pt. nearly resulted in disaster. to . and was particularly bad on both sides during the Coral Sea Operations.. as be . tal this u. This failure of the Japhnese reconnaissance pilots ade~uately to develop the contact of the NEOSHO and SIMS was.r con8iderati~n for the present..unched fraa the carriers to search a "'1I~l. . therefore. t.... This discovery was reported promptly by the search planes..j pla. ' 1II1II" 'l1li:1 ' iIIIII'_ ..c t. the report was incorrect in that It siated that the Allied Carrier Task Force had been discovered. apoeared to ... C~aaMr St.1'. E. beart.Ct...CWlt. known as the SOLOMON SEA. w" u..0 include 20 degroes to the o..5..... . (NIl th. Ca.. .~"·rche8 by hil 01ln carrip. 1n sector search to the south was made and r88Ulted in the discovery at 07~o of the NEOSHO and her escort SIMS. One important reaSon for this was that recognition training was still in its infancy.U._t the southem areas were adequ!ltE. 1tt~ UW Mctor eearch 1.:>l._-.. and.oved to the westward.-. appears to have been the fact that the Japanese knew that the Allies had radar and.. and could haye eearebed for the en. Force ... The other two.. thalt force beyond the noraal search range of Japanese . . _ ".. USSBS P. It was.· a-:aa l. and he feared &l41ed carriers al4ht .. i f the reconnaissance plane closed in to develop the contact~ it stood a great chance uf being intercepted and shot down by Allied E<ircraft. i f be -'. ! I 1 B.1fP (r) to • diet. ..be Strlk1". to the westward.. the SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU were in the eastern part of the Coral Sea. ..table.mander ~tri~ing Force.!lh HCt. Commander Strlking roree hn'~ obtla1ned this .t tile..

instead. 1 i . especially in view of the 8x?ected battle with Allied clirrier task forces. I t l t I i ! f r . It app~ars that. but attacked in small groups or even singly. in view of the lack of coordination in attack. t This indicates.. In the 1131 attack the attack lasted for about 15 minutes. The former seems more likely. upon arrival at the target.'lder at the scene of combat who controlled all planes.. "If there is one lesson we have learned from the Pacific War. This report by the N~OSHO appears to huve been another error in recognition. 790 miles away. Evidently the Coaunander of the torpedo planes decided. In view of the manner in which the attacks were mlide it would appear that either each Japanese Air Group Commander made decisions on his own. the dive bombers and upon what the NEOSHO said were twin engined bombers. ! )¢' • st.I . as there are no claims by the Japanese of attacks on the NEOSHO and SIMS by land based aircraft.nt ... and reliance for destruction was placed upon coordinated attacks at varying times by the escorting fighters.. The group which appeared at 0900 did not attack. which would have had to come from RABAUL. {: i I .~ " l 1 5 b nm' 7. In muing these ~ttacks th~ Japanese lost 6 planes. is of vital and urgent importance.. that he would not waste his torpedoes. the Striking Force continued in the dl~ection of the reported Allied carrier task force (NEOSHO and SIMS). it is that constant training in visual recognition and identification for all topside battle station personnel on board ship and for all aircraft personnel. Part I. an oiler and a destroyer. in view of the paucity vf targets presented. Such. directed that a full out attack by all carrier based planes be made against them. as her maximum effect combat radiuB W~5 normally about 700 miles.. a decision appears sound. No figures are available to indicate exactly what the Japanese meant by "full out" attack. . the attacking planes discovered thnt the carriers reported were not carriers at all but wero. DUring the time that this attack was underway.' - . presumably in order to reduce the air travel for the *Recognition-Instructor's Manual. Infonnati':>n from Allied sources indicates that most Japanese planes appeared in groups at about 0900. ct. but it is presumed that a full out ~ttack was all planes available after the neccessary combat air patrol had been provided. Navpers i6045A. December 1945. They did not make coordinated attacks. Such attacks would have been scarcely feasible with an armed two-engine bomber. 1003 and 1131. ner . the other groups did attack and succeeded in sinking the SIMS and seriously damaging the NEOSHO.. 01' that there was an overall Air Group Strike Comma. This attack was launched at 0815. ."* Commander Striking Force believing that he hud found the Allied carriers. :\/ ~. to quote CINCPAC s05etime later. For that reason the torpedo planes were not employed. . .

it appears that bis reason tor 10ing so was his knowledge that none ot the pilots of his search planes were night pilote. . Striking Force should have considered that knowl~dge of hiB presence was a definite AlUed possibility? Was the tact that he had not been attacked. "It caused Admir~l Sara much chagrin to realize that he bad dieclosed to the enemy. Tbere is no indication ot tbe number of planes used.eat to course 2850 (T) in order to close the enemy which be noYl' !mew must be in that direction. an indication that be was undi5covered? light not thie tact have been an' indication that the eneay was avoiding action wi tb the carrier force in orner to destroy the Por·t Moresby 1nva&ion Force? Commander Striking Porce took immediate action. in view of h1e knowledge or tbe approximate position of the SlIOHO. appa~antly. Although the information available as to ~hy he recalled tbese planes 18 incomplete. About this time. At about lS&> he launched planes to search the sector 2250 to 31.28-C." In this connection.* He now knew. which had att~cked the NEO~HO and SIMS. At about 1045 he changed to the . P. He recalled theee planes later before they had completed their search. that the AlLied carrier task force was necessarily to the west ot him and not to the south.o :1111 as he bad thought that the force he was attacking to the south was the Allied C8l'rierforca.attacking planes and. Admiru HUll empbatically stat. 1045. At U50.SO (T) to a radl\~s or 200 miles. in particular. ~ ~rior to the return or &qJ of hiB carrier planes which had been launched to attack the Allied carrier task group. he would not have disclosed his position b. In view ot the urgency of biB operations. on this new courte. H1s Port More~by Inv~sion Force I r I iSUp~lemental Report-TRUK-Nava! and NQv~l AirField Team No. the p~esence of his torce in the Cord Sea. such a decision appears sound even though it might hIve cost him tbe fbctor of surprise. the torne he was attacking was not the carrier taaK f~~e he was seeking.* Commander Striking Porce was now faced by a problaa calling for the exercise of the highest order ot ability. and. This was a great surprise t. As the Japanese did not have homing devices on their carriers. this would indicate that CODmander Striking Foree bad broken radio silence to communicate with hie planes. i f he bad knOYItl there were no carriere in the oiler group.y attacking. th~t the force to the south c~nsisted ot an oiler and a destroyer only. be was informed. he recovtred his plane~. for any planes damaged. but it is to be aSBUJlled that they were surficient in nUlllber to search the sector adequately. USSBS. necessarily. ~. does it not appear correct that Commander. therefore. Commander Striking Poree received word or the sinking of the SIiOHO. To ~uote Japanese 80urcs~.ed that.

He deoided that the oorreot aotion would be to dee troy the Allied oarrier task foroe by a sundown attaok.. .. L.. __ .. if he launohed them i~ ~ ~or. hut..h hi. at about 1615.. did not do 80 beoauel his remainin~ nilots ware not qualtfied in night oarrier operations and he oould not afford to loae them now •• I I I t I It was tor these reasons.. 'T'hey were not..lls.. does it appear wise·to send away from your oommand on an almost hopele~s task. therefore. as he had been oonfident th~t the Allied oarriers would be found in this seator.. ordered to return to their ~rriers... and he had failed to looate them there. as he appears to have done. . . and partially booause 01' a shortage of searoh-trained attaok pilots...eriou. He wished to laun~h adrli+'ionftl attaok n~anes. It 1~ possible that he o8ueed"some of the "ttaok planes to fan out in a manner :Jimi lar te) the eearoh plane dootrine. So.. In suoh oase. proteotion objeotive was in . The ~eakness of his analysis 1n this oase appears when it is realized sunset was at about 1816. line.. 3. also._.. after darkness had fallen. This appears to have been partially beoause of the weather.l. certainly he made 8 bold deoision when he launohed them.. he mi~ht have ~en entitled to somewhat better fortune. snd the planes oould not and oid not arrive at the Japanes~ oarriers on their return flight until 10n. althou~h Allied lIouroes refer to the haz-. as he wanted their support 1n oase he was attacked by Allied airoraft. . but the Japanese pilots on the outbound flight had apparently passed them without seeing them. if he used some of them for searoh. tlll!!_III.I). tha~ The Allied oarriers wer~ in the seotor searoaed.~entrBted group and direot6d them to prooeed along a ~eneral baarinr.. . the weather was worsening: and a battle was imminent. l'!oui'Onad !IS night fighters.. D~gBS. p. he launohed 27 attaok planes with pilot~ believed to be well qualified in ni~ht oarrier operations. Diagram F indicates that ths Striking Force was 1n the bad weather area.. Aotually he still felt that they were olose by Rnd he wished his planes to return without further searoh.-... his pilots wers tired.. However.. _.. • • -_.-... he was entitled to misfortune.. whioh area ..··__ ~ ___ . _. a large portion of your best trained pilots? These attaok planes oompleted their searoh during daylight without making oontaat and were.. lind passing squ8.... . Night was ooming on.2B-C -69- 4t_. hie own ability to aooompli. low oeiling. .wse in serioue danger. that he did not eena out searoh planes in advanoe of the attaok planes. There is no oomment about the weather in Jnpanose reports.~uooleme:1tal Peoort-rrnrTK-NsVlll and Naval Air Field Team No. and. It would be of interest' to know what thoughts were passing through the mInd ot Commander Striking Foroe at this time. jeopardy and he had reoalled his searoh planes.

__?~·~b.~.._.'Z_ •••• '.. T}-.e~_. eppLrently.i1tU'e to discover the enealY at an advll1ltageous ti. and nine were shot down. the three planes which had discovered the Allied c£'l'l'iers were. Thh is &n excellE:nt method of operHtion Hnd may pay large divicends i f the position of the target is kno\\n with rea~onnble accuracy. r~?S_. doubt initially within these carrie . appbrE'ntly. They finally succeeded in returning to their own ships.! friend or foe. conduct search operations of any ml:lgni tude when on M alr &ttttck mission.ere no homing devices.nes.t. r. onCe it had been locnten. Japanese att~ck groups were normally of little search vnlue.~re W8S._~_~_·_ __ __ .5_?ri~.. In thiLJ clIse it appears that Communder Striking Force was correct in launching the all' attack group. provided some elements of the attack group were used for search.=~_'~____ . Comm~der Striking Force was not lack~ng information very long.extended for one hundred and more miles to the westward of the Striking Force and also indicates thut the TF 17 was in this area.ck on the target.. on their return flight to their carriers.. apparently clOSE: to the outer limits of their flight. Having ac~omolished thiS. As they appeared to encounter considerable difficulty in ttis regard. B. It is well that the idea of kamikaze attacks was not as yet prendent in the Japanese air forces.·_W~"~H~H~. SOW€.~M_.ion thinking that it was their own. Since neither the Japanese carriers nor planes had rbdar and since there ". His attack planes. Hifi fll._f~t~·~"~h~M~-~'_'~ . for reasons stated. and darkness ".. for it appe6. instead of the search planes. whlch were eVidently lost. r.* The returlung planes which were attacked by Allied carrier planes "ere directed by Commander Striking Force ~o drop their bombs into the sea in order to increase their maneuverabjlity. -.?r. *Supplemental Report.as I'ttpidly falling. unable to launch other thru1 8 strafing sttack. I t f f i ~ i ~ ••'lr. They followed about one' hour behind the scouts to insure that lin 68rly att8. in that they did not.own wits. it beC8m~ neces~ary for the Japanese pilots to locate their Striking Force by their._~t~. and then informed Commander Striking Force that tbey had recogni~ed two large enemy carriers about 40 or 60 miles away by noting the l~nding lights on their decks. therefortl. about three of his pl~es. were nttacked by Allied carr~ er ph. ~'ould be made. About one hour later.rs that it would not have been difficult to have made 8 successful suiciC:e attack on the AUien carriers. whj ch would. :g as to whether the Japanese plan<J~ ~ . as a generltl thing. partially..r•• '.28-C. circled the Allied caI"rier form~.e "as one of those misfortunes which often upset the pl&ns of the most capable Commander. have been of nuisance value only. TRUK-Naval & Naval Air Fit~id Team No.

...1.ack until morning..35."'. ·IIIiI.· the Commander of the Port Moresby InVasion Force re4uested him to close that force in order to provide better protp~Lion.. in searching for thelr carriers. whtch..because of the weather.. feeling certain that your carriers would strike 1n the directi'Jn of the transports the next morning..~_ _. If I had done this... and Commander Striking Force was not at all hap9Y in being forced to ~ake it.j' I'. Staff 5th Air Flotilla... . ~. j (. .>rces were not 40-60 miles ~way but were.. . ... \ ~~. if he bad not shown his searchlights to guide his pilots home. I feel that we may not lu. p.: . a discussion arose on board the ZUIKAKU as to the advisability of making a night attack."-IHHt But was he correct in this l·eaSOl'ling? Were not the Allies cognizant of his presence within a limited number of miles.. not to att... ...ftlllll' ttl. However...." i I 'j 1 ~. . rlill out of fuel and crashed in the sea. in case of an Allied night attack. he ha1 no choice.. I. When the pilots raported to Commander Striking Force that the Allied carriers appeared to be 40 to 60 miles away.. •. )...pplemental Report-TRUI{-Naval & Naval Air Field Team #3. ... as well as for defense._ _ .1o~~"c... and by following a semi-circular track from North. about 95 miles away • Meanwhil.. 10... ...~ :: • :~ t" -{" !.. His destre to obtai. in 'view of a lack of information concernbg Allied carrier task force surface ship strength.. . _1IIIiI.. Some or these were required during the night for anti-submarine screon work. The ~taff Operations Officer was anxious to make this attack." This appears to have been a wise decision fo~ the surfRce ship strength of tho Striking Force was only 2 hea'Jy cruisers and 6 destroyere..... 36. he would not have had sufficient planes left to attack the next day. Despite this employment of searchlights.. I would gatn the advantage of being on their fl&nk where I could launch strikes from the East. __.. be did not succeed in completing bis landing operations until after ~500. Ac~uully. while not mentioned in the Japanese accounts..rhis was a courageous decision. to protect the transports.I .. This he "...N. But I had my basic mission to fulfiJ 1. Operations Officer. for.28-C.... instead.rier of the 5th Air S4... td¥t± ·_rt a6l.. .n a better position lncllntld hiro to "run North then East a:ad then South..d i 'wt he had lost 9 in combat and 11 operationally. ..:ve had either car. -71-_ 'IM • •IIIIiIII. ***SlJ..uadron damaged.* When his planes had finally landed he four.greed to do. because his obj ective was the protectbn of the InVasion Force...J.:. C~Qander Striking Force found it necessary to assist than by turning on his searchl1ghts.-_!lllli_IllilllIiIIIooI... " ~" ' 'l~f ".. .a. the Japanese and Allied f..'. as he did not w&nt the Allies to know his positi~n. as previous discussion hus shown.. *~Interrogation of Captain Yamaoka.. was a strong Allied capability.e.. 'f' !r " .. P. 1'~. Furthermore.. but after an estimate of the situation it was decided.m-"MiIoIre_.. !V.... US8BS. NI)... This would suggest that the Japanese were not adequ~tely tr~ined in nigh~ carri~r operations unless the planes. USSBS Naval Analysis Division Interrogation of Japanese officlalsu Volume I-Interrogation Nav. Naval Air fuld Team #5... ' . which wa::.\ ~:' t~'·. through East to South I would not be in their line of attack.'. because of the fact that his planes hud endeavored to land on the Allied carriers? *SUpplemental Report-TRIJK-Na~al &.~' }."..~ .

ItJ-40' S•• Long. the Alli~s launched a ~eoo search at dawn 1167 8th to locste the Striking Force. visibility good.rier attack plane as eeriel cover for a convoy of the Port lIoresb.10 . mUTAlA. become temporLrl1y the correct physical objective of the Allied carriers. At 08~ the Commander Covering Force informed his tAsk force thut the Allied task force was bearing 1600 (T). therefore. now that his nearby presence was known and Jeopardized the Allied plan. The SHUHO ~tates that she immediately prepbred to make 8 torpedo attack with . course was changed to the north and at ~400 the Striking rorce 1mS in Lat. hla and. The wind at this time was east-south-east about 8 knots.:. lIay 7t\ To go back some hours.Wae it not a capability of the Allies to expect an attack fro. distant 140 miles from DEBOYNE. KAKO and one i'l-om the SHOHO. As from all of the information s. at this t~ne Commander Covering Forcp also conducted searches in the vicinity of KURUA Island.s' B. search appears to have been directed by Commander 4th Flget and was to cover the area between 0900 from ROSSEL Island and 2:100 from DEBOYNE Island to a distance of frOID 150 to 250 . Shortly after sunset on the 7th. 1II0st of thaD pElssing to the northwestward. Apparently. until 0700 lIay 7th.y InVasion Fo~ce. When the planes calmeneed returnlDg about 1945. whiot:·· was apparently to destroy the Port 1I0resby InvlI.. to ••arch for the Striking Force in preference to the Inv~slon units which even then were retiring to the northward? Did he not. the fact that the planes were returning to the northwest and the increased number of planes indicated to Commander Covering Force that the Allied forces were nearer than hb had estimated. lSSOQPERATIONS OF JAPANESE COVERING FORC!. sea ~alm. the Covering Force continued on a westsouthwesterly course.iles~ At 0730 the SHOHO laUDched 4 carrier fighters and 1 ca.81on Force? As • matter of fact. course was changed to the southeast in order to head into the wind. when it headed into the rind to launch 4 reconna188ance seaplanes from the KINUGASA. which she had been direeted to escort. the Striking Force changed course to approximately ~:S5° (T). Between 0750 and oe:sQ a number of Allied carrier attack planes were reported by the units of the Covering Force. I I I ~ 1 -72A. Thi. After thft planes had been landed about 2200.ndlable the Allied Carrier Task Force was to the south. theretore.

6 immediately ordered to launch all of her planeG but that Bince ahe was.. However.sion Force was directed "'y Commander 4th Fl~ct to retire to the lI'est." '_ _ _. At 1008 KlNUGASA reconnaissance planes reported tbat an Allied carrier lIIas launching planes. Tho center contact was probably ~~ the Support Force.. At 0900 the Port Moresby Inn. At 0950 Communder Covering Force determined ttat these were two Allied task forces southetlst o. At lOW she launched 3 additionttl fighters and recovEred the 4 fighters and 1 atthck plane.Cll' 4th Fleet.--. appears tb~t. She did not launch any other iSHOHO Action Report #7 of #6 dated lay 1942. Whnt the reactions were of Coaunand... ROSSEL leland and tl:at the entwly force consisted of 1 :m. ap?arently. _.. f . 150 mil~o from DEBOYNE. ! . upon being informed that therE: were three Allied singlt~ f~&r!'ier task groupe in the area." Why this should have bean 80...h the usual cruisers and destroyers.~. es). is not known. 82 mi18a tro. Tbe plots of thes. latter two reports do not aGree by about 45 al1ea.W'''f~ .hin 15 ml. W • FH cst . is not clear. It.. but this f~ct was not received by Commander 4th Flset or his various task groups.ertuinly he could not go ahead with the PORT WDRESS! operation until he had gained at lsast local command of the area.* At 08~8 FURUTAKA plane reported Allied taak forc. busy recovering planes already up and refueling the planes which had been carrying out aerial aecur! ty she was not abls to COIIlply. Tbe eustern conte.... \ t • . Thi~ report was fensonably accurnte (wit. This proved t~ be the NEOSHO and SIMS.f DEBDYNE.. He. WliS prob8bl.... AppArently these reports refer to the ttlO Allied forces in the area.. . "the SHDHO "'6.. and are not report~ of the s~e ferce.... he ~5 in a difficult position. such as the Covering Force. ow "". 2 CA. " r carrler a1rcraft. at 0820 was bearing 152°. Commander Covering Force states that.. He had three carriers.. WDe #160465. at the time. as a result of bis analysis of the Situation... later.....ct. Although there lfl no comment from Commander Cov~ring Force it is assumed that this opinion was reported to Commander 4th Fleet. for she hud only 4 fighters and 1 att~ck plane in the air at the time. hact three carriers.. i i I I .r·'~ . . until later. and.. but the Allies. --t ..l power. At 0840 KlNUGASA plane reported Allied taak torce at 08&0 a8 170°. No other planes hud beon laun~hed since t._ _ _' -.y on TF 17.. l. Meanwhi16 the Striking Force reported another Allied carrier task force as 1956... two of them first line. 450 miles from TULAGI.. be re-affirmed his decision to retire the Port Moresby InVasion Force.. ~~' . to the nortbwest. supported by strong navtl. each apparently supporhd by at least one battleshIp filt.. determiusd that bis uefl tasks wer~ to destroy or drive off the Allied task forces and to delay his present operation until he had gained at least local command of the area. therefore. 7 r" and 1 CV. all first line. "'pptlrtnitly. The western posltion was probably on the Support Group wbich us heading to cut off any JApanese forces which might pctse through JOIIARD PaBsage but it was considerubly in error (about 38 miles).he preceding day.

At 1107 the SHOHO camm~nced maneuvering and firing at these p~anes. Actually. so upon completion of thl' second at. Three enemy planes attackRd at about this time a. The SAZANAIII was e\'iuently n.ear the SHOMO as a plane guard.tion.GI. allot whiob wo~ld be required for action. if the format. Why the Japanese permitted this condition to obtain is not known. 2 CL and 7 DD. therefore. ':lne oiler and one destroyer. I I At 1050 15 Allied planes wer~ noted comlng in to attack . 12 VF (ZEROES) and 9-12 VT. for their tracking reports were generally reasonably ~ccur8te and they were always subject to destruction by Allied carrier fighters. At 1100. At 1117. one hour elapsed before the Allied pl/ines started their attack. when at 1117 she launched ~ more fIghters. MeanWhile. reported by Allied pilots. She and the SAZANAMI. The Covering Force was.ions employed the next day in the aircraft action between the carriers is a criterion. he received word that the Allied task force. His failure to do so appears to have contrit~ted materially to the loss of the SHOHO. two Allied carriers. C~nander Covering Force directed thut all cruiser planes track Alli~d task forceo. but there were no battles~ips. planes from the ICINUGASA and FURUTAKA. While launching thesE' fighters.the SHOHO. There were. The SHOHO had been un~ble to launch all of her planes as directed. \I'hich were attacking in groups.I I ! I I planes unt~l she was actually under attack. whlch had been tracking the Allied task forces southeast of DEBOYNE. at this ti~eJ in a very loose disposition with the four cruisers in what appeared to be 90° sectors and at a distance from the SHOHO. Her complement was about 21 plones. the SHOHO had commenced launching planes and soon hud lbunched planes. About this time. instead. which had been destroyed. 'I' i ~. was not a carrier force at all but was. were not operating in close formation "ith CruDiv 6 and hud not been doing so since ubout midnight. The Japaaese forlllBtion was loose and does not appear to have used a standard anti-alrcraft fonoa. \'. The SHOHO reported that one of these planes had been shot do~n. of course.t ~."ld made a near mbs. apparently. t. Why all plunes were not launched in this hour is obscure.wo groups composed of a total of 2 CV. ~ 1 Ii " . sh~ reported th£Lt she was under at- " . . From" this it should be apparent thut the pilots of the cruiser plnnes were well trained and courageous. to be about 8000 yards. reported thut these task forces were in t. 2 CA. These 5 plan~s were followed by 10 dive bombers which also made near misses.ack she launched more fighters. it appears that it would have been wiser had Commander Covering Force combinod his ships into a close anti-aircraft disposition in Older to withstand the expected air attack.. ~. reported 420 miles south of TULl.t. 2 88. There was no apparent reason why all planes could not have been Ibunched from both the cruisers and the carriers ~hile in close formution Lmd.

.. •• ~ . ~ f J~~~ t.. ~ were lost. therefore. May 14.•. During this attack the fcur cruisers of C~dlv 6 did not close the SHOHO to increase her defense but rather Circled where they were and.~ve of planes from TF 17.. The Allied attack appears to have been dir~cted solely against the SHOHO and. also Action Report Scouting Squadron Two. being attacked by another ...cking planes C6JDe. Comm~lder 4th Fleet.. tack by an Allied carrier plane force cor4oisting of about eo planes. The gunfire of Crudiv 6 and the SHOHO was reportedly desu1tor.** The Covering Force now withdrew to the northeast in order to avoid....-:. the enemy continued to attack and. At 1120 hpr flig~t deck e18vIAtor waS hit by two bombs. The JapMeaEl lost on the SHOHO about 15 planes.t. It was. As no further record appears of the Minalaying Dlvi6ion.. upon cOliplettng their searches. moet of the crew did not leave and went down with'her at 1135.-. . to retire to DEBOYNE and bese there.. ' . tended to draw aw~ from her... therefore. decided to detach certain combatant units from the forces escorting the Port MorE:sby Invasion Force and to return the remaining sbip~ of all types to the RABAUL araft for safety... and the SHOHO then maneuvered to avoid thi5 attack.... sporadic. t Meanwhile..c.'. in sever8l places. •.. Cr. which were retiring to the north... II..heRst.. USSBS (Pacific) VOl. ins~fficient in VOlume. but 1agging in deflection..udiv 6 and the SAZANAMI escaped damage.. P.--. Inef'f'ective. of which about. **Action Report Bombing Squadron Two. ~" . f t .. The launching was discontinued after ~ planes had bAen launched.Ild TF 17. true to Japan~se traclition. I . 20 were bombers. by 1130 she had received l~ bomb hltfl and 7 torpedo hits. about this ti~e. by proceeding to the I')Ort. fairly accurate 1n fuse settiqg.. He.. and ordered them to consolidate with Crudiv 6.. and 20 were f . I \ I I.. I I ~ i ~ i 1 -75-_ . 6... Based at DEBOYNE *Interrogations of Japanese Officials... •··•• .' r " ._ . and it was through these gaps that many of the ath. --•• ...rboard quarter was hit by a torpedo. ... it is assumed that Commander 4th Fleet cancelled her orders and that she continued to retire with the Port Moreeby Invasion Force.* All hands were ordered to abandon ship at ll~l. The remaining 3 m~de emergency landings at DEDOYNE.. . the planes of Crudiv 6 were directed. '. Md her sT. )' "..~~" . by so dOing. 1942.~r . 459.-.n.. This retirement appears to have been the oorrect deCision for Commander Covering Foree as he was now without air cover and was an excellent target for Allied aircraft. 20 torpedo planes.Y. Ho apparently felt that.. May 7. detached Minelayer Division 18 and Destroyer Division 6.~ .ere. if possible. ... therefore. " . although the SHOHO fought back. Meanwhile. \ . She w€nt out of control and burst into flame. . and of the 6 in the air.. . This left large gaps in the already loose cruiser screen.. ght.. he was interposing between the transports... 1942.. Serial 001... But. -.

8 to which task force lias to be attacked..sk force L"t1ported. At about l~O the trecking plgnes report..aB not clear to Comcrudiv 6.tb Fbet. 1:5~0 Comm&. Thase seaplanes.ll. tf!!~. OUr ing the early afternoon J IlpBnene trhcking planes frOID m'BOYNE lind RABAUL ~eported that the Alli€d nuv~l forces were in t_o groups. and witb those or Crud!v 0. were . CruD1v 6 dated 17 July 194~.. he received an additional report that an e. and who wa6 evidently...ployed in trac~1ng the Allied surface forces.rr. I .. As a matter of fact. r . but that could well huve been left to the decision of Comcrudiv 6..nder . The difficulties of Commander 4th FIE':(~t in ml:dnhlning Ii correct 'runlling esti. Why Commander 4th Fleet ordered this attack is not apparent.'~ P. the other a battleship group.7. He would have had to launch his attack after nightfE.8 Crudiv 6. in cooperation with theplanC8 or the 25th Air FlotIlla.hips of any type damaged or sunk. m~intainiDg & running estimate of tha situation. At a~tion ~ t ~ I At 1415 SAZANAMI was dir€cted to proceed to the position where the SHOHO had been sunk and pick up survivors. ~.ate undE:r the above condi tions must haw! been exceptionRl. aleo. Up to this time the location of the Allied tl:sk force~ . WDC #l609~.t eHiler his inform~t1on "as poor or his estimate "US incorr~ct. There is no information 8.. in order that its objective !light not be lmown by the Allies and in order that his Burf&ce forces might not be subj ect to Allif:1d air at ~qck •.. The Covering Force now consisted of Crudiv 6 only.hat part of the enp. at the timo he issued the order to Comcrudiv 6.. It l\'ill hereafter be referred to 8.ndcr 4th Jo'le~t apparently decided frOID *Combat Report No. who had been supervising hh plumed from RABAUL.nander 4th Fl£et finally ar. Does it not appear. the dist.ance or even thA ~OIIlposi tion of the Allif-d to.. therefore. .my hud changed course to the south to 200 (T) and ttiat the realE-ining part hud changed course to 1000 (T). rived at the same conclusion. For. ordered Crudiv 6 and Dearon 6 to make a night attack on the Allied task forces. At 1510 Comcrudiv 6 received a report that bombers of 25th Air Flotilltl had attacked the battleship group and had sunk 1 battleship and heav'ily drunaged 1 heuvy cruiE-er. were many reconnaiesance aeaplanes which were being tended by the seaplane hndel's JCAIIIKAWA IIARU and HlJIRIKAWA UARU. the nearest Allied task force (TF 17) was 180 miles away.. but i t would indlctlte tho. At 1420. A report of this nature is valueless as it does not indicate the bearing. hud been slightly damaged.* In this case there w~re no Allied battleships in the area and there were no ::. Comme.ddi tional battleaht~. he had been informed that the position of tile enemy ~'as at 1400 about 500 miles away. - 76- .. night attack by Crudiv 6 and Deeron 6 was inftllisible? It will be shown later that Com.. that such 0..ed t..El. one a carrier group. SAZANAMI left Crudiv G and proceeded on her mission.

