The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!
Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team
Thursday, July 25, 2013
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 Reprise: Tora! Tora! Tora!
One of the most dramatic airshow performances ever presented is the reenactment of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor by the Commemorative Air Force's Tora! Tora! Tora! team. There is nothing like seeing that first Zero fighter wave approaching from a distance, followed by explosions and (at some venues) antiaircraft fire and wounded soldiers being carried off the field. Another wave of bombers and torpedo planes comes in, followed by more explosions, followed by another wave of fighters and bombers, then another. Then (at some venues) American warbirds such as P-40 Warhawks, enter the scene and "shoot down" some of the attackers. Of course it is not a real attack at the airshow, and most of the aircraft used are converted BT-13s and T-6 Texans, but it is difficult to resist being drawn into the scene and asking yourself, "What would I do in that situation?" and "How could this happen?" To the credit of the Tora! Tora! Tora! team, the point of the experience is to show the effects of war on both sides, and ties between the U.S. and Japanese veterans have been strengthened considerably. The crews of these aircraft are volunteers, taking it upon themselves to participate in this commemoration of history, and the hope for better times to come. In preparation for the team's appearance at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh next weekend, here are some views from last year's AirVenture:
By Fred Harl
(Editor's Note:The Aero Experience thanks contributor Fred Harl for this exceptional photo essay of the Tora! Tora! Tora! performance at EAA AirVenture 2012).