An admiral intent on catching the U.S. military base unprepared was aware of this meteorological phenomenon.
Pitching in the heavy seas, the admiral held his planes until just before dawn when they were 60 miles offshore.
Fighters led the charge, strafing across the airfield, knocking out the planes on the ground before any aerial defense could lift off.
With air domination achieved, dive bombers and torpedo planes freely followed, raining down on the vessels in the harbor.
The first U.S. aircraft carrier ever built — the USS Langley — was commissioned in 1922 after being converted from a coal carrier.
Thus, the Navy administration voted down the idea of reorganizing itself around the importance of air power.
King took a single aircraft carrier escorted by destroyers to attack Pearl Harbor from the air. »