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62-4299 —
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62-4299 —



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Paul Wisgerhof
This one is a Vietnam war vet.
Don't see the "Thud" flying much anymore
a mentor
First flight 22 October 1955
Introduction 27 May 1958
Retired 25 February 1984

USN McCain graduated in 1958.
Died On August 25, 2018,
Chris Croft
Not quite sure why the McCain reference. The Thud is USAF, Capt.McCain flew A-1's and A-4's for the Navy. RIP, Go Navy!
a mentor
@Chris may be entirely correct while I was inaccurate -- sorry
phillip martin
An unsung hero, extremely tough and one of my favourite aircraft.
John Dalinsky
One of the best books on the air war over Vietnam is Thud Ridge.
Philip Goldsby
This particular Thud was in service as late as January 1984, having been delivered to USAF in 1963. The first reaction could very well be, "Wow! 21 years. That's really something." However, consider F-16 84-1244. Delivered in 1985, I believe it's still in service - 36 years! That speaks to the mission of the Century Series much more than the F-105. Those jets were developed in a short period of time to perform 1 of 2 missions: deliver tactical nuclear payloads, or intercept enemy jets delivering nuclear payloads. That the Thud was able to serve as long as it did flying missions it was not intended for is a testament to the strength and stability of the airframe, and the flexibility of the Air Force to accept the jet into those missions. The Thud was the jet that established the success of the Wild Weasel mission.
Unfortunately, we will never again see (or hear), a Thud fly again. I was a Thud maintainer (fire control) at McConnell and then at Takhli, Thailand in 1967-68 and wrote a book about the experience called "Support Troops - Behind the scenes of the air war in Vietnam". A growing number of Thud drivers and maintainers have joined together to maintain and restore as many airframes as possible for static display so these magnificent warriors are not lost. Please consider joining the Thunderchief Preservation Society on Facebook!
Robert Jarwin
WOW...where do you guys get all this historical data? I would sure like to follow the T-38 I got a Christmas ride in back in '69 at Laredo. Any help would be appreciated and THANK YOU!!!
John Turanin
Thanks for letting us know about your book williger1! Just purchased it on Amazon and looking forward to reading it! Thank you for keeping our Thuds in the air!
When was the photo taken? In the late '70's/early 'all of the flyable Thud's in the inventory participated in Red Flag. It was quite a sight to see. On one of the sorties did a cartridge on all of them - back smoke all over the ramp - what a sight, I suspect that most of the nearby residents thought that Nellis had caught fire.
Paul Grassel
This looks like it was taken at George AFB,
David Mursch
I was stationed at Peterson AFB, CO, in the early 70's. Thunderbirds were using the F-105 at that time. During their visit to the area they practiced over the plains east of the city. One afternoon we began getting complaints from residents in that area of broken windows and upset livestock. Seems one the T-Birds went supersonic. As the Thud drivers used to tell me in Korea, the Thud loves the ground! Also the old saying, if they built a runway around the world, Republic would build an airplane that would use every inch of it.
Chris C Kinsley
Don't see aircraft like this nowadays, more's the pity! Always one of my favourites
HabujetPhoto Uploader
I shot this @ Nellis AFB back in April 1983 at the Nellis air show. This is the only Thud to wear this camo scheme and was nicknamed "Desert Fox"
David Seider
F-105D-31-RE / Serial No. 62-4299 / 466th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) / 419th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) / based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Aircraft was Withdrawn From Use (WFU) in 1983. Last known location is as display at Travis AFB Museum, California
Always liked the Thud. When I was at Altus AFB ('75-'79) we worked them every day from Carswell AFB to the Fort Still range. Mixing them with C-5 traffic wasn't easy. In '78 I did have a Thud pilot punch out while I was talking to him.
Michael Mathers
If David Mursch will accept a slight chronology change, to USAFA graduation on June 4, 1969, I can confirm the broken windows story.  President Nixon gave the graduation address that day, at the football stadium, which was a few miles from the main campus. (I would not remember the exact date, except that Nixon's speeches are a matter of record, and easily searchable.  His words that day are here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg7TZwhByJA).  The Thunderbirds performed during graduation, flying the F-4.  (Wikipedia says the Thunderbirds flew the F-105 only for part of the 1964 season.)  It was a bright sunny morning, but as usual in that part of Colorado, summer thunderstorms developed later in the day.  As temperature and pressure change, so does the speed of sound.  The graduated seniors were off to the four winds, but the rest of us bussed back to campus.  There was a flyover by many types in the current inventory.  Especially memorable was the SR-71 at low speed and a high angle of attack.  Then, officially, the flyover was over, and  we were assembling to march to lunch.  I guess a flight of F-105s decided to give the cadets an extra thrill:  unexpectedly, they overflew us, a few hundred feet above ground level, very fast, and they accidentally went supersonic.  Their flight vector was straight south.  Vandenburg Hall (the bigger dorm) has a wall of glass that is a quarter-mile long and 4 stories high, facing exactly north.  We heard loud engine noise, a sonic boom, and tinkling sounds for most of a minute as glass fell to the ground.  No one was hurt.  The bugle calls sounded on time; we marched to Mitchell Hall for lunch, where we found that the glass on the south (!) wall was shattered.  It was a good thing the seniors were gone: we needed extra room in the dorms and dining hall for a few days until the lower classes went off to their summer programs.  Repairs were complete when we returned to campus at the end of the summer.  Every so often over the years, I have wondered how that incident affected the career of the flight leader?
I was up close and personal with the AN/APN-131 Doppler Radar Navigation System on F-105's while at Kadena in 1970. Quite a temperamental collection of electronics. I learned to appreciate the aircraft as a whole years afterward reading about it and meeting a couple pilots in my travels. That's Nellis alright - Sunrise Mountain in the background.
C.W. Reed
Wow!! What a story @Michael Mathers. You should write a book! I'd be interested because I applied to the USAFA way back in the 80's, but was not accepted. :-(

Thanks for posting this Thud photo. I flew that tail number on my initial Qual Check flight at McConnell AFB in 1975. I only flew it that one time, then went to George AFB to fly the F-105G. The photo looks like George AFB. That mountain was called "Bust Your Butt Mountain". The top was right at pattern altitude within a mile of the pattern. I mention those flights in my book on Amazon, "Los and Fast: Memories of a Cold War Fighter Pilot".
Chuck Banks
Mike Taylor
I too was accepted to the USAFA for the Class of 74 but the physical exam showed a heart murmur which disqualified me for pilot training. Extremely disappointed I opted out. Paths not taken...
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