2 May - 8 May 1942

2 May 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-402 torpedoed and sank US armed yacht Cythera 115 miles east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, United States, killing 69 of 71 aboard; the two survivors were captured by U-402 and taken to Germany as prisoners of war.
After sundown, at 2253 hours, German submarine U-66 torpedoed and sank Norwegian tanker Sandar 40 miles north of Trinidad; 3 were killed, 34 survived.

Barents Sea : Already-damaged Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Edinburgh returning back to UK , carrying £5,000,000 worth of Soviet gold meant as down payment for US weapons and other war supplies, was spotted and intercepted by German destroyers Z7 Hermann Schoemann, Z24, and Z25 at 0630 hours. In the ensuing engagement, HMS Edinburgh hit German destroyer Z7 with gunfire (HMS Edinburgh’s guns were still operational) when German destroyer got too close to her prey and fatally damaged by British cruisers gunfire , escorting Royal Navy destroyer HMS Foresight was also hit by shellfire from German destroyers. Heavily damaged German destroyer Z7 would be scuttled by her crew at 0830 hours. In return HMS Edinburgh suffered a torpedo hit from other two German destroyers which killed 57. Now structurally unsound, she was scuttled by her escorting destroyers HMS Harrier and HMS Foresight at 0900 hours. The gold also went to the bottom of the Barents Sea. (though the gold was salvaged in a joint British - Soviet salvage operation in 1988)

Royal Navy destroyer HMS St Albans and minesweeper HMS Seagull, while escorting Allied convoy PQ-15, attacked an ASDIC contact with depth charges 200 miles northwest of Tromsø, Norway at 1950 hours. As the target surfaced, she turned out to be Polish submarine Jastrzab, which suffered serious damage and 5 killed in this friendly fire attack. The submarine was written off and scuttled shortly after the 35 survivors were taken off.

On the same day, Luftwaffe HE-111 torpedo bombers and JU-88 bombers attacked convoy PQ-15, bombing , torpedoing and sinking freighters Cape Corso, Jutland, and Botavon from the convoy off Arctic Ocean. Three German aircraft were shot down by convoy anti aircraft defences in return.

Mediterranean Sea : German submarine U-74, dispatched to rescue the damaged submarine U-573 (which was already interned in Spain) , was located while on the surface by a RAF Sunderland flying boat which alerted nearby Royal Navy destroyers HMS Wrestler and HMS Wishart (they were also hunting U-573). Both Royal Navy destroyers came to the location , contacted , attacked and sank German submarine U-74 with depth charges , 60 miles southeast of Cartagena, Spain; all 47 aboard German submarine were killed.

Royal Navy submarine HMS Proteus intercepted a small Axis convoy made of two German cargo ships escorted by an Italian destroyer in Sicilian Narrows. HMS Proteus attacked , torpedoed and badly damaged German cargo ship Otto Leonhardt from the convoy which beached herself in Sfax , Tunisia. She was declared a total loss and never repaired again. HMS Proteus eveded Italian escort destroyer and returned to Alexandria.

Moscow , Soviet Union : Stalin gave approval to Soviet Southwest Front commander Marshal Semyon Timoshenko’s double prong attack plan that aimed out of Izyum pocket towards Kharkov and capture Dnieper crossings by using all reserves of Soviet Suthwest Front (four Soviet Armies) despite objections of Nikita Khruschev , the political commisar of Ukraine assigned to Timoshenko’s headquarters who argued that the forces assigned were not organised and supplied well enough for a such ambitious and huge attack and endanger all remaining Red Army reserves in south before Caucaus.

Soviet Chief of of Staff General Boris Shaposhnikov also relayed his disapproval of attacking out of Izyum sack while German forces before them in Kharkov sector were definetely being reinforced and concentrated for an offensive (for Hitler’s Operation Blue offensive towards Caucaus 1st Panzer Army , 6th and 17th German Armies were brough in this sector and reinforced) but both Khruschev and Shaposhnikov were overruled by Stalin who ordered preperations for Kharkov offensive to be finished and operation launched as soon as possible.

Rabaul , New Britain : Seven B-26 Marauder bombers of US Army Air Force lifted from Port Moresby, Australian Papua attacked Rabaul, New Britain, causing little damage.

Port Moresby , Papua New Guinea : Japanese bombers attacked Seven Mile airfield near Port Moresby, Australian Papua.

Tulagi , Solomon Islands : The Japanese Army aircraft launched another aerial bombardment against the Australian seaplane base at Tulagi, Solomon Islands. Deducing that an invasion of coming soon, the Australian personnel evacuated the base after sundown.

Burma : 1st Burma Division unsuccessfully attacked Japanese 33rd Infantry Division at Monywa, Burma on the Chindwin River.
Mandalay fell to Japanese 15th Army.

Luzon , Phillippines : The powder magazine of gun battery Geary on still US held Corregidor in the Philippine Islands was hit by Japanese artillery at 1627 hours, detonating 1,600 62-pound powder bags; 56 were killed and hundreds were wounded. To the east, in Manila Bay, river gunboat USS Mindanao was scuttled to prevent capture.

Pacific Ocean : American submarine USS Drum torpedoed and sank Japanese seaplane carrier Mizuho 90 miles southeast of Tokyo, Japan at 0416 hours; 101 were killed, 472 survived

American submarine USS Trout torpedoed and sank Japanese freighter Uzan Maru 134 miles southwest of Tokyo, Japan.

Pearl Harbour , Hawaii : Joseph Rochefort’s cryptanalytic team in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii intercepted a radio message from Nobutake Kondo’s chief of staff regarding the formation of task forces for an offensive operation

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3 May 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-455 torpedoed and sank British tanker British Workman 120 miles south of Cape race, Newfoundland at 0638 hours; 6 were killed, 47 survived. At 0824 hours, German submarine U-564 torpedoed and sank British cargo ship Ocean Venus 12 miles off Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States; 5 were killed, 42 survived. At 1054 hours, German submarine U-109 torpedoed and sank Dutch cargo ship Laertes also off Florida; 18 were killed, 48 survived.

Caribbean Sea : German submarine U-506 torpedoed and sank Nicaraguan cargo ship Sama 60 miles southwest of Miami, Florida, United States at 0812 hours; all 14 aboard survived. German submarine U-125 torpedoed and sank Dominican cargo ship San Rafael with 1 torpedo and 32 rounds from the deck gun 50 miles west of Jamaica at 1723 hours; 1 was killed, 37 survived.

