This mission is relatively straightforward. The enemy is seeking to destroy the carrier Shōhō in the Battle of Coral Sea. This is one of many chances to change history and prevent the US from sinking Shōhō, and ultimately be able to invade Port Moresby in New Guinea. You'll be in a cruiser with full control over everything except movement.
- Protect the Shōhō.
- Use the support manager to launch 1 plane squadron.
- Destroy the enemy submarine.
- Shōhō must remain above 50% health.
- Launch a recon plane to spot the enemy submarine.
- Locate and destroy the enemy radio tower.
Defence of the Shōhō
At the mission start, you'll be spotted by an enemy PBY Catalina. It appears off your port side at a very high altitude. Aim up and take it down quickly.
Your next targets will be a wing of Devastators from starboard. You'll have to shoot over your allies to hit them, but don't worry about that - they can't be damaged by your own AA fire. Do everything you can to take them down, but given their distance, stopping them can be tough. A second wave of Devastators approaches as soon as you finish your first one, this time from your side. Unleash a withering hail of anti-aircraft fire at these Devastators and protect the Shōhō.
Around this time, you'll receive another secondary objective: launch a recon plane to deal with the USS Grunion, a Narwhal-class submarine. You'll also find the recon plane effective at stopping enemy bombers from further out. Launch a recon plane and dump depth charges on the Grunion. Aerial charges have been nerfed considerably since Midway, so it will likely take several runs to eliminate the submarine. Keep the pressure on it, but be ready to switch back to your cruiser in the event of additional enemy aircraft. Focus on aircraft first, and then the Grunion. Have your recon plane attack the sub at its leisure while you focus your anti-aircraft fire on Dauntlesses.
Once you sink Grunion, have your recon plane fly toward the only landmass on the map. There you'll locate the radio tower you must destroy for the gold medal. It is guarded by a pair of Elcos which can put up quite a bit of AA fire - more than your F1M Pete may be able to handle. If so keep note of this tower and attack it later. Be sure to safeguard Shōhō though.
Around this time, Shōhō will regain her plane-launching ability. Use the support manager and put up as many Zeros as you can for CAP. Fly them out toward the enemy bombers and eliminate them quickly. If you failed to eliminate the tower as an F1M, you can now do so as an A6M, which should be more than sufficient. If you lose your Pete at this point in the game, you won't be able to launch another one, as you lose control of your cruiser when Shōhō starts launching CAP. Regardless, the Pete should be inconsequential at this point, although it can help against enemy bombers.
If the Shōhō makes it to the southern border, the mission is a success.