First Attack Wave
Just before dawn on December 7th, the
Japanese task force of 31 ships, including
six aircraft carriers, reached its launch point
230 miles north of Oahu. By 6:30 a.m. the
carriers had launched 40 torpedo planes,
49 high-level bombers, 51 dive-bombers,
and 43 Zero fighters-- a total of 183 planes.
As the Japanese attack wave approached Oahu
it split into four groups to strike specific targets.
The 40 torpedo planes and the 49 high level
bombers swung along Oahu's west coast to
attack Pearl Harbor. The 51 dive-bombers flew
down the center of the island before splitting into
three groups to bomb the main airfields. Over
central Oahu, the 43 Zero fighters divided into
three groups to strafe Wheeler Field, Kaneohe
Naval Air Station, and Hickam Field.