The Japanese realized that tbiv enemy carrier task group waa a different one from thll. . on course 1AOo. At 1700. This position was apparently 25 miles due east from actual TF 17 1845 position. an AOBA plone reported a battleship task group ot 1 BB. At 1711.d received serioua damage.. whlch waa about half way to TOWNSVILLE. The seoond report was roo off in course. Comcrudlv 6. These rtiports were approxilDately cort'eot 80S regards locution and speed. " . They r~alized that air reconnaissance ~s at an end. laS miles from ROSSEL Island.. This " f-~' "<rill" . decided to continue on southerly courses to the 0200 rendezvous with Deadiv 6. At 1650.d in • loutherly direction and by 1£00. Tbie appear. orQered the &1bmadnea en route to TO\\NSVILLE to cbang. to the TOWNSVILLE area. therefore.necessarily be by surface craft. whicb had just be. as information of damage to own forces can be of inestimable value to the enemy and should be denied them as lone as posaiblEl. their line ot deployment to the rei ion north ot TOWNSVILLE.•''''''' :. east of ROSSEL Island. and not receiving any further information concerning the Allied task forces.he average of tbe Japanese soouting plane pilots.loh had bean set for O~OO. At 1845 planes from the Striking Force reported an enemy carrier task grotlp as bearing 1600 .d Iblpo would atteapt to e.". 130 miles from DEBOTt{E on oourse 2000 (T). 1800 esH'nuted. correct dec1lion. Thus from this time onward during the night. The fact that the Japanese stress that tbis report was in plain language indicates that Japanese practice was to code such reports. vs 150 actual. What were being miataken for battleships is not known but appear to have ~een the CHICAGO class. May 9th. t . to bave been. 111 lIlilee from ROSSEL Island on course 2300 (T). 16° S. planes from 25th Air Fl~tl1la rep~rted ~s enemy force as bearing 24SO.t reportEtd by 25th Air Flotilla.ly fair and WllS below t.aEls. H. 2 CA and S DD bearing 2000 (T). speed 16 knots. Crudiv 6 changed cour •• to the lOuth and proceeded to the evening rendezvoull with J)esron 6 wh. At this time. r ~. not receiving any orders from C~nander 4th Fleet. This report was apparently made by one of the attack planes from the 5tri~ing Force and IndtcatA~ hgatB tbat tbe ~~e&tlonal t~aak1ns ebility ot the Japanese attaok plane pilots was o. they were correct in the number and type' of ships in the force being trailed. Ma-Y 8th at a position 20 mile.n attacked. This ift wise. tbe Allied SUpport Foree. At about 1820 reports were received that the weather in the area of action was becomirlg increaSingly bad and that the shore and tender baseci tr~icking planes had returned to their bll. I " tbil tbat the damaaed Al11.. the Japanese cOlllmanders were uninformed as to the m07ements of the two Allied task forces. and that any further reconnaissance must . airp1~es from the Striking Force reported in plain language that th9y had been in action with en~ carrier based fighters and ha. with the exception that there were no battleshi?s. " '"I -77- . just soutb ot Lat. did be..cap.

ake a night attaclt.~ l I I J "' ::.e.aUDed that lt . IUperior 1ft ~d.. .te superior.. order•• ae •• apparent17 not entlre11 haUler with hll _ed1ate IAlperlor'" plan.fl)1. l.. about 200 ail•• a.:' J. Thti firat I)·... 8 to Jo1a the str1k1D. rrc.CI . in that all of' the Japane.lyl felt cont1dent that i f Commander 4th Fleet.. 2515 the •• oood 8Mtion \"\" Crudb 6 Str1kill'.sity tor radio Silence...urf'ace track1ns the en.. At 2SOO Commander 4th Fleet cancelled by deepatoh plan.o Join witb the to be available to -18-_ -. the attAot mu.:' . ..ra.F. in v\e.l " . apparentl1 considered it h1ghl.. She reported having recovered 100 men. de1&1ed the Port Moresby Invasion date b.ection of Cl'Udi.8 alao Japan.. in the DEBOYNE area had apparen~ly been located b. with Commander 4th Fl••t..0 under the condltions ex1stin& 1ndlc~tes a co~rect adherence to the basic plan. to .ct accord1n. poor. ·ftO bad aore illtONation aad better tac1Ut1e. and that ~..t1on. ile SUp1"K.et was tollowin. including the executive officer. tor night action. be would then be expected to I. _nd h. ..:: l"ore. than he did tor ..'vi. t-.".rab1" lncreaeed.y deer.. plot..ander .. to haTe be... he knew that ah~uld he deelre to make a change in plans he should coamunlcat. ..on proceeelecl ft. to the dictates ot hie own conIclence guided by the known TieW' or hi. and had continued rescuing survivore until IUDset...tto err ·17's d. Thi. Force &r!cl~ thereb. Ileoe. In thle ca. as 1t8 char.. hi. .e force.. witb all of' the tacts betore hla. vie.ant eel in o· ~ ..e coneiderablJ tbe AA J~JfenoeB or bis '.v the Allied carri.appear. apparentl1 thoucbt it unwise to continue tUe PORT MORESBY operatlon until local coamand ot the area had been itlined.-j (:"ltd. that the te-rce's '!I.xptleted to make adequate representl.. under the OODditlO1U1... or the bad weather.c1l10·. of' the f'act that there wa.~' . he had been ordered to aake a n1&bt attack. 1D.. At 21SO SAZANAIII reported that sbe had arrived at the e1 te of the linking of the SHOHO at 17ro. the developine action with care. two daJ8l and dlrect6d the eecond ._~ Fl. IUptlrlor. . 1.ee practice. oorreot 4'0111_.ith hi. -. Re knew that If' he tound 1t advlaable to d1. _ or being eu'loessfUl _.1 d"tachecl t. ~ed1at.a that Ca. h.>:d.g Foree.dlv 6. iaportant that the anti-a).r~. Re f'Urther knew that ehould he be torced to radio 'llenoe. thereoll to his ~ed1•.t b. in cont.1f!ic force ill tlJe taee of _inant action. 1 f j A"..ous wlth De.j ~ J .. I .. or to make a nisht atta~k. a oaloulated ri. It111 deSired bta to attack..k.. wt be did know that. th. plottlDC th. The fact that he did not do . He apparent... ' .!. Be apparentl¥ considered 1nadv1eabl. p i '1 .. app6rently no neoe. S. he would be . &rOUP .raratt strength of the str1k1De Force be au. 1ft 0~ioat10D .diate IUperlor had not oanoelled hi..erlcan practice.41T e that the Allled OIlI'I'ler ta.aarr.Hty to withstand Allied carrier air attack a . 'rbil indlcat. It i.cODtlnua the plan to rende. and .0ru. ftC) 1. c• . 'hi.~ .. althCNlb 1t • • ap~t to 4 ec.. ..'.

rinl 2070 fro. rI!Ij_ wTrt"n·It=*'& -"'e". At ~400 ita esttaated position was 250 ai1ea bearing 1650 rrom RABAUL. lIeanwhile... · t~""M\. \"" . To~o. USNR. ". l "'~ j laaht in the invaelon of PORT MORESBY on X plus 2 day. . the torpedo attack group had 'difficulty in locating the Allied task force and searched the reported area for about ooe hour. Long.\Ai. • '~~ ..· . was reported to be in a' position bekring 2120 . l . OPERATIONS OF 25th AlR FLOTILLA AND ATTACK...+ _ ''''"k~. MU¥£I • ~. aeport 10.*_·b'.. 2S..W 4i1ll. 11 or the 2tth Air rlotlUe.t.~. r.... clatma were ran~a8tic. JAPAlf..ction waa at Lat.. **Detailed Battl.. B25-D._____ _ .y several Japaneae officers headed b1 eX-Rear A~iral Toaioka. Japan••• track chart work done b. ... 'ina111 the en.. At 0950 an attack group of to~pedo bombers and Zero fighters took off to attack an Allied task'forc~ which had been reported by the aearch aeaplanea or Crudiv 6. It took otf 00 this mission at 1100. when it headed up to the northwestward towards RABAUL... the torpedo plane attack group reported attacking enemy battleships..* nelron 6 proceeded to the northeastward toward SHORTLAND Island and at 2400 was in an estimated position 196 ailel be.. At 1444. E. ..- ...... . *Ir~ck j -19-_ 'l1li' !a' . At 2400 it was in an esttaated poaition at Lat. Long..\..eatructi.»iIIo· ··H_rt . and waa directed after fueling to Join the P<lrt loruby lnvalion Foree. Comdr.fore 2400. .... At 14SO. and one AUguita ClASS heavy cruiler sunk. 70 -52 1 S.'IIISIIIi?!iIi' .-..* -The Port lIorelby Invasion Force continued retiring to the northeastward g. heading towarda SHORTLAND Ie1and. .IiIIIIiiII_"_IIiIIII_Iili_IIIIIIlIi. in this &ttack.1IIIi". 100 -&0' S..* o The Support Foree continued retiring on a north_eaterly courle until about 0800 when it chanced course to the northea~t.4'4 .IIII. .. P... It. •• 'IiIIItCIIiI'Ili)'iIIIHtIlll'tlliou'illiitlilool)"iII!I'ioiIO·tlt..... appears to have been very poor..S.. IJN at Naval War College...%.. No.:.nerally to\f&rda BUKA until shortly b. previoualy indicated. 10 -15' Se.~. one Warsplte clalS battleship received two torpedo hita and sutfered exten8i~e damage.. and the aecond s.* ... It fueled at aea en route.nt contact reports.. . Of the 12 Chart "Battle of the Coral Sea" prepared by Lieut.. in cooperation with Q-...• . 1520 -&8' I.4:* 4W·i~'· -""....~ . In addition. ON suppORT GROUP 1 Throughout liar 7th the 25th Air Flotilla continued the reconnaiasance aissiona which had been assigned.*2. [.. and proceed to a rendesvoua 2250 (I)..• • _t. . was diverted from that attack to assist in attacking the Allied task torce. 190 ailes trom DEBOYME.. [iP .-. Long. ~ '... Group No. Henry Salomon.** The identitication. ••••••• ft' .. and aade some of the rre~u.1% .. The cOllpC»s1te daaage reported inflicted consiated of one Calitomia class bat·tleahlp. 1540 -£8' E.I'...iI... 1540 -15' At 2400 May 7th rirlt aeetion CruDiv 6 waa at Lat. 1«U&2.)W:Ci4M • .. \1 I .2 SCAP. the t1p8 96 bombers reported attacking the above battleships. SHORTLANn. TOIIO... woe No. A Canberra claas cruiaer waa reported as having been attacked with torpedoel with d••ge unknown. and tbe . diltant 100 ailel frca SHORT LAND liland... Jr. the air attack group which waa caaPOled of type 96 land attack bombers and which was to attack PORT "ORESSY.. * _ _ j 1 ..•••Iii.'!"l. Cruiser identification was on11 fair.

of 25th Air rlotilla reported en Allied tallt croup ot 1 Of.uttered bQ1let 4__.e aad five ... whiob too& par\ in thll atta. Ialand....k... . a foroed landin. 2 CL..._ -------------_. ani ••4..._.~ ..~ .-.11•• froa ROSSE[.. T.... 1 CA.. becausl the attack plane. fichter.~ J .. ... At 1100. none hre reported loat bUt three reported bullet d_. . tbe atteok group consist. but...~ "'1'8 1 ) . i • .. 170 ._. torpe4o attaat p1aa.....-'" .....• '~~. .. 4 DD b poaltlon 2410 T..1 -80- ..Jpe 88 bcIIberl.. During this time thl1 Air Flotllla was al. were being u••d In the CORAL SEA. Ho• . ot the t._---------_..e.. ..er. were unable to traok It.._-_ ...... with heaV7 a.o eftgaled in attackina PORT IIORESBY.. ... "~--'. four loat.. owlna to poor vlI1bllit..d of but ..-.. 1 . plane.

launched for attack Planes launched tor CAP (b) §tdkins 19r~8 SS VB SS V8 14 VB 11 VS .Ib•••. total plan•• available (121) Plane. MINNEAPOLIS (OA).ach torc.... hal beea aad. to have been about the .. m ORLEANS (CA). 1 IB. ._. SHIRAURO (DD). AlEBONO (DD).4 (a) ta" [orO. 8 DD. Total 2 CV. lIIUGAS! (0..". S to aanr DO. The analysis is. .. 1- - I .. ~1ng 2 cr.Y (DD).hat d1fforent than thla. a.d for attack Plan...l 2 cr.. ~and8r Striking FOrce-...0 VF S9 VB . lore. therefore.... tot... where. (ooJ.earch Planes launch. LEXINGTON (r) (CV)..au.S VT CVT 10 VB appromate 29VB 20" 20 VF Actual17.. CH!St1R (CA). S2 1S VF VF .. 7 DD.hOWD later.._ . 17 YORKtOWN <rF) (CV). PHELPS (DD)..eae. DDJ...h coamander in eolving hie battle problem."'".AIIN (DO) RUSSELL (DD)r AILYfIN (DD). .VD 21 VT 28 VB 21 VT 17 VF 17 VS ZUIIAKU (!') (CV). CTF 17's intOl'l'.. ruRU'l'AXA (CAh SSIGOR! (DD).. which m~y have been con... HAaURO (CA). Total planee avallab1e (122) Plane. al with the actual torces. MORRIS AlDERSON (DD1. being 2 Cit • CA. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.). the toll owing survey ot strength and weaknesu tactors of . mOURE (DD). 1a evaluating atrength and weakness f~ctorsf appear. • CA.. . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ ' _ . launoh.-. SHOlAlU (CV).id~red by e~.ation on the Strlk1Dg Foroe weI aore nearly correct. launched tor ..... 2 CA..d for CAP . la~ched for . 1n!oraatlOD on the cOilposit1on of rr 17 was . the net relUlt. --" 1 1 i .. Whict milht have leriously affected the final outcaae or thil act1en.. 1IY0lO (CA)..'-. as will be .. . WAD: (Dn). to indicate the material tor telting the feasibility and acceptability ot these coursel ot action. IpU. AB'l'ORIA (CA).. and 5 DD..~de on the actual foroes..~ ~j I .earch P1Mne.. S CA.. Rowever.. PORTLAID (OA)'. USHIO (DD).ifaa.

.'.. 20 417/45) • Greater Il\llber AA aachine IUD' (1£4 11 1 plu."Tac~or. 92 . ba4 lonl OQlbat exparlmce.-_ . 67 61l/SO plu. (45 5w /S8 plu. Radar and heainl d.. ~ Lack ot auoclsa on ?reyIoua dayLack of aalf-a. DD (7 to 6) Oreater auaber AA sun.. S2) SUperior.aob1De IW\I. the advantage lay with TF 17} that inlOtar as vlsibil1t1 for attack and defens.. Preponderance ot dive bombera (68 ..". Plghtln& ~~en~ The above anal111a indicatee that. -j 1 In clear ~eather area. lctorle' at TULAOI and aplolt SROHO bad noell_t etrect on . Preponderance ot torpedo p~. Pleet and Blue Fleet. . technological t.. erlng ot ainale 2 carrier task toree. combat traIning of pilots... .80 oalib. In bad . and caabat IUcce88 are concerned.. 62 6w /2S . alfIpgth [actar' Oreataf nuaber.. Slow torpedo plane•• .r) •• • ecent . ot divi bombera. \lDkn01lD calib.ather area.. CA (6 to 4) Oreater number. ~ang.. a S9) Owing . f §trepcth . . insotkr as anti-aircraft sun defenses.. aerial torpedoea Qonc~~'1~_~ ~ ~ RelatlY~ W...akne. 194~----------- " tate 1M ....aling tanka and armor protection for plmle crews.---------_. Pilot.lo.9tor..anea (4~ va 21) qd tilhtera (40 v..1nlna in aaneu... 16 I-poWlder plua 82 ... number.orale. Bilher veloclt1 AA ~a. to recent c~b lnine ot T!' 11 and 1'F 17 t IlO tactical tra. . Naval War College..provementa with the exception of aerlMI torpedoes.

~troyer. .ed hl. cOlllmand by S 0::-u1lerl and .. This battle re.IIIliw:>..ntagea and diladvantaaell above l1atad while important. . . Aircrart from theee carriers had been ... hAd redur. .atroyer furthllr Jduced TF 17 to £1•• cruis. durlDC the nicht which lndicat~ that the Port Moresb. 19'2. of' Scouting Squadron Two and 4 VB's of' Bombing Squadron Two.. dated • . ot the Str1k1n1 Force.•••..5. Fi.ched itl ols.t_. 27. At 0805. and to ••nd radio di. in a . deetro78r •• The location of th. In coapl1ance with thls dirE!ctl•• . on courae 1260 (T)... with the ex. _£" Thul..rj' to the renewal of the adYance or the Port More.r of 18 hour. but the carr1er..-__ u _ . Tb. to conduot a ~eoo cla_ ..0-S2' E. . .r.____ nuaber8 or tighten and torpedo ptnno:3 are concernt4d... All other adv . *Action Report l I i J iii err 17.y In.e directed t~ conduct thll ••arob to a radius ot 200 . OTl' 17.. f t .tlriDI to the northward. to . aa supporting shipe for th. . Page T • 8. .atter of' . thu advant&lI" 1111 dth the Striking Foroe. th_lI"l'Yl8 had not been 51ghted.ade a radar contact on an unid~ntiried plane bearing ~28° (1). the LEXINGTON .. . ..'i: . beinl a . in the . LEXINGTON. . and ••1 ba oonsidered to balKnee one another.. LEXINGTON and tORKTO-'.nce indicated... between the air att. bo.IIIiIiI..e of about £4OP (1)..ay toro•• nearby and with the probability of action taminent.ed intelUIenol report.e@n about hiB own force the p!"evioua nisht.htera •• re . and bJ 0800 ot the 8th • • in Lat.er. lS.patch. i-01rcle and 150 all. Talk Foroe 17 oontinued to the south and weetward durinl the nicht of' the 7th-8th. with . or the Striking Force. '" extr. departure of th1a d..a1ned the prinoipal concern of' CTF 17.". of'TF 17 and tho.earch. . l-cirole.. err 17 dec' jed upon the recoavnenda tion ot C'I'G 11.. at hlgh speed ~d low Altitude.orA ot the n:oSBO and SIMS... H I j _Mt j . ..att.._alon rorce we.u on 1&1 8th. and Lone.ectored out to intercept 1t.troll.earch the next . aadio tnt. launched l( VS'. that th•• e carriere micht be either easi or w.. He •• 6uaed that they had rQIIIUned in the CORAL SEA to •• ttle the probl_ ur all uuutriil prd1A1n. C~ander Air. I . The LEXIMGTOII .hanp or blo. IONAGHAR bad been detached at 0065 on the 8th.1". ... Serial 0782.e fil8a1' carrier. th. --=te'OMere ______ .* Because the whereabouts ot tl:. . --. r.at ot Taak roree 17.ileo in the northern .. doubttul. but he had heard noth1Dg ~pe01r1e About the two oarrier.~J'I1iftl tor 8'1"1. . .ePiC and other. are not decilive. distance 18 milee on a COl~.. at 0825. and ••••n d. . He had recel. . to CI. en. SHOItAKU and the ZOIltAlW r.by lnva. ..e. Th.ack croup. . The actual tl&hting tt.outhern .-.ion roree.inute~ in each ca.lll. .e11 brilt. . 140 S. .

\ ..q . ATTACK RES U L T T HAT AT HIE LOS TAN 0 JAPANESE T H f: FORCE "ND Y 0 R K TOW N WAS RAJN IN .. ~ ~'--. an.r ON TINE COVER.. . ~ -. ri" • .. ~ • ~r • "'c-.AN DAMAGED.. ... AREA OF THE SAME CLOUD .J6 MlA·'I-1f1 PLATE III j "" ~'F t d't .LA aa... I 4 A'~'~ ::.~~.P...AIl ~.... ... ..a·w c· #b... 54 " h ¥A!XY..$"... s.' w...§ ) .~. . e .!Till. _.1 ~ j --..s 4& L-4.' ~ rt rift·... MDIH... . .- . JAPANE!oE THE THE DUE DAY. .... a.. CARRIERS WERE ABL E THE LOCATE LEX I N c. t.j j -I 1 ~4T-'ir+ l . -. £.. .." =. 1 1 . __ .. ---..'mr· » m' a._c ~~".. !¥i? -Pi. Ai..~:---~-- -- . _/ ....tATHER WIDESPREAD SCATTERED SHOWERS SQUALL.~~~ J .P J... AND UNrAVORABLE A ~JRHISHED EXCELLENT OUR CONCEALMENT j ~:It PRESENTED SERIOUS HANDICAP TO AIRCRAFT. TO THE TASK FORI~E 17 OPERATED AND UNLIMITED TO CEILING AND W~ S THE EXCELLENT THE VISIIIILITY..Sljit._. . ~. "- . '. I 1 JAP .' IOI." ~ IN AN AREA OF CLEAR THE WITH TASK FOJlCE IT THROUGHO\JT WEATH'R. .

E.2 '.ather area.d at.lline.arlly arl.h.Office P&p-e 1.:.1 I ma IF . lSeO-12' E. . ()f Chier--. wa..hlG contact in LlI.111ft rr<:a th • • outhea. 101' the oeiling and yl... v1clnlty of tb. to the nort. Japaneao oarrier. . ~. courS6 1~0. altocuaulua... h.ld throulhout the d&1 in tbt· vlclDitr or TF 17. giving the en.. f. to 15 aUee. c. .· -84- ~**7~r.. 5peed l:c'. 14°-00' S.ore~·n at.l". For by doins h. h.t.IIIY DO' 8 bearin!! 008. .d on other factors and the fact th~t he I:tl. choice of position for the battle on M~ 8th appears to have be. in the adjoining sec~or. "Cont~ct r CV.eather consid.n thoroulhly reooftl'\oUered._ _ _ _.ong.. . I.arect frOG the . iifheeaiile" .ile. i I ! ~•..hich placed t. He onduv()rcd to contuct ~-s-~ br rhdio but..ration. no.n.a. in '11011' of his own diaUince from TF 17. stUl further •• but were Wl8U"o •• aful. t. cloud.t with a veroci~ ot 15 to 18 knote.- ..h.___ n ___ .r ~coutinr Sc"uadron Tro. with little chanse.Ciio.. The LEXINGTON scout.outh.!lu rrOr.d. . oour •• .. betore... r. the Japane •• Strlldnc Force . InterlIittent locd rain '4ua11.rt1. r.eion. 175 . 12°_00' S.t haY. lIay 8.-. LEX!Nt...'1" .e report.ea •• to whether the adYantace. The .. tt OA~e. no ion. . an advantage of f1r~t importnnee. (JSS LEXIlfGTON... ~ DD. _ _ _ __ _lIIa Thil OQlltaot dl . ~-S-l. distance 120 frOID Point ZED.r helpful.p. .ct1on-~couUr.. tbe enMlY bore O£SO (T). ot weather were fully aprr~c1at. torce the pr..".0 At OFns... ThGs •••we condition... S."". T. and cirru. He interc~pted this cllntllct report.. Tbe ~u. unl181tedJ the cloud • • er..8tion nec •• .. .one And had proceeded into a olear .• .~lOrerl. covered the area..p..0 . at 0822...~ ~'iulldron T"o.. po. o( the Ca.n bu.t f-bout 08~0.. flU. .ather wmiob had aided tbi. be. ~ J ft.1bili~ ar.uRflport of l. ( CA.lr. AI plot. but... ... .t1cnl. Ho ..d r~ f. £1 . at TULAGI ~~d 1D action again.. studied do not indicate that the decieion. who us COIIInMd£. and there were no rain squall. Cq rta1nly the Japane. had lett the protective cover or the frontal .htc~n minutes later. with nn f'nfltny force end reported at 06~O.~~~~Mh g~~n~'~---~~ . I.nander Striklng Foro..as whioh had been helpful to ht. and .ted and Bignaled by COIIUI1ander J.. .lous dfl1. if at all.urntld..lded the Allied carrier talk foro. ..ong. os d.. CWlul'lll!J. had bean s8rloualy. CA. l..y the contact . ~. for.acticlan••111 probably wonder what the governing conaiderMtlon8 which cMu •• d CTF 17 t~ ab~ndon the poor vl. hE amplified t. the time.n .. affected by . The are". On the othar hand. COJitt4(':t... tlOW or"rating in the .:'!'ON s~out ::-:.1bil1t1 •• r. . the d." Eir. trontal cone.t. of bad ••ather ••• only SO . . 0818. the vl.d weather cover "PI'eflrs to have been fortuitous. I l . 4. In t.. .l TF 17.. t..t the SHOMO. the L!X~RGTON intero'pted a Japan••• radio tran8l1.pril le44. 194~. . The wind wall blo..~b_)_.com-Si:A:-Aeroioa-~. .his conttlct as "~ CV. 11 lIu.ubtful or the report6Q dietIlllC~' or the conbet from Point ZED.. that had Ihi. 1 Sea-oo . Tr 11 in prooeed1nc .... «iving t. .o v81'1f. ." The coordlnlltes for Point ZED were Lat.ltloD.1bll1ty vari.h.-~ m.rN.ed ot the talk forc •• Durlnti the nleht ot 1-8 -&1. . Hl.. iapalred flying condit1on.. P. .

rilio.~ \' ~ .ber.y dieposttton oonshted of 2 CY whioh . di.oortin~ ti~hter •• proo ...1 oarrier. he wa....rri..k Porol. not 1•• vInl': muoh.a"t.. beln~ toroId to return to 'M LlXINMOJ wlthout attaok1np. 1 't .nd the la. pap 8. or .~ .ltlon. . l ...ft the LKXINGTON at 0925.ne.biD. ._M7~=_"_~.t vital t~..d thl' ditt10u11l)' experienoed by the LEX lNGTON Air oro\.. -85~~. oour . lalthl "nn+.. nd to . IXoeriln~e at • mo..or.d.doM ot aotion tor hi.!:'~aT't'ld to be 8 to 10 milel ap.y.. The YO~K'1'(1fN Ur Group .al ot CTr 17.' bJ Ca. until the .ter. when he • • faroe' to return due to tuel .otn~ the welp.rt~~rm~. the one". .5 at 0907 1n order to reduol a1~al1tlg betnen c.rrie . o. ooa. lpeld 20 knot •• The di...' nD. n .tion ot 00 . and 8 VF ot . 3 CA and 4 CL or DD..d with ODt 1000 pound pneral purpole bn~h . 11mi~ or hi •• eArah an.Mander ~ooutln~ ~qu.. l.. bad oo.v~_ S... Bomhln~ Squadron Five si~hted the enemy first at .:. pl.rip..ho:ootage. The ~o tl~hterl lOlt oontaot with their VS while en did not . had re~uoed tb. I l I l • • _1.n.. T~I tir. I' 1 '0 1 • .nl. or hi •• r •• un••• rohed.1/1 I' J~ . eloorted by a total of 1 BB or .1 j no . and boeber. 'rhh oon\ao' alaoed 'he . SquadroD r1v..d oOllpl.~ •• ___ _ ..rrilrs and air Croup••• The air attaok croup.et.nemv (')900 predioted po.. en•• y toro. . ~l.00". alro.t the tar~t ..ry l.~ly 2ft "..lderabl. oli. 21.'O'1'ON ."nrn~t". epeed 2~.noe ot hi.~n______~..dron TWo i..rl..t ot the Ofnp. an" '''''"+' 4~ !WUes north of' t~e . eloortod by 2 tl &htor..Ue.... +~ ~ ~hi .ay ha . 11..l"1II8~ wi th lIIIohine 1:\lIl.e 190°(1).t low altitude...rrive . all on oour. in.. it any.000 .. until lot&.n~P~7~"~~_. Para.M YOPKT<W1f to l.. Thl. Pol. ' 'he 'i ret to talce departure.. ~ r..lp in tindin. r tao~ioal oommand at thl t •• k foroe to eTG 17.bout 1032.l..ition of the enemy. ~~ ~. The torpedo plan.urioh their .ht of hi. -.~ . h ... plann h.quadron of dive bo".t pl. 2 Dn bearin~ 000 0 (T).-red oon..ded to the objeotive ...tteoks. torperlo.kin~ otf..iKbted ~. All loout.h"-ns squadron •· • • -TWo.wd 'hlir .. The ti~hter • • ore .t 'se. Soout 2·!-l mainb.r •• \ TF 17 turned o. IT VB of Bombing squadron Fi.ne. db_aoe leO ". e10 At 08S8 upon rloeipt of information ot the po.onoed t.ir sroupl to attaok tl~ enlmy o. aad he .. the Jap.o ot "...e Ta.nd laoh torpedo .penoy I ! will he e•• n l.. H..t. tir. •• • •ls ? ••• r~?.l....tt YORKT~ At 0900 . A.poaition -'cTt 11 AotIon 'RepOrt-Battle of th8 Coni Sea-serial "1B2 a.: the . proolldld towerd tho oontaot. with tour e.tld 27 May 1942..."'. oo_plete fre..lned oontaot with the Jap. tr. at 0950 and repor~d 2 CV.ne oarried on. 180°(. a' the diepo.rge CA. roturn 1eC•• 0 that by lla. ..'. It oonl htod ot 7 VS ot Soout!n..rt. aDd g VT or Torpedo Squadron Fi VI • The looutlns plane •• nd bOD'~ pl .\ v· . an e~oell'Dt example of thl u."'ion.& Commander Air di reo_d both LEXI1.t plane l. ~. oontribut.llow hi. . whioh re'~l"d 1n ODe whole .edtal power in war. . .t~ ~ .11el to ~he "n~~hea.

.-

-

.--.

_._---------_....._,.

,~

i

j

j

J

1

J
,
'I

J

j
.~

~

f

f

f

.t~

~

SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM OF YORKTOWN ATTAC.K e MAY: LOCATION OF CRUISERS AND DESTROYERS GENERALLY AS REPORTED BY THE YORKTOWN.

'LATI zr

I
."iII-_·........_____._..... . ~...-......" _. ~~'_d.~.~ · · ....
.

InI:17• •7_7.r.·....,!IIIl'iIIIS.. n.::.rz.:t.m_ ; ••

~_.~~

•.•.

r
...

-,
____ ¥" . . . . . . . . '1'ne weflthQr w•• unatlttltld, "it.h SOIDE! rtlin ,quell, and a )roken la,yer of cloud. at ~OOO to ~OOO fe .. t.

_l......

At 1000 el'F 11 notifl~d CoaSo~.8Pao that th~ en-.y Str1kln~ Force had beon locate<;! and gavel He dhpodtiCln lind it6 position Itt O\~OO, as well alii the pOlition of TF 17. CTr 17 stated lll.ter that he had hoped that ComSo'e.pao would be ~b1e to boeb and track the Striking Foroe.* No attack materiall.ed.

ay 1049 the IIIcouts und bomber, were in poultion to att~ck, but oircled to wait tor the slower torpedo plan... One carrier, later nhown to be the ZUIKAKU, dloappeared into a raln 8qua~l; the other oarrier, no. kno"fl\ to hllve been the SIIOKAJru, turned into the wind IUld caD.::18nced launoh1na planes. At. 1057 C~and"r Torpedo &tuadron Five informed COGI.ander Scouting S\iuadron rive that he W8.1S Atarting his att,80k. A coor·d1natec1 attock W8S begun on the SHOK:AKU. T..Jrpedot:lG were bunched from an altitude at about 50 feet and at a dbtlUloe of between 1000 and ~OOO yard, trom the .n~y cllrriar.

A total of three torpedo hitlll, six direct bomb hit., and .any near silae • •ere o1aiaed by the YORKTOWN Air Group. Pictures of the action ahow thr carrier to be abla •• in the bow and a1.0 .how a fire aft. Torpedo plana pilots from the YORKTOWN Air Group reported that the flrlllt thr.e to.rpedoea hit between the i'ort bow IUld the amiddhlp section, and that the whole port .ide of the carrier trom the bow art for 50 or 100 reet was afire. Anl)ther SlDallflre was obaerved on tho starb081'd quarter by the pilote. When the carrier WA5 last lIIeen, about 15 minutes ~ft.or the attack, t.he pilots reported tht!t the fireD WEre still burning fiercely.
The dive bombers were attacked by eo..y righters dur1n~ their dive and pull-uwt. In the .nRuing ll('UOn, 8~out1ng Sl.j,undron Flv~ vnd BOI1Ihlng Squadron Five each reported shootinr down four f1~hters. The four fi~:hhrs ellcortlng the YORJCTO~N torpedo plar.nes, drove off An att.ack by six Zero€s during the appr06ch, "hlch kllo~ed the V1" 6 t.o cOlllpleto their tlpprouctt find drops WIIII018"hd. It ill estimated thr..t the JapM€st' hud a comt- .,t air patrol or about twenty fighhrs in the air over the"r carriers. Three enuy fighterl Md one enemy scout p1&ne ",ere f'ho:. down by tttitl eucort during the attack. The use of convonient cloud covar by the YORKTO~N planes whil. rendelVoudng QIld retiring, Yt'BS a major factor 1n keeping their 10as81 to a ainimum. Two sar's wcr~ shot down In the vioinity of the en..,., one did not return, amd one ,;au lWlded 1n the water nellr the YORKTO~N due to d.. aged landing gear.

*e1T 17 Aotion Report - Battle of the Corhl Sea-Serid 018{dat~d ~)7'lIay 194~, p.S, Pllra. £1.

