USS Neosho burning after Japanese attack (7 May 1942)
Meanwhile, a scout plane from USS Yorktown (CV-5) found the Japanese Covering Group, the light carrier Shoho and four heavy cruisers, which faulty message coding transformed into "two carriers and four heavy cruisers". Yorktown and USS Lexington (CV-2) sent out a huge strike: fifty-three scout-bombers, twenty-two torpedo planes and eighteen fighters. In well-delivered attacks before noon, these simply overwhelmed the Shoho, which received so many bomb and torpedo hits that she sank in minutes. Her passing was marked by some of the War's most dramatic photography.
Adding to the confusion, if not to the score, Japanese land-based torpedo planes and bombers struck an advanced force of Australian and U.S. Navy cruisers, far to the west of Admiral Fletcher's carriers. Skillful ship-handling prevented any damage. Australia-based U.S. Army B-17s also arrived and dropped their bombs, fortunately without hitting anything.
All this had one beneficial effect: the Japanese ordered their Port Moresby invasion force to turn back to await developments. Late in the day, they also sent out nearly thirty carrier planes to search for Fletcher's ships. Most of these were shot down or lost in night landing attempts, significantly reducing Japanese striking power. The opposing carrier forces, quite close together by the standards of air warfare, prepared to resume battle in the morning.Tomorrow - Day 2 of the action and loss of the Lexington.
ref: Dept of the Navy - Naval Historical Center