Coral Sea Battle

NOTE: History recorded the events 25 years later as they actually occurred during the Battle of the Coral Sea. Take note that the Destroyer Sims and the Oil tanker Neosho are mentioned in the recording of events but not by name. I have underlined the reference to them. Had the Neosho been a warship, the destroyer Sims and the Neosho's saga

(As stated by Bill Leu's nephew in the following article)—including its unique role at
Pearl Harbor, the dive-bombing at Coral sea, the fate of the 130 men clinging to the listing deck and the tragedy of the men including Tom Cameron in the life rafts, would have secured a prominent place in U.S. Naval history. Let us remember these two men Thomas H. Cameron and Alfred A. Sanzari, and all those on board the Destroyer Sims
and the Oil tanker Neosho and the sacrifice's they made during
the pivotal battle in the Pacific Theater.

Written by:
August 20, 2006


3. Battles of the Coral Sea, Midway and the Aleutians --

By the end of April 1942 the Japanese were ready to turn the Coral Sea
[between Australia and the Solomon Islands] into a Japanese Lake by the establishment of air bases at Port Moresby and at Tulagi in the southern Solomons. But Allied intelligence learned that the Japanese were to attempt an amphibious invasion at Port Moresby and alerted available sea and air power. The Japanese operations aimed at the seizure of Port Moresby began on May 3 with landings at Tulagi. Carrier-based planes from a task force commanded by Rear Adm. Frank J. Fletcher struck the Tulagi landing group, sinking one destroyer, three mine sweepers and four landing barges.

The main Japanese invasion force left Rabaul for Port Moresby on May 4, the bulk of the Japanese naval cover, including carriers, taking a circuitous route to the east, inviting a clash with Admiral Fletcher's forces.

On May 5 and 6, 1942, opposing carrier groups looked for each other and on the morning of the 7th Japanese carrier-based planes sank a U.S. destroyer and an oiler.

Admiral Fletcher's planes sank one Japanese light carrier and one cruiser. The next day Japanese aircraft sank the U.S. carrier “Lexington” and damaged the carrier “Yorktown,” while U.S. planes damaged a large Japanese carrier that it had to retire from the action. So many Japanese planes were lost that the Port Moresby invasion force, lacking adequate air cover and harassed by Allied land-based bombers, turned back to Rabaul.
While the four-day engagement, designated the Battle of the Coral sea, was a tactical victory for the Japanese, it was a strategic victory for the Allies, whose naval forces, employing only aircraft and never closing within
gunshot range of Japanese vessels, had saved Port Moresby.

PAGE 789

Information obtained from: Encyclopedia Britannica


The U.S.S Neosho at Coral Sea
The U.S.S Sims (DD-409)