Cool. Makes sense but I think (not that it means much) that planes on a carrier don’t defend in the air unless there is something to defend against. I’m new here but I’ve been reading for well over a year and I appreciate all the info given! Thanks!
If it helps justify it, imagine that they’re flying CAP, and were already in the air when the subs struck. The only time aircraft aren’t considered “in the air” is when attacking with a carrier that has a friendly plane. In all other circumstances, the airplanes are independent of the carrier (and already in the air). Not just when attacked, but even before they were attacked. Hence, Combat Air Patrol.