Barents Sea : At 2230 hours, 30 JU-88 bombers of Luftwaffe unit I./KG 26 lifted from the airfield at Bardufoss, Norway attacked Allied convoy PQ-15 between North Cape and Bear Island (Bjørnøya) The attack came upon PQ-15, damaging the ship Cape Palliser while two Ju 88 aircraft was shot down by anti aircraft defences of the convoy ; the arrival of Soviet Pe-3 fighter aircraft from Murmansk , drove off the rest of the German attackers.

Norwegian Sea : German cargo ship Konsul Karl Fisser was bombed and sunk by RAF Coastal Command Wellington bomber aircraft off Alesund Norway. The whole German crew survived

Glasgow , UK : American aircraft carrier USS Wasp departed Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom with 47 Spitfire fighters aboard, embarking on Operation Bowery aiming to resupply Malta.

Hamburg , Germany : 81 British bombers (43 Wellington, 20 Halifax, 13 Stirling, 5 Hampden) from RAF Bomber Command attacked Hamburg, Germany in night. The attack killed 77 civilians and wounded 243 at the cost of 5 bombers shot down by Luftwaffe anti aircraft guns.

Tulagi , Solomon Islands , South West Pacific : Japanese 3rd Kure Special Landing Force landed and captured Tulagi Island and Gavutu Island in the Solomon Islands.

Coral Sea , South West Pacific : American aircraft carriers USS Yorktown (Task Force 17) and USS Lexington (Task Force 11) was dispatched toward Tulagi, Solomon Islands.

Corregidor , Philippines : The Japanese aircraft and artillery continued to bombard Corregidor in the Philippine Islands.

American submarine USS Spearfish arrived at Corregidor, Philippine Islands and evacuated 27 military, nursing, and civilian personnel. This would be the last US Navy evacuation mission out of Corregidor before the surrender.

Burma : Having fought off the attack by the 1st Burma Division at Monywa, Burma, Japanese 33rd Infantry Division went on the offensive pushing 1st Burma Division back toward Alon. Bhamo fell to Japanese vanguard.

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04 May 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-564 torpedoed and damaged US freighter Delisle just off the coast 10 kilometers south of Port St. Lucie, Florida, United States, killing 2 of 36 aboard. At 1904 hours, U-564 struck again, sinking British tanker Eclipse in shallow waters 3 miles off Daytona Beach, Florida; 2 were killed, 45 survived.

In the late afternoon, German submarine U-507 torpedoed and sank three US tankers Norlindo (killing 5 of 28 aboard), Munger T. Ball (killing 30 of 34 aboard), and Joseph M. Cudahy (killing 27 of 37 aboard) off the Florida Keys archipelago about 100 kilometers west of the tip of Florida, United States. At 2220 hours, German submarine U-125 torpedoed and sank US cargo ship Tuscaloosa City 200 miles west of Jamaica; all 34 aboard survived.

To the south, German submarine U-162 torpedoed and sank US cargo ship Eastern Sword 12 miles north of Georgetown, British Guiana at 0943 hours; 16 were killed, 13 survived. Later in the day, U-162 struck again 40 miles northeast of Anna Regina at 1900 hours, stopping British schooner Florence M. Douglas, forcing her crew to abandon ship, and sinking the schooner with the deck gun.

Barents Sea : Soviet Navy destroyers Sokrushitelny and Gremyashchy made rendezvous with Allied convoy PQ-15 to escort it to Murmansk.

Stuttgart , Germany : 121 British bombers (69 Wellington, 19 Hampden, 14 Lancaster, 12 Stirling, 7 Halifax) from RAF Bomber Command attacked Stuttgart, Germany, targeting the Bosch factory. All bombs missed the factory buildings but killed 13 civilians and wounded 37. One Stirling bomber was lost during the attack.

Kiel , Germany : German cargo ship Herrenwyk struck a mine and sank off Kiel

North Sea : German cargo ship Sizilian was bombed and sunk by RAF Coastal Command Beaufort torpedo bombers off Netherlands

Maloy , Norway : German cargo ship Klaus Fritzen was bombed and sunk by RAF Coastal Command Beaufort torpedo bombers off Maloy island.

Exeter , UK : Before dawn, 90 German bombers attacked the ancient city of Exeter, England, United Kingdom. This, the third raid on the “Jewel of the West” in ten days, caused extensive damage, devastating 30 acres of the city with many if its historic buildings smashed or incinerated by high explosive and fire bombs. The 15th-century cathedral was badly damaged, while many of the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian landmarks were lost forever. The city library was burnt down losing an estimated 1 million books and historic documents (which took Exeter more than 20 years to recover). Over 1,500 houses were completely destroyed with a further 2,700 more seriously damaged. Some 400 shops, 150 offices, over 50 warehouses plus 36 pubs and clubs were also lost. Additionally 156 civilians had been killed and 563 others injured. During the day, the Nazi propagandist Lord Haw-Haw broadcast to British listeners “We have destroyed that jewel and the Luftwaffe will return to finish the job”

Isle of Wight , UK : Polish destroyer Błyskawica was undergoing an urgent refit at the J Samuel White shipyard at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom (the same shipyard where she was built) when the area was bombed by the German Luftwaffe, dropping 200 tons of bombs. Błyskawica left her moorings, anchored outside the harbor, and opened up such a fierce and lengthy anti-aircraft barrage that her guns had to be doused with water and more ammunition had to be ferried across from Portsmouth. Generally considered a successful raid from the German point of view, Błyskawica is credited with keeping it from being much worse.

Amsterdam , Netherlands : Germans executed 72 captured Dutch resistance members and sentenced seven to life imprisonment.

Barshaung , Norway : Norwegian resistance group Company Linge sabotaged and destroyed transformer stations powering electrical locomotive railway system in the region

Bosnia , Yugoslavia : Operation Trio starts. Three German divisions and two Italian divisions with help of Axis collaborationist Ustascha irregular formations start a two week encirclement operation to trap and destroy Tito’s Communist Partisan Army which is 6.000 strong in mountainous region of northwest Yugoslavia. Tito’s Army , lacking arms and supplies but highly diciplined and committed to their cause with both due to Communist ideology and to strike back against German and Ustascha reprisals against their own civilian populations head further north to break out encirclement. German troops Croat Ustascha irregular units combed the countryside and villages, searching for partisans and seizing hostages. At Pljevlja, the Italians killed thirty-two hostages; more were killed three days later at Cajnice. Driven from their base at Foca, the partisans moved more than two hundred miles northward in a two mile long column , to Bihac.

