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Coral Sea battle marked in Canberra

By Graham Cooke - 2 May 2011 5

The 69th anniversary of the World War II Battle of the Coral Sea will be marked during a commemoration service at the Australian American Memorial in Blamey Square, Russell, beginning at 1.30pm.

The service is organised every year by the Canberra Division of the Australian American Association (AAA) with the full support of the Australian and United States Governments and the defence forces of both countries.

 Among the guests at this year’s ceremony will be the Governor General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, Mike Kelly MP, representing Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the United States Ambassador, Jeffrey Bleich, senior Defence Force officers from both countries and representatives of ex-service Associations.

 The Ceremonial Officer for the service, Peter Radtke, said the various AAA chapters organised services around the country.

 “The battle raged over several days in early May 1942 after a large Japanese fleet was sighted in the Coral Sea heading for an attack on Port Moresby. It was repelled by joint Australian-American action at considerable cost,” he said.

 “But for the first time in the war, the Japanese advance had been halted. The tide was turning.”

 The sea battle was the first in history that was fought by aircraft against ships and where the opposing forces were beyond the sight of each other. It was over by midday on May 8 and after assessing the huge loss of aircraft and damage to his fleet, Japanese Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue abandoned the planned invasion of Port Moresby.

 Mr Radtke said the battle symbolised the vital help that the United States gave to Australia during the war in the Pacific.

 “In many ways it was the beginning of a very special friendship between the two countries that continues to this day,” he said.

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5 Responses to
Coral Sea battle marked in Canberra
justin heywood 12:01 pm 02 May 11


The Japanese never had any intention of invading mainland Australia, they just did not have the troops to ever pull it off.

The Japanese didn’t have ‘plans’ to invade, but it is incorrect to say they had ‘no intention’.

Within a few months of Pearl Harbor the Japanese were in Rabaul and had enjoyed military success beyond the dreams of most Japanese commanders. The fact that they hadn’t drawn up plans for Australia does not mean that they were happy to leave the conquest of the Pacific at New Guinea.

It is becoming unfashionable to say it, but Aussies did a good job in New Guinea, and more broadly, the Yanks saved our arse in WW2.

Rawhide Kid Part3 11:24 am 02 May 11

Here’s the reference to the so called Brisbane line from the Australian War Memorial. http://tinyurl.com/3sn2rv8

Sorry if this is repeated…. Bugs in the system.

Rawhide Kid Part3 11:20 am 02 May 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Captain RAAF said :

and not, an invasion of Australia as so many armchair generals like to state.

The Japanese never had any intention of invading mainland Australia, they just did not have the troops to ever pull it off.

Nice to see that the Battle of the Coral Sea is remembered though.

Funny how the Brisbane line myth was considered fact and taught in schools – is it still taught?

http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/homefront/brisbane_line.asp

colourful sydney rac 10:55 am 02 May 11

Captain RAAF said :

and not, an invasion of Australia as so many armchair generals like to state.

The Japanese never had any intention of invading mainland Australia, they just did not have the troops to ever pull it off.

Nice to see that the Battle of the Coral Sea is remembered though.

Funny how the Brisbane line myth was considered fact and taught in schools – is it still taught?

Captain RAAF 10:48 am 02 May 11

and not, an invasion of Australia as so many armchair generals like to state.

The Japanese never had any intention of invading mainland Australia, they just did not have the troops to ever pull it off.

Nice to see that the Battle of the Coral Sea is remembered though.

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