Coral Sea Campaign

0700 May 6, 1942. After action report from Captain Yoshiro Kamei, of fighter combat over Pt. Moresby.

My wingmen and I took off at 0700 we were to meet up with another flight over Pt. Moresby and attack any American fighters we found. Our continued fighter sweeps are taking a toll on the Americans there are fewer planes each time we attack.

We arrived over the enemy base coming in form seaward just under our ceiling, in a three plane attack formation. There were two enemy planes were above us and three more below us putting us in a bad position, their planes having a much better dive speed than our Model 21's. When the high formation made no move to dive on us and the lower squadron remained below us I knew that we may have a chance. We went into a vertical dive dropping below the lower flight of enemy planes. The American pilots came on towards us and tried to turn in behind us as we dropped lower and lower. Because of the Model 21's greater maneuverability we turned inside the American planes and found an opportunity to rise up behind the three plane flight. Three quick bursts from our flight and one plane began to spiral down into the sea and another was smoking. LT. JG. Junichi Sasai will be credited with another kill. We turned inside again and got another shot at the enemy plane and it too was seen going down this one I will be credited for. Now I knew that we had a favorable chance because I realized that the Americans we were flying against were all green aviators.

As we rose up and turned back against the remaining plane I had to pull up to evade another enemy plane as Lt. JG. Sasai and Lt. Kawai shot at the remaining plane. It took damage but the American pilots from above us had dived in and hit both of my wingmen. Thinking we had won the battle we were getting careless and allowed the enemy a shot at us. I turned inside and the other two pilots pulled up, one in a loop rolled back on the Americans and I knocked down another plane. Turning again I shot again and Lt. Kawai shot. Shirio' s was seen smoking from the tail as it flew off I watched mine spiral into the sea.

I saw that four more American planes had taken off as I watched the plane go down. We had four kills and a probable now, with the looks of a possible four more. I also saw Emily seaplanes approaching on a bombing run. Whoever sent those behemoths in a bombing attack unescorted should have his head Emily examined. We dove down towards the bombers trying to drive off the enemy fights but they were getting to many good shots on the bombers. One by one each seaplane crashed into the sea. The American pilots saw us diving in on them but seeing five of their planes fall out of the sky they flew away from us.

I told my wing men that we should not get too close to the base AA but the sight of two Catalina flying boats was too much a temptation and they flew in to attack the planes floating at anchor. Enemy AA opened up and in seconds both were in the sea.

We shot down five planes and lost two, not a good trade as Sasai and Kawai were both good pilots. I got a good look at the base as I left and saw that they had all their bombers on the ground. We had a possibility of dealing a decisive blow against the American air forces and we sent only three big flying boats and three fighters. Where were the other bombers, the Nells and Betty's? Probably off bombing dolphins! What of the other flight of fighters that was supposed to meet us what happened to them? I flew back to base pondering the events of this morning. I will give my recommendations to my superior on my return.

Submitted by Capt. Yoshio Kamei, 1/4 NAG.

USS Yorktown
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