4 June 1983

Republic F-105 Thunderchief flyover, 419th TFW, Hill AFB, 4 June 1983
Republic F-105 Thunderchief flyover, 419th TFW, Hill AFB, 4 June 1983. (U.S. Air Force)

4 June 1983: At Hill Air Force Base, Utah, the 419th Tactical Fighter Wing, the last U.S. Air Force unit flying the Republic F-105 Thunderchief supersonic fighter bomber, flew a Diamond of Diamonds 24-ship formation as the “Thud” was was withdrawn from service after 25 years to be replaced by the General Dynamics F-16.

Of 833 Thunderchiefs built by Republic Aviation Corporation, 334 were lost to enemy action during the Vietnam War. Though designed for air-to-ground attack missions, F-105s are officially credited with 27.5 victories in air combat.

Republic F-105D-30-RE Thunderchief 62-4242, 419th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah.
Republic F-105D-30-RE Thunderchief 62-4242, 419th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah.
Republic F-105F-1-RE Thunderchief 63-8287 at Hill AFB, Utah.
Republic F-105F-1-RE Thunderchief 63-8287, 419th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah.

© 2015, Bryan R. Swopes

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9 thoughts on “4 June 1983

  1. I was stationed at Hill 1960 and 1961. A GEEIA squadron. The highlight of my your was we moved out of the old wooden barracks and into the New ones down the street and we got new mattresses.

  2. I never flew her, but she was a great jet. Carried the heavy bombing responsibility for most of the war in SEA. Impressive.

  3. I have seen this photo before and always thought it was faked. One four-ship is tough enough to make look symmetrical, never mind SIX! BUT, if it’s on this site, I believe it’s the real deal. A testament both to the state of their training and precision and to the veracity of thisdayinaviation.com! Thanks.

  4. Search for “Thunder”,as a Texas reserve unit does the last engine start,taxi,takeoff,flyover and recover of 24 F-105’s. A unique sound as the aircraft make a large formation,during the flyover.

  5. The 457th TFW did a similar diamond of diamonds fly by at our deployed to Hill AFB after our last F-105 ORI. I think it was in the spring of 1979. But memory slips.

  6. Kind of a side note. I was riding my Honda 4 banger passed the end of the north active at Mc Clellan AB in the summer of 1980, When a 105 lunched right over my head on full burn. My bike and I ended up in the right hand ditch. No damage, But some real ring ears.LOL…..

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