Republic F-105D "Thunderchief"

Originally designed to meet America's need for an exceptionally fast nuclear strike aircraft in the Cold War, the F-105D "Thunderchief" actually achieved the most fame in the Air War over the jungles of Vietnam. The largest single-engine combat aircraft at the time, the F-105 could carry 14,000 lbs of armament. Although this incredibly fast aircraft could reach Mach 1 at sea level and Mach 2 at high altitude, the F-105’s highly loaded wings did not provide much in the way of maneuverability. This made missions extremely dangerous and losses unacceptably high.

Did you know?

Even though a Thunderchief pilot only had a 75% chance of surviving 100 missions over North Vietnam, they loved their aircraft

Over one half of the 610 F-105D units built were lost during the Vietnam War.

F-105 pilots, called "drivers", nicknamed this aircraft the “Thud," some called it "Nickels" for the five designation, but very few called it the "Thunderchief".

About our Aircraft

Steve Coker, friend of the Museum and former F-105D Driver, played a big part in getting this beautiful Republic F-105D, 62-4346, to the Museum. Now this Vietnam Warbird greets visitors on the south side of the Museum and reminds all of the sacrifices made in the Air War over Vietnam. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the US Air Force in Ohio. 
F-105D Outside Museum
Video Credit: F-105 Walkaround with Pilot Marty Case, by Erik Johnston, 2013, Used with Permission.