Republic F-105 Thunderchief

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Jaroslaw Dobrzynski
Other Publication Information
Paperback, 160 Pages
Product / Stock #
Yellow Series 1 No 6138
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

While the F-4 Phantom is the plane many people think of when they think of the Vietnam War, the F-105 Thunderchief is the one that has always interested me more. Designed to deliver a nuclear weapon in a bomb with a low-level toss bombing attack it instead found itself conducting the majority of the strike bombing missions over Vietnam. Known as the Thud, a description of it’s gliding capability or lack thereof, the 105 would not only drop iron bombs on target but also shoot down its share of Migs and knock out SAM sites in the Wild Weasel mission.

This 160-page softback book covers the F-105 in full detail from history of the design, it’s different versions, a short time as a Thunderbird and its missions in Vietnam. It also provides all the technical information anyone who wants to know more about the plane would need. This is helped by 260 photos in black and white and color.

The book starts with the birth of the plane. Designed to be a nuclear bomber during the Cold War the Thud owes its linage to the famous P-47 Thunderbolt, another big plane known for its ruggedness, air to air and ground attack.

The first operational version of the Thunderchief was the F-105B model and this is covered in the next chapter. Following was the D and F models. The F-105D was the first to give the Thud an all-weather capability with new electronics and aviation suite. The F model was a 2-seat trainer version developed from the D. This chapter includes some flying experiences by some of the pilots, a nice touch.

Chapter 4 covers the Wild Weasel versions of the F and G models explaining the modifications needed for this special SAM busting mission. It also has some info on the Thunderstick II modification to the D model.

The operational history is covered in a longer chapter. This one includes information regarding the B models short time as a Thunderbird performer. Unfortunately, they only flew 6 shows in the planes before a crash during a rehearsal killed one of the pilots and grounded the fleet. The history continues through use by the Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves listing the squadrons involved, deployments, etc. The history ends with the “Thud Out” on February 25, 1984 when the planes were retired by the 419th TFW at Hill AFB, just 45 minutes north of where I live. At that time 612 of the original 833 planes had been lost in combat and accidents or scrapped.

The longest chapter in the book is dedicated to the Thuds use in combat during the Vietnam War. There is a good history of the aerial campaigns and first-hand accounts from the pilots who fought in the bird. Weapons and tactics are also covered.

The Technical Details chapter covers all those things modelers want including cockpit, engine, gun and weapons load outs. The last small chapter covers paint schemes and markings.

The book makes good use of pictures to help describe the story and there are many full color profiles through out the book by Marcelo Ribeiro to help you pick a scheme to build your fleet in. One of my favorites is The Polish Glider flown by General (Ret.) Donald Kutyna who also contributed material to the book.

To top it off is a pull-out section of planes in 1/72nd scale covering the major versions.

This is another great book by MMP.

Thanks to Casemate Publishers and IPMS/USA for the review sample.


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