- This article is about Coral Sea as it appears in the campaign. You may be looking for the multiplayer variant of the same name.
- Critically damage either the Shokaku or the Zuikaku before they retreat across the eastern border
- USS Yorktown must survive
- Donald must survive
- Destroy 30 enemy aircraft
This mission is quite straightforward, but requires a bit of effort to do. To help out a little, you have a PBY Catalina. While it's an excellent recon plane, you should have little to no intention of dogfighting with it, and it lacks any armament aside from its machine guns, so don't send it into direct combat. Instead, start by having it head south towards the enemy carrier group. Have it hang around to the west of the enemy carrier group, to keep an eye on its progress.
Note that if you want the gold medal, you personally must destroy 30 enemy aircraft. Aircraft destroyed by your wingmates, a squadron not under your direct control, AA from a ship not under your control, or Donald if he is not under your direct control will not count toward the 30 enemy planes down.
You have two carriers, but the Lexington is going down, so count it out of the fight. If that was a spoiler for you, then TOO BAD, read your history books.
Since you're outnumbered two-to-one carrier-wise, you're going to have one heck of a fight on your hands. Have your ships play defensive and set up a picket around your carrier to damage any enemy aircraft passing through.
The Gold Medal
Those with the intent to get the ultra-shiny golden objective will set up, in addition to their ships, a massive wing of picket planes around the picket ships. Afterwards, just let the enemy come at you. Three squadrons is enough. The last squadron should consist of torpedo bombers and start bombing the Japanese carrier, stopping short of killing it so you can end the mission quickly in the event raking up the 30 kills takes too long.
You'll hear a short victory tune informing you you've just gotten the hidden objective. If you want to you can count the number of squadrons you shoot down - there are three Vals or Kates in each squadron, so shooting down ten will earn you the highest rank.
Fortunately, all the enemy sends at you are Vals and Kates. They aren't smart enough to send Zeroes, so just play it defensively and you'll rake up your kills. All the while you should have your TBF/Ds performing suicidal torpedo runs on either the Shokaku or the Zuikaku to damage it sufficiently so you can end the mission once you feel like it.
Once 30 enemy planes are down, finish off the enemy carrier quickly, since they're quickly steaming away to the east. If they make it to the eastern border, you fail the mission. Just be quick about it and you should be fine.
The Silver Medal
If a silver medal is just fine for you, all you have to do is, again, have all your ships assume a picket defence, but instead of setting up Wildcats for your air defence, only set up one squadron to aid Donald in air defence. You should end this quickly.
Have all the other squadrons assume torpedo running duties. Have them rendezvous somewhat north of the enemy carrier group, to not lure the attention of the squadron of patrolling Zeroes. Once they're all rallied, throw all three squadrons at one enemy carrier. Take control of the leader and torpedo the living daylights out of one of the two enemy carriers to end the battle swiftly.
You won't get the gold medal, but a shiny silver medal's just fine for you, right?