-86-_
7

mrs

S' am .Itt

.•

'$'

,
"

--.. ..,

The LEXINGTON attack group took it. departurll at. about 0925 or t.n minutes .tt.r the TOR~TOWH Croup. At that tie., it consisted the Lf.XING'MN Air Qro~p Ccn;nander with • V~ and 18 VB'. of ~hln" S",uadron Two, 12 VT'. or Torpedo S4ua1ron Two, and 9 VF'. of Fighting S",uadran Two. Two tighhn were assigned .s e.corts fbr the Air Group CDIIlmander, :I for BOl,binl S4uadron Two and 4 tor Torpedo S4ufldron T1tO.

or

The uriginal plan for tbe tllg~t to the t-rget call.d tor the dlv~ bomber. to galn ultit-ude gradudly on the way in clJ.lllhing to 18,000 teet, the torpedo planes to at81 Mt modor&te altitude, 8000 t.tit, and the Air Group COIIIIlWlder to maintain Yilllal Uahon with the other two eluents or hl0 group. Ae they appl'ohohed tho tariet areu, on overcast extenoini fl"Olll 1,000 feet to 15,000 feot was ancounhrl"! /lnd Borubini S,",u.uiron 1wo loat vieruRl contllct with t.he rut of the attuck group. It descended to 8 lO~'or al ti tude but was .Ull unable to find it. Group 'Commander tUld the torpedo planes. The fighter eocort for the dive b~Qber~ bec~e separated fro~ the dive boaber' during this a/lIDo period nnd, due to the lAck of .de'luate nllvigatlonnl lnformutlon und Ii shortage of fuel, Uti obliged to return to t.he

I
i
j

LEXINGtON.
Rildio trhllSlllisaions indic~ted th~t Torpedo SQuadron Two, having reached the g~ogrllphiclll position of the reported conhct, had made no contact and that the Air Group Commwuler had directed the s~uadron to fly a "box" in an effort to locate the objective. Bombing S4uadron Two waa maneuvered in a similar manner but, ~nlike the torpedo planes, was not successful in locating ita target. The volume ot radio tr.ffic indicated that it was in ~~e vicinity of the target. However, after the torpedo pllUles had made their attack Ilnd Bombing Sliundron Two h .. d atill flliled to locate the tarl':t't, COIIIIIIunder of Bo~bi~g Squadron Two decided that, in view of th~ ruel remaining, his planes would have to depart without .ttackln~, if they were to lucceaarully return to the LEXINGTON. Ue, there fore, set their cour se for t:Ut return fl1p;ht (lnd th:; ;tiuadron lundtld iibvtu·J t.ilt! LEXINGTON at l~;..·O, hftving J etUsoned it:! bombs 6n route to save fuel. Due to Iill over8ight in fueling, th1e _\tundron had t~ken off from the LEXINGTON with only 2~0 gallons of ga60line instead of the o.paoUy load of ::50 gullons. The S'tuadron Commander bad noted thh diBcrepanoy, prior t.o the flight, and bad protested to the Air Officer. H. informed, however, tbat due to the urgency of the situation, there was not ~floient time to ruel the plan._ to capacity 88 they wanted to let both groups off t"gether.

1

I

'''lll

AS baa b.en preYlou.ly pointed out, the r~binder of the LEXINGTON .ttQck group, after r.acbln~ the end of ita nuvlglt.t1onlll leg without sighting the enEllly, begen tljing a "box". The group at this time consisted of 11 torprdo plan~B,

-~I'IFI'_.r.r:r.tt,..glil~?'s.r.P
~

___
I

. _ . . . _ _ _. . . .

IU'. .... _ _ _......_ _ ·._·

............... W_M_ _

~

CIrcNp

.~t bGaber., which oaaprlaed a •• ctloa led bJ the LlXIIGTOI All' Cnruder, plue an all' ..cort or 8 tlpter.. OIle torpedo plane bad Mea torced to tum back due to Iftline trouble. After flying about 8 IdINt.. CIa the tirat. leg ot the box, which _IS fIOo to tbe left ot the IIMl'cb track, ec.-lUlder Air Gl'O\lp '1'w. eichted tile -taT, cOlls1etinl ot 1 CY qd two cruieere, broad on the port bow in the Yic1nlty of rain .qualls, -.d Juet pae.ina under a larle cloud on a cour.e of about 2200 ('1'). !be approach . . _de C1V.r tb1a cloud at. about 8)()() teet.

plua "

1
i

1

".7

!he torpedo attack _e 1auoched through a bole in thie cloud in a .-pirallin« «11de. Wben the torpedo plallee .erged traa the cloud., the carrier ... directly ahead about 2 Ililes. riTe torpedo' bit. were oUiaed a. the result of thie attack.

!be Air Group ec-nender, with hi• •action of 4 VS, acc_p6lliEld the wrpedo plan. during tbeir approach and timed hiB attack to o~t.&in • ~rdinated effort. Hie lection claiaed two bomb hit. on the sea. carrier that wae attacked by the torpedo planes~
AI the attack croul1 approached the carrier, it was intercepted by Jal*1e.e tilhterl wbtI _deaTored to break up the attack. ~ two of the ~terl e.corting tbe LEXIMGTCII All' Group l!IUl"\"iTad tM. _gag_ant. '!'beae n"ter. becau.e of the IlUpenor Du.ber of the oppos1.u.g J_panese combat air patrol ..re eventually obliged to eeek cloud COTeI'. they were, however, ole to engage the attention of the Japaneee fighters for sufficient time to eDable the torpedo and bo.bing planes to get their attacks home with ::..lati",ely no air opposition.

'I j

~

i
~

l.
~

l

~

~~

r:

i , ,
i ...
c
~.

t

In-.r fighters, anti-aircraft fire, and ruel shortage accounted tor I VS, 1 V'l' and 1 VF in the LEXIIiGTON Attack Group. '1' 110 8n.ay fighters were abot down in the target area by the LEXINGTON escort fighters and two aore en~ fighters were dpl&8hed by the torpedo planes, when they ,ere attacked on their retum night to the LEXINGTON.
'1'he time of' attack by the LEXINGTON Air Group is not definitely establ1shed but considered evaluation ot the actioD reports of the squadrons inYOITed tends to place it at about 1140. Japanese recorda indicate that the duage to the SHO~ occurred at U40 when sbe received three bomb hitB.* Whether all three of these bOmb hite occurred at lAO or whether some ot thee occurred prior to this tille, is not clear. Information fraa J&paneee sources shows concluaively that the SHOKAIU was the only Jap~ue carder damaged in the action of 11&7 8th.* F\1rther*CoDImander=-iil-Chlef Canbined Fleet Log-Core.l Sea Action, May 8th', 1942, Int.rrogation of r~ptain Watanabe, IJN. United Statee strategic Bombing Survey W.val AnelysiB Division, Page 559.

I

\

?
~.

"

I

* The tire••een by the YORKTOWN Air Group were.uarter. in his interrogations. long range from . however... the torpedo attack..age inflicted in this CaSfj by each ot the Air Groups Involyed. • Commander Striking 'orce stated. _ "' .** I" . r..tated that because of the slow torpedo•• . Staff 5th Air Flotilla.. I-Interrogation Ray. The torr' .... It was. which had attacked approximately 40 minutes before this time. who . could b...e appear to haye had little. althougb it did lADd .. tbe ZOIItAKtJ.. IJI-operatlon' Officer. too great a range. therefore... ...eparated trom the SHOkAKU b7 about eIght milea while the latter waa launching plane. to ••et it. t... torward had b.28-e. a :Of" ·t'mm' J ..t:t mrS? 7 r . USSBS... then all the damage by the SHOkAXU .. 1n the ZUIKAltU at the tille. This suggest8 th!lt 80Ille of the d8ll. ft' I 1h611 the ZUIKAKU .hiob they fire launched. DiYiaion Interrogation ot Japaneae officials.h the near alBs. if anJ • • tfect. 5~..oto~ repair rooa.bat his flaglhlp..•.... the flight deck torward .~. realised that TF 17 would be subject to a counter air attack 1Dd preparations. zsthrr 1:n! tnt ru' n . apparet17 cau.. and t:i..'. 10.' .e..y the SHOKAKD prior to 1140.a. she was not hlt b. .lnd that the ZUI~AKU was not hersolf attacked.. ~I On......ed by a bomb hit tor ward on the fllght deck and by another att on tbe starboard C/. It is entirely possible that the LEXINGTON Air Group attack~d the ZUIKAKU which BU8tained no daaage.·__ ·?"···... A. had left a carrier with fires burning in her bow and Btarboard quarter.. ot the bomb hits 98S well forward on the port bow and set gasoline tires and destroyed the anchor wiDdla..aaged and the SHOLUtJ HS unable to launcb planes..ust have occurred at about 1100 when she was attacked by the YO&~TOWN Air Group. tnat abe was attacked by bombers and torpedo planeD but not hit.. Coaunander Striking Force stated that he saw the SHOKAKU burning as the result of bomb h1t8~ If .-. planes after the attack. aore.. Vol.oes were apparently launched tro.11 the damage to SHOKAXU was incurred at 11'0 the LEXINGTON Air Group must have obUtined ~ boob hit~.s bad17 d. **SUpplemental Peport-TRUI-Naval and laval Air Tesa 10. of course. althou. roo. theretore.. USSBS.On. not correspond with the time of 1140 as given by the Japanese.aval Analys1. state. that the YORKTOnN Air Group.t··· -89- ~r·m wrm......arged froll the squall. _. It will be r_embered.. .y TF 17 planel. S.7\-.red b. that the ZDIKAItJ in a 8<. appears that the daaage sutf...1Ye a total ot ~ direct bomb hit' and 8 near mie. P. ft result of the tlret hit. ~~----~~--~~~-------~----------------~--------~-------*Interrogation of Captain Yaaaoka... P. bad becoae . coapetent Japanese observer. b. and that Ibe llUet baYe bee hit by 2 bcaba troa the YORKTOmr Air Group and by 1 bomb troll the LEIDlGTOli Air Group... .e.. ·~r .. ...* If thi. were there tore aad.r torpedoes but dld rec.y the SHOKAIU at 1140 aust have been the result of the last bOIDb bit sustained. .. It 1e ditficult to &88ee8 the d.uall at the tille of the attack b. 10. which doe. The Japanese .en extinculab~. ' v" . .. It.e Bust have been incurred b. were the case..adi17 avoid..d. .rore the fire. Another boab hit was on the starboard quarter in the .

. the LEXINGTON cOIIIIlenced l&unchtng her raDaining five fighters.. _hen they had rendezvoused at 1102. at 10ro..... r€cltlled to the immediate vicinity of the Task Force. which formed her relief combat air patr~l. with 6ccompany:L'lg fighter5. The CAP was vectored out to this position and shot down one en~ 4-engine tlyill( bob t • Altbough various CO\lrbe~ bl'd been steered througho.. "'.. directed to a 10~ altitude to intercept torpedo pl£nes. The high IJection sighted a group of dive bombers.. ~. Four of these _re from t. a radar contact _aa made bearing SSSO (T). The LEXINGTON ~s designated as Fighter Direction Ship and 811 fighter direction for both carri. One two-plane section of this group was. it was unable to reae}. but were i at 1059. These SBD's werti aap10yed because there were not sufficient fighters to provide the security required.. only one section ot 2 VF out of a tot&! of 17 VF aVldh.. t th~ forenoon. At 1100. .' . -- •. but i J -90- t he . ~i8t&Dt 25 ai1es...."i'. rnd(ll' contact &6 made on bL very large group ot enany planes *pproachlng fraa bearing 0200 (T).... - . they were vectored at aaxiau'lI speed. but. but in spite of this early warning. all avlllilable fighters and acout planes were launched Wltll th..hters tor combat air patrol and eight SBD's for anti-torpedo plane patrol had been launched abortly r.r planes was first picked up by radar. planes and fighters about 15 miles from the Task Force... as all but two of the search planes had r&turned. distance 68 miles. This low section intercepted a group of torredo.. "'. This was dene to reduce the distance f10WD by T' 17 attack groups in their return to the carriers.bout 20 miles from the Task Force.aunching and recovering planes.nes until after the torpedoes had been dropped. However. a. and at an altitude of 10..>n of movement was to the southeast. torpedo "':I1btlet.or Officer reI t thnt they were too low on fuel to proceed to &1 interc~ption at high speed. At 1055.. ~.. .. This was becauoe the Point Option course for the planes bad been set at 1250 (T). d~e to the f!ghter protection about thp. Eight fighttirs were airborne as combnt air patrol when this group of enem. The Fighter Direct.~ ."'. the generLtl directi:. combat air patrol and anti-torpedo plane patrol consistod of 17 Vf and 2~ SBD re8pective1y.. and.fter sunrise.... sod then able to tight for any ap:1reci&blc length of time. shortly after.-' . In addition.. while l.he LEXINGTON and four were from the YORKTOWN ~ !'h05~ planes were not vectored to intercept the incOllling rl:dd. p.' the torpedo ph.ble for com hut air patrol wus vectored to a succesr-ful interception before the ene~v planes reached their att£ck positions.rs ~aS controlled from hare At 0948. a8 the attack developed." Eight tl.000 teet to intercept the incoming rllla.. the direction of mov~ent of the task force was chgllged to the r~rtheast in order to cOl~espond to a new Point Optlpn of 028 (T)..

. ..._1111 "' ' __ _.•• The r.· ••=.. in groups too small to be really effective.. "'l'\!OO~ . It would be of interest t. unable to reach a po. that it bec....t teet The YORlTOWR launched her r_aJ. tor it .. at the tille of the first contact on the enay attack group at 1055.t.C!Li··.I' il lr..oula appear 8S if it would have been riser to have maintained the CAP in a aore concentrated status in the vicWty ot th.UlN __ _ ___.7.aDDer in which the righter Direction was bandled ahowe that only 2 tighters were able to intercept the enemy attack before it h•.. .$' ' . At 1108 they veetored OD 200 (T) for a diatance ot 15 milea.t ••• 'IIIiIIIIiI.$ISt.... course was changed to 1250 (T) and . the fleet . This del~ appear8 to have occurred despite the f~ct that the Japanese air attack groups were approaching and would soon be over TF 17. UDder attack and were directed to return... When they reached poeition. .. .1ned...000 feet) to insure an etfective interception.ed to SO knotl.....ecelSllary to recall i t to the vi~inHy of the carrier...ore expeditiua.SIll..ning " tighter...."I.me tI..·I' . ___.~thout having made an intercep~ioD...i~"'I i1t.••.. . Tle relief ca.aiDder of the COilbat air patrol was held in the vicinity of TP' 17 and although the~ intercepted .bat air I ~ ~......r••ter Itrencth1 !hie would probabq haye p8l'llitted iDterception at & greater distance troe Tr 17.!lt:. .. 'fbere 1& no 1ntonaat1oc "ailable as to what control _s exercbed by the F1ghter Director Otficer over the twenty-three VSB airplanes that were iD the air actins aa anti-torpedo plane patrol tor Tr 11 at the ttae of the -91- 1 ~....~ a8 the en--r .000 altitude enrout.'. and at 111S to 25 knots...8 ot Yital !aport-lIDee in air operations. to . ...e.. the~ were not able to do eo before they coamenced their attack.r._______. I ~ J*trol mould have been IIUnt&. this . When the fighters were finally vectored out they were vectored out too late... and at too Iowan altitude (i. at 1105. If thb bad been dOD...lIiIIIt..ber altitude..1cb 1.t air patrol waR SO scattered... does it Dot appear a8 it the Fighter Director Otficer 8ight have been enabled to yector out til fiihters'. '.s stlll on course 1250 (T) but the speed had been increa....) know whet considerations governed this action of the Fighter Director Officor. carrierl and 10 . 10. ' tm_ttiEII'.tacked in altitude a..ition tor attack betore the enemy dive bombers bad reached the pushover point...peed was increased to 20 knots.. wb.r£ this th. At 1118 when the en~ attack struck......d reached the 1IImediate vicinity of TF 17...17 and in . At 1112. ree~' tor !Mediate launching.__--.. cUab1ng to 10. ih -.. ~ """'l'\"""'" ..ome en amy planes. i i •• _ • a' ' ~ _""Ke<t1~ _ _"1 _~. they were 1nto~ed Tr 17 .••M :a:"'. Mo planes were yectored out to iutercept the en~ until 1102... ... The combll. at a b1. ·llil li..lYe th_ a hasonable expectatioo ot interception with an altitude advantage.. .. ' AD analysis or tbe ."..ection ..IIS__ ' a'...

ectore.u" 8.7I. Four .ore.000 rarde trca that carrier. report..w.. they were attacked b7 Japane. 18 Dot knoWD. and " SBD'I were abot d01llD and " . but co\&ld not catch th_... tbey were not out-tought.pUtled thia. bonver. the pilot..~ the LEXINGTON. . Tbe YORKTOWN planes tried to intercept the torpedo planee . not mown. Ooe plane tl'Oll this patrol was 10llt OTer the aide a.traipt on bearing 0200 (T)..Uded in at hip ape-... l. it Ul7.aJc1Dgperiodcou.ttI . tor it. 'I'h.inutee. thq tUnled in a pert01"ll6lllce whicb is a .cape without inJuria. At 1110.17 one SBD. closed 'on'. !trW h ___ .. In att_pting to intercept.n ooaiDa in .. while the other torpedo group CODcentrated OIl the YOJUtTOWH. traa the L!lIWTOI..ere oppoeed bt taster and aorti aaneuverable aircratt. . w1'S'1tS:'· t7IM"" ..e they . _ 3. *.-. tilht . In thls .1 . with ~ 10. ethethetilleot rourtee . groupe.. were OIl atattOll.ver.... .ttackuntil 1109..e tlae. The LEXINGTON antl-torpbdQ p~trol . and that of the other two group a 1R'1 torpedo planes.ed the urgenc~ tor an increase in carrier tIlbt~r pllUles to strengthen the defense aseinst torpedo planes. TheOD a eCretlD bearing ot 020'" . The necessity tor using them ftapbaai.ore d-aaed.. • t~~". never designed tor thie wo:rk...!$.. __ III $. . Th. It had not as ret been intercepted b7 the cc.8 ot or. 1.1 I. ~~ ~ ~ . And . .aa .. at the a. ral .. . . eot down one dive bomber and OIle fighter... -92- ~ •• I r. .e to the toraaUon.ore BUcce•• tul ~ it..ore .-. who bad been wounded in the actlon. J air 1109 when the group . '!'be tmROTOH . the malTOn lrltonaed the anti-torpedo patrol that torpedo plane . traa the tORITO. . Japanese air ...'the raciar .."lter tirst piCked At 17 tl'Oll it .e patrob 1. A proportioDate share ot the total fighter •• cort apparently accoapanied .attack. tor" ot thea were reported ahot down..lT1Da their dietance aa 22 ailea. bvt an ana17818 indicate a that the attack el __ t ot the center group _8 probably the d!Te boabere. Althourh tbey were outnUilbered and ..ck. eastern torpedo group appeare to hUIIt conee!'!t!'~t~ . The exact coapoaition ot each ot thea_ three group. were uao OIl eutton olo.tead1' at. aleo Nlport~.ere ahot down before' they could drop their tor~)I)Jo.8 within 22 aUes ot T!' 17. What .tn.e tightera. .lt"·lhl. Ro-. i t broke up into thr.. b.. . was aU_pUng to laad abofllrd biB carrlttr. lilbt ot th••e plane. I. •• well as against othe~ types ot aircr~tt. attaapt to ..ere. .bat air patrol.ere d_aled. Tbe SBD'e used by T1 11 OIl the 8tb of IIa7 al anti-torpedo patrol were inadequate tor the purpo~e.top torpedo plane. reportedly. 'l'ble patrol.__ ~~.1..plendid exaaple of courage and deTotion to duty.re •••lped to eaoh ot the.elee tbe Japanese tighters did DQt entirely e. . .ach IrouP. sbot down eight ot th.y .a8 105S gro\l~A.. • • .. .tt.. up 1 .n~m..

..lII1'~i . . ~ .__••. ~ 7 ..._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .• % .... .------------~ If !J()M ~ 1 ....---' 1 ..2 .. ------E 4! J ~I" W-..r 'tsMtp' :S $ 'J 1'$ . y 110•• ' J ~ 1 1 10M 1 '....... r" . 1 ~--------------------------------------------------------..I ..•.---.I..b 'M tr tme : t .~ . --.OAR CONTACTS • MAY 1M2 TIME ZONE (. s PLOT OF YORkTOWN'S "...0 • 'rleft4I. 1111...~ IIOT.II) PLATE-V ..-· / ..

..I.-.It 1a apparent that the MJorit7 ot the Japan••• torpedoea . LmIG!(J(. croup r_a1Ded COllollltrated until withlD 8.20 D.t th.. a ctIIl...000.. dropped au the port quarter ot tbe 1OIITOn at about 1118.rational dud. .t it ••et d..... YORIToWl • •euv.r St.en at about lllS bf ablp.. two were Hen to I'\lJl do_ b.ach torpedo to be dropped lD auch .. .. 10•••• tor • .. .. In this connection it 18 ot lotereat that th. . ~''F .. .bout 8. th.. ~UDt pr10r to r ••ob1nI th. .ld.r end OIl..do plaD" dgbted were a.....-ach . IDa.vboard.. •••• 10.re ~1DI dropp.r.....lIted ot 2Q VB aDd 41 VT..t 111d. Otficiale. . tb.red to b.000 7ard.ded by 10 . ot the action _her to .. thq dropped th_ ... ud. .. _. at W. If it 1.red to a't'01d the torpedo "....SUppl__ W Report-'!'IaJI-Iavu ADd Ja't'u Ail" Pielr\ .r nre r.. two troa b.. thea. c... ...led ott .. 11 ob.r StrikiDC Forc.r ot the YO~ duriD. All analJ. oOD.t. _' l"."r. ~tV'I!!t~. th.r atarboard quart. attack OIl the YORITOIII .uart.t iMecl1at.um..ttQok croup.0miDC ~t .. The .1r torpecloe.. &ll1ed ut1. The tl:nt torp.1tlOil lDone. 7th aho•• th.-~~_... plu•• the lumched torpedo.' ADal7ele Dl't'111011 Int.ted ot a . 1Il1Ual17 . A total ot approx1aateq 8 torpedoe.t 40 Yr._'.or• • .. '.aDd. .t ranc•• vU71Al rrc. .trength or the attaok ..r.. YORl'l'OQ lD this attack.bat all' patrol. abl~ t I the Itllltul bandlln.•• _e !b. -9S- ..ataDdard torpedo drop ..n.ec. beeD correot. and at All altitude ot 165 teet. th5Jr approach tro. USSBS. b.d tor ..ttack IrouP app&l"entl1 cOIlai.d be70nd th18 ran... YORlTOMt rudder _s put r1Cht and epeed • • loera••ed to thirty mota.a1rcratt oppo._=_______.. appartDt17.lin... **ihdted stat•• stratq1c bbinl BurYe7 (P. . torpedo. the port b_ .d c.pth.. ~en the J...r that i t h1t 1t. h..r UIltN't'er1Dc put the pw . ~Q VSB and n . troa b.d..r. S .... tar.y eo...1nut._... ~.~ . IS.r IrcNp' tor attack...."ad th..a th.._• • • 18f'.i.110 mot.. appeAr. The air attaok d~.U.. .. lD the norl. to . .."oid allot th. 100 to 1100 7ard. this phA. .rro..... .t IH&ter rADIe. ~ a range ot about ~50-8S0 Tarda.... an altitude or .r ot ro tipt. .-10..tioD or Japanea...citic) I. torpedo plan..it'· IIT. 11.drop... at the YOlIITOlII..llted 8th.. nr. at a apeed ot 1«)".u1aua ot 20 VI' md 12 attack plan.!" atarboard bow.. Bach tQrpedo plan. at a raDI' ot about 15. flle plan •• approaohed 1Il1tialq trc.·J~..earcb plan.. two ot th••• attack plu•••1&ht r •• dily hu.at ••ctor or TF 11 ..q Strlk1D& Foro••tat •• that hie air attack group COD. str1k1Dc roro. lev.--".. ot TP 11 it broke up lDto _al1. • __ . Th. nOll-op. dropp1q polDt.en la.loped troD the northeaat •• otor which waa up-wInd and up-aun troa TF 11._ C~aDd. !b.~up •• reported b.pan. one . were dropped at tb.. ott at 50 to 200 teet..t ao ..tained tor oa. ta.t..b.roup. ar.ll. to bav. aDd 10 attack planu prec. .t lD a ta. .ll. tirst S torpedoe. but later.r1k1Dc Forc..r ...cure._ . OIl the .ly alter it had l~.... ~.1a ot th. they bit tbe _t.r port . !h.. lDit1atc4 all&ht17 betore tbat on th. Japan••• doctrine.. although the exaot ratio ot VB to VT plan.000 te.... avallable t4 ('~and..

tho .ed to ~ bot. a. torpedo OD h. but althoulb OD. d..17 to th.1mat..t. . .pine.t two .nine oU troa the port ..pt th. LlIIIQ'NK bet. Howv. Oil. a reallt ot nptured p1p1D1 and .r. A halt a a1Dut... rl&bt.d on h.. to tM oppoait.. aDd two oth. H _14 it.em to tb.. 1Ih7 th. ot the torpec!o protacUon qat.a.d OIl the port aide.ared nann'nl d. .. p... 2& mot. .. . a Uttle tarther aft.t&rboard bow.ith. launch. and the rudder ..rn.d OD th.rlod att.ad. tlrl't torpedo apparent17 pa. Itarboard bow pa••ed a.xc.r tha.&rd.lllnced In. tor_rd IUD .1". plane.r.lectrical equ1. ft... aDd S.~ . Two torpec1oe. oOD.l1v.. th1. thr...rou. later . port alu1ce tAnk.al'.id. .rabl. hit.t . lauohed OIl h.. The poOl" t1a1Da ot the torp.. t ..d ver" .xo. Japan••• cS1d DOt. depth.tt.r .. app..r Ndd. Two .t torward...d her troa torpedo d.ontinu.~oured. Ju... boU.d to !lak. '0 w.re reportad oootiaiDated.pt . !'b.ore torpedoe. anvU taahloa. bit 1»7 011..a1:18%7. .."e t. torp.d OIl hflr port bow..r on her . cb~. the re. ~••••ent1&l.a ot boUer ~.111 proplliion . ..peed • • berea.bitt. • • • clropplDI torpedoe. bow.-_t lDOCIIlHqUeatial.1d. to . LltXIJCTOI t~k :. A' rcx.. . 10..d about 100200 teet ah.. 50 Ju.t. tanka.!nor leat&a. Th. at . Following thi. th. .. broacbed about 100 out. laWlch.r .do. ~q. attack in th. in rudd.ar••• .. 12.it.hip on _ . tank.~en k••l.tarboard . pa. both paned clear.bout tr.. . - .or~ torpedo plaD•• wer.ere .re . attaok.. li.. ~. Th1a torpedo tollond.tat• •tr. br the Japan••• and the tact that thM YORl'l'OW able to pr. ooC\U'red to the aa1Il holding bulkh. at lliO."lc. and th. a nRl t or tb6 attn torpedo hit th.t tbe LlXIJQT<II • • t1nal17 . . . Certain tuel oU and :t'1l . . -- .do launch1D&.hort17 att. y..r bow 1~ not clear' ft.r1nc tbi.r the tirst torp..r.... OIl ber port bun.d torp..tarboard bOff.b• • • hit bJ a •• cODd torpedb on b.r could. . A. DUII. the LEXIIOT(JI Ndd.tart1nl to . rudd.... .r th. S down hu . &rOUDd riv.en the tor_rd IUD .. fb~ tir. betor. or th..eed ah. IIIld pa•• ed und.ry Ihortl" b7 at lea.ult ot tbi. ..ad ot h...t torpedo tired at the L!XlNOT(If was launcb.r po.1eT"tor and bb. CIIl-coa1q tcrp.. the tiret torpedo hit the water.do wa.. bee plaoed ill operaUOD Alain it n. eb1p c. qd quarter..r..eded.11pt ".. abe .1d•• and 1 cro••eel ah.1 counteracted b7 tran.r . now . .1d.r neD the Japan.ach ca•• ....w1q to th. SboCk~.r .. aDd ot th. ..allUJ...d to tull riGht.r ..ed tank . Juat abatt the port be. tor .d to full l. the bridle.r thl. a.aob1D817.tuboard . 1 Th. lauDob.do attack on the LIllJOTOI tollow..tarboard.ent h.as put tull rlpt and h.. no d_qa to t.doce at h. In OD. tora ot aD aDvl1 on .or.r port. !n .ad..id.. . Th••• boiler were tIUb ••quentlJ puaped Jr7 and could haY.y. Sb~ had hardl¥ Oc.~ at the toRlTOll. H.r . tlood1D. hour &ad tweaty . -C&in IlUtt. about oppo. ~ . l1=t to port or 8-7 d.lulc.t..ct..d. . w.~ . the tlft: dropp.r 2 CUD .r.

been .~ j 4 .a. .. and at laalt fi D.. a••••• Altitud. .an. etowage tanks an" the Ie rooa.. The third bomb explodon H ' a near ab. wq or th. tOl'p..rtdned. the LEXINC'!UI wetainad two bomb hit. !heel plan•• are not. An In.r_ . port . _r...port Loa.7. to dw.. ~entua1 . bJ • 1000 poWld bOlllb.et 1.tantaneou. The baDb bad an in. port .r bomb--probably or not aore than 100 to 200 pound •• * Th.Ship" Dapartaeat. hit could not be •• c.ir .t fl1.ct ...'. clo•• aboard OIl the port .~'. th. • bout 9 teet above the SO caliber a.olin•• to. put out ot comI16asion due to the 10" ot b1'draulio pre. in dl.d tbat lt . bot. ..ide or the .1 1 J .lop •• th. ~.tel7 .e clo ••d and the watch wall wi thdr..ad. but ~':l. Hr.q 8.entilating blower .cted ~ thfi . tank. aotor ...'~. . tr•• . ru..t ab1p. 11M2. rule and probab~ pen. ....w _ _ . probab17 becaua. LmNOTON Jult a.$__~n~.ck.r.id."riou.>letinl th. diV. C. !h. t~ thl. ot th. readi17 . plat1ai Just under the tlilht deck. .ld.~'I~. l: .id•• t about 87 and ebrea. fbill baab d......'~ •• 1 I ...orvic. *Prei1minA17 R.. Tb •.ion by the 'xplollion..1d8 bet..do reYeued on17 . . that nr. .~.~..ali. __ . 1942.. b. Coral Sea...et. boat pock..ener... ....ed in bearlng. . tr••• to ad es.reau or . 't: Th.nt had b••n put out ot coemia.tween the .t tbe Ii..tor rooa. to have b••n to that .hicb hit in tbe 5-inch read7 "rYic.. Tb.lul. •• raault or th1.all. j ft.~ '..1.t.\ I ' 1 " ."'7 0IIIa.!b..·.1 .errinl thl._. wer. l1ght .cbine IUD pl'tro~. June lfi.t .-~__.t.. well 1nte the &. and appear. cOllparta.11111. war Report 10.ht deck . IC aotor .artdov.\ i . ~ i" ._.tructur.. ot .. on th. locker. flr.?~---.bt d..·~7. were C08._. Th.ult. althouch thq appeared to be runn1n.r analysis indioat.e r. tr. troa "'00 to 700. in the (i. general11 at aboUt 2500 t. lecond bomb hlt was on tbe port . a auch :. Bo.bible until th.r••pp..et.i..n~_____ ~_ ------- ...ar ai •••II. but lat. r . baab . which luted until about 1182. NlUlt or the torpedo bit torard on the port ..a. not t.aure. ..tor. ritted wlth an ln8t&ntane~u.. due to the taet that th~ aachanioal exbau. locker on tb.()(lt) t.ir dl..d to ba.. d1••• were "id'17 c11aper...ok.'T" .trated th.. '" .paction ot the acc •••ibl. ill th. the torpedo plan.·inch ready .. between S5 and fi8. report.ratora in thle coapartaant wert lott nmn1nl. 'fhe hit was in! tiall.. ~binl att.. whiob ..1nor ~e.nt.ppareat.r..-.~ latch..•• ""1'7111.1 Ita. 1n1tbl approach out ot the IUD. .t. where it detonated.. tin.tnaQtural d. both aa1D tl1.1r attack.ed1..• • l .xplol10n ot thi.t ~b bit ".. puah~ O'Ier fran an altitude ot about 17..'_. J 1 \ I "l 1 1 . . althoqh all or the . '1". and baedbtelJ dropped on th. di•• ab. le-.olin.ra tlrllt piaited up OIl the port bow. . at LEXIIQTOH. . areal atr...tonated on contact wlth tho .at.s.r tb. .

