Republic F-105D Thunderchief Relic Display by Ron Cole
Own and preserve an authentic piece of this king of the Century Series aircraft: the Republic F-105D Thunderchief, paired with Ron Cole's original artwork of 'Memphis Belle II' over Vietnam.
In spite of a troubled early service life, the F-105 became the dominant attack aircraft early in the Vietnam War. The F-105 could carry more than twice the bomb load farther and faster than the F-100, which was used mostly in South Vietnam. In a foreshadowing of its Wild Weasel role, the first F-105D combat mission of the war involved an attack on 14 August 1964 against an anti-aircraft artillery site on Plaine des Jarres. This mission was carried out by aircraft of the 36th TFS, 6441st Tactical Fighter Wing deployed from Yokota Air Base, Japan to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. The first Thunderchief lost in the war also occurred during this mission, although the pilot managed to return the aircraft to Korat. The first strike mission took place on 13 January 1965 with the destruction of the Ben Ken bridge in Laos. In early 1965 additional F-105 squadrons were deployed to Korat and Takhli air bases in Thailand. At the start of Operation Rolling Thunder in March 1965, large numbers of F-105Ds were shipped to these bases to participate in intense bombing missions.
Each display is 13x19-inches (outside frame size) and is ready-to-hang. Each signed & numbered.