Category: Republic F105 Thunderchief

“Back in the States, an air force and industry-accelerated modification program turned out the first…”

“Back in the States, an air force and industry-accelerated modification program turned out the first of a series of two-seater F-100s configured to seek and destroy Sam sites. They were the first editions of the Wild Weasels, and at least we got some specialized hardware into the act. The early electronic sensing gear installed in the 100s was just nibbling on the edge of missile-hunting technology, but it was a big step in the right direction.
            The 100s were older and slower than the Thuds, which led to the early Weasles’ macho slogan ‘first in and last out.’ It’s true that from the first time the Weasels went up North, they probed in front of the strike force on the way in and they swept to clear our tails on the way out. However, in the case of the F-100s, ‘first in and last out’ also meant that they were so much slower than we were that they had to head for the target well beffore we did, and once we hit the target, we flew right on by them while they had to struggle out behind us as best they could. That speed differential ceased to be a problem when the Weasels got their F-105s.”

Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington by Jack Broughton, page 176.

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“Our mission was to put our bombs on the target, regardless of Migs or anything else. That was our…”

“Our mission was to put our bombs on the target, regardless of Migs or anything else. That was our prime challenge. If the Migs came out on the way to the target, we picked up another challenge: Put those bombs on the target despite the Migs. Regardless of what else happened, you won if you bombed successfully in spite of the Migs and  you lost if the Migs, or anything else, forced you to get rid of the bombs anyplace other than on target. It took guts and a lot of discipline to keep thundering along with fast, maneuverable adversaries nipping at your tail. But among other things, if you didn’t get the target, you could expect to have to try the same one again tomorrow. Every Thud driver over there would have loved to pickle his bombs and tanks at the first sight of Migs and have at them, but if you did, you lost the game. If you outdiced them all the way down the ridge, creamed your target, and than had at them, you won all the way.”

Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington by Jack Broughton, page 153.

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From the source: “Some North Vietnamese antiaircraft guns were…

From the source: “Some North Vietnamese antiaircraft guns were aimed using ‘Fire Can’ radar, like those at this site. Wild Weasels sometimes hunted and destroyed these radars.”

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USAF Republic F-105 Thunderchief somewhere over Southeast Asia,…

USAF Republic F-105 Thunderchief somewhere over Southeast Asia, 1966.