Burma : Japanese troops captured Bhamo, Burma. Off the Burmese coast, with increasing malaria cases affecting the garrison’s morale, Akyab Island was abandoned by British and Indian forces. Japanese troops from 15th Army captured port of Akyab same day.
Most of Chinese Nationalist forces retreated over via Myitkyana to Ledo towards Chinese frontier , evacuating Burma.

Madacascar , Indian Ocean : Royal Navy task force sailed from Durban , South Africa arrived off to capture Vichy French held Madacascar island. German cargo/submarine supply ship Wartenfels scuttled herself in Diego Suarez harbour

Luzon , Philippines : The Japanese air and artillery bombardment of Corregidor, Philippine Islands heightened to soften the defenses for invasion scheduled on the next day. Over 16.000 shels exploded over US positions in Corregidor. On the beaches of nearby Bataan Peninsula, 2,000 Japanese troops from 14th Army began boarding 15 barges for initial landings on Corregidor. American minesweeper USS Tanager was sunk by Japanese artillery fire off Corregidor.

Rabaul , New Britain : Six US Army Air Force B-26 Marauder bombers from Port Moresby, Australian Papua struck Vunakanau airfield at Rabaul, New Britain, damaging five Japanese bombers on the ground, detonating fuel drums, and destroying 2 gas trucks.

Coral Sea , South West Pacific : Battle of Coral Sea begins. Allied aircraft were launched from Queensland and Horn Island in Australia and from Port Moresby, Australian Papua to detect Japanese naval movements. At 1035 hours, a US Army Air Force B-25 Mitchell bomber spotted Japanese light carrier Shoho and her group supporting the landings on Tulagi.

American aircraft carrier USS Yorktown launched 12 TBD Devastator torpedo bombers and 28 SBD Dauntless dive bomber aircraft at 0700 hours to attack Japanese landings at Tulagi , which reached the new Japanese positions at Tulagi in the Solomon Islands at 0850 hours; the initial US Navy air attack sank Japanese destroyer Kikuzaki with air launched torpedoes and damaged Japanese minelayer Okinoshima with a bomb hit. Four Japanese flying boats anchored on shore were also destroyed in this first attack wave.
At 1210 hours, a second US Navy attack wave hit Tulagi, sinking three Japanese minesweepers WA-1 and WA-2 and minesweeper Tama Maru with bomb hits ; 87 Japanese personnel were killed during this second attack. USS Yorktown lost three aircraft shot down by Japanese anti aircraft fire, but all their air crews were rescued by US Navy vessels. The Japanese withdrew from Tulagi temporarily, but would very soon return to complete the construction of a seaplane base.

Rabaul , New Britain : The Japanese Port Moresby Invasion Force, commanded by Rear Admiral Kōsō Abe, included 11 transport ships carrying about 5,000 soldiers from the IJA’s South Seas Detachment plus approximately 500 troops from the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). Escorting the transports was the Port Moresby Attack Force with one light cruiser and six destroyers under the command of Rear Admiral Sadamichi Kajioka. Abe’s ships departed Rabaul for the 840 nmi (970 mi; 1,560 km) trip to Port Moresby on 4 May and were joined by Kajioka’s force the next day. The ships, proceeding at 8 kn (9.2 mph; 15 km/h), planned to transit the Jomard Channel in the Louisiades to pass around the southern tip of New Guinea to arrive at Port Moresby by 10 May. The Allied garrison at Port Moresby numbered around 5,333 men, but only half of these were infantry and all were badly equipped and undertrained

Entire Port Moresby invasion operation , Operation MO , is under command of Admiral Shigeyoshi Inouye who directed the MO operation from Japanese cruiser Kashima , with which he arrived at Rabaul from Truk on 4 May

Pacific Ocean : American submarine USS Gar reported sinking of a Japanese ship in daylight after hitting her with one of two torpedoes fired.

American submarine USS Trout torpedoed and sank Japanese auxiliary gunboat Kongosan Maru southeast of Japan.

American submarine USS Greenling torpedoed and sank Japanese armed merchant cruiser Kinjosan Maru 100 miles north of Truk, Caroline Islands at 1825 hours, killing all aboard.

Pearl Harbour , Hawaii : Joseph Rochefort’s cryptanalytic team in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii intercepted a radio message from battleship Kirishima to Isoroku Yamamoto’s headquarters noting that due to Kirishima’s repair work the battleship would not be able to participate in the upcoming campaign.

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05 May 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-108 torpedoed and sank US freighter Afoundria between Cuba and Haiti. Off Bermuda, German submarine U-106 torpedoed and sank Canadian passenger ship Lady Drake (12 were killed, 256 survived) and German submarine U-103 torpedoed and sank British cargo ship Stanbank. (9 out of 48 of her crew killed)

German submarine U-125 torpedoed and sank US cargo ship Green Island and British cargo ship Empire Buffalo off the Cayman Islands.

Murmansk , Kola Peninsula : Soviet patrol ship Rubin, Soviet patrol ship Brilliant, Royal Navy minesweepers HMS Harrier, HMS Niger, and HMS Gossamer set sail from Polyarny, Russia; they made rendezvous with Allied convoy PQ-15 in the Kola Inlet at 2300 hours. Against all expectations 22 out of 25 merchant ships from convoy PQ-15 inbound to Murmansk , Russia managed to arrive intact with all their cargoes for Soviet Armed Forces. (This convoy was Mentioned in Despatches and awarded by Soviet authorities )

North Sea : German anti submarine craft Sperrbrecher 36 struck a mine off Borkum and so severely damaged she was withdrawn from active service

German tanker Zabern struck a British mine off Kiel harbour and sank

Black Sea : Small Soviet troop transport Potemkin was bombed and sunk by Luftwaffe JU-87 dive bombers , 35 from her crew and passangers killed.

