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Where were the American carriers and why were they not in or around Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked?

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  • Hi, you might want to change the expression 'our' for a more neutral one. – Mikel Urkia Nov 10 '15 at 11:09
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    A lot of Japanese pilots asked the same question. – Comintern Nov 10 '15 at 13:29
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    There have been many books written, movies made, and analyses performed about this specific day. Have you even done any initial research? – CGCampbell Nov 10 '15 at 13:46
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    Please do preliminary research as described in How to Ask; H:SE should supplement wikipedia and google, not replace them. – MCW Nov 10 '15 at 14:50
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The U.S. Pacific Fleet had three carriers at the time of the attack:

U.S.S Lexington was at sea with Task Force 12, ferrying aircraft to Midway Island.
U.S.S. Enterprise was at sea and returned to Pearl Harbor in the evening following the attack.
U.S.S Saratoga was in San Diego, following a refit, to embark her air group who were training onshore.

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    To clarify on the Enterprise a bit, it looks like from the Wikipedia page that she (like the Lexington) spent a lot of her time not in port, but ferrying aircraft to the US's various pacific island airbases. So there's nothing unusual about her not being at her base that morning. In fact, she was on her way back from Wake after an 11-day run, so if anything it was odd that she was as close as she was when the attack occurred. – T.E.D. Nov 10 '15 at 14:08

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