Today the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea will be commemorated during a dawn service in Townsville and at a ceremony on board HMAS Choules.
The largest naval battle ever fought so close to Australia, the Battle of the Coral Sea was carried out during 4-8 May, 1942 and is a pivotal point in Australia’s strong military alliance with the United States.
It was Australia’s early detection of signals intelligence, including interception and deciphering of enemy codes which provided significant contributions in fending off enemy forces continued expansion in the South Pacific.
The Battle of the Coral Sea was the turning of the tide in terms of the war in the pacific and a demonstration of the unshakable alliance we continue to share with the United States today.
Further contributions made by the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Australia (II) and HMAS Hobart formed part of allied forces that sustained attacks from enemy aircraft during the four day battle.
Today we pay tribute to those who fought in this battle who were so pivotal in the outcome of the war in the Pacific.
Uniquely, all attacks during the Battle of the Coral Sea were carried out by aeroplanes in what was considered the first aircraft carrier battle ever fought, and the first naval battle at which no stage the opposing forces of surface ships sighted or fired at each other.
The Battle of the Coral Sea was a significant victory for the allied forces that were able to prevent the enemy from achieving their objective and significantly reduced their force size.
In addition to the contribution of HMAS Australia and HMAS Hobart we acknowledge the work of Australia’s coast watchers, intelligence staff, cruisers and other support ships and personnel which contributed to the final result, not just in the Battle of the Coral Sea but in the Pacific War and throughout World War II.
The intention of enemy forces was to cut off ties and supply lines between Australian and Unites States forces, however, this battle only reinforced the strong ties which we continue to share today.
MONDAY, 1 MAY 2017