The Republic F-105 “Thunderchief” was conceived in the 1950s as a nuclear strike aircraft, but actually achieved fame during the Vietnam War as a conventional strike and later on as a “defense suppression” aircraft. The F-105 entered operational service in May 1958 and went through various design variants with the “D” model becoming the definitive version. The F-105 took the brunt of the early air war in Vietnam. While exceptionally fast at low altitude, the F-105’s highly loaded wings did not provide much in the way of maneuverability. The missions were dangerous and losses were high. At the worst of the air war, the chances of a “Thunderchief” pilot surviving 100 missions over North Vietnam were about 75%. The “D” model was so extensively used, that over one half of the 610 units built were lost during the Vietnam War.
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
Retired USAF pilot, Marty Case, doing a walk around presentation
about his experience and the history of the F-105 “Thunderchief.”