I don't know much about it myself but it is 66 years since it occured and I learned from reading the following article.
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from May 4 – May 8, 1942, with most of the action occurring on May 7 and May 8, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Ocean in World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy, the United States and Australia. It was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other. It was also the first naval battle in history in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other. It is considered a tactical victory for Japan since the United States lost fleet carrier USS Lexington, Japan only the light carrier Shōhō. At the same time, the battle was a strategic victory for the Allies because the Japanese abandoned their attempt to land troops to take Port Moresby, New Guinea. The engagement ended with no clear victor, but the damage suffered and experience gained by both sides set the stage for the Battle of Midway one month later.
An explosion aboard the USS LEXINGTON May 8th 1942 , seen from the cruiser Minneapolis.
In tactical terms the Japanese had achieved a narrow victory; one small carrier lost and a large carrier severely damaged against the Americans’ loss of a large carrier and significant damage to another. But from the Allied point of view, after five months of continuous defeat, a battle that came out almost even was close enough to a victory as not to matter.
Japanese casualties were also heavier as well, due to the quick sinking of Shōhō.
In strategic terms, the Allies had won because the seaborne invasion of Port Moresby was averted. Port Moresby was vital to Allied strategy and could not have been defended by the ground forces stationed there. This was the first time that a Japanese invasion force had been turned back without achieving its objective.
| United States Navy ||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Frank J. Fletcher|| Takeo Takagi |
|2 large carriers, |
|2 large carriers, |
1 light carrier,
|Casualties and losses|
|1 fleet carrier, |
1 destroyer and 1 oil tanker sunk
65 aircraft destroyed
|1 light carrier and 1 destroyer sunk|
69 aircraft destroyed
There is so much more that can be read at the following link, long story but interesting to read no less.