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Republic F-105 Thunderchief

Republic F-105 Thunderchief Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review November 2012 Title Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Author Peter Davies Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781780961736
Format 64 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


Author Peter Davies chronicles the F-105 Thunderchief's evolution from initial concept to critical operations during the Vietnam War.

Designed to deliver low-altitude nuclear weapons, F-105s became the primary weapon in the USAF's tactical arsenal from 1964 to 1973 – and the fastest strike fighter of the Cold War.  After Vietnam surviving Thunderchiefs remained in AF Reserve and Guard units until retirement in 1984.

Davies notes how Thunderchiefs could hold their own in air-to-air combat.  In March 1967, for instance, Col. Robert Ray Scott flamed a MiG-17 taking off from North Vietnam's Hoa Loc airbase.  Turning inside the Gomer – quite a feat for the F-105 – Scott shredded the enemy's left wing with 20mm gatling fire.

Color profiles and digital artwork by illustrators Adam Tooby and Henry Morshead augment archival Thunderchief photographs – and offer ample modeling inspiration.  But I thought artwork was somewhat small and dark.  Coverage of Republic's futuristic XF-103 proposal, however, surely ranks as the Crackerjack Prize in Davies' handy history.

Osprey's F-105 Wild Weasel vs. SA-2 "Guideline" SAM (Duel 35) and F-105 Thunderchief Units of the Vietnam War (Combat Aircraft 84) superbly compliment this study.  Enhance this useful introduction with both.

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!