05/20/17 — 'Tora, Tora, Tora!' over Wayne

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'Tora, Tora, Tora!' over Wayne

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on May 20, 2017 11:57 AM

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If you thought you saw World War II-era planes in the sky over Wayne County Friday -- you did.

But don't worry -- they were only replicas.

The "Tora, Tora, Tora" air team touched down at the Wayne Executive Jetport Friday afternoon after flying in from Atlanta, Georgia.

The team gave incentive flights to about a dozen people, giving them a private preview of the action to unfold over the weekend.

The all-volunteer team buzzed through the sky, dropped smoke and executed skillful aerial maneuvers.

The "Tora, Tora, Tora" Pearl Harbor commemoration show recalls the infamous attack the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, by Imperial Japan through a real-world recreation of the events that unfolded that day.

Beginning in 1972, the show originated from six replica Japanese planes used in the film, "Tora! Tora! Tora!"

Those aircraft were donated to the Commemorative Air Force, which is the organization the Tora, Tora, Tora airshow operates under.

With the motto, "Lest We Forget," the show flew for the first time at the Galveston Air Show on June 25, 1972.

Within five years, the show was all the rage performing the reenactment in Canada and Mexico by 1978.

The group collaborates with American and Japanese veterans to produce the most authentic reenactment possible.

Even authentic Japanese salutes are incorporated into the show.

For every one hour spent in the sky, the volunteers must spend five hours performing maintenance on the aircraft.

The team consists of eight pilots, a narrator and 10 people setting up the pyrotechnics used to simulate the bomb explosions.