..truck the n1cbt deck near tr.b..d until a~out 1UO. Ilherall¥ in the direct! ~ or the diYe or to.__ 'lIIlItlil'_ _ _. aDd hoab Dear . . t. ...10D. pierced the alde in tour or tlve plaae. tt.re 1tu1~11 brouibt under cClIltMl and later ext1nIU~.tained 1)0 d_. or th••• _b bit...hat .r trc:... &Dd the.oDate cta. .. near the . ()r that pr""Dted b.n holed b7 rr". an.. bad be.'.rations. LlXllOT(II BU..ad. YloWtr or the boIIb e:zp1o.. 8-a 1Dcb lUll ad detonated in tbe _ter elo. pora1tt1ng Ploke to be dr~.'17 1D t.'1"'11e.rd or 12 elevatof.tarted in in WI .uGh ua appreciable d18-.e lOe.~ ooabat ettlo1en07.. ADotmr boab Ilanoed otf the adae ot the Corard starboard catalk.1led or wounded 1D Yariou...adt .. pocket. All diYe. ware . ut..llllDolDi out of the . A .er...tore rooa. part. ._---------_.. 1127.tar _b.ard the d1rectioo trail whlch it . The course or the TOmOWl . but ..truct~e and penetrated th. ~b..em the •• CODd and fourth deck..e"10e Ccapartalllt ..111b~\J &Dd .'Mn. althou. to cau•• DO cS. oocurred CD port Qurter AIld .eter and about 5 teet abo. war.' Ccapartalht.·tllilll'.. about ES teet tor. Tbe lar.. in di..(._ ••• • J .. coapartalDt • on the third deck in the Yic1n1tJ or the port boat pocket bad h.t.un. gother near als. Thre. and poa. . troa thi.. ca.ap.1Yed It.ere .bock etrect ora operat1Dl equ1s-ent Dot a. &Owner. At.~.....ht operation•• ~ A.1ncu1ahed. Slaat and .t..btl port boat.acwated tor a ahOl·t tlae.t. or the IMp 1D the aaadlat._'117_11IIIIIIII••.en1 ad41 UQDal DeN' ai.earb7 apac.ib17 rro.t bole . .. bomb . SaTeral a . OIle a-/58 lUll and thr•• 1Wl' 0.e the watar liDe.. ... acro •• the deck.peed not reduced below 26 knota. OD••"ed to d.. about ~ inche.. tuce trca the ab1p a.11•••• th. ft.erlou'17 reduoed h.1ated or a hole ALout U inch. were ..t.ql to the tllpt deck cOD.-_.b lOae d.. and cont1Du. Air lntake.tarted 1D the &-iaab l".lIlti Md noodad.a. Ju. b a Nault.. aboard..ere. t ... rirst and oolv baab hlt.re qu1ok:q ezt... but . " t. had balD PlAt out or coaai. OOOW're<A... r1r•• bad .... chuled with f'\111 ruddu.plintered. qulck17 ccwered and did not arrect tl1.7. but had belD IOOIl broucbt UDder control.. . Pragaent. lMd1nC ..'.1C1D.. u At.asoline ft.ahed. t.• • • • • • •.. bulled up . by' trl'&IIIentlS.. Ire! deck betore explocSinI ebove tbe 4th deck in an aybtion store rooa..tarted.... Pln... The diYe boIIblEla attack Oll YORITOWI cCllllllIlced at lU4...s.t abatt 10. 8 and 9 boiler roaal ware pierced bet. 1d. to 7. boiler roca.tarboard bo. The tUlht deck 1D thtl ylcld t1 ot the 6-1Doh readJ . ~ • • • . ..tarted in l'. .. lacker 10 the Adillira! countl'J and in the •• rine.eter whlch ....'D 1nto the . Two additional flrea .wo add!UCIDal neN' ell. Tbi. tbe YORITOWR rec.p lit th. OOOUTed at. 1.e ~pa~... .----------------. o.---_.ral or t.. the eo _ bat.. in d1._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _·111 I11III.. Juat atter the aaJor portion of tbe torredo attack bad bee coapieted. but the d~e W' DOt autflc1ent to interfere dtb rl1iht op.. l&\Ilch1lli plaae.r:. lS teet lnboard ot~he lAland .

r.ba.--r- -r-_-..~ .. TF 17.d the TORilOftN Oroup.h.____ n... ~1D1 tbe J. oc-. .•• .7. boIIb "bieh c.d d.. Tba bcab th. Iblp and ral •• the '01'1'.cr••n tor the Taak Force ...tlt d. at the t1a._1-cirel.. i-clrc1e or th. 281ov.....o and dlve boab. ..port 10. then the antiaircraft . e•• t.? r.i-ar. balow the _tar liD....e been aore naar17 adequate. .... .par. e.... th... ".. PORl'LAIID.. nIt clo•• enougb to the unite beina Icreenlld to pl"f.rcing bomb with a d.peed to 80 mota and bad... . -97- ~.["..Dt.a. n. ..1d.. 8 ..D "ridDed prior t.. Tbe ASTORIA..... .oea... indicat.. exploded b..ak. ...-' r" - . _ _ _ _ .. tr..a apart.. . .bt d . '!LIlI. tbi. ~~ ____ j ...tad.ent in the . third ~b trca the port .orpado•• Uld ba.ch iDdap_dant ot the oth. bb DIU. . wh11. n...tarboard aide bat. . probllbly 1 J l I Th. lat. unbel... rUh the l1aited nuaber of ehlpu available. R. H_AlOI and RUSSELL.ra aor. 20......urtao. . pOrt "uart.vldet thOJ aaximull anU-e1rcrktt tlre apport aaaiDst torp.tAr .bout two iDob..eflnt to t11l poa1tioc.... wh_ th..ed the 111.ned b7 the tact that ..--. group. to th......._~-.ttorta to "oid t.~.pl.troyer.... War ~S. prior to d......r......... th.ttaclt. ad LEXDfGT<lt..S..riDc redlcal17.... about 8 an. .ina d.• ... t _ _ _ _ _rt _. aDd tONed an oU allok. Thl. deptb ot p• • tratiOD....hed 1ft the 10"1' ed. .. port . ot th. .m .ar abl on th. nilhiD. . Th.t bit the tl1.. *VBS tOltlTO.. .t. ho.tr . _ .. Coral S. "".. .low t..t_ced lllAeuv. .. ...re pr... L* lin. Th... a.. 011 leaked trca tb1a .en tb.re. up into two dlatlDot IJ'OQpa. and the d.ar all.. tim...ol't'ten . e.. water about £0 teet 108.t.do pbn.al.... anti-aircraft Icretn formed ~bout the LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN "MS.r.... ot the _t. that this baab .poal tiOD or rr 17 •• 1 t ..ck . in the anti-aircraft eM. origina1l1 d•• iened..tioD ocCNrrad bacau. the YORlTO. . .beNt 800 pouDd.. "1'..layed action ru •••• Tb.. uploaiOD diRl.d 1Il a . ot the al'Ilor bal t . q 8.1~".atad.n tlAal17 ec. ~ . Tble .ly concantrated in th..· ~ -""'!"" ...hips of the Support Group been pr.l t.. Bad the IIOICAGHAI and tb. ~ . __ --. ~~r@@nj ~hl1e only ~ :icc17 . - ..o the action.• .r. OD th. in their .. .... CH!S'1'fJt. .tOGaUoc... two carrier IJ"OUP' .. t7Pe.paDeae aiA' ... 010 •• _OUIh to 11tt tb. but DO tir •• oocurred_ a..u...or pi. 1942. .. Intl1~tad. carrl.rn .* nil "1'.. in add~t1OD to the acn. bad ine. attacka . . ot tha ••ailable de.---.a • whole would ha. .._.. and the bow.. and pu..- • ______ ·_or ____ ·_·..r and 2 or 8 on the at. 5&0 pouDd .ll of the ..). out at.. 9Ppo...h. 1M2. brok.' 01. .. hridl. Th.r. _ ~ . ~ ~...1.waad positionl rather clo. In thl.pqlad the JORKTOQ and toz. 1 D. tr .. .~ . eacb of which conta1Aed one ot th. A• • nault..ed . lin•• had ba. IIlraeu ot Ship" ••Y7 Depart.arboard quart... ..cpar.era rome<! which gradual17 dr•• apart ao that.troyars a. ca.. to bal•• baen an artlor plarcinl proJeotile typa...

..rl.i-~-/ ..j I I I • ....... >'::: ..-AA I'IIU --_.:..o' / :'1 .• ·-...' 1 :' ..HOWN IS AN [XAGO[ltATION -"'1I.'.m~t""~Y7~t•..__.. :... I UCH NUM'''' It[ltlt[SfNT5 ONe: MINUT( 01' TIU' . / t' " I._b~·M·U.---. OSlTe: 01' SHIP CLAIMS HAS 'UN USfO TO ItfOI NUM"" .RM~tt. .· __ __· . LOV[O: VOltTOWN Oltou . A CO ..n r.... ~oN~ ~... .__~ .' i. TO"P[00[5....t. .• ...ral"ISlr~7r. :i i- j/ ...~ l .. .. .. II J 'f q7-t:L RECONSTRUCTED TRA SHOWING TORPEDO TRACKS AND SEPAR~ LEXINGTON GROUPS DURING THE EA"LY TUltNING ClltCLES [ ..·_=./ .. :...'1 ..':•• 1' "" I.- . 10 Le: XING TON IIPCUU ..~?~n." / it I . •••••...

.::r ... . .. AA 'Iftl:.-- .... ~...:.... -----...'t~e._______ . .' MA't' I..LY PA .... ">:: ... -~- • .. llft SHOWN IS AN 1)(.. T 0' THE ATTACK 1111-1124...... ·~-ol-·. '-'---'" .-~-.. •••~ • rI .... _...:. ...~ .. ~.... .T SHOT DOWN IUT NU ....::..Tt: 0' 'HI~ CLAI"S HAS IIiN USIO TO '~OlCAT! AIHCft.::::.n s. A COWU.. ./' N ..·g_ ~t ~r~~~ ____• • tt .•...~:' .~t tM'~t·"~ "I~_t _ . I~. -...t~. :<>.. -......~·....7~. GEftATION .. ~ .. .. -- ... .I1t.. . .11 r' .~..... RECONSTRUCTED TRACK CHART SHOWING TORPEDO TRACKS AND SEPA"ATION 0' YO"KTOWN AND LEXINGTON GROUPS DURING THE EA ..-. .717 •. ·1 .....t.: :::. 1 1 .' t •• 11 "'~. -...41-TIME ZONE (-II) _ _ _ _ . ... '. ::»> ' .' ~. ..~~::::..---.__ · . .7 .TO"~I[OOI:8. . . .....

Commander Destroyer Squadron Two. Tbe action report.. ~r J'*trol and anti-torpedo patrol .avored to maintain their original true bearing from the carrier.e reports aleo luggest thll..d of the AB'I'ORIA.k rorce ••y have ahot down 6 dive beabere and 22 torpedo planes in this attack.tron. turned initially to the right to avoid torp~doe •• and then continued in a southwesterly direction which oarrl~ her dir~ct~v away from the LEXINGTON.~ k -98- " t '! n t » t Wb*tt l . while two cruisere and four deutroyere r. which the aajority of the dive bombers initiated their attaok. lote.ere t.F. Interrogation of Japanes. the flagship of the O.T. lUide for TF 17 Juat prior to the attack. in kddition to sinking the YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON. attl4ck. primary and a •• eo~ndary ~arget. 1 pasBed SO to 70 yarda astern of the CHl~~£R.apt appears to have beln Jlads to r~­ adju. Tbe. crui..creeninl Ihipa to protect th~ after 88$1Circle. both a. ! 1 1 . or Battle troa CinC Coab1ned . iiu. Th1.".* They appear to have selected curtuin ships of the acreen. on the croup and Task rorce *UD1ted state.N~. straddled but W&ll not h1t~ although 4 bo. 1I0RlUS and PHELPS re- mained with the L!llHGTON Rhd foraed the LEXINGTON Group.r. T!I!O of tha .hich rvm&ined in the tmaediate vicinity of the originAl att~ck ar~a.P. r 1Il11!111@tI were forward abrtlast frame ro and two '.~~1nl it end..as th•• e~tor fro. Strate. which targeta they attacked when tbe lDteneltr of the ~~l-alrcratt fir.::b ..1/" 'Y •••. ANDEROON.. Pacitic. .. . wh"n l. de..ent. WIl" filled by MORRIS in .orpedo rhll close "he£. was shot dONO by the RUSSELL prior to the rel •• 6~ of her torpftdo.1c Bombinl SUrvey.. in mfJking 8 run on the PORTLAND.1_________.ast ot frame 110.bot dOWD. ~~~. 17 and tboae of their Co. in the vicinity of the oarriers .. The principal targets for the Japaneu torpedo planes and dive bcmberB ". j AI a result of these attacks the Japanese believed that. No att. 1 torpedo Wb8 S6fn croa~ing the ANDERSON's bow C10S8 aboltrd und I tOl'pedo phne.558. One t. The ASTORIA wa. ot indiyldual ships of T.m~ders state that the anti-aircraft fire of the Ta. all ot the 'hlps aCCo. Thr.d" Duar lIIi1t"t'f!. the supporting tlhl~'fl of Task Force 17 were not ~tlrely neglected..ocordanc€ rl th lnstructions received rro..he rORKTO\'lN 6Uld LEXINGTON.ore. The YORKTOWN.n r_alned open until the latter part of tbe qag. As the YORKTOWN Group moved to the southwest to avoid aircrllft.t.&s too .lploded in tbe water orf the port beam of the PHELPS. in the Y1cilli tt ot T' 11.troyere &cCOIIIplil\led the YORKTOl'iN. which had been made th.817 baYe . .t the pol1t1on of the . In the LEXINGTON Group an open s~ctor in the louth. NEW ORLEJ. . the~ bad left one battleship hOd a cru1aer buming. Otf1cial. \ . "" " = the MINNEAPOLIS.aMined with the LEXINGTON.t the c~b1ned cCIlbat.. DEnY.. re and thr. iili.C. but..leet Statf Lo. 1 \ -. Two amall bombs fell close to the DEWEY Wld one bQDb e.'::::!"P art abr. 2 passed clo~e aboard of the MINNEAPOLIS during her first r"dic81 turn.t portloa ot the .

~ // DEWEY o ~ / .. * 7 7 to itt' ( tz)~rt' ) ... .../ '--" ·ANp£RSON RTLANO .~ • W4A_i$.'S!"·"N.. ."**110"""61''' &\-\16''' a'wt.' \ .._~ .. . ... . I I "''''. .. I I I I 11215 TON --lila ~ 4\.NEW \ OR~EANS . .11 Ie . .." ~J. I HAMMANN : I ! 1/ iLEXINGTON 1054 ORKTOWN 1034 d / . .' t· I I ~.: :.. I I I I . diN . ...r r ( " ~"'." • I t.. .MORR\IS '..8 J . TASK FORCE 17 CORAL SEA ACTION TRACK CHART FROM 1039 TO 1215. TIME ZONE (-) II LOCATION OF OWN FORCES AT 1118 • 8 MAY 1942 TRACK OF YORfCTOWN-TRACK OF LEXINGTON--MILES o ~+~----~I----~I 1 2 3 s-m"... . ·RUSSELL ..

~:3. 19._. If theae tigures are accepted as correct.y Allied forces. . .: . in addition to the pl~es that returned from the attacks on TF 17 and landed on the ZUIKAKU. this number is considered to be the . 11 VB. . These figures do not.. ).nes.. A hi€her r~tio of VF types might.~-. - .1. .. 1944.. ~ . .. have increased slightly the totd nUlllber of planes that might have been accOIIIIIlodated OD her decks. P. but which were seriously *SUppl_ental Report-TRUI-Naval and Navitl Air Field Team II~.. .v.-. f os ".~. and ~l VT in the vicinity ot TF 17 during their attack on tbi& torc~. L'SSBS. all causes on that date.B4 and 55. InaSlDuch as COIlmander Striking Force had 122 airplanes aV6ilable in his carriers prior to tbe action.' -. U. COIIIIIander Strildng Force mtates that after the action.. 2 carrier planes from this air attack group landed in the water at ROSSEL Island. or a total of 7~ plr... .. Wt·) "". 5 VB md 9 V'l'. 15 va and ~l VT. then it appearl that the Japaneee . the maximum nuaber of planeu carried.t 7 nw= me·) '$' t tum M . .ents are considered reasonably correct."counted tor by tho Japanese carriers after the action.-. . _-"'.* As far as Cbn be ascert&ined. 1 1 ~99- ~$n nn m?rr. during the war by the ZUIltAKU as an operating coaple. Japacese sources state that. The actlon reports of the LEXINGTON Air Attack Group luggest that the LEXINGTON Group may have destroyed 5 vr and ~ VB during the 8811111 phase of the action. 18 VT and 3 VS. • This figure of 7~ Japanese planes destroyed in c. at any one time. . Nl!I. this analysis indicates a loss of 150 planes from Allled weapons and l!! others fr<lll o?8rational causes or a total of 43 Japnnese carriel" airplanes lost on May 8th. of the YORKTOWN Air Attack Group state that the YORJCTOlYN Group 11&3 have shot down 10 VF during its attack on the SHOKAIU and 1 VB while returning to the YORKTOWN... '-. ~. numbers 27 VF. however.. -'\. was 21 VF. then 92 airplanes were recovered or ac. same date. . ***USSBS Pacific interrogations of Japanese Officials.. . . **U. . considered to be considerably in excess of those actually lost fro. In addition.-10. P. .** For the purpose of this analysis. .:OIIbat on May 8th is... or a total of 75 operating airplanes. . . however.~-. carrier aircraft losses reported as destroyed b. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas Weekly Intelligence Bulletin.. If these figures are acoepted as correct. it appears that tbe Japanese m~ bave 108t a total of 22 VF... Vol.~- .Z. however.. . 17 Nov. but that no planes could be flown off that carrier due to the damaged flight deck foward. .'. VF. . " £ . 27 VB.. and 5 or 6 landed in the water alongside the ZUIKAKU. The sum of the above JapaneB.. . If this analysis 1s correct.. P. the ztJlWU landed the SHOltAIU planet> as well as the ZUIKAIro plEu~':3 and that 4 or S planes had to be jettisoned to make room for the remainder of the returninc airplanes that were recovered.-. No.. the action report.*** These stata...aximua that could be landed on her decks wIthout Jettisoning or flying off additional planes.. I.1$0 lo~t 15 VF and 4 VB al the ~esult of air COllb&t on May 8th in areal other than those in the vicinity of TF 17. . .. to the above.ent. include the airplanes which were recovered by the ZUlKAKO after the action. <.'. These sources also state that 4 planes landed on the SHOKAKU after she wae damaged. • r tS'" w tnt 1'5..!------..

ed each oth8J' dow the aame line of dive in IUccesaion.. for Cc:... the practicabU1t..lllander St. e anslea were approx1lu.r~t$ "~b~...... TheT did thie because theT were too ebort or tuel.her air attack. . ae gave consideration to t.. rl. Tbe Japaneae plane.e air attack . ut1lhed to beat adYantage the poait10n or the BUn and suCh cloud cover 88 ~a8 available. even when not effective.though in radio oc:...t. the practioabil1tT of ..ending in a night IUrface attack group againat the Japanese !trik1ng rorce. a8 never beard of "lain.erTe to deter the attacklng planes was not borne out 1n this attack. The dbe boIIber.81' 9th b.y carrier wae apparently undamaged... One rlent? reported . but they were lost and. and bad recovered all returning planes of t.. Tb1. 1 ~ . *&1ppl_ant of Report.ore hite aisht bave bee obtained.teep aa tho. ill mllAlU rea~ for operation. one. D1.1on."IF5I1.. .aldng anot.ed..P$. quit. that by . ~ U5SBS.~5. The theor.oming ot . Tbe TORI'l'OlIR began recovery of bel' attack group at 1281.I.t m~r~'.. the other. The tEnRGTCII Air Group Cc. in man~ caees. . er. . L..te17 .55. Bad tbe t1a1ng of the da11vel7 been r . 1n order to reach their obJectivo.!" to have follo.his group b.. could Dot be picked up by radar.y that anti-aircroft fire. differed tra. Thi.. would . the other.· P. Se felt.... latter cateSOI7 • • apparenU.. with the Air Group CoaID¥nder. 10. the air. procedure allowed a heavier concentration of antiaircr~tt fire vn the dive bombers in their dive and.~ ••• . 1nto and through the anti-a1rcratt tire witbout beait.. in addition.'t .. . plane Waa part ot a group of torpedo planes 1Ib1cb had been fired OIl brbtlJ by the YORKT01lR as thq approached the fora.tion and tailed to execute the required ncolllition aaneuvere..1rk1D.er drplanos loat.. Japanese planes.-TRUI-IIave. bad o~ U plane.akini land. but.m. t _____ "'_~'<~L.. ..1 and Javal Air Field Te.y lSOO. fle. !be IN8ber ot planee ill thi.orpedoe.t. provided aufficient tiJr. ot .1 . the Allied ooncept of a ooordinated carr1er air attack in that t.e hip. and then to shift to tha next plane before that plane had reached its release altitude.* 1 1 " !he Japane. ..r. least.. and had the t.11 ooord. The last raaaininl plane of the LEXIMGTOIL attack group landed on the LEXDlGTOH at lU.t.be torpedo attack preceded that of tbe d1ve bombers. E1nce radio interceptions indicated th~t at. ~.n5.1.'$". •• _ . err 17 therefore commenced retiring to the south.-'-\. t. .ation. ~n...oae of the damaged SHOI[A!lJ plane a had been landed on board the ZUIIAm. ."-aced. the.·~ .mander and another plane of bi.. . ..er~ hitt1nl.DunicatioD with the LEXIliGTOH.'w.>.wo COlU'8e8 ot action..·.. section were l!till in. been launched ae tbe bombs .".e for the gun involved to follow C'le plane down.?I(.1Dated. roree atate.e _ployed by AlUed dive babere. appel.7~!t. At this tae CTF 17 reest1Jlated the situat.estward at best practicable 8peed.hat one en. and fe. el..

.pan".. CGIlsaud. Striking 'orce 111 arriving at t. on the other hand.he above deciaion.rviceable airplc u~..r bad Joined the lapane.re were stUl two und.trans carri.. p.n-aD aircraft t.r air attack berore dark. carrier at the tiae ebe bad been attacked bJ" the Ur Attkck Group. Be atat •• in his report ot the action. to get aircraft 111 conditlun . Be intoNed the C~ander-in-Chiet Pac1.. but be IN. 26.U'I]TOH I I I. Be &180 rej. the caee' theo he aust have felt that the additional carrier aeDtioned in the report ot Comander Air at 1442 could oolT point to the pollllbill ty that th..id. becaule of tho probabUity that the eMpe involved would be dltected and theretore eubJected to a .. in hi • .e"ao.. CTr 17 save considerable weight to th. r " 2 nne "MrS .aluatioo ot reporta. ud intoraed ec.SoWeePao ot the location or the _qed lapane.1942 Para..e Striking Porce on the report'ot one or ~I. nre later lmded 'OD the YOBK'l'OIR. two Air Attack Grwp.. lapenee". I . Be decided to retire to the southard tor further inv6!1ti. str1k1D& rorce..ne ot the actic:. that C'l'P 17.tetu.rely damaged both. report. i.. 00 the L!XIRG101.y end to .4 M4C. anal7si8 ot the reports ot the ca-mandins otficers of our carriere 1ndic~teB that our groups attackod e.....) ranew the air at tack the next do. to the YOlUtT01lll. bad prtWi(MJal7 cc:. CTF 17 Serb1 0782 dated 27. but that the LInIGTOII becau•• ot d. ot action--nl. o~ hi.orpe4oee !'aaiDed in the youroa.sed. Se therefore rejected the tiret oour •• or action-air attack.e to .. and did not so report.e mo_ that abe bad at lea.t 6 vr. had based hi. • • +44. Actuall:r.-...ht IUrtace attack.cted the .econd coure.~ t i 1 1 • 1 -101l 1 1 • !. tor th••e plan.e torce. Be me. At 1422 be "cel~ed word troa C~aDder Air that there nre .troDe tndicationa tbat aD additional carri. Se paeeed tb1a iDtoraatiOll to ClnCPac and to ~. ge • • waable to aake aore thaD 24 Dot." !hi. or tbe plane.H'mW:r'.ation or dam...trr rr re:: .r Air.ec! lapan.tart the L!lIJGTOR OIl her wq bR ell" to P~ HARBOR tor repair.iOD that Oftly one carrier had been _aged 011 IIq 8th b7 the OOIIb1n1ld ettort. atat.parate enaay carriers and 8~. Be aleo realiaed that only .... hlld not been lapaired. that an additional carrier had Jo1ned the I".red the . IS VS. "Althouah the Taat lorce Commander .hipe.t b. 5 VS.de neet or this decilion. carriers tor hla to cooteod with. DO aupport1nS ships bad been seriou817 da. on the afternoon ot lIa7 8th 1'1 17 _s euperior in strength in all categories to th..ent lapUe. Qld at least 12 VJ'. that the tORlTOn was capable ot aaldn.i .e to the cooclu.as unaware at the time.. SO mota. !he battle ettic1enq of lORna'. teelins that both the BBOlAlU and the ZUIL\K1J had bHll dalaced. It thi. Se rea11led that the lORK'1'01II had only 8 vr. 10 VB and 8 VT available tor operatiOl1. 8 VB url 8 VB operational.* Apparently. to tralter the L!:x. Attack Group pilots that he bad seen an undamaged carrier near the . oplniClll that Ul additional carrier had Joined the Japane. It 18 Dot clear whether or not he con. 16 VB and 8 'IT were opera*Action Report.

but. lasoli~e v. .t bead~ and thereafter reaained dead in the .c.avere internkl explosion.apor.alOllne . requellted err 17 to have ships . ft. stowage space. abe reported that she ftS abandoning lower deck apacel. till. bell..rating electrical . tact and re. 10.ed "au. and tber~­ atter frequent a100r . At 1452 she reported that the fir •• on board were not under control and at 1456 requested alsistance.. on~ 9 plan•• at thi8 tlae.b. in adjacent spaces. She •• s on All even keel. Motor Generator Rooa.acb~er. However. At 1101.otor g.ld. but it 11 ballwed that. could have take oft.a op. deep 1n tbe abip.ner_tors had been lett runn1n~.. structual leaks penaittod a aixtur~ ot iasoline and ftter to . At 1445 the LEXINGTON !utrered a .. 1n the I.-b ot tbi. At 1502 her condition was bad that err 17 advised COMSOWESPAC of thi. Navy Departzlent. and shortly afterward at 1518.teering easily and had be9ft able to land and launcb plan~8. It will be ~. no p1tme. which had been exploded b¥ 'p4lrke frc.. -102- l1li7 7 En. These fires gr~dually gained bead.pors ontered 1.10 and 11. U42. explolion undoubtedlr conveyed through exieting duet work.eoured ber EDgineer1n& Departact at 16S0. Coral Sea.aval Air neld Te. . it 11 certain that atter ahe had once lost beadwa. tbe ZUllAKU.e Report 10..ter of aU ot ber operational planes to the YORKTOWN. the LEXINGTON requeBttld the YORKTOWN to recover ". US-Bur.M. . .y.••• S'tmon t . '~~""""'.apors.ntflr the I. as a result of the torpedo hit forward in the w~ of the la~Ql1n. 1187 8. S.. that wtlre in the aJr. directed by CoaIIander Air to abandon ship. I)lring th1s tille the LEXINGTON appe. eountr.y.econd .. .sive breakdolm ot the LEXINGTON prevented the plftDlled tran... whereas the Japan•• e Striking roree bau 10 operation in its one carrier.'11r coverage. either troa hot sinch ~lt1:ln or troa galSOline . A.. end started fire.tand by to pick up perso'nnel it necessar..ueated . explosiOD. War DeIIa.ded trca bad to wor.he tmNGTON plane.C. is not mOlm..C.r control. 1942.be 100ft lo.. IDcluded 1n th1e n\laber was one YORl'l'OWN fighter which bad landed on the LEXINGTOIfI/ *S\lppl_ental Reporl-TRDK__aval and .* The ultimate ser10uanes& of the eventa oocur1ag 10 tbe LEXINGTON was not apparent at thi.ed by aD accuaulation ot .r. sb.s ot LElINGTOI.u ot Ship.lled thkt tbie epeee had been abandoned. The fla..bed and tbe third. '0 Tbe progre. (about 1240).. two fires bad be0ft utingui.u ot Shir. She _8 apparently 1n satisfactory oond1tion. . but that the .red to be . wh1cb the INr. June 15. At 1610. at 1241 ahe experienced a seYer.xplosions vccurred below dack.It 1515. not known. **PreUainv. p. The exact path ~ wbich th. She . Conditione 1n the LEXING'roS proce.? 77 '35' .r tbere. Whether sbe could have launched planes atter tbe explOSion that occurred at 1445.. 1D the Adair-Ill'. wa. wa.'"---------'-''' _ .1- .ter. Motor Generator RoaII.Y Report Lo._-_ _--- tional.. P.. 3S of th_ went down with her. U a result..

and three B-~6Ia bo..tl'llUa and PORT 140RESBY .. and e co.EXllaTON lank at 1952 in Lat. During the afternoon of 187 8th.2 t. a.. Ot the.1'. ~oeeded..ade aat1atactoJ"1 .ceived a dlapateb troa directing hiPI to retire frOil the C'JRAL SEA area.. .n. in . CTG 11. tbl LEIIlfQTOIf oaa••nc.l¥ t. and continued.. to have b.ce airplan. j. Yr.a aade by th •• e plan•• on this force. . LlUMGTOM.ed.t 1440.. ad C'I'G 11.. rebruary 1947. Thb t.____~~__~~~___ I11III1.d aircraft was apparent!7 UDable to locate it. It appear. . except the PHELPS.r between 1i15 and li52. !)ariDl the ~ . erF 11* r. b. where."uld on a southerly c?urae during the nlght of lay 8th and 9th. R~N. Departillent of Analy. ASTIlRIA.hip..aou. at which time he changed co~r.. 150 -12' S. e '8 ad e •• _r. One group. Tb. of orllln.e to the .1e.arbJ'.Mhllt aMY'S bearing M70 (T) ~ distance 190 aUea tro. ------------_...cted to take obaree or r.en ~ . Althuugb ClWtiOYiESPAC had bften notified .r plan•• ooaailUD& or . wlth WL1t.C.. *Stataunt Rear Frank J. direct. .. whlch 1nro~ed him of the results of the action f':>ught on May 8th.l War Col toge. thereafter.. . and expedite ••tt1D& perlonDel otf th.be naeue . tEa_ =Id_ . CTF 11. .connal. fCMIr .e ft. . -10~-~ I j f l.2 . USN froll"..__~____.d.ed that the .a. Il1cbt be ""u1. his abore b. ...parat. 1510.hore baled r.tIU.CtiOD in the CORAL SEA. but aade no hite."ed tba operation r~ a po. to rejoin err 11 on a lOutb. . with all t.d to explod.aal. ot nceipt and the exact wording of the directive ia not known. Allied . and explocled 011 hlttlDI..re4.. operation. err 17 'Naa_ed tactical o~DDd and.talled to sink tbe LEXINQTOI b1 torpedo. NaVII. Tb••• pllUl•• had landed Oft t.terll cour. Dickey. . strikinl Force. A~DERSOlt. till.hlp.aN . ccaplet. CPJC~AC CTF 17 remui. ..e.he 10RlTOW.I*. .itiol\ n. " 5 Wi" ??S ntt r Ii tt 27 m"nZ i it iii i"it tt eo '7' J . tJ"C* Au. 19 oth.. by Adaira1 USN to Captain "..atano.. DEBOYNE Ia13nd.ther reapect. I.ed b7 18SS.he . it.i$ . 1550 _27' E. in a aoutherly and .hel'Mtt ..en aent by CINCPAC after he had received the dispatchea tro. This dispatcb la not available and it~ till. She tired flYe tor9edoe.a dir. the location or the Japane . I torpedoe. of.lS~5.d to abandon .~.out~a. At about leOO on 11 lay he e. of the retirlna PORT IIOMSBI tD.a.---Fletcher. t...Jor1t1 or til.tward.lon Forcl durinc • . but their ertort.2. prior to At.a the tUth torpedo a dud and f&11. 8th.IHNIAPOLIS. lEI ORLtAMS.d TF 11 into two groups.t 1000 IUld . nuaeroue oontact. had no diroct intluence on thl . cOY. lIbort. ra I"8D&1D with the WI:fGTON and f\lmiah aaah . therero~ !be PHELPS . Long. . IUld S d•• tro).. tor DO attack .bed • dllpoaltlon c~ntaln1ni 11 tranaport.. d. .. with the IINNEAPOLIS.. 1nt~ b. MEl' ORLEANS.ix B-11'..mder CTG 17. .. PI • F ± • 80.ter1y direotion until 2000 on lay lOth."u.

