4 - 8 MAY 1942


"Battle of the Coral Sea" E-Book


The Battle of the Coral Sea was the first major naval engagement in history, which was decided without the opposing ships firing a shot at each other. The battle was brought to the opposing ships by the naval air support of the opposing enemy force. It was a tactical victory for the Japanese but a strategic victory for the Allies. The Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin was so concerned at the time of the Battle of the Coral Sea that he warned Australians that "invasion is a menace capable of becoming an actuality at any hour."


The following are the Chapter titles in my "Battle of the Coral Sea" e-book which gives a detailed account of events from 4 - 8 May 1942 based on official military records:-


1. Introduction

2. Engagement at Tulagi – 4 May 1942

2.1 First attack on Tulagi

2.2 Second attack on Tulagi – 4 May 1942

2.3 Third attack on Tulagi – 4 May 1942

3. Events between Tulagi and Misima – 5, 6 & 7 May 1942

4. Action off Misima Island - 7 May 1942

4.1 Carrier Air Group - Task Group 17.5 - 7 May 1942

4.2 The USS LEXINGTON Attack Group – 7 May 1942

4.3 The USS YORKTOWN Attack Group – 7 May 1942

4.4 Combat Air Patrol – 7 May 1942

4.5 Japanese attack on the Support Group – 7 May 1942

4.6 Friendly Fire attack on Task Force Support Group by USAAF - 7 May 1942

4.7 Attack on USS NEOSHO and USS SIMS – 7 & 8 May 1942

5. Action on 8 May 1942

5.1 The USS YORKTOWN Group – 8 May 1942

5.2 The USS LEXINGTON Group – 8 May 1942

5.3 Japanese Air Attack on Task Force 17 – 8 May 1942

5.4 Combat Air Patrol – 8 May 1942

5.4.1 The Fighters – 8 May 1942

5.4.2 The SBD Douglas Dauntless scout bombers – 8 May 1942

5.5 Attack on USS YORKTOWN – 8 May 1942

5.5.1 USS ASTORIA – Flagship of Rear Admiral Smith

5.5.2 USS PORTLAND - 8 May 1942

5.5.3 USS CHESTER – 8 May 1942

5.5.4 USS HAMMANN – 8 May 1942

5.5.5 USS RUSSELL – 8 May 1942

5.5.6 USS AYLWIN – 8 May 1942

5.6 Japanese attack on USS LEXINGTON – 8 May 1942

5.6.1 USS MINNEAPOLIS – Flagship of Rear Admiral Kinkaid - 8 May 1942

5.6.2 USS NEW ORLEANS – 8 May 1942

5.6.3 USS PHELPS – 8 May 1942

5.6.4 USS DEWEY – 8 May 1942

5.6.5 USS MORRIS – 8 May 1942

5.6.6 USS ANDERSON – 8 May 1942

5.7 Sinking of USS LEXINGTON

6.0 The Final Fate of USS NEOSHO 9 - 11 May 1942

6.1 The Fate of 68 other men from USS NEOSHO adrift in four Life Rafts

6.2 USS HELM sighted an empty whaleboat on 16 May 1942


Appendix A - Summary of Damage

Appendix B - More Details of Japanese Losses

Appendix C - More Details of Allied Losses

Appendix D - Aircraft Losses USS LEXINGTON CV-2

Appendix E - Aircraft Losses USS YORKTOWN CV-5

Appendix F - Reconnaissance and Strikes by Land Based Allied Aircraft

Appendix G - 19th Bomb Group's Involvement in the Battle of the Coral Sea

Appendix H - Coral Sea Battle by H. Hornbeck Navigator, 435th Squadron, 19th Bomb Group

Appendix I - FRUMEL Records of Communications Intelligence relating to the Battle of the Coral Sea

Appendix J - Casualties for the Battle of the Coral Sea - a detailed list of those who died (USN, USMC & RAAF)



The following information is from a now superseded web page on the White House web site.


Partnering in Commemorating the Battle of the Coral Sea

In recognition of the exceptional bravery and sacrifice exemplified by our sailors and airmen who fought together in the May 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea, historically regarded as the start of U.S. - Australia military cooperation, Australia and the United States are to work together, in advance of the battle’s 70th anniversary in May 2012, to locate the wrecks of three U.S. warships (the USS Lexington, USS Neosho, and USS Sims) sunk in Australian waters during this pivotal two-day clash. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, a leader in archival research on historic naval battle records, is to provide expertise to identify these wrecks for formal designation as protected heritage resources under the laws of both nations. Australia and the United States will also continue to advance collaboration on marine and climate science in the Coral Sea and other areas.


USS Lexington Found


USS Neosho and USS Sims Survivors
from the Battle of the Coral Sea
taken to US Army Hospital in Brisbane



Action Stations Coral Sea:  The Australian Commander's Story
C. D. Coulthart-Clark

Combat Narratives - The Battle of the Coral Sea
Consisting of the actions at Tulagi, May 4th; off Misima, May 7th; and in the Coral Sea on May 8th, 1942
Office of Naval Intelligence, U.S. Navy

"Volume 1: U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard Aircraft Lost during World War II - Listed by Ship Attached"
by Douglas E. Campbell, Ph. D..

NAA File - "FRUMEL records (incomplete) of communications intelligence relating to the Coral Sea Battle (8pages)

The United States Navy Memorial - Lost Ship's Tribute

United States Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps Casualties, 1941 - 1945

U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2)


"Battle of the Coral Sea" E-Book


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This page first produced 4 December 1998

This page last updated 21 February 2020