A morning of searching and guessing by opposing commanders at the Battle of the Coral Sea ended with the U.S. Navy destroying its first Japanese aircraft carrier of the Pacific war.
Sunset on 6 May 1942 drew the curtain on the last unalloyed strategic success Japan would enjoy in the Pacific war. A thrilled empire learned of the surrender of Corregidor and the end of organized resistance in the Philippines, the last of the original strategic objectives of the brilliantly conducted first operational phase. The Port Moresby (MO) Operation against the Allied base on the south coast of Papua comprised the first offensive of the second operational phase. Despite the earlier-than-anticipated appearance of a U.S. carrier in the Coral Sea and the embarrassing 4 May U.S. raid on Tulagi, Tokyo expected nothing less than complete victory.