J tare..-plan. -.Q. . -106-~ l . 1IOl'IliD.ilht1ng . eDIlD. ~°-O8· 5. a1rplu•• ot th. .. or .tallatlOG..ir recouu... . til. 1 ~ J OIl . ylc1DiV ot DDODI lel_d OD IIQ' 8th.paIla •• AOI'e la. bu..ar1ne that MIlk the Greet ehip CIlLO! b7 auntire OD IIq 7th. to ha..t _tchera 111 Dot mom. Lon. launChed tr~ _ Auatra1* baa.. ba•• without hay1q dropped Ita ~b.r.. 1&.. r.aring S2sO ('1') tro.oe •••pl .. OODtlDued th. !b.ade b7 land ba. j At . At the .1aad -... and tile l"881Dd..ngiD.ce 1Ii••10ll0 OIl l. !b..ora ettectlYe17 CODduct • MaI'Cb tor the eunlyon of IIOSBO and SDS.c. . ~--~----~ .tabliabad a dqllcbt antl-6ulaariD.al... baNd there.outhem tip or lfE1f lRELAlD. a~t the Approache. ...earch plADe rrc..tinS out ot 'l'ULAG1.a b. bowever. lank with torpedoes what Ibe reported to be a Japane. "f• • '" + 1I)1RI8 -.a.r d.. !hl_ aod1flcatiOll of the _earob PUD i. •• Ct101l' ot din '--bu. areb rre.. !his Ja.ttaot..ed Ncoamaleeance plan •• or bJ coa.. 2 a-te _d I .. pl..lue of the abore lA. &1th~.1rcratt aarder bear1q 8l()O (!) Uetec. ...tween mMA Illand. the PBI aut1'ered alDol' d_. at about 0828..ad IIJS8ILL. Ja~eH. At 10(() OD thi... "POrted .1 lel_ or AD attack II'CNP of S W6.pane. _pport1D. ----~~ .een at TULAGI on . 176.tuna*' to it. but 1IpaIl dl.e dq • J_pule.ether th1.. In the _auiDe . aDd DwtrlJ. . b7 the 1&pIIU'. loth IIDd 11th.bout 0541 on the .re . GIl th. 8-4£ ifi Lat. ma'!UWII.~~~ ----~ .. _oppo. to Allied ahippiDC in that area bJ the Japen••e aut. the SOtaiCli 8U. the OOIW. wi tbdrawl of " l'f rr. f"nree Japan••• 4-.e .itioo about 476 all...7.. 9 r Dr z '" SS? r 'U )' I? ri . l6S°-48' I. patrol . anu boreS.....pluae MU'Oh trca IOUIU 1D order that he ai&bt .. but th. aDd .ed.t . 1D the lapllll••• plane. and the .tall. I<UI!:A in a po.l.. nre th.alDd.t 1Il p~-t1Dc furth. about .1' OXINOSRIIIA. ah1p.ae ain.... !beh -b1Da attaolr.r.. " " la_abed to c1aetl'07 tht. d••tro)._ . c1eetZ'07ed 011.. in ay oldlDl ••rioue c1aaage in the all' attack OD TULAGI OD ••Y .e CruiIlU.17 alrplan..ccwel'lDc that the coataat •• ta:: ':c. au ana • • OIl til• •ol'lllq of • 1Iq. wbUtI th. e.ed alI'Cratt.. !'P 17._________~__~__~ III . attacked a PBI . 10th.retore wi tbdra. the latter" baH.e plane or thls t:ype... .a1 11th the Allied __ ar1z1....r hi.. Ocweander Search Group.. oarrl.. COIltJ. 1Ddicat~ OIl Maar.1. . in th. .e ebandGllad b7 th. to locat. .id"~ b. .. ..A.pa.r of tbe . the Attack CrcNp appear...._eat Deither plane • • abot do.. ....plan. aodi1'1ed hl.aapl. which had been 80 wcceaetul.iatld th. patrol ot ~ PBI'. other II'OIUp un4. r. .. _d balb till_ oarr:l.rw ba •• 1D th. oro 17. 011 • • •caadar. trca DIBOYIII 1. y. .. apparentl)r upen.t.. to IOOIIU BarboI' to . oOlltaot prcwed to be • 1MJ.t101l ter further u .--..81' loth..d tba ba.r ot the !aat forGe. Allled abon ba. . and cla1Md to h ..ed OB to JnIII.e crui6er. to DGA !ABU with th.0miDe of .Il.U•• . tumec:1 out to b.ed • laraproportiOD of the recoanal.riD.. the Japan. . U.t.... . h. pl'OOMded 0_ 0 _ _ ..

***SUppl• •ntel R. the IDfUQASA aneS FUROTAlA.eo.. ot 200 lin.n. At this BIllIe t..pea••• turth.ttac:k plan•• and 20 e~ort 1'1ibt. attack1nl po.bol.. ea.r ot the nl&bt ot . d _ . cr £BlUm I'ORCI. At 08)0 IIa¥ 8th that 1.** ft. eouth ot tb. t!a.~ 'l'b.D4.81 cSootr1D...r StrWDI lorc! launchtd u alr gearoh or abo&&t 10 .... fb. Att."bad baavl17 eSw...Dc the precH41D.. • • Y... trca north to the south- ~ <)I • <. lIed1u liD. At &bout Oe85 ODe ot th..1&.alit.1 .. bad . fb.r. operatloa... Jolned ud . al ••••al All' n...r str1Ja:.-DcWd u attack II'O'lP con. obaD.s d.tuat leo . lIlY ..eft track ahart wort don..u.1q loroe proceeded at ro knot. 41rected.28-I:.ecl COIlI".al War Colle.. pUot.r. otrlc. ot th.J ••••ral J. a1nute. bad. a wlcc.dr • . a... (ltO T. tb.r. 2 CA. not c. to procHd alOll. .r *!rack Chart -Battle ot the Coral S..aded b.. JjpAl.d tJae l&WlobiDI ot the attaok.pen••• 1 j . lorca l. in cooparaUoo with G-2 SCAP. in add1t1_ to the . .... b. th.. and accordiDc to Japq••• report. th. lIlaDd...r ot ROSSE[. tb••ttack plan.e add1tion to tbat torue. pHot•••1'... 25 mot •• '1.) ot the ... 10.lt " boure later in u . 5 00.. foqo • . in podUon bear1AC Of»'a (T). d.port-TIm!:. 1'. _ ot th.Wed.11•• to tb.preparecS b:r Li. about tortT-tty.r.. reported to both CoIIInand.rllla¥ and aak1D..ht1D..rob •• ctor. di. 11K at ..t. bettl. 1D it• •GI'Mft.ged the oth..oo&DbJ.. . Tb••ttac:k r : aad. J. a. althouah hit.. .••• ..ral17 north.d that bOth C*l"I'l.1ml: the Hcond GecUOil ot Crudly e. tJSRR.. 01' bad _ _ oae .i&ht1Dc report.part1a. to .e.... r. 41.. 'h.aca4 1 battle8hlp and 1 cruieer (c1&.t 0822 ud r.1 ot 40 a!nut•• bet_t1l the . woe 11091.nand.t 15 plUt •• through ccabat or AA guntir.t 0856. tore•• CODtinued the operat1on.. 1 0. ot i i ~ ur west.. toWIArd th•• ettaatad poait101l ot the u.. Salo... .·ad... Jr.n..Janes. strlk1nc Foroe ooatinuecS in a .. betor. guided to th.. •• it DOW bad tour h••Y7 cl'\l1. that th. lapane •• thoulbt that th. P. .rlJ direct10n tbroqbout th. bad aua.p. d been aunt..U•• troa the c.. falk Force 11 .d 1 t.. debt..r lauobln" c.ueS. pftll"iCJlll.re.ctor to 2Sa'" (T). "'.... .ut.. ud.bov~ ~ aarri.b.k two • • rican carri..d. tJSSBS.. '0.port. fh!! shew: that the .. the At 0815 til.. Japan.r StrJk1D.. Cc.e oparatiOll.. LEXIHG'l'OH _. . 8Wlr18. hal \&. 1'h. . ! l "1'.011 tor d..nt.. At 0'700 the Str1klDI Pore.t Report 1.Jul1 1942.earcb the . b. at th1.l tioa b7 _. wltb1D u hour ot the aaarch plaa•• 18 not clear. fOOO. MArcil plan•• reported aiCht1D.. report. aearch plu. eo. ot th....x-aaar Adairal Toaioka.c lorc. JapM ••• ol.r. attack IJ'OUP' "1'. not aunt util . nOl' 1a the d.r 8UDt both carrier.t us . and bad loet other pl.. eSq.r 4tb fle.ltrIt 'I'P 17 the Japan. BoWYer. both u:xINGTOI and lORI'J'OW.17 IUco••• tul.arch plan. ~' 1 IWi. Strlk1A.t d to Toqo that h. ot 10 ..areb pl... to a red1"..1tb.r reported that in thl• •ction bad lo.eld To_ IS. P . poet tion.U1l Duab.on. . about 40 .. and 1 t. Forc•• I Ill. ot laUDchin. CruDiy 6. -lOS- .q fth-eth.. j I ..u•• trca ROSSIL Ialaad.rtain).re..ted 11 . . which " . bar1Da 1'100. not I'OOd in r.a.. coapoe1 tlon 2 Cf.s.

.ble t~ launoh plan•• and . boIlb hlt.quaU.. . YlU"led traa 2 to 1& . C0IU8Ilde.pleted OIl 19 Juq .. . When the ZUIIAlU • •rled traa the rain .l. to quote C~ander StrUt1ng Foro.y about 16..al A1r r1eld T. strHdng 'oro... &1 ADallei.2I-B.717. 11. but durinl launchlnC operat1ou.D1 to olo . although on. Japan. noted the SHOKAKtJ burnine. . .bt deok.d in tb. ot the attack on the Strlklnl Foroe.d at ••lDg into the wind OD cour •• about 1460 (T).t..$~.r7". eu.e the ran . dropped bl div. dq. ... .adect tor a rain '\111&11 and thu.tart. 1A the Yio1D1t. alto-et&1lul an(\ oll'N" cloud. elated 18 October 1946.. tJSSBS.ally avoided.. back when the attack appeared. lIh10b ae not lIIIlnohiDl plaile . Tb. and . Divle10n Int..r and atarted tire.. third hit .rred 1n Dot tumiD.J .. and *aappl_lDtal aeport-TllJK~aY!ll • I.... Allied plan.7t"S"". 10 • . mllAlCU • • b.. the two oarrlere ". now operat1nl lD the trontal area which had.. ot th••• pl••• bad lllld. COllUM'''' CD ·cCNI'e....tt the . oov. All tir. start 6th Air Flotilla. whiob badl.r..... 19()O (T) at blah .edquart. lu.s. .." She r. OperaUoa. Th. 100 a.ulue.""". ussas .- Dot reported. two Japan. without e. Coamander Striking 'oroe stated later that he .re . ZUIlAlU.. **IDterropUon ot CaptaiD tg·oU.colYed 2. pl:mee would orb!!. 1t WIl.. than one oarrler at a tla. The y1albil1t.. untortunateq .7. ZOlIAIU.. Tb. boaber. ot th.. Tbe SHOltAXlJ reported that ahe had b ••n hit bJ thr•• boab. troa tbelr attaok OIl T' 11. "Wander apart-. St.roup. I...oUne tir.0011 put out and tt.ro. and the oarrler launehin.~r_rt_m~_~t~...r. Vol• • I-IDterro..rlklnl Poroe wal in tn..r. and euat.0 Ba. P..tlll turther.l_ 10..1.eparated b..~= ?~ ~ ~ .c1 . tbe SHOUIU . Int. .. __ . rendered b. ec-ander St. . in torat1on ns at that tla.r. the str'1k1ac Foro..arboarc:l quart. torpedoee. • •oranc.l_d _d aOlt ot th..r Wl. at th.7.. Sea... bad bee Nyed.e the Japan••e rarel1 landed o~ launched troa aor. Oft" the et.rted attack. _petant Japan••e ob •• rt'er tbat abe bad to docil. located bJ th. Domal d1stanc.a.000 ••ter..peed.ecl the tu. Is.1le. u.aUoo laY. USSBS. launcb1n.er. had be.. carri...d. SROItAlDJ. Thie • • bee. l. A' a n8Ult.oort. tb. on the S8OItdU. .r1klnl Poro. . Toll. .tar. I -108- ~"II"..1 ••••• Sh. water at ROSSEL I.. Tb.. po •• ible. able to dod. lhip. tw. P.7 ciaa.....* .oene ot aoUon at SO Dote and prooeeded via 'I'ROIt to IURI laYal where repairl .e the torpedoea beeaue... At the tw. . . pilot. 1101'11&1 to iDcreaae this dlatanoe to 1&OO . addi tiona! plaue. .aval ADal1a1a D1~1e:l21.red the aru. '&7' ....u. Ihlelded T' 11 the preylou. th87 are launched at great a rllD" and ran ao 110-11 tbat thq .re oa..1ned 8 near .. to 'I'P 1'1 a. rapl~ . Prior to retuna of tbe attack . Ottio.re .mit tent rain IQualle la"alred t111nl oondltlonl .t. ot the action. b...rropUon ot lapq••• otficial.r. torward..tera. and an attack bad bHD 11&4. 1I1en the Allied plane • •pp.avorJ.

. ea. In view ot the tact tbat th.. IS. AlUecl carrier. I '7 rnq F7J -.del... C'a..1a_ IJ'O'lpa4 12<60 .i•• und. lllOO 1n oaapUaDoe with t. and..t.th .h. Th.. t. .r. . require th_ becau•• of tbft raiD ... at. r . wer••••nabl. • • •wbll. _d••• orine to reJoin th.1 of at..arle.tack 18 not. nder St. hi.0.u.ud...oalv1DC b.~ ..q 1n t.t. b... and chanp cour •• t. which did require th_. balt of the antiaircr.rUin.. At. dir. inor.. known tor it appear.r th.w oaabat plan•• r .e• •t..* ab(JIlt on.. heviA. ... turtber." At 1500 ea.ethar with the pro.ad ea-and.r d.ct. 1800 b.r ccapUoat. did not..t. 'SS ) ". ?r1od 25 Apr.30-S2.ander . a. I ~ct1t1od C~dor whil.port-TRUX-Iaval • levu Air '1.inca 11.bt. that.tllld t.o TRIJI tor r.on tb·•• or tour plan.e17 attar Ca-a. and bad..ackln.r Str~1 'oro. aotlon ot Cc:.and. bot..al a.a.ad h.. _bar ot daapd plane.ranal ••loa ot iaportaDt.&lUed oarrl.aar.t. b7 aurpri •• . . cc.red the daaap to the GHOIAXtJ.pp1• •ntal a. bavill.d poatpoo. 'bu.. SHOIAIU. bad IUDk tb. bad baeD atoned that..r Btr1k1n1 Force to ..1. diapat.l••t -... .. in th.pair. . troa tbe attack on tba Allied carri~~.P .ft bat.•t. MSu... denied the SII)UlU..p. had o. rec.r. USSBS. WOO #1091 . readJ to lau{lch .ediat.ived a r. b. P..plJ dlrectlq b1a to proceed t.. b. 1Ih1.. t.hereb)'.&1Ded loaal o~aDCl ot t. daaIe to th..mand rlnd.a. th.. SIIOItAID prevented her troa r. and h. t. B. ad It • • not _til 1500 tha.r .q ..a.1.o TRIm.h••e order. l.quall. tth Fleet ot tho :1tUAtlon a=4 atatad that he had v.. _.. and wer.t she bad a total of nino plane...M.r1k1Jaa For\J •• At 2SOO caa.uallT dld not.ob ..iv" ~h.r Strlkh.. that h...b . that t.r stdk1n.. whlch aot.. M.plJ'.nder .. ec.port 11. St..*Dd.Uon q. oparaUOQ orowded b. air at. .val • •aval Air Field T-.red that.o north.et order.. retirlD.th . Vore.ard notbtn. be head.. of ..ak toro.ent of the lnv •• ion of PORT MORESBY and dir..nd tI'>. the Allhd carrier..he • •diat. Force bad dl'C09'. ZUIICAJru.r plane.. 80 motl..ed.e.raDI.port-TRJK. ditfloult.h. plue.. tIlat.ntlJ dbaounted or oy.. dated 11 J'u17 1~2. CruDiv 8.oted that tb. . qu.. .l•. So.r 4th n.r'neee..ot.r. ***Coabat.. bad bean IUDk and ita battl••hip.ad tor TRO'IC at.ck 80 auch that.. i t auat be rea_b.d in a nortbll'lJ d1raot1oo ot the ... l1abt ot pr••ant dq mowlad. '&'cttrt#t- tn'. n 'n .. Foro.. Ih1 ec.. He u-.a1nad in th.ed load of coabat aaaeace'.r1k1n.11.t. 18 anoth.. 'bi. .13. bad to Jett.Ja. thO\llht. &bout.· N.2 . be appeara to have orderacl b. l r . USSBS. lb. aunt or 4.t.. an1'UDI r.p hie o~ ... Japane. the SJI)JC~ d'part.a~lc. apparantlJ direoted that the ZUIlAlU rec.rlQOked the en~ oapabll1t. indioat.aDd.z.r t4 pruoPd aortb t. Force" ooDfldeDo. ot tha t..ld T.tfort. n. t •• pla•• available to launch. ea.y a ••~tanoe to the *aappl. P. 1942 to 11 IIq 1942. to ~. 1Ih1oh lndicata. landed tw·th. appar.ean<1er St.. tbt. Ite.

.... the . tbouP hi. 'fr 17 aDd tbe Dewq eetabU. .r aa.ad1n. of battle loa.te" to the aoca. tlDd th. DOt!Wlc to indio. ott.t require both the ZUIbIU md the 8IIOIaa.. t1ae bJ.t.ol.. -.scape throu. al to uk. tlLe~ that the ml•• are ret!riAl to the aouth. wb1* .e ba •• at TUUG!. . lDWWer. cbup ot OOUN. .rlk1al loro. Japane"e otflcers headed b..ct d..urrace toro.bed JapaDe." Cr\&D1y 6..sad utu. ..". MOMl. . taaa. been ba.. aD¥ air ••areb.hip. be_ tb. to dl. 0CIAI181M4 OpeNUoa.1"J ec-ader 8houl. tilt that tH 1U. track chart work done by aev. padlDl" . I. WItT.ad.rt. 1. DOt able to OGVV adequat. Ualt....mmd. th.U Wl_ laad bued a1roHft wblob WIN1d be ...b.dloatad 1J1 Dial!'_ Q. " . ..an the Lo.. 011 .ch the R!DILL-BAII CRIS'l'OBAL IalaDd Chaanel qd ~ah t.tbowY.l1ble to ... oould ba". toll owed the track 1D. tbat be tel. dat..TI at laval War CoU'se.tIl 11..'ed tor.ac rol.. a. It CODtl'1bu.loa aDd Dot tbat ot ec.. wbloh . I • •peu.. 'fbere 1. uam.on Jr. St..x-Rear Adair_l foalob..raJ... 1D coopera tio" with G-:! SCAP.. ld.d...ax1a\a de. 25 Apr.IIM a.riking Forc. ru. lt th.. . .eeape. IDe IHD997. TOKIO.iiat Report . bb aotiOD' cUd DOt ••• .r .. Coral Se. ba_ _d.wUaa utlUq. • •11.Mae4 tile. *lob had Dot. ud lat. while at th. un1hUaUOD ot th. .ill a .orlll. aDd Ibould .ed 17 Ju.." prepared by Lhut. reported b. It 1. extr.ad n ••t to AIl1b1late th• •-*7. tor be w. Por. to iDterpo •• bet. Str1k.lr 1942.ented it•• u to d•• troy aJl7 cS.'CI th.~ IAD1IJ .ed CD the report traa the I-re. . corr.ock1Dc . apP""al ot ec-Uld. . to bay.alt tb• .y Sala.nod .d~ opwatlOD. and. .0000tered 1D thi' _phlbiou.H _ h. air attack bad b. It 11 po ••ibl. apialt t. .ir .l". reaatn'D. change of cour•• at 18t50 .. Coadr. to ha".outb. __ tuonble aU1Ul7 as... appear. . lImal1OD.oiaUOIl ot tb. d.r17 caur •• appear.. Th.. al Maoo.. allO that b. with th. ot th. J AP AIf • J aplLll".r St.. _ . dlract1y... DOW pre.. to bay.r 4th rl.. . toro•••• t_ 1 0_ en. !b.0 d-aa. . iD addlt1oa.apportJ... CQ 'nder StrU:ln.1 I .. olM!'.pll_ant or til• • trat'lied plaa. P. tDIIAIO. 'fM.. .ble that he did Dot do 10. ... lud bued airo:ratt would baY.a~ Yictia ot JapeD'" . Allbd . Tokyo. to lDdlcate aD appr.aapd ID~ IMp. i t alpt be po.."tward.p1rlt ot th.r ooab1Ded n •• t. taot that Maoh a OCIIldlt1OD did DOt obtain doe.. It 18 qu1~ po ••1..el7 til. ~ l l ~ In reapoD" to tb. .. d 2400 ord.'17 -cc. t1"iD. ncoeeded ill 1It.et.tructloo 1. IHt'l'rack Cbal't "Battl. 1942 to 11 Mq 1942..dye.deayor &tter "1rT' aoUon to iDlUre tbat 110 lOll. tall a relatlyelJ .nder. wIlo.y . . Strait bet.. Dot til ~ wq yltlata the tboupt that . cI1nftly•• 18 DOt. lhb.ed a1I'oNtt. . . ot CCMaDlS..r Sol~ga bllllld.te tbat CoaaaDder Str1t1nc Force . Henr. witll .. P'orce appear.ll..tt. .r Coab1D.4 _tU. h.tJ'GDllT .. .q 8th troa aa •••terq CO\D'Pt: to a aouth.1Dc rorc.. tb.d &l~ • •a1nt&1n the .k1n1 th.ld \hl. lDYul_ tone.bl.cu. Iili HEBRIDES... AD opportUll1t.

TULA9I •• DO" 6lothated. . .. directed all rore . 1 1 I ~ 1 ..ed all be had to attaCk a.u . 7. . Dot CODc. Fore.. IDe 11«>991. . h. Poro.iUon 28~. CruDlv e.. to 1ea.t .t _d turtber indicate.' 11 _______ 1.r. Th. Dot contrlbut1nc to thit effort. In Lat.t 1'. IDe 11097.and. had decided to concentrate hie aa1n efrort a .ou. WaM recei.D th..l~ and wlth DeaRO!1 e in tat. fro.tir.c. At 2400 1&7 11th it n.y carrier rore. "1" d. -enealiD. 7th the rlr.ander Strik1n. r .tb Fl •• t'.d alr .ecODd •• otion at 2SSO ..tir.r lepage..tiDI of £ 0\'. tuBARI.a. 9 -05' 5. tor at om ~ 11tb.epar_ted rro.** At about thll t18.. with the en~ ha. At 1120. no .. conll. 154c_~~i I. eucount. l~-OO' I. to r.ht crui •• rs TaRE utd TATSUD. At 08S5 thb MoUea rece!..l\IIl.1700 (T). ot un1~ of C~&Dd~ At 1080.r 4th Fle.d and retlr __t .ed troa 81118)' tuk roree. if oth. IUBARl and om...ina exert. di. cODIOUdated with CruDiv II.. AOSA and IUIO.. d. be. at 1250. 1 &a7 en~ ah1p.e r. 1WJ.aarohe. Iv 8th. a. . 5 DO.port 10.g lore. -109- ~ " "rfn . dlltant 100 .peed••al"1in. 1 BB..n... indicatee the overall e~and be.frort qa1n..omin.. 1. the Port lor••by InvalioD Fore.~. TUtAGt of thi.cialoa to ooncentrate bi • • "in .. plu. be• • • de.eetlon.. apparent17 relled 01\ land ba. **Coabat Report 10. plu.ea. about.cOMal. lOuther~ oour •• at .land. ROSSIL I.m tip or SAlt CRISTOBAL Ialsad at an a••ra. ear17 . dated 17 July 19'2.a.. 8.Nnoe and thl.potted an en.d br Coa. Po. LoD. of the Str1k1na Force bad at 0822 .ver.t the AlUed Ta.ed a report that plane. to the RABAUL ar.reoted to 'tud at . and would probabl¥ n. carrier croup conai..hohed and h ••dl!'c:1 tor IUT A on 80UCAIRVILLE X. SHORTLdD laland.tant leo all •• rro. 9th. ~-tg! S.a. S.red. ot Iq 11th reoebed order. had beeu d. r .onabl. whioh h. in plain t~ that b. P.land.. Ravin. lIpeed ot about 25 mot.riD. prooedure. *Coabat a. the tue1ins rra. . At 1200 It . b. to !O Irnotl. b • .tied b7 the tlr. 6... tOleth. lOth. which reade . p. oeoo gp. JoJ. 2 CA.ooner C~Mlc.med with the attack on the en-. bearln..ou• •ith the oiler IRO. Str1Jdnc Foree CODt1DUed H. At 221S Crudl. trc.s rro.. lO mot.A plot IRO .alu.r 4th n •• t. oourH rad1cal17 to (T).e tbe &!'H. It the beaded out ot the Coral Sea and a!'OWld the lOutb. the .. tbb ruel1na bad no .. position showed that the Btr1k1n1 'orce ... coun.- " W. the . llalted in plaD•• ADd pilot. C~ander . CruD1..OUon or CI'UDi.U. the tirst •• eUon had OCl8lIDOGd Bow. 8. 7. Tho Str1k1nC Foro... abodd ba•• been a rea. tuns.'1cnated at 2250 (r).~-~.Una of the l1.d been cU.r with CruD1. it ohuaced it.1ehted and b7 1roD. COIIUIIand. DO oontaot. tor hll .d tlben a report Ca. thct roree. dated 17 Ju11 1942. and to r.r-Uoo. proceeded toward.1ni tor TROI..10.in.inst the Allied Tau Foroe. Its rende . •• h. At U'51q 10th. 'pparat17 head.

oD1Y ~ •• D engaged thereafter in escorting *C~bat Report 10... t •• "7:' -110- J .l••s. At 0121. 240 aile.Yin. a ooalNDloat1on dela.aIDCed ruel1n.y a report tb. rrc. the fir.tction 01' CruDi..ed lamtdiately into the harbor.hich had c~pleted tueling.. unita of DeaRoD a.t Report 10.. planea troa the 21th Ur notUla reported ha. a t. apparently. torcea. the atternoon. 8 dllaontlnued itl ..lllably troa C~der StrUiDl roree.10..oy.18hted at lOBO an eft~ toroe oon. the t1rst •• ctlon. but rrc:.. a report .. 1&1 8th.:emender fth Fleet to ceeplete 1'J. .tlll en route . dat. t~ that hland. a destro)'er~ and then proc.ll. tM.y at . CoIlCruDl".t both Allied oarrier.ctlon dld not proc.iYed ordttra to continue their duUea under Ca.hile .e .1Il' 196 (T). cUrected. Nc. the tracka ot the rlr. wn ot the poll1t.ed.e17. lOro. HCoabll. aection . YUBARI and OIT!.t Mction'.outh ot RADAUL. the tir. h.outh. the u8a7 . in annlh1lating the . WOO IHI0997.. dated 11 Ju~ 1942. beoau.. tr~ the IRO and the IIIIIUROY.1mae4 S-ecUat. Joined b7 two . 26 aU.eotlon . DUr1D. Cl'UDh 6. A lattr report recelyed atated that t.t .y broke h.nta7. of DelRan 8. aade on another Allled carritr or the YORKTOIlf ola. P. a..bUIli ot 1 8B. woe 11OO9131. t.a ditficult as the ~ra. 1.land.t 28 mota.I" • 1110 (T).lOll ot t. j j I wa. it put into SHORTLAJ.a1n1D. the .be SARATOGA bad been aunt and that three hita had be. At about 1200.- At. At £400.. he .lela .ent to the aoutb ang b••ded tor SIllRTLARD l.~ allbt 8Urpriae b1II to ba"'e tHed_ or act. whUe ruellnl and be wiaheel . 2 CA.t a.. .t .in. that. alowed and t.nea.aken at tM. WhUe t\1ua ololin.mander l1nel~er Diviaion 18.D Illand harbor and Ca." At 1&55. 7. ae.hat the ruellnl be diaoonhe thmacht.=1in: and then j o1n the Strlk1D. . dinaot. UIOO. 29.d b. b&d been det1D1tely 8Uftk. pn&.. C~D1Y 8. 2i bour •• Haylnll ellaoontlnued tIltliDl the f irlit oeetinn of' CruOh' a headed louth toward. _ov. recd"'ed C~ander 4th neet' II dllpatch "stop att. Th..b<Nt.. and SO lesa tb. fir._ the AlUed toroe.AIIA~U. rectl". b . 28& (1). a l1abt cruiser and the OIrE.eded to •••• At 0400.. traa t..be .. Dot.tnte it appearll thlrt no aotion OD thla ordtr . O.ll behind. and 4 DO beara. P.. At OS~O 1t wee cn!ered b. tollo. 286 aile.. . TbeN • • . Thla f t .be IRU. the YOBARI. Tbe r.ion. the OITE whicb had found th. that the SIIOUIU had been cSMated. Ct..ed 11 July 1942. prelNllab17 b7 ec-uder 4th rleet. 't. e dinned. tlae. to oonyo)' ve. OIBOYlfI. cODahting of the DeaDiva 2S. ... ..ck and proooed north".r brid.hip.

d 80.sty rtltreat. heading for TOWNSVILLE up?eared. Iq lah. rollowing the tracks In Diagr. 9th. Inva.'h-. Bothing ftsslght . .ted that the Allied force was.. at E2l6. .. . the tlrlt . thbt the Japana.1Ji••• ~liliiii..---t*~------~h.It This e:.." CamCruDiv 6 estilllo.. The ~5th hir Flotilla on I~ 8th.. in pOSition 2!S .. BOUGAINVILLE Uland. in fact...etion plul YUBARI and Orr! which latter d...Hy agaIn. Force. The Port Moresby luv8sion Force. J .... I 1 •• 1 the Port Morl.etroyer had eYident17 rejoined...tilllste was correct..rn!~ 'i 1 moat CruDlv 6 log atate.. and 4 DO.. and 11th apparently engaged in normal scouting operation.'' ••.1 _ II1II . CruDl. plu. withdrew frOID that bllBe on the next day.. deted 17 July 1942.. ••_ _ _ _••_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. or At 1840 lal 9th the submarine 1-:'8 appeara to huVG J116de a report about an enemy plane from which ComCruDi\? 6 estimat. 2 CA.s no op~ortunlty for attack becau. At 1200. CruDlv 6 pluo the TUBARl and or'J'E.. speed 16 knots. with Allied forces consistini or 1 BB..econd lections or C~Dlv 6 hbd now rejoined one another and CruDlv e (loss SAWAIII) beoue au ent. were "beating a hl. Subm~rinB 1 . south until l~'o when the7 rt. but the direction appears to have been somewhat different than estiJllated.nd to quote Jaapanese sources.lon rorel to RABAUL. course 500°. at this tillie.7. The TRUIC... 12. P. Continued on towards RABAUL and arrived there safely on May lOth.'v@rsed course and retired. CruDiv 6.e the type 96 land attack aircraft unit *Coabat Report No..8 forces at DEBOYNE.d bl A111fld land baaed air attack on lay 9th. Thul the tirlt and ..b. . 000 miles &1I'ay from hilll. thl JUBARI 1e •• the OITE. 6 plu.. after consolidation with CruD1v 18 plus DesRon 6. a.. t. were detached tram the Striking 'orce and headec tor !IETA. where it arrived at about 18:)0. It made a contact at 1030. C. ~cn­ on to th.. .... I: 7 ns 7 PH nus' • ...ained with the Strlkin.. K~ 8th.. to be heading aloni the east COli at of 11USTRALIA for SYDNEY. whlch apparently r . rlndesvou ••d ~tb the Striking 'oroe.ed that the enemy forces which were thought to b..1 I Force was ordered to discoDtinue searoh and return to _111- . Tbe Striking Porce.-'-wD£-i~eo9g7. Its log states that there . ~ich had had their reconnaissance leaplanel and shore installations destroy.t.. distant 240 miles trom DEBOYNE.q loth.~'I~nM~~ .

eAOq. d ~1 . unless approved b. Alar. ~ I t. The 25th Air notllla received orders from 11th Air ~leet to carry out immediate reconnaissance of TOWNSVII. ~ I. not available.Y Commander 4th Fleet.J 1 .ing in view of the fact that the log for ~~~ 7th indicates that it was planned t~ ~ake a powerful attack wi~h all force a on any ene. WDC 161725 P. -112- j ..~ W~" I was UDs. Patrol aircraft were directed againat subnarines as their primary objective unless special orders to the contrary were issued.1 .st Allied submarines which were proving a nuisance in the straits in the RABAUL area. "e. 6-7. but aince all aircraft available were on reconnaissance miSD10ns this attack wee planned for the next day.s surpri. SpeCial efforts were also planned on the loth agail. Ihat.S. Fourteen Zero fighters attacked PORT MORESBY with what the Javanese called "fair results. " ~.tssions. MNi)." No intol'lllation of the Succ. : f " '· '.r . <. but it alao indicateB an interference with CommKnder 4th Fleet. but made no contacta. .. I t. 1 April to 11 May 1942. On May 11th. WOO 161725 P. happened to the attack unit. if &n7thing.y tore•• sighted on May 8th.. of thia attack is ava. The enemy air forces in NEW GUINEA and NORTHERN AUSTRALIA were attacked. which flotilla was under the operational control ot Commander 4th Fleet. provortion or the Zero fighters ~ere transferred frOD RABAUL to LAE at this time. and the reconnaissance of TOWNSVILLK was carried out.. For ~ direct o~der b..** " l f l i { ~ ~ • ~ ~' c The Battle of the Coral Sea had endedl *War Diary of 25th Air Flotilla. patrols were continued. The DEBOYNE base was evacuated on that day and the 25th Air Flotilla received word that the operation against PORT MORESBY had been postponed until ~ July. r f 1 .* Thi. No patrol5 appear to have been made on May 10th.. overnight i. but no enemy shios wgre sighted.y Commander 11th Air Fleet concerning a~r operations' to Commander 25th Air Flotilla.* This showa the close contact that Commander 11th Air Fleet was maintaining over the operations ot the 25th Air Flotilla. **War Diary of ~5th Air F10ti 11a. could have an adverse effect on t.llable from Allied lIources.LE Harbor. On M~ 9th nineteen aircraft were aent out on search ...he latter's operations. 1 April to 11 lIay 1942.rviceable. '1 .

