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The 25th Anniversary of the battle that stopped the Japanese from occupying Papua and New Guinea was commemorated by a set of four stamps which were issued on the 30th of August 1967. The stamp particularly of interest to our theme is the 50c value.
The battle of the Coral Sea was the first major engagement in naval history in which the outcome was decided without surface ships having exchanged a shot. It was purely an air action, with each opponent seeking to gain the upper hand by depriving the other of naval air support.
At the end of April 1942 the Japanese conquest seemed likely to engulf the whole of Melanesia and constituted a very grave threat to Australia, and it was obvious that preparations were being made for the landing at Port Moresby by the Japanese.
Although Allied losses were heavy, the sinking of the Japanese aircraft carrier "SHOHO" and the heavy losses of aircraft and pilots proved to be decisive.
The Allies lost the carrier "LEXINGTON", the oiler "NEOSHO" and the destroyer "SIMS" with damage being sustained to the aircraft carrier "YORKTOWN".
As well as losing the "SHOHO" the Japanese also lost the destroyer "KIKUZUKI" and four landing barges, the aircraft carrier "SHOKAKU" and the minelayer "OKINOSHIMA" and the destroyer "YUZUKI" were damaged.
This victory, the extent of which was not fully realised for some time, prevented the Japanese occupation and robbed them of any possible advance base from which they could have made a determined assault on Northern Australia.
Information in Log Book January 1972 and compiled from the Philatelic Bureau, Port Moresby.
Papua New Guinea SG120