Stuttgart , Germany : RAF bombers attacked Stuttgart, Germany for the second consecutive night

UK : RAF starts radio jammimg of Luftwaffe radio guiding beams of night raids , reducing effectiveness of bombing accuracy of Baedeker raids from %50 to %13

General Ira Eaker was made the commanding officer of US Eight Bomber Command in Britain. USAAF Fifth Air Force, under the command of Major General Carl Spaatz and based at Bolling Field, Washington DC, United States, was renumbered as Eighth Air Force.

Demyansk Pocket , Rzhev Vyazma Front , Russia : After a tough fight , German 16th Army broke through to Kholm, Russia, relieving the survivors of Gruppe Scherer which had been surrounded since 23 Jan 1942 in Demyansk.

Norway : In German-occupied Europe, resistance was everywhere apparent, but ruthlessly suppressed. In the Norwegian fishing port of Taelvag, two Germans and one Norwegian were killed when a resistance group was caught by surprise; in reprisal, every house and all the fishing boats of the village were destroyed, and all twenty-six men between the ages of sixteen and sixty-five sent to concentration camps in Germany, where most of them died. At the same time, the Germans shot eighteen young Norwegians who had been arrested at Ålesund two months earlier, while trying to escape by boat to England. ‘I hope these executions will have their effect in changing the attitude of the Norwegian population,’ Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels wrote in his diary on May 5. ‘If they don’t want to learn to love us, they must at least fear us.’

Berlin , Germany : German government ruled that deaths of concentration camp prisoners no longer had to be reported to the next of kin

Madagascar , Indian Ocean : Operation Ironclad , British invasion of Madagascar island under Vichy colonial rule , begins. The aim of the operation is capturing the island in southwest of Indian Ocean to prevent it falling into Axis hands (Japanese or Germans) to be used as a spring board to Red Sea and invade Iran (neither Japanese nor Germans were planning such a thing at this stage though and both caught suprised along with Vichy French) The Madacascar colony Vichy France is held by 8.000 garrison troops and 35 aircraft under command of colonial governor Armand Annet augmented by three Vichy French submarines and one Vichy French sloop.

Under command of Rear Admiral Edward Syfret , Royal Navy Task Force of one battleship (HMS Ramillies) , two aircraft carriers (HMS Illustrious , HMS Indomitable ) , six cruisers , 22 destroyers , eight corvettes , four minesweepers , one minelayer , one monitor and one seaplane carrier supported by 81 aircraft , escorting eight troops transport and assault transport ships carrying three brigades of 15.000 British and South African troops (under command of General Robert Sturges arrived off main harbour of Madacascar early in the morning.

British started landing in Courrier Bay at 0430 hours and Ambararata Bay shortly after. The beach landings met with no opposition due to suprise element. Before noon Courier Bay Force made of 17th British Infantry Brigade captured Diego Suarez , main port city of Madagascar following a forced march through swamps and captured 500 Vichy Frech prisoners. Next day on 6th May another daring British landing by Royal Marines on Antisirane port itself behind Vichy French lines suceeded beyond all expectations , with Royal Navy destroyer HMS Anthony , braving Vich French shore bateries in the dark made a suprise dash and landed a company of Royal Marines on port quay itself. Royal Marines quickly captured the harbour facilities , barracks and shore batteries. French and British troops also clashed at other landing zones at Antsirane and Diego-Suárez. With Antisirane fell on 6th May , Vichy French garrison abandoned their defences on Joffre Line two days later to avoid being overflanked and retreated south of the island.

From the sea, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Swordfish carrier aircraft from HMS Indomitable and HMS Illustrious attacked Vichy airfield and the port of Diego-Suárez just before landing in early morning , sinking Vichy French submarine Bévéziers, armed merchant cruiser Bougainville, and colonial sloop D’Entrecasteaux with bombs. One Swordfish aircraft was shot down and its crew was taken prisoner (later released back) Royal Navy corvette HMS Auricula struck a mine in the entrance to Diego-Suárez Bay, suffering heavy damage and sank next day.

Vichy France Navy Minister Admiral Francois Darlan ordered Vichy garrison in Madagascar “to hold on and fight for flag and honor and make British pay for every square meter they captured”

Corregidor , Philippines : 2,000 Japanese troops landed on the eastern coast of Corregidor, Philippine Islands at about 2345 hours, delivered by 15 barges under heavy fire from US shore defences , first waves of Japanese assault suffered more than 300 casaulties under fire of four US shore gun batteries but successive Japanese landing waves manage to establish a beach head and began to advance Manila Tunnel where General Wainwright established his command post and forces underground.

Coral Sea , South West Pacific : American aircraft carrier USS Yorktown flagship of Task Force 17 under Admiral Jack Fletcher made rendezvous with aircraft carrier USS Lexington south of Tulagi, Solomon Islands. Admiral Fletcher starts recon flights to locate the enemy.

At 08:16 four US Navy F4F Wildcat fighters from carrier USS Yorktown intercepted a Kawanishi H6K reconnaissance flying boat from the Yokohama Air Group of the 25th Air Flotilla based at the Shortland Islands and shot it down 13 mile ( 20 km) from Task Force 11. The aircraft failed to send a report before it crashed, but when it didn’t return to base the Japanese admiral Takeo Takagi commanding Japanese carrrier group Shoakaku and Zuikaku along with two light cruisers and and six destroyers escorting his carrier group correctly assumed that it had been shot down by US carrier aircraft and with air raids on Tulagi deducted the presence of at least one US Navy aircraft carrier in the Coral Sea , prepared his carrier group for incoming battle.

Port Moresby , Papua New Guinea : A US Army Air Force B-25 Mitchell bomber spotted Japanese light carrrier Shoho supporting Tulagi landings during the day. After dark, 3 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers were brought up from Australia to Port Moresby, Australian Papua and were loaded up with 600-pound bombs for an attack on Shoho.

South West Pacific : Japanese submarine I-21 torpedoed and sunk US Liberty class cargo ship John Adams off New Caledonia

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06 May 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-507 torpedoed and sank US freighter Alcoa Puritan 60 kilometers south of Mobile, Alabama, United States.

German submarine U-333 torpedoed and sank US tanker Halsey (5 were killed, 23 survived), sank Dutch freighter Amazone 5 kilometers east of Port St. Lucie, Florida, United States and damaged US tanker Java Arrow (2 were killed, 45 survived). Further out to sea, German submarine U-108 torpedoed and sank Latvian cargo ship Abgara 15 miles southeast of Great Inagua Island, Bahamas.

