After an initial battle that went very well for the United States (having sunk a heavy cruiser and destroyer), TF16 caught up to the fleeing Zuiho and attempted to finish it off using its aircraft.
During the first battle, I intentionally held back my aircraft as I didn’t want them damaged/disrupted. So my TF17 launched its 4 aircraft rather than enter the same hex and open my ships to potential damage.
In air to ship combat, the defending ships have what is called a Combat Aircraft Patrol (CAP) that represents their defense from the planes on their decks. This number is based on the number of aircraft carriers in the hex so in this instance with only the Zuiho in the hex the CAP was only one and the US planes escaped with only a few disruptions. After the CAP check, the defender then gets an antiaircraft Attack which targets only bombers or aircraft with torpedoes. I also escaped this roll with only minor damage and was able to then choose my targets.
The first wave focused on attacking the Zuiho and my 3 planes rolled well doing 5 total hits to the Zuiho sinking it. My 2nd wave was able to attack a damaged destroyer and with 2 hits sank it for a total victory and destruction of the Japanese Midway Invasion Force.
After this battle my luck would drastically change as some critical tactical errors put my ships in the direct line of a mighty Japanese Taskforce with several carriers, droves of planes and three powerful Battleships.