Republic F-105 Thunderchief: Operations in Southeast Asia
Republic F-105 Thunderchief: Operations in Southeast Asia; ; Historic Military Aircraft Series, Vol 14
Authored by: Theo van Geffen and Gerald Arruda
When the Air War against North Vietnam began in earnest on March 2, 1965, the United States Air Force (USAF) had an aircraft in its inventory with the load-carrying capability it needed – Republic Aviation Corporation’s F-105D/F Thunderchief. Thanks to the Kennedy administration’s decision in the early 1960s to shift the USAF’s focus to a more conventional warfare role, the F-105 had gone through several modifications, enabling it to fly this mission. In addition, two major modification programs had enhanced its safety and brought all in-service F-105Ds to the baseline configuration of D#357. However, this did not mean that the aircraft would not have to be modified more to carry out its combat mission in Southeast Asia. The increasingly sophisticated North Vietnamese air and ground defenses proved this to be of utmost necessity for survival. According to Sacramento Air Material Area, the modifications it accomplished on the Thunderchief in the late 1965–69 period made the F-105 “one of the best weapons, if not the best, for its assignment in Southeast Asia.” Yet, 397 F-105s were lost, of which 334 were lost in combat and 63 operationally. This book not only gives an in-depth account of historical events, with input from the pilots involved, but is lavishly illustrated with over 150 photographs, many of which have never been published before.