Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA2551 F-105F Thunderchief 63-8301, Lt Col. Leo Thorsness, 355th TFW, 357th TFS, 17 April 1967

The F-105 earned the nickname Thud after the character Chief Thunderthud on the Howdy Doody TV show. The main mission of the F-105G was the detection and destruction of North Vietnamese SAMs that would then allow other aircraft to safely carry out their assignments. In order for the F-105Gs to do this they were always “First In Last Out” and piloted by volunteers. The F-105 was the only U.S. aircraft withdrawn from combat due to high losses. Having flown 20,000 sorties over Vietnam 382 of the 833 F-105s produced were lost.

On April 19, 1967 Major Thorsness and Captain Johnson flew their F-105F Thunderchief 63-8301 along with their wingmen on a mission to destroy surface-to-air missile sites. They destroyed their first objective and attacking the second SAM the wingman was hit by ground fire and the crew bailed out. 63-8301 circled the parachutes to be able to give SAR their location. They spotted a MiG-17 and destroyed it. Low on fuel Thorsness began to leave but returned to take on four MiG- 17s, destroying one while the other three fled.

Specifications for the Republic F-105D Thunderchief
The F-105F was a two-seat trainer version of the “D” but it was fully combat ready. It had a taller tail, dual controls, an AN/APN-148 navigation radar
First flew 1963 with 143 produced.
Nick Names – Ultra Hog, Super Hog, Iron Butterfly, Lead Sled, Thud
Role – Fighter/Bomber
User Countries – U.S.A.
Crew – (1) pilot
Wingspan - 34 ft 11 in, Length - 64 ft 3 in, Height - 19 ft 8 in, Wing Area - 385 sq. ft.
Engine- (1) Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W turbojet, rated at 17,200 lb.s.t. dry and 26,500 lb.s.t. with afterburner
Maximum speed
1,420 mph at 38,000 ft 1,372 mph at 36,000 ft 1,122 mph at 50,000 ft 836 mph at sea level Stall speed - 208 mph Initial Climb Rate - 34,500 fpm (clean) Service Ceiling - 32,100 ft Combat Ceiling - 48,500 ft Maximum Ceiling - 50,000 ft Combat Range - 778 miles Maximum Range with full external fuel – 2,208 miles
Normal Internal Fuel Load - 1,160 US gallons Internal Weapons Bay - 390 US gallon auxiliary tank Optional 450 or 650 US gallon external tanks on the fuselage centerline Plus a 450 US gallon tank on each of the inboard under-wing pylons
Empty - 27,500 lbs Combat - 35,637 lbs Gross - 48,400 lbs Maximum Take/Off - 52,546 lbs
(1) 20-mm M61A1 rotary cannon with 1028 rounds (fire rate 6,000 rpm) Up to 8,000 lbs of ordnance could be carried in the internal weapons bay An additional 6,000 lbs of ordnance could be carried on (4) under-wing pylons and (1) rack under the fuselage center-line Up to (4) AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles for self-defense Up to (4) AGM-12 Bullpup (not very effective in Vietnam) (1) Mk 28 or Mk 43 nuclear weapon Up to (2) 3,000 lb bombs Up to (5) 1,000 lb bombs Up to (16) 750 lb bombs Mk 77 napalm ECM pods 2.75 in. rockets