F-105 Thunderchiefs

A 29-Year Illustrated Operational History, with Individual Accounts of the 103 Surviving Fighter Bombers

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About the Book

One of the U.S. Air Force’s most important fighter bombers, the F-105 Thunderchief was in operation for almost thirty years. It played a key role in the Vietnam War.
This book details the histories of the 103 F-105s that are displayed around the world. Part One of the work summarizes the 29 years of F-105 operations, focusing on events, aircraft configurations, units and bases. The individual histories and photographs of each surviving F-105 from its production to its static display are contained in Part Two. Appendices provide a mapped-out, state by state “Thunderchief Tour,” and the fate, by serial number, of all 117 of the F-105s that survived their operational career only to end up in scrap yards.

About the Author(s)

W. Howard Plunkett is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who spent twenty years as an aircraft maintenance officer, two of which were in support of Thunderchief squadrons in Japan and Thailand. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Bibliographic Details

W. Howard Plunkett
Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 336
Bibliographic Info: 136 photos, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [2001]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3885-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5063-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Acknowledgments      2

Introduction      3

PART I F-105 OPERATIONAL HISTORY      5

Initial Production      5

The “Bs” Make Their Mark      6

The “D” Model      6

A Two-Seat Trainer      6

Flying Organizations      7

Growing Pains      8

Enforcing the Peace      8

Combat Over Vietnam      9

Combat Takes Its Toll      10

Supporting the War      10

Wild Weasels and Other Beasts      13

MiG Killers      14

The U.S.S      Pueblo Diversion      15

Winding Down      15

One Last Configuration      16

Bringing the “Ds” Home      16

The Wild Weasels Fight On      16

Joining the Guard and Reserves      17

Last Combat for the Wild Weasels      18

The Weasels Come Home      18

To the Boneyard      18

Peace Time Operations      18

Final Phase Out      18

After Retirement      19

Lively Static Displays      22

Museum Foibles      23

PART II THE SURVIVORS      25

Introduction      25

Historical Research      25

YF-105B-1RE 54-0102      26

F-105B-5RE 54-0104      29

JF-105-1RE 54-0105      30

F-105B-5RE 54-0107      31

F-105B-10RE 57-5776      32

F-105B-10RE 57-5778      34

F-105B-10RE 57-5783      36

F-105B-10RE 57-5784      38

F-105B-15RE 57-5789      40

F-105B-15RE 57-5792      41

F-105B-15RE 57-5793      43

F-105B-20RE 57-5803      45

F-105B-20RE 57-5817      48

F-105B-20RE 57-5819      50

F-105B-20RE 57-5820      52

F-105B-20RE 57-5823      54

F-105B-20RE 57-5835      56

F-105B-20RE 57-5837      59

F-105B-20RE 57-5838      60

F-105B-20RE 57-5839      62

F-105D-5RE 58-1155      65

F-105D-5RE 59-1738      67

F-105D-5RE 59-1739      69

F-105D-5RE 59-1743      72

F-105D-6RE 59-1771      76

F-105D-10RE 60-0445      80

F-105D-10RE 60-0455      84

F-105D-10RE 60-0482      87

F-105D-10RE 60-0500      89

F-105D-10RE 60-0504      92

F-105D-10RE 60-0508      96

F-105D-10RE 60-0535      97

F-105D-15RE 61-0041      99

F-105D-15RE 61-0050      101

F-105D-15RE 61-0056      103

F-105D-15RE 61-0069      106

F-105D-15RE 61-0073      110

F-105D-15RE 61-0086      112

F-105D-15RE 61-0088      116

F-105D-15RE 61-0093      118

F-105D-15RE 61-0099      122

F-105D-15RE 61-0100      124

F-105D-15RE 61-0106      127

F-105D-20RE 61-0107      130

F-105D-20RE 61-0108      132

F-105D-20RE 61-0110      135

F-105D-20RE 61-0115      138

F-105D-20RE 61-0138      141

F-105D-20RE 61-0145      143

F-105D-20RE 61-0146      145

F-105D-20RE 61-0159      148

F-105D-25RE 61-0164      151

F-105D-25RE 61-0165      153

F-105D-25RE 61-0175      156

F-105D-25RE 61-0176      159

F-105D-25RE 61-0188      162

F-105D-25RE 61-0199      166

F-105D-25RE 62-4228      168

F-105D-30RE 62-4242      172

F-105D-30RE 62-4253      175

F-105D-30RE 62-4259      178

F-105D-31RE 62-4279      181

F-105D-31RE 62-4299      184

F-105D-31RE 62-4301      187

F-105D-31RE 62-4318      190

F-105D-31RE 62-4328      193

F-105D-31RE 62-4346      196

F-105D-31RE 62-4347      199

F-105D-31RE 62-4553      202

F-105D-31RE 62-4360      205

F-105D-31RE 62-4361      209

F-105D-31RE 62-4375      213

F-105D-31RE 62-4383      216

F-105D-31RE 62-4387      219

F-105G-1RE 62-4416      222

F-105F-1RE 62-4417      225

F-105F-1RE 62-4418      227

F-105G-1RE 62-4425      230

F-105G-1RE 62-4427      233

F-105G-1RE 62-4428      235

F-105G-1RE 62-4432      239

F-105G-1RE 62-4438      242

F-105G-1RE 62-4440      244

F-105G-1RE 62-4444      247

F-105G-1RE 62-4446      250

F-105F-1RE 63-8261      254

F-105G-1RE 63-8266      256

F-105G-1RE 63-8274      258

F-105G-1RE 63-8276      261

F-105G-1RE 63-8278      264

F-105G-1RE 63-8285      266

F-105F-1RE 63-8287      270

F-105G-1RE 63-8296      272

F-105G-1RE 63-8300      275

F-105G-1RE 63-8320      278

F-105F-1RE 63-8331      281

F-105G-1RE 63-8336      284

F-105F-1RE 63-8343      288

F-105G-1RE 63-8345      291

F-105F-1RE 63-8357      294

F-105G-1RE 63-8363      296

F-105F-1RE 63-8365      299

F-105F-1RE 63-8366      301

Appendix 1 The Thunderchief Tour      305

Appendix 2 To the Glue Factory      311

Index      323

Book Reviews & Awards

“a labor of love”—Air & Space Power Journal.