F-105 Thunderchief Units of the Vietnam War

F-105 Thunderchief Units of the Vietnam War

Combat Aircraft 84
  • Author: Peter E. Davies
  • Illustrator: Jim Laurier
  • Short code: COM 84
  • Publication Date: 10 Feb 2010
  • Number of Pages: 96
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About this Product

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. Despite its limited maneuverability and the lack of self-sealing fuel tanks, which made it susceptible to combat damage, the 'bombers' shot down 27 MiG fighters in 1966 - 67. This book illustrates the importance of the Thunderchief in the Rolling Thunder campaign, including the pioneering suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) methods developed by the F-105 'Wild Weasel' crews. Discussing the aircraft's strengths and weaknesses and using first-hand narratives, Peter Davies captures the essence of flying the 'Thud' against heavy defences, and describes the development of wartime tactics and the heroic accomplishments of a selection of its aircrew.

Biographical Note

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'. Jim Laurier is a native of New England and lives in New Hampshire. He attended Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, from 1974 to 1978, and since he graduated with honours, he has been working professionally in the field of Fine Art and Illustration. He has been commissioned to paint for the US Air Force and has aviation paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon.

Contents

Chapter 1 - 1953-65. A brief account of the design philosophy, early service and first deployments to Vietnam from August 1964 for attacks on Laos.
Chapter 2 - Thai Home.Takhli and Korat Royal Thai air bases become the home of the 355th and 388th Tactical Fighter Wings and the launch pads for most of the attacks during Rolling Thunder from 2 March 1965.
Chapter 3 - 1966-67. The height of Rolling Thunder. Vietnamese defences are much improved and F-105 losses mount.
Chapter 4 - MiG killers. Despite its designated bomber role the F-105 downs 27 MiG fighters, mainly with its internal gun, including two for one pilot in a single mission.
Chapter 5 - Wild Weasels. ‘Iron Hand' missions against North Vietnam's defences begin in July 1965. The hunter-killer F-100
F-105 team concept is developed for attacking SAM sites.

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