Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gratuitous Thud Video Footage

For no particular reason, some YouTube videos of the Republic F-105 Thunderchief.

The Thud was designed in mid-'50s as a low level nuclear strike fighter-bomber. In it's primary mission it was intended to carry a nuclear weapon in its internal bomb bay on low level high speed attacks against Soviet and Warsaw Pact targets. While it did perform that mission for a short time, it's primary use ended up being in Vietnam, where the single seat version was used as the primary USAF bomb truck against Vietnam.

Hundreds of F-105s were lost during the Vietnam war. A lot of pilots, both junior and senior, were shot down - some rescued, some made prisoner, some killed. This wasn't the fault of the airplane. It was flawed tactics, ROEs imposed by lunatics in Washington, ferocious defenses, and the use of the airplane in a role it was never designed for.

The few F-105 single seaters that survived the war soldiered on through the early 1980s in AFRES and ANG units.

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