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Curator's Corner - Coral Sea

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Date: May 13, 2011
Contact: James Oelke, 671-477-7278 x1008

War in the Pacific National Historical Park will present a Curator's Corner on Saturday, May 21st focusing on the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval battle in history where the surface ships never encountered each other. The presentation will take place at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center near the front gate to Naval Base Guam from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


The Empire of Japan celebrated an unchecked string of victories that lasted for the first four months of World War Two. They believed that they could expand their holdings by seizing islands close to Australia. The United States Navy would have to stop their advance. The ensuing Battle of the Coral Sea in May of 1942 will be discussed during this presentation.


"This battle is seen as a win for Japan in terms of the number of American ships sank, yet it is considered a tactical victory for the United States. It really marks the dawn of the aircraft carriers' dominance of the sea and the end of the battleship era of naval warfare," stated James Oelke, the park's museum curator.


Curator's Corner is a monthly offering at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park's T. Stell Newman Visitor Center. Each presentation features items from our collection that are rarely seen by the public and are accompanied by the background story of the items on display. The public is welcome and admission is free.

Did You Know?

The Fonte unit and quarry area, August 1, 1945, National Archive image

Fonte Plateau was the site of a former Japanese naval communications center on Guam during World War II?