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F-105 Thunderchief

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F-105 Thunderchief in World War III:

The Republic F-105 Thunderchief, which had seen yeoman service in Vietnam, had been retired from USAF Reserve and Air National Guard service a year prior to the outbreak of war. However, several AFRES and ANG units that had not completed transitioning to their new aircraft were able to recover aircraft from flyable storage at AMARC, and their aircraft were quickly returned to service, along with other aircraft retired in the 1979-82 time frame. While some were broken down for parts, others were reactivated for attrition replacement, until the last of the Thuds had to be phased out in 1986, their users converting to the F-4 Phantom or the F-16.

F-105D: the primary version of the F-105, performed yeoman service over Southeast Asia until withdrawn from that theater in 1970. WW III service with 419th TFW (AFRES), and the 301st TFW (AFRES)'s newly-formed 458th TFS. 458th TFS converted to F-4E 1986, 419th TFW converted to F-4E during winter 1986-7 after participation in the Battle of Puget Sound.

F-105F: two-seat training version of D. Used alongside D in both 419th TFW and 458th TFS.

F-105G: Two-seat “Wild Weasel” SAM-suppression aircraft converted from F models during Vietnam War. Last ANG Thuds to be retired (GA ANG's 116th TFW) The Georgia Guardsmen were actually in the middle of their F-4D transition when the war began, but sent personnel to Davis-Monthan AFB to reclaim their Weasel Thuds and get them combat-ready. The 116th then formed the 129th TFS to fly alongside their F-4 colleagues in the 128th TFS, and for the duration of the war, flew missions into Cuba in support of strike operations against targets on the island. The F-105Gs performed well, and even destroyed two MiG-21s that attempted to intercept the Weasel Thuds. They were the last F-105s retired, with the 116th TFW receiving F-4Es from Japan for the 128th TFS, and F-4Gs for the 129th, in 1988. Last Weasel mission into Cuba flown November 17, 1988. 116th TFW continues the Weasel mission with F-15G.

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