Lead: In what may have been the first truly `modern naval engagement, Japanese and American carrier aircraft fought over the Coral Sea in May, 1942. No surface ship in either navy sighted the enemy.Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japanese forces sought to take advantage of Allied confusion and their own stunning success in the early days of the war in the Pacific. They upgraded their Strategic Plan to include strikes toward the central Pacific island of Midway and south toward New Guinea and Australia. Midway in June 1942 would prove to be perhaps the decisive defeat for the Japanese Navy in World War II, but the Coral Sea engagement a month earlier, even though it has been considered a draw, stopped the southern advance of the Japanese juggernaut and laid the foundation for the subsequent U.S. victory at Guadalcanal the following winter.

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