US naval auxiliary USS Semmes accidentally rammed and sank British anti-submarine trawler HMS Senateur Duhamel 50 miles east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, United States.

Stuttgart , Germany : British bombers attacked Stuttgart, Germany for the third consecutive night.

Black Sea : Soviet troop transport ship Vostok struck a mine and sank off Kerch Straits

Corregidor , Philippines : Before dawn, US and Filipino defenders in the East Sector of Corregidor, Philippine Islands fought against the Japanese amphibious assault launched just prior to midnight, killing 400 men of the 2,000-strong first wave of attack with artillery and machine gun fire. At 0930 hours, the Japanese began to gain a beachhead and began landing tanks to support the invasion. The US 4th Marine Regiment reserve companies and the US 4th Marine Battalion (reserve) launched an unsuccessful counterattack. By late morning Japanese vanguard began opening fire on entrance of Manila Tunnel , entrance of General Wainwright’s command post and garrison underground shelters that held 6.000 administrative personnel untrained for combat and 1.000 sick and wounded.

Acknowledging the hopelessness of the situation, Major General Jonathan Wainwright first asked permission from Washington and General MacArthur to surrender before he feared entire Corregidor garrison , wounded and non admistrative personnel killed (since retreat to Corregidor 27 days ago after Fall of Bataan , more than 800 men were killed in 13.000 men strong island garrison) , then ordered his troops to surrender at 1030 hours and broadcasted his decision to Japanese whose advance units entered Manila Tunnel by afternoon. To prevent capture, US Marines Colonel S. L. Howard ordered all regimental and national colors of the 4th Marine Regiment burned to prevent capture, while other US and Filipino personnel scuttled gunboats and destroyed ammunition stores before surrender. More than 11.000 US military personnel and 2.000 Philippino military personnel were captured (combined with Fall of Bataan , largest mass surrender in US history) Corregidor , the last official US bastion in Philippines fell.

Coral Sea , South West Pacific : Starting at 0345 hours, B-17 Flying Fortress bombers took off from Port Moresby, Australian Papua to attack Japanese carrier Shoho which was spotted on the previous day; they attacked at about 0800 hours, causing no damage.

Meanwhile, US carriers USS Yorktown and USS Lexington made rendezvous with Task Force 44 , that was a joint Australia–U.S. warship force under MacArthur’s command, led by Australian Rear Admiral John Crace and made up of the Australian light cruisers HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, and US cruiser USS Chicago, along with three destroyers. Australian and US cruisers then departed to set up an ambush against any Japanese shipping at the Jomard Passage east of Australian Papua on New Guinea island.

Later in the day, carrier aircraft from both US Task Force and Japanese carrrier group searched for each other without success; at 2000 hours, the two opposing fleets were merely 80 miles from each other, still not detecting the other party. Elsewhere, the new Japanese seaplane base at Tulagi, Solomon Islands was completed.

South China Sea : American submarine USS Triton attacked a Japanese convoy off China, torpedoed and sank freighters Taiei Maru and Taigen Maru.

American submarine USS Skipjack sank Japanese freighter Kanan Maru in the South China Sea 50 miles northeast of Cam Rahn Bay, French Indochina, hitting her with one of three torpedoes fired.

Pearl Harbour , Hawaii : Joseph Rochefort’s cryptanalytic team in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii intercepted a radio message from Kwajalein, Marshall Islands to Yokosuka, Japan noting the need for additional aircraft radio equipment for use with the AK campaign.

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07 May 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-162 torpedoed and sank Norwegian cargo ship Frank Seamans 30 miles northwest of Paramaribo, Suriname at 0800 hours; all 27 aboard survived. To the north, US Navy destroyer USS Dallas attacked and damaged German submarine U-333 with depth charges off Florida, United States, forcing the submarine to set a course for France for repairs, ending her war patrol early.

German submarine U-507 sank Honduran ship Ontario with the deck gun 100 miles south of Mobile, Alabama, United States at 0335 hours; all 45 aboard survived.

Iceland : Allied convoy QP-11 arrived at Reykjavík, Iceland at 0700 hours

Mediterranean Sea : Operation Bowery , American aircraft carrier USS Wasp shipping Spitfire fighters arrived to Gibraltar. Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, with 17 Spitfire fighters aboard for delivery to Malta, joined the convoy containing USS Wasp (shipping 47 Spitfire fighters) along with three Royal Navy light cruisers and eleven destroyers off Gibraltar.

Malta : General Lord Gort (General John Vereker , former comander ıof British Expeditionary Force in 1939-1940 who concluded Dunkirk evacuation and saved his army sucessfully) flew into Malta and was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Malta in succession to Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie. He landed two days before the arrival of the Spitfire V fighter aircraft being brought on the aircraft carriers HMS Eagle and USS Wasp in Operation Bowery. His first two orders were to employ the Army to assist with servicing the Spitfire fighters when they arrive and the creation of a smoke screen over the Grand Harbour. He also announced the King’s award of the George Cross to the islanders.

France : German SS Major General Oberg was placed in charge of police in occupied France.

Madacascar , Indian Ocean : With British Royal Marine Commandos gaining a foothold at Antsirane and British troops from 17th and 23rd Infantry Brigades slowly advancing toward Diego-Suárez, Madagascar, breaking through Joffre Line , Vichy French morale became shaken and would soon surrender. Diego-Suarez fell towards the evening , British capturing 700 French prisoners. The French coastal guns at the Orangia Peninsular continued to fire, however, until Royal Navy battleship HMS Ramillies fired warning shots at the batteries before noon , silencing French guns. British warships entered Diego-Suárez Bay at about 1200 hours.

Royal Fleet Air Arm Swordfish aircraft from aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious spotted Vichy French submarine Le Héros off Courrier Bay, Madagascar at 0500 hours and attacked with depth charges; Le Héros attempted to evade by diving, but suffered heavy damage by depth charge attack ultimately would be forced to surface and would be scuttled by her own crew to prevent capture.

Luzon , Philippines : The Japanese troops completed the occupation of all the forts on Corregidor, Philippine Islands. Meanwhile, from the capital of Manila, General Jonathan Wainwright as Japanese POW announced the surrender over the radio, under supervision of a Japanese censor.

