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Veterans Embark on Journey to Mark Coral Sea Battle

May 3, 1992

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Australian and U.S. World War II veterans departed Sunday aboard a refurbished troop train to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, which helped change the course of the Pacific war.

The train left Brisbane on a 700-mile trip to Townsville in northern Queensland state, with stops along the way for special ceremonies in honor of the epic air and sea battle.

The train is expected to reach Townsville on Wednesday.

In Sydney, more than 40,000 people toured the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Independence, which is visiting Australia as part of the anniversary events.

The May 1942 battle marked Japan’s first defeat in the South Pacific and halted the country’s expansion in the region. Before the battle, Japanese troops swept through Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor and into remote parts of New Guinea.

DS-05-03-92 1210EDT

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