As the picture of the intended Japanese plans began to develop Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, deployed his two available carrier groups.
The second rendezvous, set for the morning of 4 May would see the Australian cruisers Australia and Hobart join the force for the first time. The Yorktown group was returning to the Coral Sea after replenishing and conducting a short maintenance period at Tongatabu in the Tonga Islands.
Prior to implementation, the operation was expanded to include the seizure of Ocean Island and Nauru after the capture of Port Moresby. The object of this plan was to extend and strengthen the Japanese defensive perimeter as well as cutting the lines of communication between Australia and the United States.
After completion of Operation MO the carriers were to rejoin the rest of the fleet and take part in the planned operations against Midway Island. This explosion started new fires which were fed by oil and other flammables.
Further information: Battle of the Coral Sea order of battle During late April, the Japanese submarines Ro and Ro reconnoitered the area where landings were planned.
On completion of refuelling Fletcher headed for the Louisiade Achipelago to intercept the Japanese forces he expected to pass through there enroute to Port Moresby. Tagaki, meanwhile, having found nothing, headed north and commenced to refuel, only 70 miles away from Fletcher's carriers.
Thanks for signing up. At the Americans commenced launching their aircraft whilst the Japanese commenced at The first strike arrived at Tulagi at about and attacked Japanese shipping in the harbour. Bythe U.