In Manila, the Japanese were seeking Filipino leaders to serve under them. The Chief Justice of the Philippines, José Abad Santos, refused to do so. He was executed on May 7.

Pacific Ocean : Greek cargo ship Chloe was torperdoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-21 off New Caledonia

Coral Sea , South West Pacific : At Coral Sea, Japanese recon aircraft mistakenly identified US Navy oiler USS Neasho and escort destroyer USS Sims as an aircraft carrier anda cruiser. Meanwhile US Navy recon aircraft misidentified two Japanese cruisers and two destroyers as Japanese fleet carriers and their escorts further north off Tulagi. With Admiral Takagi’s orders , 79 Japanese naval aircraft from carriers Shoakako and Zuikaku were launched to attack US oiler Neosho and destroyer USS Sims thinking they were a carrier and cruiser, while under command of Admiral Fletcher 93 US carrier aircraft were launched from aircraft cariers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown to attack Japanese cruisers misidentified as aircraft carriers unknowingly heading towards Japanese escort carrier Shoho and nearby cruisers and destroyers thinking it was part of the main Japanese carrier force.

At noon 35 Japanese dive bombers and torpedo bombers launched from aircraft carriers Shoakaku and Zuikaku found US Navy oiler USS Neosho and escort destroyer USS Sims and sank both ships with dive bombing and air launched torpedoes. 192 crew members from USS Sims (which was blown up instantly by a torpedo hit) were killed , only 14 survived. 56 crew members from USS Neosho were also perished , only four survived. However main US carrier strike force , Task Force 17 (USS Lexington and USS Yorktown) evaded the attack that day.

93 US Navy aircraft (18 Grumman F4F Wildcats, 53 Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers, and 22 Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bombers) launched from US aircraft carriers meanwhile recognised the misidentified ships as enemy cruisers and destroyers , not carriers. By stroke of luck though while US aircraft were returning en route to their own carriers , they located Japanese light escort carrier Shoho supporting the Tulagi landing and attacked it at 11:35. Hit by five torpedoes from TBD Devestator torpedo bombers and thirteen bombs from US Navy Dauntless dive bombers , she sank in thirty minutes with 21 Japanese aircraft still on her deck or airborne during the attack and splashed to sea after loss of the carrrier , 631 crew members killed , 203 survived.
USS Lexington SBD Dauntless pilot and squadron commander Robert E. Dixon radioed “Scratch one flat top! Signed Bob”
NOTE : This is the first Japanese aircraft carrier sunk during the war.

Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue commanding the Japanese carrier task force , intimidated with loss of light carrier Shoho and presence of US Navy carriers in the region , cancelled the Operation MO , invasion of Port Moresby in south Papua New Guinea and ordered all troop transports at sea for the operation to return to Rabaul (first time a Japanese strategic offensive was checked and repulsed)

At 1747 hours, 12 Japanese dive bombers and 15 torpedo bombers in search of the US carrier fleet was intercepted by 11 US Wildcat fighters of Combat Air Patrol of USS Yorktown and USS Lexington vectored by radar of USS Yorktown while Japanese aircraft low on fuel misidentified US aircraft carriers as Japanese ones and tried to land on them ; nine Japanese and three US aircraft were destroyed during the subsequent engagement. Further eleven more Japanese carrier aircraft crashed to while trying to locate and return their aircraft carriers in the dark. At the end of the day, both sides decided against a night battle and prepared for new attacks at dawn.

During afternoon Admiral Crace’s Task Force 44 (two Australian cruisers and one US cruiser ) covering Port Moresby was attacked by 12 Japanese land based bombers from Rabaul , none of the Allied cruisers were damaged , in exchange four Japanese GM4 Mitsibushi bombers were shot down by anti aircraft batteries of Australian cruisers.

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08 May 1942

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-564 torpedoed and sank US freighter Ohioan 10 kilometers north of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States, killing 15 of 37 aboard. On the same day, German submarine U-136 sank Canadian sailing ship Mildred Pauline with the deck gun off Nova Scotia, Canada

German submarine U-507 torpedoed and sank Norwegian cargo ship Torny in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mediterranean Sea : Royal Navy submarine HMS Olympus departed Malta ferrying crews of sunken submarines HMS Pandora, HMS P36, and HMS P39, sailing for Gibraltar; HMS Olympus struck a mine off Valetta harbour and sank later on this date; 89 were killed, 9 survived.

Abigail class Royal Navy fast minelayer HMS Welshman, disguised as a French destroyer, departed Gibraltar with RAF personnel and 240 tons of supplies for Malta.

London , UK : The War Cabinet ordered a new Libyan offensive to capture Derna airfields so Malta convoys can be covered from air which General Claude Auchinleck Middle Eastt Commander in Chief despite his numerical superiorty rejected it , displaying confidence for defending Gazala and Tobruk on Gazala line but not an offensive into Cyreneica

Rostock , Germany : 193 British bombers (98 Wellington, 27 Stirling, 21 Lancaster, 19 Halifax, 19 Hampden, 9 Manchester) from RAF Bomber Command attacked Warnemünde, Rostock, Germany; the primary target was the nearby Heinkel aircraft factory; 19 British bombers were shot down by German anti aircraft guns or Luftwaffe night fighters during this attack.

Norwich , UK : During night Luftwaffe bombers attacked Norwich, England, United Kingdom

Crimea , Ukraine : The German 11th Army under command of General Erich Manstein began a huge Crimean offensive (code named Operation Bustard) to drive Soviet 51st Army out of Kerch Peninsula before initiating final offensive to capture Sevastapol next month.

Soviet light cruiser Voroshilov bombarded German troop positions near Tash-Alchin, Russia.

Madagascar , Indian Ocean : Vichy French submarine Monge attacked Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable off Diego-Suárez, Madagascar at 0756 hours; all torpedoes missed. Royal Navy destroyers HMS Active and HMS Panther counterattacked and sank Monge with depth charges.

Italian cargo ships Duca Degli Abruzzi and Somalia were scuttled by their crews in Diego Suarez harbour to avoid capture

On Madagascar , Vichy garrison continued to retreat to south and east of the island.

Burma : Japanese 15th Army troops captured Myitkyina, Burma.

Cocos Island , Indian Ocean : Thirty soldiers of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery based on the Cocos Islands, an Indian Ocean territory of Australia, mutinied, intending to hand the islands over to the Japanese. The mutiny was put down by the Ceylon Light Infantry and ultimately fifteen rebels faced courts martial with three of the leading mutineers later executed.

