What was the significance of the conflict of Coral Sea 7-8 May 1942?
Thanks to the breaking of the Japanese Navy code, the U.S. was alerted to a large Japanese force moving to the Coral Sea to seize Port Moresby on the southwest coast of New Guinea. It was to be the first step of a planned invasion of Australia. The Japanese operation centered around three aircraft carriers and dozens of troop transports, but the Americans met them with two carriers of their own. On May 7, the Japanese planes sank two minor ships, while U.S. planes sank an isolated enemy carrier. The next day, both sides launched all their planes against the other. The aircraft passed each other unseen in the clouds, in the world's first carrier verses carrier battle. One Japanese carrier was damaged. The U.S. carrier Lexington was sunk, and the carrier Yorktown was damaged. After this action, both sides withdrew. Although a tactical victory, Coral Sea was a strategic setback for the Japanese who never again threatened Australia.