Literature on the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack that launched the United States into World War I1 is extensive. Japan's primary objective that day was to cripple the US Fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, and the Navy's experience during the attack has been chronicled in detail. Control of the air over the island of Oahu was essential to the success of the attack, but documentation on Army Air Forces involvement has been sparse and often fragmented. Consequently, few people understand why the Hawaiian Air Force was so unprepared to accomplish its air defense mission or realize the extent of the damage and casualties it sustained on that "Day of Infamy." This book is an attempt to remedy that situation, and the events and actions of the US Army Air Forces on 7 December are told in the following pages. In this writing we have attempted to answer several important questions. Why was the Imperial Japanese Navy able to devastate the Hawaiian Air Force with little to no opposition?
Why was the American air arm with over 200 aircraft, including long-range bombers, six radar stations, a trained ground observer unit, and extensive antiaircraft weapons units unable to perform its primary job of protecting the fleet? Why were all available aircraft unarmed and lined up like sitting ducks on the flight line at each base? Why were the radar stations shut down at 0700 on the morning of the attack? Where was the central fighter control unit, and why was it not activated prior to the attack?