South China Sea : American submarine USS Skipjack attacked a small Japanese convoy, torpedoed and sinking Japanese transport ship Bujun Maru and damaging transport ship Taiyu Maru in the South China Sea 140 miles northeast of Cam Rahn Bay, French Indochina; six torpedoes were expended in this attack, three of which found their targets.

Pacific Ocean : American submarine USS Grenadier torpedoed and sank Japanese troop transport Taiyo Maru 140 miles southwest of Japan. 660 passangers and 160 crew members were killed in sinking. Taiyo Maru was carrying geologists and oil experts to the Dutch East Indies to survey sites for oil production.

Coral Sea , South West Pacific : Japanese and US carrier fleets at Coral Sea discovered each other in the morning with accurate search reports from their respective recon flights this time , each closing in to attack. At 09:15, the Japanese carriers under command of Admiral Takagi launched a combined strike of 18 fighters, 33 dive bombers, and 18 torpedo planes. The U.S. carriers each launched a separate strike. USS Yorktown 's group consisted of six fighters, 24 dive bombers, and nine torpedo planes and was on its way by 09:15. USS Lexington 's group of nine fighters, 15 dive bombers, and 12 torpedo planes was off at 09:25. Both the U.S. and Japanese carrier warship forces turned to head directly for each other’s location at high speed in order to shorten the distance their aircraft would have to fly on their return legs

Yorktown 's dive bombers, led by William O. Burch, reached the Japanese carriers at 10:32, and paused to allow the slower torpedo squadron to arrive so that they could conduct a simultaneous attack. At this time, Japanese aircraft carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku were about 10,000 yd (9,100 m) apart, with Zuikaku hidden under a rain squall of low-hanging clouds. The two carriers were protected by 16 CAP (Combat Air Patrol) Zero fighters for air defence. The Yorktown dive bombers commenced their attacks at 10:57 on Shōkaku and hit the radically maneuvering Japanese carrier with two 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs, tearing open the forecastle and causing heavy damage to the carrier’s flight and hangar decks. The Yorktown TBD Devestator torpedo planes missed with all of their ordnance. Two U.S. Dauntless dive bombers and two CAP Zeros were shot down during the attack. Lexington 's aircraft arrived the scene and attacked at 11:30. Two SBD Dauntless dive bombers attacked Shōkaku , hitting Japanese carrier with one more 1,000 lb (450 kg) bomb, causing further damage. Two other dive bombers dove on Zuikaku , missing with their bombs. The rest of Lexington’s dive bombers were unable to find the Japanese carriers in the heavy clouds. Lexington 's TBD Devestator torpedo bombers missed Shōkaku with all 11 of their torpedoes. The 13 Japanese CAP Zero fighters defending Japanese carrier group on patrol at this time shot down three US Wildcat fighters

Japanese carrier Shokaku was damaged by three bombs at between 1030 and 1057 hours (223 casualties), One bomb hit tore open the port bow and started a fire in the forecastle. The second bomb struck the end of the flight deck to starboard. The third hit the starboard side of the rear of the island, damaging gun tubs and the mainmast. Large fires broke out. She was able to evade all torpedoes successfully. Escorted by Japanese destroyers Ushio and Yugure, she was detached and was able to evacuate the battle area at full speed. 108 officers and men were killed by the fires and explosions, and another 40 wounded. With her flight deck heavily damaged and 223 of her crew killed or wounded, having also suffered explosions in her gasoline storage tanks and an engine repair workshop destroyed, Shōkaku was unable to conduct further aircraft operations. Her captain, Takatsugu Jōjima, requested permission from Takagi and Hara to withdraw from the battle, to which Takagi agreed. At 12:10, Shōkaku, accompanied by two destroyers, retired to the northeast.

Meanwhile At 10:55, USS Lexington’s CXAM-1 radar detected the inbound Japanese aircraft at a range of 68 nmi (78 mi; 126 km) and vectored nine Wildcat fighters to intercept. Expecting the Japanese torpedo bombers to be at a much lower altitude than they actually were, six of the Wildcats were stationed too low, and thus missed the Japanese aircraft as they passed by overhead. Because of the heavy losses in aircraft suffered the night before, the Japanese could not execute a full torpedo attack on both carriers. Lieutenant Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki, commanding the Japanese torpedo planes, sent 14 Kate torpedo bombers to attack USS Lexington and four to attack USS Yorktown. An US Wildcat fighter on CAP patrol shot down one and patrolling SBD Dauntless dive bombers (eight from Yorktown, 15 from Lexington) destroyed three more as the Japanese torpedo planes descended to take attack position. In return, escorting Japanese Zero fighters shot down four Yorktown SBD Dauntless dive bombers.

The Japanese attack began at 11:13 as US carriers, stationed 3,000 yd (2,700 m) apart, and their escorts opened fire with anti-aircraft guns. The four torpedo planes which attacked USS Yorktown all missed. The remaining torpedo planes successfully employed a pincer attack on USS Lexington, which had a much larger turning radius than USS Yorktown, and, at 11:20, hit her with two Type 91 torpedoes. The first torpedo buckled the port aviation gasoline stowage tanks. Undetected, gasoline vapors spread into surrounding compartments. The second torpedo ruptured the port water main, reducing water pressure to the three forward firerooms and forcing the associated boilers to be shut down. The ship could still make 24 kn (28 mph; 44 km/h) with her remaining boilers. Four of the Japanese torpedo planes were shot down by US anti-aircraft fire.