. Operations Officer Staff 5th Air Flotilla.*.-'V~~~·r. and they delayed fUrther a~tlon by seac* Atter the defeat at Kidway. the Battle of the Coral Sea would necessarily b~ clussed 8S a Japane.J .IDWlY Operation. USSBS-Naval Analysis Division-Interrogation of Japanese Officials Vol. the point of reference changes...~ victory. assisted TOKYO in deciding to go ahead with the ."l':'I. In addition. than the loes or the SHOHO and th6 slight damaging of the SHOKAKU were to the Japanese. it is far more important to ensure that the action contributes its full share towards the accOmplishment of the plan. I Interrogation Nav. lert the area immediately after the action and made no fUrther effort to attack the Japanese carriers.tAW_. whereas they still desired to capture PORT MORESBY._.~. where the battle was fought. -lIS- . whereas Japanese forces conduct~d a sAarch by ships and planes for two days to Iii...". Victories at sea are not necessarily always based on Ships lost or tactical successes gained. which resulted moat disastrously for the Japanese. "~ THE El"FECT OF THE BATTLE. If victo17 at . When the DatU. upon the extent to which such losses or tactical successes contribute to the accomplishment of the strategical plan.HiQ At4~i. and upon teaporary control of the action areas. **Supplemental R.. They are Bore often based upon the effect such losses or tactical successes m~ have upon ultimate victory.ea were based alone on carriers sunk and domag3d:. For the 10s8 of the LEXINGTON and the slight damaging ot the YORKTOWN.aoka."""". In naval warfare it is not sufficient merely to hold the action area as such. towards ultL~ate victory. Tbis was a cardinal obj ective in the Allied strategical plan for the PaCific War."'" • ~. they would no lODger attempt to do this 'by amphibious invasion at this tae. What were these overall effects? In the fir8t place.. The reference is not upon the action area...'~Jn.. they decided about 1 July lS42 that f'Ilrther attempts would be by land operations only.port-TRU~-NavAl ~ Raval Air F1~ld Team #3.. it is q~te possible th&t .1n Yam. of the Cor&! Sea is evaluated on this basis. the Japanese decided that. but rather upon the overall effects of the battle ItsAlf. at the time.*4.''''.".N. Thus the Allies by the Cnral Sea action bad succeeded in cheCking further Japanese advances by eea in the lEW GUINU-50L(WON Arca.PSie 28 E. and hence.. 10 Page 55. USSBS . No.""1"44.P"·\S""". *Interrogation of Captr. 1 ~ • t j 1 In the second pldce. TF 17 with the YORJrl'OWN. were more serious blows to the Allies.·."""':""'#2..he report to TOKYO by Commander Striking Force** that two American carriers of the SARATOGA and YORKTOWN cla8se8 bad been sunk. I.·~~'''jT'.Bcover ariy Allied forces left in the area.

to protect their homeland from further raid8e !he Allies wer~ forced to counter this operation witb limited forces.~M~f~'1~t~. Had the TOKYO raid not occurred. BATTLE LESSONS ~ttle 1.SI'ltlll'7.1. would probably have been available.l.r.ents were available in the area.~"t~rr. while the loss of the LEXINGTON was keenly felt at the Battle of Midway.t. this loss was not sufficient to prevent an American victory there. had these carriers beGn present at Midway. ~hlch conducted the TOKYO raid. however. Operations Officer Stafr 5th Air Flotilla.J.t . Tbi6 raid did not accomplish any particular material damage.n. J~pan had ~ carriers in the area at the time of the battle. the YORKTOWN. which at the time. . in order to eecure the safety of RABAUL.''''1.'.N.t~t!~.lnt~5t...t. On the other hand.rl. naturally. 10 P8le 55..n t. the fact nevertheles£..* This :1horlage of planes in the ZUIKAKU was the result of battle and opel'at1ona! losses for which no aircraft or air crew men and }Jllot replac.g. It did. HORNEr and ENTERPRISE. L88sonr hav~ This whole operation etressee the etrategic prinCiple that a raid may atrategic consequences ~ar above th08e originally contemplated. Based on theRe facts. this time towards PORT MORESBY. they would have changed the outcoae. The LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN were already in the area. The YORKTOWN had been repaired in time for the action and served gallantly.In the third place.?71~IS. the Allies were only able to concentratr. No..ilr.The Battle of tbe Coral Sea was brought on in part by the r~id on TOKYO on April 8. were en route from Pearl Harbor. 1942.. of Midway. ~r~'. I.·••Wte. Thie *Interrogation of Captain Yamaoka. 4 carriers.. reaains that the Japanese attribute part of their failure to the absence of these carriers. was at a low ebb. it must be historically true that the of the Coral Sea was a definite and far-reaching Allied success. 2.'.·!~b*. the damage to the SHOKAKU and tbe shortage of oper&tional planes on th~ ZUIKAIU prevented both of these carriers from billing in the Battl .. -114- iII.·Mk. that the Japanese commenced offensive operations again.. in the case of the Allies.. had the effect of reducing their means available for service in the Cor~l Sea Area.~~tt~. I Interrogation Bav.. and as a first move towards extending the perimeters of their conquered areas. . the HOSNET and ENTERPRISE. however.. LEXINGTON. as the TOKYO raid. considering tbe surrender of BATAAN and the situation in general in the Far East.. USSB5-Naval AnalysiS DiVision-Interrogation of Japanese Officials Vol. While there i8 no certainty tbat. having departed for the Coral Sea o~ April 30. 11ft the morale of the Allies. The net result of the TOKYO raid was.~e_. ._t*\~~~ .

J'apanese f:>rces were not adequately coordinated. wa.llIIliliill"_Ilia.«iI·...umder were.. was not &dvised of this tact. The dlvided command Which existed at th.tlese. or had he been ?laced under Commander Naval Forces SoWusPac for this operation..all to do substantial physical daaage.. 8&ttle of th_ Cor.d an advers8 efrect on the rortunes or the Allied forces. including the capture 'of III DfiA! • til'llled. This was done by the J'ap8. ~.~. with the exception of tho South . The J'al'aneee ap:>ear to have relied greatly on surprise in all of their planning. 2.at which was given hill. APparent17. .earebes and. · t"'I i$I I M'_d"'"_"_"~ "..I. _ raid was too . a.:::. caused b. CTY 17 apparently. who plaoed the command under Commander 4th "bet at RABAtJL. when they so deSired. in thl. .. IIfo!Ii~""""".f t~.. and her~eci81on to go ahead with the broad strategic plan.ot additlon~l r~ds.. 1s always a "aust". all Naval forces. Tbe single cOlllllland that CCllUnnnder 4th Fleet exercised is apPbrent throughout this study or the action. Al- 1 1 i. adequately searched at all.. with the result th~t the Allied task forces were able to strike them and destroy certain or t.·I17lfISlrIZlr" i i ltrllil:r. yet its political erfect._·iIoII".. her plan tor the occupation ct PORT MO~BY was expedited. it i8 logical to assume that the searches ~&de and the areas covered would have all contributed as rully as practicable.ere not. The J'ailanese plwming for this aperation does not appear to have been very thorough._ . The forces assigned thits COllu..l Sea ex~rt.::. case.y that the areas which he was infu:~ed were going to be searchod ..r•••• . _-. 1n fact. 11111_ _" _ _ •••._ . Rlld all uircrkrt been under his direct comme... This appears to have be~n the result of an unhoalthy mental attitude of over-confidence.___________.. a cODse<1uence. Adequate planning. appears to have caused Japan to change ail1t&r... rkthar than on~ partially. Loos~l1t It is advisable to maintain the OVerE U cOIIIIftand of the Joint services in the hand or the Coro.seas Detached Force.cbedulee tor other theaters.oC:lir forces separlltely before they wera able to c':>nce:ltrlit~.y the rear..l'ln. t'_I. . they could conduct their operations with complete secrecy.'. . _ _ '.. .fp(-_ _. .otand wi tb the par&llount interest..t'. Thb includa8 naval land based-air.. 'l1li ~ __ . Diagr&IDs B-1 and B-2 point o\t pluinl. was rorced to accept tt.·Ir. 3. 4._ _ _ _. to the accomplishment or the plan... CTr 17 had no control over the land based air . and is particularly important when a number of task forces or groups are to be coordinated into a common effort. They appear to have entertained the naive belief thnt..W .nd. either mental or written. was great and.·i!I"iIll1i111. .·Mrilillr.'lIi'IiIII" ·IIII!C.'III't'tIlillH...

neTerthel . tr~e that the exl. endeavored to esti~ate the course of aotion the en.w . . fortuitous oiroum. Orumlntlti:' rJar+' in this operation lI.otlon of the unexoeoted tor the PI:!"pose of oreatin@: .~·y eltu.Rowever.n tile entllDY will do something else. b\:t i ~ 11 douhttul if' th.n d1aooTer.. The Japane •• . r!:f'lrefore. There must be . '.n their order of p:rtlates't canp:er to him.ir ex(:han~ between the oarrier task p.d. '!'F 17 1n attaokinr: 'hoth 'T'ULAGI and the SP0T1 0 was nrotected by the 'had we.rou!'lI.NAval""ar coi1e~e. 1 'm • • S' st it OH' stn *' i '11" ' 's$ J . until 1t had . o. .ry neohion.vorable millta.en purely fortuitous. whioh mir.oaition during An Qir aotion is ohtained by that toroe whioh is able to operate within or under the oover of a frontal &ODe.r.thou~h It 1.· '.hould h.~.lr Ilnd henoe suffered heavily tn the f. They do not aopear to have ~lven ~dequate w~ight to other important enemy oapabilities. ?robably.ion of the enemy intentions. - It is unwise for a commander to base his plans sole lyon his oonoert. 1942.. This oonoept appears vaUcl today. thh use of the weather (Il)oears to have b. .ve been re!)a a ted • The ~tr1kln~ Foroe . qn\yever. ~owever. as 01'". ot their ~tr1king Foroe w•• unknown to the Allie. 1'Ifhen judioiously oonoehed and Buooe •• tully emoloyed it may be a most potent faotor. .~.ve ~.ed their olans on thh . thh w•• purely.urpri.. and to list them i.pparently.. otten the most advantageous !. n • • ~ilable to In.d by ~'ay 8th by Allied o.p'bill ti . oould not h. tel..n unf. . J.." .nd then ba.ht have interfered seriously with thdr olanll.te of the enemy" intaLtion.ont C. ev"ry effort should be -Sound '~nrt.tll)n tor the enemy.tanoe ...rrier pl.ther to the south. 5.'stim. iii..! -113- _ I $r7s ' J' . in the carrier battle on May 8th TF 11 was 1n olear wea4jhf.ne8.he Rotion.. Drobably kn.tta"hd the NEOSHO.my intended to tollow. -"GthGr nl_:v-ad .nd seriously 8t't'eoted the ou4joome.teno. o!' that he reoo~nized ita value until some 'time after t. .n. it must not be oounted on too heavily in plannIng. t this time of Allied r. p..y knew of the extent of 1til enlOloyment or or It. hi8 nlans.nd.1. U.. In this csse the <raoantlse carriers had the adwntal1.e be not obtained. 6.uffiolent . "'here is nothin~ whioh indic8tes that any ~omMander on ei ther side olanned to use the weather as a nava laic ' 0 seouri ty.e of w"!ather.n••• Th.Urprhe 11 the in.ure IUOO' •• 'Ten thou~h . It is wiser for the commander to follow the method of oapabilities and to hase his plans on those enemy oapabilities whioh may advers~ly ~ffeot.

ln the vloinlty ot ~he T..A were designed to ooftr the ar.uitable plane • • nd pilots .nt DWllber ot ..nd when the w.nd by almost daily attaok. and the laok of d. when TU!. we.. .rr.. where.nd to . "'hu.... in .e.h.~..ZiIiliTIfIi*. ~hflt rest. in an ar •• when there .re a lu1't'ioi..*. ...t ourrent .dequate.• • re . . ouri ty on u. shore installationa. Lesson: Cmnmanders or nava 1 Galk roro ••• hou ld no·.elr inrormed on the late.mnlaterl oper.~ under con.rinit. Th. a large unsearohed al'ea was unveiled whioh permitted the ~trUdng Foroe to paIS thl'ough undete"t~d....1tuation to In.~lu.hly don. Thh wa • • hown ln o. a not.. to exolud. failed to furnish any taotioal infromatioD -117- 1 n.ary.ft. esoec1e11y at l?AP}.a trom NOtnIEA to the .. ~hore based airor... maintained rrom 'PORT "('\'OE~FY._.el made by shore bued pl. notably.riction..o den:v lIuoh ..earohea oonducterl hy the patrol plane unit operatin!!: rrolll the TANGIER at NOUUF. and mils to make any add i tiona 1 . . 8. and although th.D•• )'. did not appe."'lla~'le to aooomplhh the .::I' '~II•• •• .ical . and by "..otive..hor.o •••• ry ..."n~"~ of 1t an~ t. . of the oarrler t~lk fornes on hoth ..o hi~ e~i8~ln~ s~r~t.- ~~ . ..CI rell.. Rowewr.nd on the Jananeu aide.url 1!It'"... tor aearch. bMsed aearohes beoome le •• errintent.yalao helped by bombin...tin~ . ou+'. I . 1n that ar•• if n. tor hi.nt that auoh s •• rohes are .r••• .l"'!.. on shippinr.~ioRl an~ tao+.* 14·( Wi W _ _ _.·~"'~ __ • ma~....1d a.. lIIltintained trOll DRBOYNF:. ..""erl 1r ~1!t sf9al"ches +'0 the horner ir.-. . it.(h.tant . tll6'IIIo" 'M . oonfid.011 o+.. forou rrom opentin.nd lonl r.._..eoes..'..ntall:'e to the . matt.".. 9. by • Commander to k•• p him.~~~~...Pac upon outside friendly foroea oOflrl\+.aroh.y must keep thl...inp: 1....re. had heen phoed by Com~n""e.. .. dlloi'_ililtllM• • 21.r areu +.. IiI··..rt.a .e oarrier ha •• d plane. 7..te thl1 lnror~tion t.lde triendl).~.arohel oonouo'ed 1'roln l'. j..n~.. is anoer..hat he is a"le +'0 +:fI"..$ .nd h. . on thft Allied slde. ~"~-~.pllln.. S...J. .~i""" . tAE and 'PAFAT'T.. . patrol .jllll:HljIlllilIlli IIII'.outheaatern border or ~o-res"-o.. t~ u. ~u .d that the . plaoe 1:heir .:o. oontinuou.n his flrell fire nl':l+' known.'III$1II7~:)_.. " ..('\rrI~IAnE Arohloeialr. oatrol wa.nee unless they ar. .. 4if. unrohin~ ~_~i .he .lTI.rot. in . oont. information rinally foroed the oommander.tudy.nd LAE..r to be err.. a.._______ t.nt that C'T'F 17 reI+..'..houle not be '0 ri.dinatAd... .2III·.oti .ide.' It . Lesson: Art'a border lines . rt'!I+. earoh.ather permit• • uGh searohu to be thoroup. . the . in the vlolnlty of PABAt~ where oontinuou.'""'..rohes whioh appear r:.$II'III'i·I 1l1l1..'IIMSIllii. although they helped by providin~ Itrate~ical informatlon on enemy dispositions and oonoentrRtior1..ther torec •• t.

alISO due to a Morta. the carr1.]'luute arm. ot that toroe . ~- . Thb..\Jnent for self-protection.. e4..&87 prey. cannot Oe str.t unit. eearch planes 8vl!.t c_plet...ouCh it .v&l ForceB.. ot IUitable plan•• IUd the r. lar.n und. -lUJ- I .rbge and Lir sup~ort unit~ and the surfLce force~ controlled dlrectly by thtl Fleet Area or Thel..nder aircr. OD Iq at..e part chle to the lack ot ooab1. of the N.ed airoratt aDd ne.. and & continuous flow of information should be furniEhcd dircct!~ to the Task Force Communders. Radio eliU'1Jl1ent for this purpose should be such b8 to insure prompt rece1:Jt of this information. whlcb nece. "" ..near lUll! borne 'force ..p~)ro~ch Elach other..y doctrine against the . Each of the three large Japanese patrol seaplLnes thMt mMde contbct TF 17 during the oper&tlons in the CORAL SEA was promptly intercepted and shot do~n by elements of the combat air patrol from that force. Had attact auP?Ort be..peeod and lack or 1IU1'ficient prot._----------_ _---_ . auet be ooord1nated bJ lnten..:':tngt! to mllke ~nd develop eacb contllct.ned traininc In th••••atter.trong17. Ad''i"ate air wpport. . I f f Fast l:mg rlmge recoMais:. wh.r.support the obJective . by land and t...nd f1l!ines. These Japane •• plflnes were not e-iuill.. Daval tore•• are at a ••riou..~ I ~ I J 1 J J Where the lilr support.. the responsiblf: provide for thorough search covf.-~---------------- -. by scouting botb strat.. the search E. Without . e..l~ and tactieall7. natur.ed with radAr and hud to clooe to vls'.saed too .de th_ ..hould alao coordinate their attacks b..hould cooper~t.LJld shado~ing activities should be inteusified.'cn the concerned.. Th.l1kble support ot thl... atter C~So"". units are nnt or Task Force COIIIIIlander..d't'anta. wlth the rkllge of thE.ttack and ••arch plane..unce 1b. time.EWled to be a alao.for tl'e Allied tichttlr pAlInes..oten••• ot metra11an baH'.nced long range rudur und with aa.tf1cleDt and r..t.ad attack apport OIl IIq 8th. . dl .-. Th ••• a1r aupport unit. lack ot undar. ba.ter COIIlIIlWlder should direct communications be.ilable...hl. naval force. throu@b HORN ISLAlCD and PORT MORESBY .. They .lt1on ot the Str1k1n' roroe. 81th. COIIlIuenSUr5.a1tated etq1Da . ~ith 10.. They should loc&te en.. whether it be direct or by intercept method.uttered aore d.... in ... in such a . As opnosing task forces &.gic.. There ...anner 88 to directly. Shore ba.ir alow ..l&.1Ye ooablned tra1n1na to bet hr wpport OOe anotber" operation. directly with th..o bad bHa 1Dtomed bJ err 11 ot the looation aDd d18PO...11bt ~.h. ..ctive tire power ll6. both reconnaillance and attack.r na't'tU cootrol.:L optrlltion.y t~sk forces at ~he earllest poesit]'.. .ui~}"ed with the most advo.a f'vIll_d b7 toM 8hoH baaed aircraft.tandlng of thb 't'1tall7 lIIportut prob1_ bT the A:N7 Air Force.l .tt for na't'.

t... The teat ot battl~ 11 I1lch a. attackinC together. carrier in & 'l'a" Group are launched tor the .ortle" tlom. A flilbt or plan.nand ot aU p..trtiClpat!ng air unit.hed with adequate tilbte· .cribt the int.ipt r 6Ona1:.!!l!U.. recoaaatilanoe. without de..ohed h.. Talk Group...rtake tbi.e lnfilcted. a&7 "Ilub'e the ...d rapi417 1A th1s N. Fighter Director Ofticer. action" 1D which it participated.lgneu to ae.8&Doe operatl00'.. 10 that on IIq 7th aDd 8th all attack.. . el••nt. .aand of the yariou.t. are u.be nuaber ot ...ed to und. nor ~. I 1 . are lDvalaable in the usual17 er. ot the tllabt. ranee lead pl. Lack ot IIU1table airfield.lcnate the order of attack.hould hay.. to pre.aver.ipated to .. both the YORKTOWN and L!XlNGTOI air attack arou~. the.elop aDd tract a oOlltaot..ell coordinated withiD the incUvidual All' Group. 'trail 1Itllob lon.. and did not produce the d. wer. ot all attaok unit..OH thaD OD.. not al rut.. The LEXINGTCIf AlI' Group CoMander accOl>an1ed the LlXIlfGTON air attack IJ'OUp in eacb ot th. launChed for • etrike al. prlllary re.nect.o ..H cenerellT . ot the Battle ot the CORAL SUe Ho. re8Ult~ in an overexpand1 tuN of .ar.t. lowlched nOil-COOrdinated attack.~ tro.11 aN~ tor tbll pw"pO" a. luad plaDe.. IUtter creder 10.. 1 L!. L •• -119- J I ~ .t cnac1ble or . no oVer.4d. de. ..-ader ~ould be turni. '" than would land plane. Tbe Air Group CoInander retained in YORKTOWJf a. the. nor al _ • . .t...a •• 11.ble.'.. A. The YORlTOWII apparentlJ laur.rval b.trike planes troa ...onnel.8ign targ..xercise over all tactical oc..k G~oup Strike Ca. 81s810n. involved. EYen lIIlall action. ot the rore. a 'l'ut Group strUte Commander ehould be de.ate.17 ha.ponaiblli tT a.dnst th • • n~ in the ••rl¥ dq. lar..t ••~" groupe and. claaa. the .A Task Group Strite eo. will in all probabl11t. rro.illled to conr an aNa wi tb1D which a nayal toroe 11 operatiq..- are preferable tor reooanal. ~ a1allar I)peratlc:.. of loec r . appointed to a. Mapl. the lar..Wl1 tloo tor th.sllD&ted Flight ~.r alr attack Iroup tor ..e' been expect.. ~ one carrier.e that . '0 the er. ~. -&1 oOQduot loq . .ril7 eater directlT into &DJ actioo whll:''' .tlJ 1aprove both the COIlbat ettiohrcy enlaced.11 Ta..ach . and and 1I0ral. leaplane....apllUle.. a d. The AlUed carrier pilot....iOll.c1 troa t.sion. .. bi.a.. I I ~ I' 12.. Iben . .1anating an officer to exerel •• tactical command of the «roup. 'fbi. lb..e all' . It the . to de . ail.. L~ geDaral... whlob are de. the attack on the SHOHO.ard.ooutin. Otticer in Tactical COIIIIand.ader in tactlcal ca.. .c~: ~e ahoald not uan. iaprov. that at TULAQI and train1n1 ot per.er. to aoordin.trUt.mander ..

Had the .. I.. 18. ~~saqp& i .diate danger. invaluable.. . the basic plan.ave Ule C~andtr a ••n.cSou.rou~3 b..hey l1hould chanee their opera>tin& arau frequently Klld rtluic&llly frOfli day to duy.d the Alll.. .omin. aDd intercept1on. reli~ble communic~t1on and r£dar information.tt With . loo. an enemy submarine was sighted ubout 15 miles away.".al not exploited to the t'ullut aciVClntage in the ac'don of MiIY 8th. ~ ~ 15._--_. to thtir courage and trK1n1ng. While tu. were . ..e.I Forcte Dot t4uipptd with rlldar have an almost lnaurmount£ble handicap to overcoat. in k very limited area. to their bearl". Le&'9n & . when the JApanese . inherent in rllder . . . _( •• 1 .~ j l 1 ~ . eTr 17 apparently decided thAt b.sonl task forces bnd other forces vulnerab16 to subm~rine ¥ttuck ahould not r .y tffort should therefore be m~de to insure thbt the Coaaander i t not forctd into action &gllinst an en_y better t4uipptd in tecbn0108ic&1 1t .llllg. notably on the evenln.&iD in submarine oreas for long periods unl~ss it 1& absolutely neceoeary to do in order to suP?ort. ad.CTF 17 futled. 8th.. \ I When II bogey is detected by r~dar. Dlring thle tiroe theae two task forces lIantuvered ~t .evtrkl ooea. Certainly. 'i " j ~ .. nr. for about 50 hours. C~rrier j j 1 t '0( 1 .e. . and did not chWlge the task group fueling Iorea. it is iaportant ttat defending f1jhtere be vectored out to intercept at the earliest possible . -120- . TF 11 aad Tr 17 undar tht commnnd of..... It appears that the great advliDt. and WhaD it waa final!~ ~ vectored. or . it was sent in inll.e. ~ . t . .. forctd to opel'.ht hav~ attllck.... The coabat alr patrol • • not .. The Japantee.. a hlah tt1b~t. because of its radar and its fighter director eyst_.. plane •• it IUlded All1t<l plane. of aq 7th ""d the .. l . . . The t .ament.Allied tor~ •• not bod r..Y surprle~.lon. ther. on tb.. for be continued ru..t of rea.. .ages which TF 17 possessed..nt. . conai.0 .. t.e manner.ainlt IUrprl..low epeed and cro.d talk .s not 1D any ~. 14.t~ng 1n tb1.de'luate streDgth anel at too low an altitude.ere tully apparent.ort 81aple dtvlct. be1Dc entirely without radar..ectored to intercept the incoaing r~ld untIl too late. Tbe taot that thty dld au Wtlll a8 they did under thiB territic handlcap 1.onable .sed and recrossed one another's trllcka.. radar pve Dotlce or lDoop.tent with pl8D~ performanr... Ever. aad ot attack1D.dar. lt ._-_ ''"'''I~-'--~' .. When practicable.l.eJ 1t .. "\ ~ "'~ iI v I I ..ecurltr .. other hand. .

L!XIROTOII not IUtrlehnt to a..ade to train personnel in thll.1CG of the radar plctur•• '!'he naher or tl.elT atfected b7 ai.l. or an air attack be allowed lain an advantageoua position without beiDl I5UbJected to att4ck bY' lUDa and plane •• .$ r !h.. .1apMd u. on an en~ ..80nr Correct recolDi tion and 1dentiflcation 1e or .d hl. reasonabl.al or th..1'II1t a raasonabb naber ot tighterl to accoapany th..quate crouP'. loat in battle or through oper. outflclent to prOYld.ible tor dectalons whlch reacted adversely on the Coamandera.r pilote or plane.h..y to thdr Itrateg1cal deteat..d out to •• ct the raid 1D ad.aUu inad.t.81 Srd and 4t.. were-(a) the Japan ••e error in alltaking the Nl. ctnred out to lnterc. -121- L . it reach•• th.. aa .reat.t be plac.t.rrectl.. ctor. I.r •• cort OIl ita attack on the 81188.ot both eb1p.BAOL on ... S•• thia allowanc. di.r th..u._ent" tor the replac_ante or eith.ption..Ild that tl I r chane.quat.bat a1roratt b lUob that the .akiq up the attack beror.S. laportance. but there 1\0..UUd advlll1ta.ed to 21 fl. .ault of the experience gain.ad. air attack group al 1 t.ht. ..rror iD bo.et thia requir. and.roup... apeed or oc. arri..d 111 the Coral. and plane. ov.pt a ra1~.billl TO U.i tude or the 1Il~ croup.1nI the Str1k1nC Force to expo. 80re nan. able to aak. _~ attaCk o.11 aa to . tiID.ra tor the YOUTO.. re~on. Iben rllht. fbi. .ei tber the Japaneae nor the Alllel &D7 arran.. that tJ ~ tlpt. th_ the alt . and thereb. Itrengtb.aa increa. th.r or 1D a carrler croup w. i • . .r. UDIlec. The aUonnce ot 18 tlgbt.)" force..t b. bet.81 not be ac:Wer. and th. or a trlendly plane be abot don.ent.htera for each c.Jor error ad contributed in a large n.. In the caae of the lapanea. protectlon ror the tore. A r&1d CAD be broken up auoh aore .Nore.0 11.. a trUndlT Core •• 16..1.tanc. r the t"nat1on doe. at th.htera a.. TbeT did tranarer 18 Zero fllhtera to R... .ake.e 1 t. and .~ Recolll1tlon and Id.tion81 tailure.. Furth.tit1cation.. the lnitial d.ra are . Support FOrce.4.xpend ita air roe.. lnterc. not pel'llit d.aurce. rorution ahould be iaproYed.ption troa the rOl'llatiOD. ft..'Nriq. or th.1• L." Dot appear to haYe been any atock- ..lq.ly 1t the coabat alr patrol la . . . AIIone the moat glaring or the •• error.oSHO and SIllS for a carrier tau torce.. earUer the r1lht. tb ••reate Mould b. n-ery errort ehould be . th.y cau.xtre.o p.. are . the UN ot 1arpr ~uJ)' raducfla contu. tl.h lDoulh to 11"'.ra . tb1 • •a a att..otion Nld th. t.rrl~r.ctored CD an lDterc.r or th_ . aMD. rather than in IUCceee10n in . and aa a r. probable at t. tb..r nuab. pr •• ence. or br. utter 10 that the C~andera plan .&ilable in a cerri.bou1d b... (b) the Anrr Air rorce . poor on both aldea..

