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F-105 Thunderchief Units of the Vietnam War

Overview

Facing the most formidably concentrated air defences in history, pilots of the F-105D flew against North Vietnamese targets day after day during the 43 months of Operation Rolling Thunder. In the latter stages of the war, two-seat F-105F/G crews continued to duel with surface-to-air missile sites as they attempted to protect American strike aircraft from North Vietnam's devastating anti-aircraft missiles. In all, 397 F-105s were lost in Vietnam out of a total production of 753-the heaviest losses of any USAF ...

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F-105 Thunderchief Units of the Vietnam War

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Overview

Facing the most formidably concentrated air defences in history, pilots of the F-105D flew against North Vietnamese targets day after day during the 43 months of Operation Rolling Thunder. In the latter stages of the war, two-seat F-105F/G crews continued to duel with surface-to-air missile sites as they attempted to protect American strike aircraft from North Vietnam's devastating anti-aircraft missiles. In all, 397 F-105s were lost in Vietnam out of a total production of 753-the heaviest losses of any USAF fighter in the conflict. Conceived as a supersonic striker, with the capability to carry a tactical nuclear weapon internally, the F-105 in Vietnam had its bomb-bay filled with extra fuel tanks for its huge J75 engine. Bombs were instead hung under its small wings and 64-ff long fuselage, severely limiting manoeuvrability. A lack of self-sealing fuel tanks and a very vulnerable hydraulic system made the aircraft highly susceptible to combat damage. Nevertheless, F-105 'bombers' shot down 27 MiG fighters in 1966-67 while they delivered a high proportion of the half-million tons of ordnance dropped at that time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"F-105 Thunderchief Units of the Vietnam War explores the crucial importance of the Thunderchief, deemed the "Thud" by many of its crews, in the Rolling Thunder campaign... The author, Peter Davies [gives] an extensive overview of the aircraft's strengths and difficulties, the development of wartime tactics and the heroic accomplishments of a selection of its aircrew. The colorful artwork will appeal to aviation enthusiasts and modelers alike. Illustrations cover the variety of natural metal and camouflage schemes with different codes and nose-art." -Flying Models (April 2010)

"The latest addition to Osprey's Combat Aircraft series, F-105 Thunderchief Units of the Vietnam War, will probably leave U.S. Air Force veterans wondering why it took so long... Loaded with firsthand accounts by the pilots-and even a few from some of their MiG adversaries-and supplementing its scores of photographs with 27 color profiles, this book is an important addition for any student of the air war." -Jon Guttman, Vietnam (August 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846034923
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/16/2010
  • Series: Combat Aircraft Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Davies is based in Bristol and has authored or co-authored nine books on modern American combat aircraft, including the standard reference work on US Navy and Marine Corps Phantom II operations, 'Gray Ghosts'. The author lives in Bristol, England.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 From Nukes to Napes 6

Chapter 2 War in Laos 12

Chapter 3 Rolling Thunder 21

Chapter 4 Strikes and Losses 35

Chapter 5 The MiG Killers 65

Chapter 6 Wild Weasels 80

Appendices 91

Colour Plates Commentary 92

Index 96

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