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Battle of the Coral Sea

Introduction

This four-day World War II skirmish in May 1942 marked the first air-sea battle in history.  The Japanese were seeking to control the Coral Sea with an invasion of Port Morseby in southeast New Guinea, but were intercepted by Allied forces.  Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher commanded the  American task forces, which included two large aircraft carries and other ships, and a British-led cruiser force mounted surface opposition.

There were a number of missed opportunities as the carrier airmen learned their trade.  Air strikes from both sides either missed targets or found them only after using up their ordnance.  The American carrier Lexington came under heavy fire, with the loss of 216 crewmen.

Battle of Coral Sea, 2009, History. com, viewed May 17, 2018, http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-coral-sea

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