In Midway, a large aircraft carrier (all of the Americans and two of the Japanese) can take five hits. If a ship has received one less hit than the critical number (four in this case), it is deemed damaged, to the point where its firepower capabilities are reduced to 1 (vs. ship) and 1 (vs. air), down from x y where it started, (where x and y are usually greater than 1). And I believe its movement factor is also reduced from 2 to 1.
In the Q & A of the 1960s version, a question was asked, that given the fact that an aircraft carrier with "ready" (fueled and armed) planes would require one less hit to sink it, would getting planes "ready" after an attack sink an aircraft carrier? The answer was no, the ship would not be sunk, because the "readying" of the planes would not happen simultaneously with the bombing.
But a more important question is that would a crippled aircraft carrier be able to launch or retrieve planes, or would a carrier on its "last legs" have a ruined flight deck or crippled launching mechanism that would prevent this?
I don't remember the 1960s version of the rules addressing this point. Did the 1990s version do so, or were the 1960s rules clearer on this point than I remember? And if the answers were no, would the above be a reasonable interpretation that is in the "spirit" of the game?