..rraac.a tor th.ble to OTr 11 tmtll..ble to .ee! dur1nc the action.quatG17 their a. &Dd a ru..r prooe~ed OIl thll operiltloo. 1D operaUon. .t be .cted . ot the.. tor the t. rec.ratlon. In thll connectlon...-ot L1'8ut. tb. with the . Pbilippin. Indl. COKIICR rel.C.. in Bureau or Aeron..ldentq bad diloov. ". a._t... "acted ao. al the. 1Ih1D CIICPAC.oc. ba. RaJ. Couander C.ttOD ad~u. Tb1ri &lao appUe.. 1Il part.l priorltJ in the .. aod nre 11al ted to .---------.ir t\a~ OOIl8UllptlO1l. ahould b• •ad•• l~.. aad the •• th.. b18 oc. 1D the ana.&llable in olo. ot aore thlD 011.'.tioD in th..7 •••ed to _11 oool1dered plan.k toro.. th..j InteI'Y1-.~.tic..t1. 8yailable.:..Una .. - pUe ot ourler baaed Vpe. !be Allie. aotion th. it 1.tloal ... two dl. It ..7d. c1pbeX'.. on..t ~b1Dl-flot.aUable. Tb.rlaad. or aotion r ..1. aarked operat1OD. thc1 enoountered rue11nl dittioulti.ir treed.the other baad.e bJ.ant. . aq be un.tent 1101'17 to CTF 11. to other lOCl.ent...l&tlO1l.d to be no plan.ed br eI..unit1on and tood. oU..tablilbed in certain kq location. tb..~ I ""ROIlI ..ed 111 c. ..ain. 1942.wt tbat after the tiaal earn... their ••rleMA' \Ulit. then or aupb.t re.1 tal aportUlo.. . a con.. Althoqb Dot a.. JulJ 16. the otur CDlCP!C...e1bi11 t7 or 10• • • • • •ouro.atlon. ru.ir op. oUar wu r.uch .edtate "plao__t ot plane. turnbbecS a tran..t.l. rro.. pvt1cular17 fuel r.122- j 1 .t operation.te. per t .. and pilot. iD a clpher whlch C!I' 17 did not bold.re to&'ced to 011611'.pl1lb ad..tter the actlon....rudin.110 aoyed ol1ere with thdr unit..ture....1'1 18. tor wq nayal torcea anla. a• • ot whlob were appanntlJ prot. ot thil n. app. upon requ•• t. oj requi . . .aaential that erfort be expended to 1Dwr..bout an. that adequate tue1 11 a.. . wltb the Port IIor••by lnyal10n ~ro.. .. tor helin..a1p.linl con. on. 1011.quina_t.* aean. Loll.tantlJ r. Japan•• e .---------------. receaa at SHCB'I'WD Illand-and thq . or COll.t aclYer.ct in tb. The content. ot breaId. but relaUYel¥ . area.tricted b7 • l1ait. or 1'r 11..0 ..patche. replao.cS taa_. COIInaWllcatlon orrICer.11 b•• e been uaed by crr 11.red thl.utIca. could ..&val UDlt. th. !b.e dlapatchee ••• Dot aade avail. whlch bav.ported nth the Strlldna roroe. YORKTOWN.. 10... wblob were "'1 ot . OIl . un.CPAC.. USN.DI We qlpber weI'. . Lt• • • Pr10r to ~ oper. ... Tb.e~ UIl tbe operatlon.r could ba.. "I'.lIlt. t. Eren witb th••• arrenl. Tbe lntonlaUon contained therein.oy .tioned in the bod¥ ot th18 &D&1. to captur.~ca. !b.retor. and the po. a~ ot . .. Tbe7 bad e.~------- .&Ad t1'OIl the oUer •• . etoo. 01117...

ntare...laa1.uv..uYlI'ed iDdlYldua.bted of OIl. . near OIl the SIIOIAlU. and th. two n.ral~ . tbat dl'patohe.. S (8000 JU'du) troa th.oNi••r.retore be 1&00 1ard.cU. YORKTOIII ..).r torp. 2.. 'fb. er1D' 01' 1\14t1re. to ba•• b. 80..n and the d••tro1. (b) the Japan. carri.. battle 1Iblcb ••thod • • pr. (a) th.o.r .tups and reduced thdr gunfire acourllcy. b~e!! partialq due to tho b~d waathwr whiob oOYered the'Japane •• carri.1 •••• .t.r.ar...n a. .»ortlDl ahip.. .re...n or 4 oNi ••r. to th.etroy.ct that the Japane. tbe orui.tlOll that tilq bold th.ctual.uv. n. OIl Iq 8tb th.r oould b.lr the 100.. .cn.r ••taUoetd OIl an 1Dn.) trc..t.tlODed OIl oircl. and ta.rable..en loa• . to b.or..ir b.t!'OJ.. carri.ndent~ kDd not r'17 priaarily upon guntir.S. plll.. 2600 The AlUed praetl0' tor th. on the other bllJ\d. Lt'_t a.. Japu. OIl olrole 1. IlUpport abJ.mat .d th. to AlUed carri. .ar••t a oruh.r.p.tt._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . de.at d.ltror'I" OIl oirol.r tos. .. .1 (UOO JUd.. . Ibould eal\ln pdor to depart1q OIl an opep. a.'l'J .ater experleno. OIl oircl.ta ot ...ucb reterenc. ot the lapane.uver.tion that the Japan ••• thouibt that th.e cho •• to have their shipe aan. allowano.hould be appar..r.6 (2600 yaJOd. were cen. tttl' ~. oarri.r.nt that.y 8th app.... n.a ..) t~ the oent.do plan.ab. OD th. and ptJ'llitttd th..... O.e or a .. ea.r . torpedo plan. Tb. with tb' cma.ar . a. 1 "1" . Allied OUTler tonatlon.nt t8ctors..r. ahould be baaed on an &naq.rlng.. although they did m&n..t a d. th. I ~ l J . ratio • • two baab bite. than in man. SHORO to be rtadl17 d•• tI'07td..uvering kOd.1 .alpl.ctiy.upport1Dc Iblp. aup. d.r roraatlon..pport1D.are..r(. Th. lapaD'" pilott did INcb . 8\100. and partiall1 to tbe cr. OlD the oth.. The t.. nre OIl oirol... 1.trort Mould be od. D. I'OtiOD oon.&rd. aenter. and th...r ind.by nircling independently. aad o1pber•• 20.ir carrlerh) a .r could be to th.).. Tbe Alliea. .ur. the7 d.... 01' two carrier.xoeptlon.r.. a clear indic. OIl tb.ir o_plet.. Japan••• . 4 (4000 yard.tr.rtaiD. and th... l&y in ahD. wi thout too ..r. eooo 7ard Japan. appur to bay.. to hay.ir AA ". boab bit ud 12 iIl.d more in ~ir.) traa th' carrl. thaD Allled pilot.ar about "ual. .p. to MIleuY.d.rrl. the oeMI'. 'l'b Japan ••• praotio. durlfta tbi.upportlD. aDd two torpedo hit.1. LlXIIOTOl. It 11 dlfficult to aq troa W. tbe ad4re. ot cod. OD..nd11l1 the SROIIO • • in.._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.. . ____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ m .~ would th. pilot.t earrl..Uar to the Allied praoUe. did to th.r.. would b. been about twio. • L'. appear... The ~binl pilot.ar . they did.v.09r Anti-aircratt romation.6 (11500 1ard. are ••t 10 OI'7ptocnpblo • •t • • whiob an beld . th. ot the Japul'" OIl I . 1..fena.ll..tt. on an out... It .or. w.r with th.. In the OUt . bell.ot a two-carn.hlp• • an. app. d. tar h'f:a tb. I I i _b 8 111.r bud.. In tb..etI'01. Allied ..r at the 0_ t.a tiOll the oarrler. with two ..11 pertin.-w. w1th1D a double .t a bite ud iIl.t.t.11'...

.ot.rat..ted vol• • or talrl...ir cl.ir olaJJaa ot _.. r ••pon. tb•• tteotlven••• or th.t. ..ttitud.yp.· . intlieted on 1Il~ ahip.nd••vor.. 'fbla .v. tt.n ••• inona••d..I t_. to bay.ata. ."'...rror. ____ h ~" . .q oorrect. oth.v.en oorreot. Ob..lr . ~ j ' 'I ..otlven••• ot tb......vallabllt t.IIIIII'__ .r.10na inclined to b.ck •••8 to vary direct17 with an incr. 1 ••• .r and S"D plan. to h.t1on tOI..r.ril lb'lI I~~_. ot the adv.pp••r to h.ttaok1Dc pilot •• Th. atrong detens •• Ileana 1881 .~:_ . ot the . .tt. b.ppe. ..o the J.r d.a1n.' '" 4 l i.. which .na. l.n th.aed OD r. bad .lbillt.uapl.ir ..tOl1•• . Both the Allied and Japan.1ncre•• ed a. hi&blT optia18t. .trongl7 d.· b. 'fbil Dalpr.pOllaibil1t1 or the pilot..a••t tb.t Tr 44 CD • . •• 21.quall. ob •• rntiona' a. eo-and.d eagalnlt the SROBO .ble to aa1nta1D • GOIloentr.tre.ttack1n. th...zperiene.uree th'T wore . protection in the c. \.ain..viatora wer. and th.ten. 8th ..ocur. ~ .tt.t. IUid. h.!!: the .ot an !Der•••• 10 tlpt. ..t Tr 17 OIl • . .red and br the .. ...ir ola1lla ot d.rw1 ..ve. AA d..a ••• 10 .ppear to MV.ther and to aanwv.y ot the pilot..eriou8ll".a. and re. th.y . AlUteS o1&111 a ot " .r..ppar-tlJ b..vatuatiDi sucb ob •• rvat1Ol1'. b ••n lIuk. alao.' and plane..nd b.ot th... \ . Tbe.ental .ten.. tntuoted . NEOSHO and SIMS .fena..ocur.. et-r 1 '~ i 1 ~ " ) .m IP).1tbOUP the ldmtitloatlon ot IfttaT aMpa and t.rr.t .. th. be.lIld_07 to eDlg.u. Part ot thia awm'17 oontlc1_o•••• b. . tanta.t.illi...1aa . or 'fr 44. tona.dar.t10D8...ttack. Iluat do ao with caution.r.tended tau toro•• or b •••• .daR th. and ot th.lo 10 their ola1a.t.. appe. . if. . Dot .•• the need tor obtalniDI actual proot or daaage iDtl1cW br the u •• ot Qbotograp!lt tat_ wige g1'!!l.r to b.t the Btr1k1Dc roro. ot the oppoait1on ancount..ar to b.. rir.d17 looorr.o.c1 in' pMrt by the . ot the A. lad their cla1aa .lD. 'fbi.r ••• unit. ot d• •.t. 7tb wer. ~ auoh 115.. the d.pprox1a. ot '1'1 17.tt...r ao doi~1 did .v.d at TULAGI.y tor .. . ..pane •• 0la1a.r. .n .th.... in the oae.~. .. 1nfl1ot. For .... . Bo. th. bad • t.aae 1n the inten. rlpt.ra in . . 'fM..d to k•• p th.l~ of the d.l d..pp.d on the . .~. .tion appear. -1 Where airoraft are 11v.:OI. .. Ho.rt. :1 . on 000 . th• •ocurac.. th. bHQ oorr. to the .iD.. tnlliot. Nell beeau.tio. IIIIIII"_''''''.ir AA ••t~pa. and an iDore••ed AA d.ot.

at9.I Rear Adm1r~1 Tada1chi Hara. ------~ .- 1 COMBAT APPRAISAL of the .~~ ·1 ~ j ·1 I I 1 l f SF..": CARRIER TASK FORCE Cc:MIANDER j l ': J -~ l . • j . I.-. ... ..._-.......J.N..---.._-_.' wett )\M' .. tnt' l' ' art'" '(' - 5 .. 'l i J j . _.')'Stt'.-~.....:2 S' '2. JAPANEb.~ ~ .'WH' ...'... -------_. ~ ..... ------.. .

Whether be knew this or not is not apparent. Lik0 Rear Admiral Fletcher. thnt the operations then underway for launching planes were inconsistent with Japanese doctrine.I' 'JA. and in ac~ordance with the plan.qtlQ!6C'F t>: . and. there seem to have been few searches in the east central part of the Coral Sea. As an example.- Rear Admlral Tadaishi Hara ~~Stri!1n. once he had. In supervi sing his planned action he relied heavily on land based air·craft to keep him provided with information. -:WW.F .. it must be remembered that it ap?ears to have been Japanese practice to operate the carrier task groups r8ther loosely. hence their reported sinking of both the YORKTOWN and SARATOOA was not u. ¥V4'R"tqa. He appears to have been an enthusia~tic.ect reports which brought on action against the NEOSHO WId SIMS--note also the raports of the battle on May 8th. be was eager for action and sought it.. ' ". competent commander of a carrier striking force so long !s the situation remained favorable.' . he seemed to accept the statements of his aviators without hesitation--note the incor. and he appeared to flel that not receiving informat!on indicated that all was well. apparently. possibly.'!'*¥H lA' f4l4 ..""FfW'~~~"~'F "" 'iT.. l j . without determining whether the time for action waf' correct or not. apparently. Camnander striking Force was relying on searches which . the launching of the 27 attack planes against TF 17 without knowing the exact location of that force. found himself in what he deemed to be an unfavorable military situation and thereby ap~eared to suffer an unexpected loss of "face"... He. caused the los~ of 20 planes and.j ". This ready acceptance of his aviatol"s reports ap~ears to have been partlally based upon over-confidence. 'e. at the time.. l ... "125- .'~."lexpected. Although he allowed his task force to become separated on the mornini of May 8th.& F~ Rear Admiral Hara presents many of the complex person characteristIcs which so often appeared among Japanese cODnanders throughout the war. I Like Rear Admiral Fletcher.'I j . as when the SHOHO was B~nk. He launcbed his attacks boldly. •. -111'!""'-~ .ere not being adequately c~nducted. did not think. However. ther~fore. by virtue Ilff. or when he was faced with immediate and clear cut danger. where the aviators reported both Allied carriers sunk. he st~Jck out almost blindly. and under poor weatber conditions. He seemed to feel that his aviators were superior to those of the Allies. Actually. s')metil:les. of as many pilots under conditione where both were vital to success and where both were irreplaceable. and conse'luently made several what appear to uave been very serious erro:-s. and effectlvply.

and at the time aade no further effort to destroy the Allied ships remaining afloat. He appeared to be content to rest on the laurels of part1al succese rather than to pursue tbe enemy to annihilation. after the battle. a lack of will to "all out" vectory. of which h6 gained the asc«ndan~ 1n the main carrier betion on Yay 8th. 'be had decided tbat both Allied carriers had been sunk. On the other hand.. he did not ~ppear to best advent age when. -126- J ..~'R"1"' _______.' This indicates a frailty in his military character.___ . He appears to have considered that his share of the oper6tion hbd been completed. Such an attitude was not conducive to futUre Japanese succeSE.

1- "I . AA guns of 3rd Base Unit a all. liyobede a& DO (1) DesRon 19 OKINOSHIMI. NobuJi XAXO KINUGASA FURU'l'W SHOaO SAZANAJlI • CA lCV 1 OD 1 1 . 1AI1942 1 I .AIle XPC' XPC xpe a AztJIIAYAllA-IIARU TAlAHAE-MARU (4) Base Units Part of KURE 3rd Speclal A part of the 7th Construction Section One 13 mm...l duty Minesweepers (3) 56th Subchaser Group TAMA-IIARU No. QBGAtllZATJO~ Ql lAPAIII'§I m. IBOO1':t. Narai Ca> TOLAnI Invasion Force R. SHINA.RU DD XAI( HAGINA.fI!ARU NOSH! RO-liARU Nos. COIIIIDander 4th Fleet in ct (ASHlIfA at RABAUL V. ~ lQB m fim1 MQWn QPI1RATIQI. Machine Gun of ~rd Two TIFO 8 all. GaTO. -1- I ! • j . (Weapons Only) BaBe Un! t Guns (M) of the 8th Base Unit (5) Covering Force AOBA CF) V. Adm. AdIIl.WEMPII .. KllUZUIU YUZUKI (2) 14th Minesweeper Division TAMA-M/. ~ XAI lCt 2 . 1 and 2 epeci6. AdIIl. lfAGA-IIARU No.' ::0.

WIOIA. .....-R~ !dID.. MUsuJi rour l~ lUll. _ (b) PORT MORESSr Invasion roro. _-...11 - ~mm7 pm'! 2 s:r #. AV One portion ot the 8th Base Unlt-C~unication Personnel (PORT MORESBY) Transportation Section (e) SUPPORT Force (1) 18th Squadron R. an'. " .. '*:""' . F . AA guns ot the 8th Base Unit j 1 " mlRnT (F) TATSUDA " " 2 CL 2 AV " HIJlRIICAWA-IIARU IAlfIKAWA-IfARD (2) Sth Gunboat Division HIUIII-MARU ItEIJO-ifARU SHOE! -liARD ~ XAVP . : ......5 r .."lS of the 4th &1:18 Unit Greeter portion or lURE ~rd Special Unit lOth Constl~ctlon Section Four 12 CIIl. . .AMA...rJ . Sad_. !dIII. _.. . AI..chi " " " let ASANAGl IUTStlItI MOCHIZOItl fAJOI 6 DD 1(21 uzun TSUGARU (2) linesweeper 110 Unit (~) lAIr Transports AZOIIAYlJIA--llRU GOYO.aChine Guns of the 8th Base Un! t Two 8 C!II.'1 TO' . . QUa ••4 . _ _ _ •• j 1 . gu. '$« t7& ' bg 'r. ARU AlIBAl'oWA-lURU SHOItA~ARU 1 i i ffAGAWA-ICARU YUJllfA lUJtAWA~ARU 1 j ~ DAIl'fI 10Itt -liARD No. IATSUY.. AA guns ot the 8th Base Unit Two 8 CII... .... IfOGAlillCAWA-IIARU (4) Base unite (&abarked) 1 9 AP._-------------(1) 6th Destroyer SQUadron lOBAR! (F) OtT!: · ' ..... II 'J t « ..

'~.. TaJceo 2 CA HAGURO (2) 5th Carrier Division SlI~JCAIU ZUlmu (S) 21th De8t~oyer Uiv1aioo SBIGURE feu Ij i / YtJGURl ARI1t. C4' Base Unite One portion o£ the KURE ~rd Special Unit One portion of the Ca.tsunage 2 OSS RO :14 1-22 I-~4 I-::!8 1-29 4SS (t) SUPPLY Group IRQ HOYO-lfARU IIDWROYAMA. ARU 25 AO . .) SUBMARINE Force RO ~!5 I Capt. ·~"·--"·"'--"--"" _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .r_. Adli.'_S.?7M".municatioDe Personnel ot the 8th Baae Unit V.'~. HARA (d) STRIKING Force (1) 5th Squadron nolO (r) v.!. IIVAGAMA.~m~mb~.._~.7. Adra.7Mn~'n~.?~7S~?'Mt.••• b 7 • b.1D. 2 XCI.1.I_n~·_t~1 ~t.D SHlRAORO (4) 7th Destroyer Division USHIO AJCEBONO 'l'CH~~~ t 4 DD 2 DO AO 1 .17.1~&~b .'.. (._t~.r Division HAGIW-IIARU NOSHtRD"'AlUJ 10.r7..7." (0) SUPPORT 'orce (Cont1aued) 1 ...'.iii - ~.. p.._. TAUGI. XAM (~) 14th ..m.\(...·~~(~w~_~ ____ ~~ __ •• ..

"'NO i (2) Air Unit. _. IJIIAZAWA.a10n ~ Un! t. AdIII.• _-------- . -iT- l ~. :·t' t t ttf.. Unit 81. . IlaJ.: m n 7 rn 1 t n t Sstb. ~. 8tb C~icat101l Ullit 8tb Subaarin.r Group EOTBUKI-IWW 10. j ot the BlfIIARCJ[ AREA (1) 8th sa•• Unit R. 6 1 PG Ba. Gen. ' .SBY InT.-(I) DUDISE tnm's _ . HORII ..:.. j ~ ill J .' a: m ' tt ".on ~ain On~t ot Rabau1 6th Gunboat Group SBI ZOMI-IIARU 1 PO 'et.et Baaed 111 the BI9URCE Area R. ot 11th Idr rl. Relia.. Sadll10ehl 26th A1r Plotilla 'J'AIlAI Air Unit FOURTH Air Group IIOTOYAIIA Air Un!t YOKOBJIIA Air Unit (h) PORT IIORr. .nt 1 Coapany ot the 55th CaTalry Regiaent let BD ot the 55th Mountain Gun "Iiaent lat Cca~ ot the 55th 1D11n.t Garri.er Reg1aent 2nd CcapaD7 ot the 55th 'J'ransportatioo R.. 1 Pars 5 : tWx.h· Subohaa. South seaa Detacmact l(4th lilt. :.giact let Company ot the 4~th Mobile AA Battalion In addit10n 6 A:lwy Transports. YAMADA.

_~ •• ." __ .el rue1iy Group Capt. a...1d !CA R.r R. 1'OBt' apm.. fM_t. TIPPECAlfOE. DIllY.~.". Capt.S n t ' tnt ! t bt .. WALlE (0) L17..IINUPO:tJ:S _ O!\tF. G.. ..2.----------------. ItDJra...1) .IA CHICAGO ROBART 2 CA 1CL (11.. FARRAGUT.1) At$!~ Grgyp R• .S.2r4) PBlLPS.. G. A.OIJOHa mwnr. PORTLOD B CA (11..S. R.<. DeBaun 1 AV 12 VP group 12 VP -v-_ or S7a1': 7 muW) .1) Q£2iR R.. ROOFer " DD I (d) (17 .1) YORITOWI LEXIlIOTOB (11.A4II..1 Se~£ch lAO I DD Comdr.. Pb1llips JII:OSHO. C.. " W '~'Cdtt' 5 n :". SIIltb (17.2) ASTORIA. A.ER. OHESr. WORDEll (e) (17.AIIS (17.H.S. 1a toRlTO.') PERIIIS.g) TANGI!. AIIlERQ.. (a) (17.Go Craoe AU8'l'fW.2.. _ _ ~.S} ag222E~ (17. . SDlS. J .. Ada ••• ~.4) IIORRIS. ~ I grIt.% ••0Inerne. Adle. I Tt" OWIMIZWIM OcwI.._. " .W. larq 600 (b) '17..' Slit . J . .#°1 N-N' .. RJlllAIH. AdIa.Dder '1'a* Foro.S) Air Caedr.5.WI II • 61114'1'.. ROSSELL • ICV Capt...~~ .. Fitch 200 (17. T. "-.C...r.

- .OktNOSHIIIA . 1 Patrol seaplane. 1 l>estroyer ._----------- Sblp. 2 1 Slall aircraft carri.TAMA IIARIJ 110.SHOKAIU 'Plus Aircraft loatr .or . 11&7 ..etroy. __ . IIa7 • 1*7 " 11*7 " 11*7 1 lay 11 No.rier . 4 engine Hay 4 I ! lIay 7 110.Carrier ?lanea *90 lIay 7 lay 8 lIay 7 lay 7 lay 8 Lost 1.~6s 2 Float plane.per..OItINOSHIIIA Shipe dUlasedr 1 lI1ne layer . land baaed S2 Carrier planea .r ..tal ain.rted Roep.. 2 aotored. 1 and 10. 4 engine 1 Patrol .1' 5 1 Patrol seaplane. 5 Float pla. T zpSF .SHOBO 1 liD.r . 8 11*7 . • . 1. aunke 1 o.!D.'1' AlIA IIW 2 Spealal duty coa.r ttWtJ p"."1 sinking of SRORD 15 Carrier planes *105 Total Aircraft L08t lay 7 Personnel casualtieaz 900 (About) *Doas not include losses inflicted by Allied shore based aircraft. Neither does it include planes recovered but so damaged as to make thea no longer serviceable. The nuaber of plane a in this latter category was probably high.conT.. 4 engine 6 Torpedo planes._- .IIIU 1AJ11 1 tare.r .. ~..ft 1 Aircraft ca. IIq" 1181' " Several alacellaneoua saall cr..~ 11&7 8 J I I I From combat or operational causes.YOZUII 1 Converted eulaarlne cha..r ..eaplane. n 2 mrr SKM)'U'S ' "he'f " at .!L. ~t noon ~ay 9th the ZUIKAKU hud only 13 ready for service out of a probable 75 on board.

~ I ·1 *IDclude.t. S6 ~ .~ wp...81' 8 ~1 *81 Total 4ircratt to.. plan•• NcoreNet but .. . 8 . SS Carrier Flaa•• IIq 1 .. ) t '.."ie..ul1ed ahoN baaed aircratt. by . 1 .. autt.t Per... pm) t Mrp.~"""""""""""""-----------------"""". I lUDka • .= vb ct' ! 't? t 51'.SIMS 1 Airoratt oarn.£.DOS 11&711 ~'a I I I I I T Airoraft lo..q. J . ~ a. Mb.l .. " ii ~ nrrn .er . I I I l S Carrier plan•• 10 Carrier plane.. to uke th_ DO laager '.red. . Doea Dot include 10....oanel casualti •• .Li:XIJGTCIr 1 Oller .. or LlXIHGroB S5 Carrier plane.We. lit s tra z.IIOBBO T Sblp.able... raft' .I ~--~. .. ..-. 1 1 Deftl"Ol'v .. ii'6 Lost in liDkta.:.ech Oller ...--=-~---.

.~S'~~~-.~ Kit 1liio.1942 A U 5 T R L A ...---... .rlr7. __ •••5 . SANTA IS. ACTION AREA MAY 4-8. -..... .... 111. 0... i ~ CHOIIIUL 0 \ 1 . ..~"ln~'ts.11.S~p ~'~pr~~..._--- ~---- i8 . \ ."ttL I. I I. THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA •... ____ .. ..$~?t.. «... ~ \)..i -.. --_. . ~~ n~~lt~ ~ . '-'1 " J ..1.. ". "". ------4 COMBINED F LEE T ..--."" I...- Til"" SOWESPAC \ \ \ j "...-----~~~--'-- ["-'-.. 01. \ I I \ \ \ '-.-' .·.._-------. '. '" 7""" . _nd~· o ....'. .'" ( .I. Nt !)....be) 8hl. 'lrl· $. Melli. ._---+-NEW G U IN E .. .~~ ..

. . III· • THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA ACTION AREA MAY 4-8. .jO-..s.0 I ... ~.".'.. aiel".. 111.. . Nul Utul.o I CJ 20' V " '- .'. . . I III'L"'NO "IW . [ron.ANDS A·'onall1.. '8. Q~ o IANICS IS.:. \~ \.. SOPAC . -.J Mit I . ."'.. MALAITA I ~ ~".. \ . ShI" 11 .--------.-. SOWESPAC ~.* 0.1942 \ .~II"IIII .) . SANTA IIAllL I. ..--. SANTA CIIUZ ISI.... .' " " ' " " II.. I ~. c'u. . f t=: -.. I"~' ~~ . I -~ ..on..QO nQ.••i .. Malll. ~ t). 011· ~.. .FLEET I \ \ \ ~.. \ I hi ." "'. aN~ •• 1 or at •. ---~N S-'N C'''STOI~ f--.. <J. . '-..~~. .AGRAM-A II Iu I'" L. _. o ~ CHOISIUL I. .. \ " & • D. I..

.../M.III. ..1 _~_~~~_~-'-_________ .'. I ' . . i -+------------ -~--------I 1 "OItI""LTY II.. ~"M!i. 1--_ _ _ --1\--__________ _ I ~ .. . ..' .. ...'" . ....::.. 0"0 AT 50 .1I7.. ".n.~r. THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEAl ALLIED AIR SEARCH AREAS TO BE COY EREO FROM AUSTRA!.7~be ~·_~ ..-:---------~-! "'..------... .. - o"'''"LIY· ..~ I . . ~ ci'UTTI"~ '\ i "W~[Al· ..~t••~.i . \ ~ \ i . I ... --t.'i"~~. NEW G U IN E I I L-AIlIA "JIO OY . PORT MORESB AND TULAGI AS DELINEATE 0 BY COMS ON __~ " ~ .S.·I·rll'.. .::~.'.. o CIOIICutr y /'1'" / /: I SOWESPAC ---x-----~----+-. I I .·.'-:~~.~~. L 1. __ --"-'-. ~"'.. I I.::'... 1III."-- J/ ----==1 1 1 1 .73 ~·~js.. o .77 .. i. . ... / < \ .~ "'... __ ... ? ... .IA. .--~~. s~t~~_~ . . .

------. : -~ THE BATTLE OF THE -. ".. 'CAST" _ _ / ' ------------. I .' "\ O· ..--I.'tl I A"'. ~.---~-- T ~_+_----------_t_-----------. I I I ...J " .i"'~'. ~.' SOWESPAC "'.) ~Q.L +- --~ I..--~---. OON" ~ <. lUI\. ...~~.. .--~-- .----.. ~. I. Dally . 111.-. I '.) " ~---T~--t" I .I. ...t_-. . I. '-. \ I W~I" \~ '. PORT MORESBY AND TULAGI AS DELINEATED BY COMSOWESPAC ON 27 APRIL.'.~.-------------.h .. ~N ""IST.. SOPAC .' .. "I I ! A"!:A "tIYl'O" Twlc.n. tII.._-_. \ o \ \ I)~ANIC' II.1/ . __ ~~_...1 \ I I !I . ORAL SEA ..8·./ . I 10. .~--- ALLIED AIR SEARCH AREAS TO BE COVERED FROM AUSTRALIA. '- ---------- DIAGRAM. . O·UTTUNUT" \ o "WIlEAT" .8 ' :" . "... --. ~UlAl~~D.IOL -. ... '~ 1 .----._. ~~~~U.. . I .-~--~ -.. -.- -- ...

. I "Wllf41"\ \ . ---------.T •• "AIAUl owing .... ""IIAUL .) ". I I -(j----" ~ _...-~-:-::-====:=::::::::=-=---==-:=::::: .1. . v. T R A L A I . NEW G U KOO R " . O"lIARlEY" SA 'frr . -----. .. .\. ". SOWESPAC l . AO-.nt .-----=-=-=-=====... " l-' " Oil " •. \~~ ___ I THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL AIR SEARCH PLAN SEA I I BASIC ~1I.I.t .lIt'" At . '-17 ""IIIUl' bad .r~..w . To •• ' OCloncurt .\(Wood'a. 6 11-.--------... . Ii M. 2 11-.'\ \ \ o \ "BuTTERNUT" \ 0' • '-.1 ..1 Lilt v.. .. A U s . _ _ _ . ...--.u.. ... \ \ \ 'I I \ .- I ~.------.. C"'STAII~~ ••• ~4 \ • 1241 ... \ \ ~---..7r. \ \ Rnlll .. 1\ II-'Tfailid 'a.PI5t I.:>' .. . .: 0: Q 0: • .lr . . 4 - .. her I...- ------.~u. ". --- . .'. ""l TV '5 ~. ~_~-·Mt~I ·~i~' ••• . p .-. .P ••••II50W(SfAC 'thelrt". ... t...-----~------------ - ...n....-.\ o~."OATS" ". . ". "'. ....._?_m.. tt~. --4--..

1tI... '\ I \ ~~ .· THE IBB~TsicLE AI~F s:~~cr:t!"N SEll c./ \ \ SOPAC \ s..-. Mollish RI.~'" f.A"""'... ~ .9. 'IS \ l.· ·.'.5'-1· ... '. ~-.. ..~..iiie-tOll*' ntl:'"""..r. O"8ARLEY" ONdoni or 510. 0 (\ o BANKS IS I 1 \14 ..t •.____.----~.l_____________ .~ ..: ---------------------~---------------- _ _t-_.. '1 1( .' ...0 tJ) .~ ~_ " -f ... tilll•••771'11)111'...*. /0/ It 10 1 <~ NOlJm~ ""tIIIn _ -twa ::l1T%. ~ f"'\ "BUTTERNUT" o \ \ I~.<lii_*_·IiII.... .80. \\'') \ \ \ O~\·~ \ ~\..C---:_'----- ~\h" .... I \ "" I I \ .... . -.._ __ . ..."'..- u_ 111M. "MOON" EromQnQO I.. ......I' P . •'V~ I __ \ 51.IiIIitI'iII'MiI'. ..ttt._ _ _ ~7 L~ .. Q . . ..---.~_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _05· KOO R 'C...... 4.... ---.l"~ U~ ~ '.:..."'~""" 16 • ~I • . ~ -... ..OSIt 8111 0" I'a.--- ~_l__ _____________ .. SOWESPAC I ". . ~ 0 I :--=r~c:. SANTA CRUZ 'SLANDS I I I \ ___ IX X \ X '... .. ....__ . Cruz I.' .. ' "': o· Q 0: 1. ... I"c~. .. \ 'a..'IIII'III....l I I ~i 1 i 1 q .~ \ '.... \ \ . 15 • . ..~ " - '.'-~~~-B-2 r Tontouto~')..'.1..\ o· 0'· ._:.. 00 ...:. I \ '\ \ ~co \ 06 ~OIO kO""'.~ ....2 ) ::Ii.• .. H. .____ _ ____________~I . .. \ Elplritu SOntoa Ja"'~~8/J _-....... ______2_Q. I I " I WhilO Sond POin~EIQIO I.__Q..

