On the 28th of February 1943, 16 ships departed Rabaul to make the 3 day voyage to the Japanese base at Lae. On board were almost 7,000 Japanese soldiers. By March the 3rd, all that was left were 4 badly damaged destroyers that were running north; the rest of the Japanese ships were sitting on the ocean floor.
A truly decisive moment in the air war, the Battle of the Bismarck Sea would change the course of the New Guinea campaign. In a crushing display of air power by the allies, one of the largest reinforcement convoys the Japanese despatched had been utterly destroyed by the 5th Air Force. From this point on in the war, supplying forward Japanese positions would be a crippling challenge. The Allies had shown that, in the South West Pacific, their dominance of the air mattered more than Japan’s control of the sea.
Credit to : hypohystericalhistory