Ault helped to plan and execute the attacks on Japanese shipping at Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea, in March 1942. On the day before the strike, 9 March, Ault and a wingman flew to Port Moresby, where the group commander learned of the existence of a key mountain pass through the forbidding Owen Stanleys, information that, in the words of the task force commander, contributed "a great deal toward [the] success" of the attacks that ensued. On the day of the raid, 10 March, Ault, given the authority to carry out or abort the attack on the basis of whatweather he found, flew unaccompanied to the pass and orbitted. Finding favorable weather, he transmitted information to that effect and directed the passage of planes from Lexington and Yorktown toward Lae and Salamaua. Those groups sank three transports, put a fourth transport out of action, and caused varying degrees of damage to a light cruiser, a minelayer, three destroyers and a seaplane carrier. The transmontane raid postponed the Japanese projected conquest of Tulagi and Port Moresby for a month, the time necessary to replace the vital amphibious ships lost off New Guinea and marshal carrier air support. Commander, Aircraft Battle Force, later commended Ault for his work.