." l O.:q..: .Sil? . Shocltd area indicates bod weother bond for position of tront at mlan time ot dio.co"n~llsonc ../' I ~"'~~":-. " . I \.d lat..avem.iP 0 '+' . un~now"\ ' "".n ......r duo .~~.I I ' \ Area covered by Arm.' ti I~ I NEW GU N <.p... Tow.:: .d TRUK I Moy ... .. '..:':" "'" \ "."" fA .. '-. '.h RI....d \ FORCE (Approllmat..~.. Fron101 zone moved northward with deceierot.. . '\\ ' "RYE" ") w'other.. :-::::" .lIi. i i 9 lanes IrMsport..l . \ .. -... " . numb~r of plan . PRIL 1942 TO 0820.tiQ9 '\ . ~~~ -"..1fII".. 3 \:.r" TRUK Z9 April "h..nt over southeastern NEW GUI NEA beeolne slowly southword ~O \ ERING FORCE 0..! R. ~. " SOWESPAC " ~.: :. ----Chart."". \."..' ../ ~2 ".:.d TRUK 30 Ap"l.. ..11<.....I. po.. 3 MAY TIME ZONE (-II) 1.r o BATTLE OF THE CORAL A U S 'f R A A .rom. TRI~ING \. ....no velocity until end of penod Ir"''''''~.:.h. «:-.. ~o .f..:: .r.po". .'~· .. ~----------+--------------- 08~·. '-. ..:.tapp.. l!QQ J '@ 8-617 VS Robeul ) 6-617 1. i t» At .. 1\ . " .. . r"·. orl.ition) Raboul (Fore...:.

/ / ..J C) --_..-. I •• ill••:.-. of pion •• unknown. -. """::::::«TU/HT . pOlitio"' tronipor ttd to Robo"1 (Foret <J----t-J..--11 ~~--+..•.4 ...:3 MAY 1942 TIME ZONE C-II'_L ~=--=:"'::::::..._-------+\-- tKING FORCE (Appro.. .:::: \~ "'.-----.I".=-'"= ='::---~-----=-=-'-'::. ..tld TRUK I Mav FORCE TRUK 50 Aproi..·---Irt----·------·--·~O I BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA <:--.....------....." by Atmy numb" .-....!I. SOWESPAC ..\ Arlo r.....--1------.."'tllilh RI.-+------t-----. / '" SOPAC ~\!~~.[· •••••••I••••••......_-..:"~==-==--=- n If) 7 ct_ ._-----------' I .-.-.- _..t. .cOl'ln~lIlSonc. PRIL 1942 TO 0820....... G --.. ~\\ R.:.-... STRIKING FORCE Dlpa..·•••• •••••••• :i..

.") \ . __________ ~. \ . ____ _ .. '~" . I ..r bond 'or pOlilion 0' 'rolll at .I T--============~~=r=F. "" 0800".oup. I 2-B11 vs Robaul ' L -·-I~'-·----~--~-----'- . .. 10 IIIOINMI for Tonion Aor G.LI~ME ZONE (-II) I -~-- ~----- ... I '. V I _ _ _ .. ord unlil loword end period when ".: .. t14I!l 0 Shaded otea indicol. -.. '. bad ". ___ _ NEW .) .' practicoll.m.. .' '.~.:-::::: ." due to wea. _--=+1&&' 0' --" . _.. I .. .... .. ".. ····::~~.-r----~ . 0820.h-Ir.SlollPld-9plonll tron.co". ¥ -=-=C='.:::::~~ :i/li . i .-'--1 .F... . '. \ \ Au. .\ \ \ ~Mllllih Rf...:I 1200 joinld '. SOWESPAC \ THE BATTLE OF THE U S T R A A . .! ••• !. -----.bod ...:"~f!• • ~i• • I .oll"n SOLOMON ISLANDS b. 1300 ".3 M. 900 " NIOlhO] jOi Id-'-:' " RUIIIII I 5 "..oulh"ord and IIIOv. 'e --..olh. .l.' .4 .on time diovrom Frontal lone mov•••towl. " .onlv 3 orri. Iiolianor. t J A @ 9-817 VS Roboul..======. ...-- ~~i-.com_ 1."..meni 0_ norlh"n NEW HEBRIDES b..-""'~. ~ . ·.-. . norlh .¥ FUll Suppl. ... tT. '. >:. ' : '. . r-_ -. . .il . 5. / l . c~. "" '..._=_.._ 3 _ _ _'_'~.. .W 1942 TO 2400.ov. ~~6-B26 VS Bunokanou 9-P39 VS Lal..101 " 6-817 to Lal.nli ] ~~~:.i!i...-~-·~~l .nl ov" lOulll..porlld . 0' "0. .

. T • I '>...' SUPPORT FORCE..-~: -'. ::£S~·~~~~: I•·./-::')10 Ro ." ~OCJ C GUAOALCANAL I -' ~VF launchld 1311 ____ .----=--:-::-.. I~OO .. In <" '--In... .\ \ ~ ..6:::)::::::: .-.' .i.(. I.9VT.. _____ _ DoH~~~~~~~~III·J._. \ -- \ . _ -.--. .-:.\ \ . ~Olt-' ~ \ \ SOWESPAC .--.anlperlld . . . ..·.. -." SIOPPld-')plan .- .-----~------~IO~·H .." :Srd. <. ~ .-:.• "..:-.--~=_-_~=--=---:..~..!. J --'---. .·..·...I. \ . \ -.-:. "( \..---.._------------_.. mn m 7f" '5'1 ':1 7 'fums m ) tutts·w"..:.. ... ~ L_ ~ BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA ... ~. el 10' Tanlan Air Group. \ -I( . TIME_ZONE (-1 11 \ '._---+----------- ___ 05" . ". .!ili:•• " !. r • *'# Itt·· ..3 MAY 1942 TO 2400..:..1~09-12VS.. I i ....=----. '~A4M Fuel Supply. ~-------'f . "I I F=. -i'--- Efale I...--.rtt •.-- .-'-----------_.-.4 MAY 1942 .Iotllllih RI.oo \ .. . 1 1 '.. 1 1 r_ . t ...--~ I!! !I" Ie ----·t.. A!lock launchld . 1~00. THE 0820.'7/.. ' .' \. .~«II• • • .-:+-:·.I. ... ' \ •B .1:=====---=1=-==--=-::':""---==----~-------. >. " . '\: -~-~(-i~:' {:?:~...

._..'_:: yr... _------ 1.I..1 ...II II. Numb" 'plan.d over no~I".. U.. . A' . \ ~ All Bl1. . U. SOWESPAC ..----+--+--.... 'ronlol Ion.olll. IIIow . I"'~ 112~/!I U.. ~-.t~t. 01 dioO.. u.- ---------------oj i Polroli"ll Ihi.ou9" May B.. pion. SS tI...' SS.. A'.S. 0"4111 U. 1400/11 1. .~5.I 01 llleon Ii .II 2DD..l.S pi..~rl.. 1. 6 TIME ZONE (-I' .t • • • All ••• ' litO..rl$.. .1.••t 2~I" All FIOI".._-------_~-_-_::__---_-~-~--__ . repO!1I 1\ CA/CL....ed or.. I AV· ••• II. th.' r..~l. bond lor pOll110n .po. : u 5 T R A L A 2400.d v. .perla I CAl.!I...:~t7i).. (!> ® 10!1I/~ (J) (J) <!> ® @ ~ U. 4 MAY 1942 TO 2400. . Areo CO" tlrld by Army Rlconnoi •• anc"..r.[. pion.d aoul" •• II..1 7~1'In. pl ••• .col. I CA..___.1 '"".......~>~t~C~ i~1~H~ '~'r~~~!. Wood lark. ~ . bod . COIII. ssc\ ' ' /.. wit._111.el .'01". 3...[.. _....S. 10'....------------·Iif'"------iW - -li.. j \ . .!I."II. .~--~----- =:-.. ... .1. 1140/11 U.nd 826 on ol"t.~---------~. ~~... ICA/CL . .... pl ••• '~~o'l.I...... . o '- ""lIilll RI.I.'.t5~'rl!.... pia •• . oil U... pia .rn NEW HEBRIDES __x u __________ -·.. plan... IIPO.... 1131/11 103&18 1200/6 122~/1I "4\0'..o..?'~b*~rt.•.ly "OII"IIO.11. .1.d OW.. ..II P.r. I 1_ ~. ". . 14~0 ShO.po.h ___ - <D () T III Jop.:OA.·. 1'0111 " ..I •• by Yo.m. ...po.. : .. "'0..oll. plan. .." . 1440/~ ew.. (V attacked by 111 . 10'11/11 O.... I AI. I M. ..po.. I AV....' JI' ..*_~~~ .. THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL [...1'.. ind.reo aoul" 01 aoul".o. .'OY..kl_ I CV. lIuko PoIIOg.W·$~ 7...10. U... ..· Two err IV 3 811 v. 'W~AT" mornin •• ot(':h.!7.ton pl ...S.5DO·co".rn NEW GUINEA.r..n SOLOMON ISLANDS a.~_ •• ____ .. no.llo-ly loul"wo. .I 131018 1311118 U.'0 0' \''''''J "..I. U. / '~)3 ____~---------+~-r.I"wo. -.. " •• .2Mk~!$~·7 M'~:. Ilowl.:~t.po. .. ._-.tet! ...lIi.." 1---------..I. .po..-.. OV ' _ •.___~--~~ ....IA'.. .------- 1113018 11I30/S _ --_ . @ 3 II 11 v... .I. ..d alo. pl .th. unknown.!I.

.. ' .\ . unknown i "'"""~ Rf r " "\.. .S plonl"pO"'~C"/CL.r. \ ~400 ..s~1 ~ ~·.d II.. I 10·1 I . .'! • O.....lI I CA. :)J ~.S..~17. . \ 1"1 ."!!i*"SQiINf ai". U S.~ '" I 4 .cl..Numb" f pion.'~ ..\ ' . • \ji DIAGRAM-E i. U.!!DD.t Qu •• n Carulln. ..d up.. . .$. '.)~~~b_.. ~ ~ 120016 U 1225/6 1510/8 pi onl .. pion. yo..t.lI '5 101~/!I ) a> (4) US.3C"... .. repo.S plan.• r.~ w"" .".. \ 'If> <" If' ~ ~ ZOo ~ -.Iorch .Co~toct not 'ollow. ......~ ~d~'b ~O... · n~r. .... ~ ~ ' ...ICV. iif1l:f"l1!"\" "44.It U.. plonl ropo.~ . \ [A.. 10'0' A.I. S.. ~ 1 I (.~ .) LEGEND T /5 JoP rocon plonl '.ow.. IAV'lm. 117.. plan.. • /(J'I a .lIo'moroS5. 0' 251h ..toPpld U.m. . \i' 1440/0 US plonl ropo.Ol!O. . .hlpi 1240/5 U..~ ~ ' ~ .. 4 MAY 1942 TO 2400..k..po. ~ 1- <" <9 ~ SOWESPAC a ..I ""'oll.. ropo..•iCJ . ..·~~""'r.1 A".1I I AV 1400/5 US. ". ~""T""'¥""" . S47~ 8 ~ 15!1118 1530. 2 .S. .. @ (j) US plonl '"~O'" I Aa. 200.. . .'.. \. I CV.left. port..ton'ft' ~ 'C...hol down 0'54/5 US. 1055/!1 U.n .1I I CA/CL. 6 TIME ZONE (-I) J MAY 1942 Allum.: H...JI" r. I Tift"" 122~/5 c"' <!' \1) .. ~I . nc .. ...n"lIIn..'.1&0- <D ...'.am RUIIIIII •.. .oll..' . .. morn.t:..eo co". . CV ollockld b. .hili .po. ... . THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA II 2400. ____ . U 5 plonl "po.. I_I<.'" 2 ". ~ Noumia~~ [2..d by Army RICOnnQI •• onc& ..t ./ ~ "" ' '. plonl repo. at lunri".. .. rrtf//t:(..•• ' __ .. M!"'*". . 4P. or Floltllc .6 1530/6 4.fAI<. -·· ..th. po.18B.lI. plo" . . r. CV Fo......ul•• " ••• Iv •. plonl '.''--'''~-''"''l'''''' . "f.". 1738/5 1036/6 Ij\ ~ 5S "po. "'...llllt.. dlpartur.. Hbr . ...lI ICA/ •• .. ..~"!I"T""'"" _ _ """"""""~""'''''''''~--'''-'-'-~'-'''...

. . I I oW~fAT' by At"'1 .r band lor po.- OCIoncurr1 " " " THE DATTLE OF THE CORAL Sr.M' .. SOWESPAC " ".ord olld . . .. C 0. Fronlol ron.n \ .....outh.-----------+--~------- ---\ I \ '~ .:....1001. ..itloll 01 'rOllt at .-..:.... bod ... . 1 ) "'"U"•.• M.... l \ } SlIe .rw GUINEA..r northOrll NEW HEI'''OES.=:'===--==-=-::::.ol". ...-" .IIII" Rf .....". -"1"...d area 1.lOwl1 nort"... Hbr 1 ......alralln. . '\\ ". . Corolin..... .......ord ~vtr loutheoll •• II .. \.1 . plan" . '...:::----=-.. 7 MAY 1942 TIME ZONE (-II) I ...... tt l '..-------. 2400.. .:. .011 II .... ------------------i .. alcilioled ... ..:::=:=============:.. of dlo.:._ I A Numb. €?" .-.. '""fflhMdW't:~ '.o.rOIll..' II ..:==~-==~:::::i 14 • • "oct.. ... aver aroo _I" of SOLOMON ISLANO~ and av..-======-======:::. 4 -'1 i.".-: . J__________________ J '>.:-=-=-=--:.. \ \ ..onno I"on".. ..--=-=-=:::. .A .6 MAY 1942 TO 2400..

O~~EAT· b1 A'IIIY "... .--~------~- IS!!· ------ -.~I::ZONE :I~_J_ 1---------_. . " " I " \ .' "'"umed d. THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA MAY 1942 TO 2400. -. ..un_ by Jar.. '... .. pIon... .. . :-(:: :. . \.. ~--L-----'----- 55 Chloo . f3 QQ' :: : : :: : : : : : : ::: : :: ::: : :: ... -.:::=-:.n. ... ...partur. . ... . at l. . I I SOWESPAC '" I .. . . .. I .'~ . . .:.' "tJ .. . . I" I.. 7 MAY 1942 \B. 6 . . .. _---------+-----------_. .19· ...lllih RI .M... .:onnol •• onCl. :... 2400.I. J ------_ . 5 __ 0 07~o~"o 7 ~ . ~ I .. ~ .. ..-------==-~-==---=---:=:==========:. .=----------~. 0830 pIAG_RAM-F .. """"own I .. .--~~-. \'. . I : I I . I I ..

a\llched attack group 1 vr..... (-11J .~. . . Contact report received by YORKTOWN from her scout 2 CV.• '.~ plua FARRAGUT.. " 1.. 0840 0859 ~. 0625 0e45 07~5 SUpport Group. . cour'e SlOo T.. 1520 -27' E•• course 1400 T.. [T iN . FURUTAKA No. .] ~. 12 VS.rrm p itT lit . 000S 0926-0947 LEXINGTON launched attack group 10 V!.. - .~ .. 9... apeed 12 mots. I. Task SUnrise T. 16 W&r. B-17 contact: "Enemy Fleet 1 CV..J 07~6 1 1 .. "" . 1 plane sights U.Tla.. . 0745 0748 0810 0815 . 10.. .a . ..-.. distanoe ~ ml1es-CAP tailed to intercept. 11 VS. ....F... Lat. IIHUGASA No.-'.. V'II 17. 17 • Gro~p l7..~. --~-~~ .. Long.. plane reports enaay task force compoeed or 1 CV. . " Japanes& twin pontoon Single encine seaplane Sighted by TG 11.' .. '.. Task Force... un rkttrrn' ht H I wit ... 0944-1013 YORlTon :i. Radar oontact by TF 11 unidentified plane bearing 2950 T. ' •...: j . &.. ~" '.. 15. . " . '" . 2 CA... speed 18-20 knots.. 16. 6...t i I ~-~ 8.. ~ l I ~ 1 " ~. 10 VT.S. 0619 YORXTOWN launohad air aearch. .. CarDlv S planes siaht and report NEOSHO and SIllS as Allied Carrier rorce.) t n)' • "e . :r o S. lOO-S4' S. Japanese twin float single engine eeaplane shot down br YORKTOWN scout. 2. 0820 oa~s 12. YORKTOWN scout with sector ~ed1an 067 returned. ". detaohed.& " ' ' f QllMNOLOGICAA LIS!' or WElTS NO'lJI2 lB CHART lOR PERIOD JW 7:tca Z. 16 VB.. 1 BB. 4 CA.. •• 5. --. u. lS20-~6' E.1 7.:5... Japanese twin pontoon single engine seaplane shot down by YORKTOWN scout. 0942 B-l7 sighted and identU'ied b11'G 11.. ~ ..:~ .S. 11. 7 VB. 7 DD. 12 VT.~~ " .~ .. Contact by YORKTOWN scout 2 CAts. 100-05' S~ Long.hips and 10 AP's bombed by 2 B-17 in Lat...._ ..~". SIMd aiased by single bomb dropped by reconnaissance plane..

ae... 21.. I I 44 1 rrztu 'p ! 5 '[0 71tt .. 09SO n:osao r..raly 1200 l240-1~S8 Army Air Contact..acked by 27 dive bombers..htins asny plbllell in Lat. .. l7. Me' . 2~.. II(. l7. oarrier (VSB) apparently lost and low on gas.S. . ~'m. Army Air contact 5 warehips... lSOO APproximately 12 Japanese carrier based dive bombers sighted approaching by TG l7. ~ 27. 1100 1100-1l~ 1110 1l~1-1l46 Arm¥ SIMS Air Contact 9 vessels. 1&0-05' 5.1tude Bombers (NELLS) from &. di~tance 28 ailes. dlstanc. 17.. but retired without attacking... Japanese planes broke formation and retired when fired upon. 19. 24. TI~ee U.. SIMS and NEOSHO att. Air Cont6ct SCAt's..~-- . .port~i tJi. sunk NEOSHO-received 7 dil'ect hits. 1410 U. (NEOSHO. 1449 1457 19 High Alt.le 41 a118s-1 section YORKTOWN CAP intercepted and shot down one KA~ANASHI flying boat about 15 milea from the T._ •• 18. at 1100. CarDlv 5 planes correct 07~6 report of Allied Carrier Force to be a Convoy. 25.S and then departed to northward.SIMS actually). T. "ar......G.~.---' Cd J . ". carrier V~B. "Convoy._ _ M~ h_ '. Long. 22. circled inside screen of T. A~ B-~6 planes with AU~TRALIA 8S target drop 5 bombs.. _.~ ~O..000 feet struddle AU~~RALIA with 500 yd. .T..~ ..G. l4~5 lU8 attackbd by H: Bettys carrying torpedoes.. Radar contact by ..S. 20.bout 15. bomb pattern.G.... \ I J." l ..ti u~uring 1350 T. 1/ I 28~ 1~45 29....-. 19 ships plus 11 meu of YORKTOWN-LEXINGTON recovered attack groups. later identified as 10 Japanese single eosine aonop1anes when sighted at 1557... _ _ ' I .r.~.~ on group of pl~i. 159°-08' E. SHOHO attacked and sunk by YORKTOWN-LEXINGTON Attack Group. . 1044 Radar contact made by TF 17 unidentified plane cl08ins on bebrin~ 0450 T.. apparently chasing a U. 26.

Japanese planes in YORlTOWN landing Believed LEXINGTON radar plot indicates air pll'. I 4:5. Long. • -1 " ~ I • ~ I ~ ~6. Sunset T. . 49. night of 1-8 lIay.... fo11o~ed by YORKTOWN CAP at 1803. 1 CA.iI 'IIiI'IIII'&IIi"·. 1680 -28' E.tlnea 21 ~il.IIII'IIiiI··...F.. di... 48.. enallY force of 1 BB.llee circ1in·g.1 shot down.. ..-d1stiIDcs 12 al1es from T. 17. Estimated movement of Japanese c&rriors during'darkne8s.liIIIIIi'lIiIItI __ ___ · ..· _ . Army Air Contact 5 AP. speed 16 knots. Radar contact by T.. 8S 0900 and ca. S7.. Radar contact by T~G.._.S on plane bearinl 2900 T..'m ·••••••• • •• ? . 1 DD-course 2100 • 1 11th Air Fleet reports enllllY here on couree 1800 • At 1940 report is amplified giving en.. 16S0 AOBA No._·. 1M7 1700 1111 Air contact 5 AP. di~tance 48 miles-LEXINGTON CAP vectored out to intercept. distance 19 miles. 2 CL...F. 17 opened fire on circl. ~.. later identified visually &t 1805 as a PRtrol BoIIIber..'Cc.. . DD at 1855. Radar oontaet by T.0 T. Continued to shadow foraation until 1817.F. IPlliIS• • 'S.. distanoe 20 ailes. S8.. 1'745 45. Later identified at 18S4 as Japane •• t_in float aingle engine seaplane...t'. 17. 41. ~ 2~ o • 47. Radar contact by T..p08ed o 1 cv.y here on course T. l7. 17 on large group unidentified planes bearing 1440 T. 46._--1&28 15S1 N1!X)SHO reports ahe 1.rl:rIPI1ITlIIIs.8. Remained 1n Vicinity until 1835. 17 on unidentified plane bearing 0000 T. course 200.. 2 plane report.. . 1 40.~ on plane bearing 0200 T. 8inking in Lat. .. 1811 1845 1910 5 Japanese VF shot down by LEXINGTON CAP 1 Japaneae VSB ahot down by YORKTOWN CAP. ..SS. uf-s8 t S. CarDiv 5 Attack plane report8 en.F.. ~9..~_ . strange airorlift sighted burinl 24. 17.G. A~ ~ DD. . I 17U 1714 17S2 l I 42.~ ..mIlTMlizlllllL'iIII d't. 1IIiIII:1I7'.r_. to be Japanese landing circle.y course. 2 CA.

end dilpatches to CINCPAC. Heading north. and . closing.ltloo of 2 CV. nany DD's as given by 2-S-2 in contact reP'?rt. 9. . 18. LEXINGTON Attack Groups launched. course :5550 (T).5 Force and report it at 083S as 2 . SHOKAKU attacked by YORKTO~-LEY~NGTON YORKTO~N 15. • CA. LEXINGTOI launch~d seoo air .~ 1 BB. ZJIKAKU. Army Air Contact. 1 CL. 1 AO. 2-5-1 chlillges course to am. J~pftDese 0815/8 0815/8 5.>l1fy contact made by 2-S-2. Po. Heading south.e Time (-11) 0055/8 0625/8 MONAGHAN departa to ••• rch fo NEO~HO-SIIIS aurviTor.AKU attacked by LEXINGTON Attack Group.c \ . Japanese four-angina flying boat interc8pted and shot down by CAP from YORlITOI'/N. S••rch plane. Planes from 25th Air Flotilla sight Allied Force and report it at 1500 as I BH. 11:12/8 16. CT. I DD. 6 DD. 5 DD. 2-5-£ make. Attack Group. ~ seaplane shot down by B-11. 7" 0820/a 0822/8 08w/a 09000925/8 0954/8 1014/8 1017/6 10:50/8 1055/8 1051/8 111~- S.CHRONOLOGICAL LIST 01 EVERTS Noted on chart for period 8-11 118¥ Zor. many DO's. 1 AK. 2 CA and 4 DD. YORKTOWN. attucked by Japanese planes fram SHOKAKU. 14. 6. 15. 2-5-1 locates enemy force and makes contact report. contact with 2 CV.~ .-11 receives 0815 contact report from 2-8-2. from Striking Force sight 21.rch. distance 68 miles. • CA. 1] • 12. 1140/8 SBOr. Army Air Contuct. 2 CA. 125O/a 1240/8 1305/8 Army Air Contact. Radar contact large group of plune5 be&ring 0200 . 17. l 10.

:nay Air Contact 6 men of war at FAlSI fueling trom AD.'... 2S.." _. 148 -44' E.1771'. Considerable shIpping 1000/10 Air Conh ct 1 CA... 1 AP.... _. in BOUGAlNV1LLE b"TRAITS.. j 9 lay At CEBOYNE seaplanes and aeaplane b~5e being con~tructod.._. 1 AV and " seapla.. Lat...' ' II. Long.". S. 1 AO bS. 3 B-26'attack 11 AP and 6 other .. "h~. S2.. 9 lay 1200/9 HOO/9 roo ... 25. 1-28 report. Three 4 engine VP seaplanes seen at ~ULAGI."1es· d8JIaged by AnDy Air. 15So-~D' E.. Air Contact. 15°-03' S. . !ray Air Contuct. 21. Lat. . 9 AP at SALAMOA. 1500/9 1225/9 1250/9 1840/9 10 May 0915/10 ~ Air Cont$ct'~ cruiserc. Long. rTJl¥ S7. Armg Air Cont. 11 0 -58' 5. Long.'iI'. ~~~ ~45 21. __ .. J..' · .. Tot~~ of 11 ships here. Air Cont~ct 2 CA'e.". 1S AP.1IiI'iIIII)J. False cont. 26. ~6. S4.hil '. :2 AM. lsO..'arehips. 22. ~. 15' E.7I1111'III:__iIIIIiI11IiIII·llllit. Was LIIlOU Reef. 3 AP.• ·. . 9 barges. 28.. Air Contact. .~ct by YORKTOWN Scout. Cour~. SOD.. Armb S5. (T>. 153 -S28 E.. J. :2 AM's anchored. 07o_~. J8OO/9 ~Iay I 2 AP's ~~bed by Allied Army Aircraft in L~t.' . 1550 _ XII . __ .lSO' S. ] CV course 0 110 (T).ct 1 SS. l:s27/8 U40/8 1405/8 1440/8 1700/8· 1952/8 Army Air Contact.:lm." .. 6 B-17... 1 AV. lAO. tl . . CIII'IiiIi'.Zone T11II8 (-11) 20..l No hits.Z. course 150° (T).. i r~INGroN abandoned and sunk by PHELPS. Lat. lfi!IJI>'~ ~~ XI••:••• .·. 'ttlillllllll'tt r:i:trtIP-. sighting enemy plane. At LA! seen by Allbd Army Aircraft 1 AX. tong. 3 DO.. 1 CL. Tanker fueling DD off BUrN. 24.. and 1 cruiser at FAlSI. ~ Air Contact.:t.·. ~8. Army 29. 4 amall vessels.. 1 J . Gourse oaP (T). No hits.

155°-55' E. another already t~re. . . Al'In~ Air Contact Large AO... "'" "e. \11 •.0918. 15Zo-Z0. 49. Long. 46. 1545/10 0541/11 0828/11 0850/11 0850/11 . 155°-54' E. . 44. 40. I j . Long. Amy Air Contact Large :5htp with 2 D1) stop1ed l.39. 1 AO. Loug. OSU-55 . 41. 157°-00. 1550-38~ E. 155 -SU' E.. <4 AIr ste:wning '(:.E. 1 ss. 1 AP /3outh of BOUGAINVILLE. D8. Lat.rine ('rash dived Lat.157/11 1550/12 PEY from NOUMEh eights NEOSHO and repor. i . ~tthcked by Allied Army aircraft. 1. 06°-51' S~ Long. 0900/11 0941/11 06 -56' 5.. 51 d XESSA. S.BOYNE Iel. .E. 45. 1SsO-1S' r::. cour~e ~~1° (T). Lat. 1 DD. 2 C~.1 . Army Air Contact 3 DD stopped in Lat. Near mi:. 05°-00' S. Long. Submarine &tt~cked by Allied planes in Lat. Long.s.. 06 -40' S. DF... 48.1 46. CM OKINO~HIMA c~k by 5-42. Long. 14°_52' S. Lat. ~t. ")f$J m7J t Sl .1 50. o Army Air Cont~ct 1 AK. NEOSHO sunk by HEW.at. j Army Aircraft L~ Lat~ 200 -Z0' S. 154°-04' E. 01°-06' S. 1..=.050/10 1050/10 1308/10 Army Ail' Contact 5ubm<. Long. 9 AP. 149 -39' E. 19 0 _ 45' S.. 0945/11 :000/11 1l3ti/ll Army Air Coatsct 1 cruise~.. Army Air Coutact 1 D~. A~y Air Contact 2 -- 42. Long...ts position. Japanese submarine att~cked by A. 47.

:.d duo 10 .---- ~---~- - I - . dIP arts for 8.~. noar OEBqYNE IS. Unabl.P'I.O?".d due 10 b~d "'. o 8 ~.. . II MA~ TIME Z ONE) (-II) I .~t~·_e / I ! ) I .r*-_...-~IO\ .U lor TRUK I Stippllr. bad 18-17 . .. 7S-IT .z..!"~.. num~. lJEflOYNE IS..d KIT08A 111-17 •• RAIAUf."ali . 1.. 10 lind carrier so all"'k.. I ST... " -' ."I~'$..0. 153!) 10 WALKE n"~1I1 .WALKE arrl •• 10 . 1..:.. Fall..I :r*frIlIJ1.u:' .. Ih" I ••• OE80YNE IS. .... .---.."boo'. •.:.(.'-. - . I ! L . ArlJ to..Ii I/ J' I I I I ! ~~ HOI ART .~t... 7 MAY 1942 1'0 2400. . ~ : ." (11 14 • _..' ..e"d by Army plan. lOin..SHOI<Ar..( .). darkn . oal 017 .. YUU'U j . '.t...-' .d due I.s RA8AUL duo bqd . 10 NO'hit.. LAE..:. :::.' " / . AUSTRALIf' I THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL S~ 2400.. c.-~ ---.concrl.-~d601+-'.-- --- ~-- --- 1 ~. c.. r l twr.!l"'. I I' i /-' .'Ihor I.. 311-2$.g Indicat ..~~ ___ I 1 f J ...C8'1~"~$.d 10 ollack AAe. .r. .. 38~iii ~tock'liAp'. kina corri" bul lail.. Fail. 111-17 •• RABAUL. YO DEBOYNE IS.2 B-28.t~ 'L¥.i:"·..' 'I?rn' .. W... or •• j 01 of 1100.. :::: :. OD SQ.aIH.98-17 . . ' ..7. /.alh. s~ NEW CRUDI". '0 " ~ 8-11 Ichedul. . ----0 I TownSyille 68-17. lotol...d Ihlpping ot BUKA IS '3B-17 toiled . 10 4BI-17 .((. OEIOYNE IS. alh ..alhtr 38-26 •• TOALESS IS.-r'''i'''1 10 18-17 •• CONVOY.$.-N7..r "nknown.. ! 98-11 unabl.allock.... I ....o"~ 't~ '--' .: .tolionof" ~ TH.d flight due to ..8 May 194'~ .. ~==------. : .~" ~.. 01 .

- GRP.Q9l 10 "--.._DIACi~_~M~t......$~M.~ . ~ l~/ I . . --.. f ....-. _____ O!l" ..... ANDERSON..7~'~~ . _'''''r~''-''_~'''''' .z..M~t ~$M). t .. I-Iolino Ihon -..~. 'Q u·'I l'totl.. . _. ft ." • • " 1M' T". \ \ 2JA{fSJ: I ' l I .. NEW \ \ ORcEANS ASTOR!. .:.. -.' . . . '.._ --------------. 10 c. ... ... ~«: -.J" o~~· f [ '50 -. ~ gOQ.r....~~:. 0" 4 ' ..: DEWEY 10 Noumoo..!E~abu. Noumlp 10 lIarrh for NEOSHO. ..0800 HENLEY dopart.0 p ..'I .. GHE ~TIiR. . ...'~.J ~. .. ...7117.. .. ~ THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA 2400.... . .~ ...· ~.. II MAY 1942 TIME 20NS (-II) "10 i MINNEAPOLIS. -