Hobby Master HA2551 F-105F Thunderchief 63-8301, flown by Lt Col. Leo Thorsness, 355th TFW, 357th TFS, 17 April 1967 1/72
Hobby Master HA2551 1/72nd F-105F Thunderchief 63-8301, flown by 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 The F-105 was the only U.S. aircraft withdrawn from combat due to high losses.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.