TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What Was the First Naval Battle Where Ships Didn't Meet?

June 7, 2011 ( - On this day in 1942, the Battle of Midway came to an end. 

It was one of the most decisive U.S. victories in its war against Japan, a four-day sea and air battle, where the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers with the loss of only one of its own (the Yorktown).  By most measures it was the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II, and one fought by ships that never sighted each other. 

But the Battle of Midway turns out to be the SECOND time that a naval battle was fought by ships who never sighted each other.  What was the first time? 


Answer:  The first was the Battle of Coral Sea, fought approximately a month earlier (May 4–8 1942).   

That battle was also the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other – and it played a key role in setting the stage for the result in the Battle of Midway.