The commander of the carrier group had decided to attack on Sunday morning because he knew that the officers slept late at Pearl Harbor. He had been running with no lights and in radio silence in heavy seas. Before sunup he launched 152 planes from his carriers.
About an hour later, they appeared in the sunny skies over Pearl Harbor, dropping 20 tons of bombs on the airfields and anchored ships while the fighter planes strafed the airfields destroying the planes on the ground. Not a single fighter got off the ground to defend against the attackers.
Twenty-four hours later, the carriers had still not been located by the defenders. It was a rout for the attackers. The defenders later tried to claim that they had hit 45 of the attacking planes with anti-aircraft fire, which they had not.
In typical government fashion, a report was filed on the incident stating: "...it is doubtful if air attacks can be launched against Oahu in the face of strong defensive aviation without subjecting the attacking carriers to the danger of material damage and consequent great losses in the attack air force."