By the end of April 1942, the tally of Japanese victories saw its flag fly over: Hong Kong, the Philippines (save for the island bastion of Corregidor), Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, the Netherlands East Indies, and most of Burma.
Having already unleashed devastating raids on Darwin and Broome, the Empire of Japan next set its sights on Port Moresby in the then Australian Protectorate of Papua.
In history’s first great naval action between aircraft carriers, Japan’s Zuikaku and Shokaku faced the USS Lexington and USS Yorktown.
With a combined US/ Australian naval task force, including the US carriers, three cruisers – HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart and USS Chicago, and a few destroyers, the Japanese naval strike force was met head on in the Coral Sea, south east of Papua.
It was the first major resistance faced by the Empire of Japan, stopping their naval advance, and believed by many to be the battle that saved Australia.
May 14th, 2021 marks the 79th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea and the commemorative ceremony attended by Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, invited guests and members of the Australian Defence Force was held at the Australian-American Memorial at Russell Offices in Canberra.
Australian Department of Defence
May 16, 2021