Clipping of a 1942 article from Glen Innes Examiner newspaper published in New South Wales


NLA news article 182082019
Date made
Place made
Glen Innes, New South Wales

Out of copyright

CORAL SEA BATTLE MAY DECIDE THE FATE OF AUSTRALIA. JAP LOSSES, EIGHTEEN SHIPS, FOUR DAMAGED. SYDNEY, Saturday. It was reported from an advanced Allied base last night that the Japanese aircraft carrier reported to be badly damaged in yesterday's Allied communique had been sunk. If this report is officially confirmed it means that in addition to a heavy cruiser, a light cruiser, two destroyers, four gunboats, and a supply vessel, two aircraft carriers have been destroyed. One aircraft carrier was sunk immediately by naval and air action, while the second, which is now also reported sunk, was set on fire after being hit by three torpedoes and subjected to heavy dive-bombing. No further news has yet been received regarding the fate of a heavy cruiser, light cruiser, seaplane tender and cargo vessel, which were heavily damaged in the same battle, but the same report from a correspondent at an advanced Allied base claims that seven destroyers and a number of transports have also been sunk. He declared that a vast enemy invasion fleet in northern Australian waters had been smashed and the surviving units were on the run. DETAILS OF TERRIFIC BATTLE. Advanced Allied Base. Eighteen Japanese ships have now been sunk and four damaged in the terrific air and sea battle of the Coral Sea, south of New Guinea. These figures include the certain destruction of two aircraft carriers, one cruiser, six or seven destroyers, and other vessels, in addition to the big list announced yesterday. The second aircraft carrier now known to be sunk had been reported last night badly damaged. THE SEA BATTLE, WHICH IS STILL RAGING, HAS BEEN DESCRIBED BY THE BRITISH ADMIRALTY AS THE GREAT-EST NAVAL ENGAGEMENT SINCE JUTLAND. The Admiralty states that there is no truth in the Japanese claim to have damaged a battleship of the Warspite class. Tokyo claims that the American aircraft carriers Yorktown and Saratoga, and a battleship of the California class have been sunk, and a cruiser of the Canberra class has been damaged. No Allied losses have been officially announced. It is known that enemy losses now are: SUNK. TWO AIRCRAFT CARRIERS, ONE HEAVY CRUISER, ONE LIGHT CRUISER, NINE DESTROYERS, FOUR GUNBOATS, AND ONE SUPPLY SHIP. DAMAGED. ONE HEAVY CRUISER, ONE LIGHT CRUISER, ONE 9-000 TON SEAPLANE TENDER, and ONE CARGO VESSEL. THE SEA BATTLE MAY DECIDE THE FATE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW GUINEA. Military observers in London claim that the Japanese invasion armada has been ready for weeks to strike at Australia, and that the fall of Corregidor was the signal to move. Opposing navies are obviously engaged in a bitter running fight. The action began last Monday off Bougainville, north of the Solomon Islands, and THE LATEST POSITION OF THE SHIPS IS BELIEVED TO BE SOMEWHERE IN THE CORAL SEA, OFF THE NORTH EAST OF AUSTRALIA. The Prime Minister, Mr. Curtin, in a national broadcast last night, said: 'We are building, and we are racing against time, but we have still to take swift gigantic strides within our own country, we face vital and perilous weeks fraught with exceedingly important happenings for Australia.' The B.B.C., quoting Reuters despatch from Australia, and that big concentrations of Japanese shipping were caught by United States dive bombers, which sank two large aircraft carriers, at least one cruiser, and seven destroyers, and damaged many other ships. This report says that one enemy aircraft-carrier, after attacks by waves of dive-bombers, rolled over and sank immediately. The second was bombed and attacked with torpedoes and set on fire from end to end. The latest Washington communique states: "A naval engagement against the Japanese has been in continuous progress in general areas south of the Bismarck Archipelago in the Coral Sea since Monday. "There is no indication yet of cessation. Details of losses and damage to our forces is not fully known at present, but no credence should be given to claims given out or which may be put out by Tokio."

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