Coral Sea Campaign
1700 May 5, 1942
Allied After Action Report U.S. Forces,
Coral Sea 0500 hrs. 6 May 1942
The Japanese managed a small surprise during their operations this morning. Just before dawn a
surface task force arrived off shore at Port Moresby and shelled the airbase. Damage was
moderate, but not enough to keep our aircraft down. Airacobras on CAP drove off the enemy
spotter planes and then two squadrons of B-26's converged, sinking at least two heavy cruisers
and damaging others. Once again the torpedo-equipped Marauder has proved to be a lethal
weapon against shipping. They were missed in the role as bombers during the morning's raid on
Lae, however. B-17's from Townville encountered enemy fighters over central New Guinea and
suffered some loss, then a combination of enemy CAP and AA fire further damaged our bombers
resulting in an inconsequential attack. B-25's from Port Moresby followed them and these planes
did deliver some damage, but the Mitchell just does not compare to the B-26 as a bomber.
At sea, the U.S. Navy had serious hope of catching an enemy carrier task force far from land air
support. When the morning's reconnaissance failed to find them, though, the carriers launched an
attack on the seaplane base at Tulagi. The waves of dive bombers and torpedo planes inflicted
real damage on the ships there, but we failed to put the base itself out of commission.
Our forces must now re-group. Japanese carriers are operating in a forward manner. We must
find them first!