The first wave of Japanese carrier-based aircraft began to cross Oahu’s western coast at approximately 0740. They began their attack on U.S. Pacific Fleet ships and installations at Pearl Harbor several minutes before 0800, shattering what had been a quiet Sunday morning.
When the attack began, Rudy went from the power plant’s ground floor up to the turbine floor so he could look beyond the Helena. As he related in The Times: “I went to one of the windows and looked across the seaplane hangars at Ford Island about 2,000 feet from our building. At first I could see nothing but smoke. I called one of our men to the window as a plane came swooping down over the hangars dropping its bombs.”