Republic Aviation began a project to develop a supersonic tactical
fighter-bomber to replace the F-84F. The result was the F-105 "Thunderchief," later affectionately nicknamed the "Thud."
The prototype YF-105A first flew on October 22, 1955 but the first F-105D did
not fly until June 9, 1959. F-105s were
produced in the single-seat -B and -D series, and in the two seat F-105F model.
Later, some -Fs were modified to become F-105Gs. A total of 833 Thunderchiefs of
all types were built, including 610 F-105Ds.
he F-105D could carry over 12,000 pounds of ordnance, a heavier bomb load
than a World War II B-17
. Up to 8,000 pounds
could be carried internally in the bomb bay. The F-105D was used extensively in the
Vietnam War. It flew 75 percent of the air strikes against North Vietnam during its
first four years. The last F-105D was withdrawn from USAF service on July 12, 1980.
he aircraft on display is painted and marked as it was with the 357th Tactical
Fighter Squadron of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Takhli Royal Thai Air Base in
Thailand. The nickname Memphis Belle II
refers to the B-17F that carried the same artwork during World War II.
Retired Col. Robert Morgan, pilot of the famed World War II b-17 "Memphis Belle," died in Asheville, North Carolina, at the age of 85. Morgan successfully piloted his B-17 through 25 dangerous daytime bombing runs against Nazi Germany.
"Memphis Belle" was the first Army Air Forces bomber to complete 25 mission, and its crew returned to the United States in 1943 for promotional purposes.
Later in the war, Morgan returned to combat as a B-29 pilot against Japan. Morgan's first combat mission in the Pacific Theater was also the first B-29 attack directed against Tokyo.
-- Air Force Magazine, July 2004
The two red stars under the cockpit represent the two MiG kills it claimed during the Vietnam War. It arrived at the Museum in April 1990.
34 ft. 11 in.
64 ft. 5 in.
19 ft. 8 in.
52,838 lbs. max.
One M61 Vulcan 20mm cannon and more than 12,000 lbs. of ordnance
One Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W of 24,500 lbs thrust with afterburner