Coral Sea Campaign

IJN Naval Base Rabual
0500 May 6 After Action Reports.

Lea

At sunrise our cap went up and we sent off the 2/4 NAG to fly escort over TF1 and do a fighter sweep over Pt. Moresby. The four planes assigned to the fighter sweep intercepted a flight of B17's flying towards Lea and made several passes at them inflicting damage to the enemy bombers. As we waited for the B17's to arrive a flight of American medium bombers arrived. Our cap moved towards them and made several passes at the American planes. B-17

When the flight of B17's arrived our pilots were all warmed up and gave the B17's a hot welcome. One B17 exploded in a huge midair fireball. The 20mm shells from our Zero fighters must have set off the bomber's load. The fighters continued to inflict damage on the planes until the base antiaircraft opened up. The AA was effective today getting the range right away and inflicted damage on all the enemy planes. The bombers dropped their loads but the AA must have made them nervous as we suffered only minor damage to the base and field.

Tulagi

We sent up our sunrise cap as usual. It had been comparatively quiet since the first day when our fighters shot down two American flying boats. When Wildcat Rufe we heard the drone of many plane engines we knew that peace had ended. The Americans were turning their attention to us now. They sent in what apparently was two different carrier air groups of dive bomber and torpedo bombers. Our CAP of three Rufes were in a good altitude position to intercept the dive-bombers. They moved immediately to attack the American planes. With the first pass two planes were hit, as the fighters swung around enemy fighters were seen climbing to attack. On the second pass against the dive-bombers, two enemy planes exploded in spectacular explosions of the bombs. At that point the enemy planes Dauntless outnumbering our cap shot one of our heroic pilots down. The remaining and outnumbered two planes limped off damaged, using the clouds to avoid more damage.

The torpedo bombers attacked first going against the seaplane tender. Our AA was accurate and deadly as planes were seen smoking and crashing into the sea and in some cases on the island. Two torpedo bombers and many dive-bombers were shot down and several crews captured. A torpedo hit the troop transport "Azumasas Maru" and it began to settle immediatly in the shallow waters.  Azumasas Maru The enemy dive-bombers attacked the ships, sea planes and base buildings with little effect. One building suffered minor damage, none of the planes Devestator suffered any damage at all but the destroyer Yuzuki was sunk when a bomb set off its magazine. The intense AA was the probable cause for the many misses by the enemy dive-bombers. Finally a second flight of torpedo planes came in but they inflicted little damage.

All in all the Americans had sent two carrier air groups against us and went away the sorrier. They had many more plane losses then we had incurred. The loss of the Maru 12 and a destroyer hurt us, but replacements have been dispatched and should be here by late on the 7th.

Port Moresby

Our cruiser task force arrived as the sun was rising. The plan had been for them to make their attack under the cover of darkness. The transit through the many islands though had slowed the task force. Spotters were sent aloft and the forty 8 inch guns began to rain shells down on the Allied base. Enemy fighters had gotten off before the shelling started and went immediately for the spotters high over head. The fighter escorts we had been assured of for our spotter planes never showed up. That meant that our planes would be defenseless and have to evade. As that happened the B-26 cruisers stopped firing. One of our spotters was shot down and the other did evade the enemy fighters. Soon after our guns became silent the enemy launched two flights of medium bombers. The first flight initially looked like it was going to drop bombs as they did not get down to wave top level and were seen flying over the ships in the task force. But alas this was not so. As the second group began to drop its torpedoes our cruisers began to take many hits. Our AA was effective but not effective enough and all the cruisers were torpedoed. Two ships, the Aoba and the Kinugasu, sank in the bay.

The loss of the TF2 was tragic but the Americans did little damage at Tulagi and Lea. The night though, has allowed us to repair our bombers and move our other task forces into position. Soon the American's will be in full retreat from our superior Naval and air forces.

USS Yorktown
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