The 33 Japanese dive bombers circled to attack from upwind, and thus did not begin their dives from 14,000 ft (4,300 m) until three to four minutes after the torpedo planes began their attacks. The 19 Shōkaku dive bombers, under Takahashi, lined up on USS Lexington while the remaining 14, directed by Tamotsu Ema, targeted USS Yorktown. Escorting Zeros shielded Takahashi’s aircraft from four Lexington CAP Wildcat fighters which attempted to intervene, but two Wildcats circling above USS Yorktown were able to disrupt Ema’s formation. Takahashi’s bombers damaged USS Lexington with two bomb hits and several near misses, causing fires which were contained by 12:33. At 11:27, USS Yorktown was hit in the centre of her flight deck by a single 250 kg (550 lb), semi-armour-piercing bomb which penetrated four decks before exploding, causing severe structural damage to an aviation storage room and killing or fatally wounding 66 men, as well as damaging the superheater boilers which rendered them inoperable. Up to 12 near misses damaged USS Yorktown’s hull below the waterline. Two of the Japanese dive bombers were shot down by US Wildcat fighters during the attack.
As the Japanese aircraft completed their attacks and began to withdraw, believing that they inflicted fatal damage to both carriers, they ran a gauntlet of CAP Wildcats and SBDs. In the ensuing aerial duels, three SBDs and three Wildcats for the U.S., and three torpedo bombers, one dive bomber, and one Zero for the Japanese were downed. By 12:00, the U.S. and Japanese strike groups were on their way back to their respective carriers.

American carrier USS Lexington was hit by two bombs and two air launched torpedos at 1120 hours (191 killed; would soon be lost) and American carrier USS Yorktown was hit by a bomb (66 casualties). At 1247 hours while USS Lexington already damaged by bombs and torpedos at ninety minutes ago was drifting but salvagable , the leaking gasoline fumes inside the vessel was detonated by fire, causing a huge explosion killing a further 25. At 1707 hours, the 2,735 survivors abandoned ship, and the carrier was scuttled by 5 torpedoes from destroyer USS Phelps at 1915 hours.

During afternoon off Port Moresby, Australian cruiser force Task Force 44 under command of Rear Admiral Crace was itself attacked by 20 land-based US Army Airforce B-26 bombers but survived from this friendly attack without any damage as it blocked the Japanese invasion fleet for Port Moresby, New Guinea.

During afternoon as Task Force 17 recovered its aircraft, Admiral Fletcher assessed the situation. The returning aviators reported they heavily damaged one carrier, but that another had escaped damage. Fletcher noted that both his carriers were heavily damaged (USS Lexington fatally as it later revealed) and that his air groups had suffered high fighter losses. Fuel was also a concern due to the loss of Neosho. Believing that he faced overwhelming Japanese carrier superiority, Fletcher elected to withdraw Task Force 17 from the battle. Around 14:30, Admiral Takagi informed Admiral Inoue that only 24 Zeros, eight dive bombers, and four torpedo planes from the carriers were currently operational. Takagi was worried about his ships’ fuel levels; his cruisers were at 50% and some of his destroyers were as low as 20%. At 15:00, Takagi notified Inoue his fliers had sunk two U.S. carriers – Yorktown and a “Saratoga-class” – but heavy losses in aircraft meant he could not continue to provide air cover for the invasion. Inoue, whose reconnaissance aircraft sighted Crace’s ships from Task Force 44 earlier that day, recalled the invasion convoy to Rabaul, postponed MO to 3 Jul. Zuikaku and her escorts turned towards Rabaul while critically damaged Shōkaku headed for Japan for repairs.

As both sides withdrew due to damage and losses, the Japanese scored a tactical victory, but lost strategic momentum as the invasion plan of Port Moresby must now be delayed. Two days later Admiral Yamamato angered by hesistancy of Admiral Inouye , ordered Japanese carrier group (only carrier Zuikaku) to return to Coral Sea and sweep the remants of enemy fleet but Task Force 17 was already on its way back to Hawaii and Admiral Crace’s Task Force 44 cruiser group retreated back to Australia so on 12th May Admiral Tagaki had to return back to Truk empty handed to replace casaulties of Zuikaku (which suffered heavy air crew losses that would take months to replace) Badly damaged USS Yorktown returned back to Pearl Harbour on 26 May and put into damage repair immediately that would last three days and night so she could participate Midway operation.

At the other side of the hill , severely damaged Japanese carrier Shōkaku reached Kure, Japan, on 17 May, almost capsizing en route during a storm due to her battle damage. Zuikaku arrived at Kure on 21 May, having made a brief stop at Truk on 15 May. Acting on signals intelligence, the U.S. placed eight submarines along the projected route of the carriers’ return paths to Japan, but the submarines were not able to make any attacks. Japan’s Naval General Staff estimated that it would take two to three months to repair Shōkaku and replenish the both carriers’ air groups. Thus, both carriers would be unable to participate in Yamamoto’s upcoming Midway operation

Both sides publicly claimed victory after the battle. In terms of ships lost, the Japanese won a tactical victory by sinking a U.S. fleet carrier, an oiler, and a destroyer – 41,826 long tons (42,497 t) – versus a light carrier, a destroyer, and several smaller warships – 19,000 long tons (19,000 t) – sunk by the U.S. side. A total of 564 US Navy personnel were lost while Japanese manpower losses were 1.077. And US Navy lost 66 aircraft , Japanese Navy and Japanese Army Air Force in total lost 77 aircraft. Japan was forced as a result of her losses in the air battle, particularly of highly trained and experienced pilots, to call a halt to her southward expansion. At the other hand the loss of USS Lexington represented, at that time, 25% of U.S. carrier strength in the Pacific. The Japanese public was informed of the victory with overstatement of the U.S. damage and understatement of their own.

From a strategic perspective, however, the battle was an Allied victory as it averted the seaborne invasion of Port Moresby, lessening the threat to the supply lines between the U.S. and Australia. Although the withdrawal of Yorktown from the Coral Sea conceded the field, the Japanese were forced to abandon the operation that had initiated the Battle of the Coral Sea in the first place. For the Japanese, who focused on the tactical results, the battle was seen as merely a temporary setback. The results of the battle confirmed the low opinion held by the Japanese of U.S. fighting capability and supported their overconfident belief that future carrier operations against the U.S. were assured of success (which would hamper them in incoming Midway and Gudalcanal Campaigns)

The battle marked the first time that a Japanese invasion force was turned back without achieving its objective, which greatly lifted the morale of the Allies after a series of defeats by the Japanese during the initial six months of the Pacific Theatre. Port Moresby was vital to Allied strategy and its garrison could well have been overwhelmed by the experienced Japanese invasion troops.

Samoa Islands , South West Pacific : The US 3rd Marine Brigade convoy arrived off Apia, American Samoa; its commander assumed military control of Western Samoa.

Pearl Harbour , Hawaii : Joseph Rochefort’s cryptanalytic team in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii detected hints that Japanese Navy fleet carriers and battleships were being attached, suggesting a large operation was being planned.

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