American Combat Planes of the 20th Century is an incredible reference for anyone who is interested in any American Combat Plane History.   There are 758 pages and 1700 b/w photos in this substantial labor of love by Ray Wagner, who has been passionately researching and writing about aircraft for over 50 years.   Whether you are already familiar with his past works, or just discovering this accomplished author for the first time... This is the book that you've been waiting for!

If you'd like to see the book's   Table of Contents ... Click here.   You can also browse the entire   Index Section   to get an idea of the extensive amount of information that is covered within this book.

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A- 1 Eaton     A- 4 Skyhawk     A- 6 & A- 7     Air Weapons     AV- 8 to A- 10     A- 20 Havoc     A- 22 Martin Maryland     A- 23 Martin Baltimore     A- 24 Douglas     A- 26 Douglas Invader     Attack Planes     B- 2A, F-111, F-117 Stealth    B- 17 Flying Fortress     B- 24 Liberator     B- 25 North American     B- 26 Marauder     B- 29 Superfortress     B- 32 Dominator     B- 35 Flying Wing     B- 36     B- 47 Stratojet     B- 50 Boeing     B- 52 Stratofortress     B- 57 Canberra     B- 58 Hustler     Biplanes     Biplanes, Army Pursuits     Bombers, B- 70 to Stealth     Bombers, First Big     Curtiss Falcon     CO- 1     DH- 4 De Havilland     F3D- Douglas Skyknight    F3H- McDonnell Demon    F4D- 1 Skyray    F4F Grumman Wildcats    F- 4U Corsair    F6F Grumman    F7F Grumman    F7U Vought    F9F G. Cougar    F9F G. Panther    F- 16 Fighting Falcon    F- 84     F- 86 Sabre    F- 89 to F-94    F- 100 to F-108    First Fighters    Flying Boats    GAX    Iraq to Afghanistan    Martin Bombers    Missile Era Fighters    Navy Fighers    Navy Flying Boats    O- 2 Douglas     P- 35 Seversky     P- 36 to 42 Curtiss     P- 38 Lightning    P- 39 Airacobra    P- 40 Line    P- 47 Thunderbolt    P- 51 Mustang Fighter    P- 61 Black Widow    P- 63 Kingcobra    P- 79 to P-81    P- 82 Twin Mustang    SB2C Helldiver    TBF-TBM Avenger    Thomas-Morse    Torpedo Planes    V- 11 Vultee    XB -28    XP -48 / 77   


Page 2 REPUBLIC F-84E-15 of 136th FBW, Korea

The value of air refueling was demonstrated in July 1952 by nonstop deployment of the 31st Fighter-Escort Wing from Turner AFB, Georgia, to Japan. Jet squadrons could now fly to any point in the world, refueling from flying tankers at prearranged rendezvous. Six F-84G wings served SAC by 1954, the last replaced in August 1955 by the F-84F, and eight wings served other commands.

The F-84G-5 was also the first USAF jet fighter to handle a 1,680-pound Mk 7 nuclear weapon under the left wing. Beginning in 1953, it was released by a low-altitude bombing system (LABS). Racing in under 1,000 feet over the ground to the target, making a half loop up, and releasing the bomb, the F-84 escaped with a turn. Release altitude varied from 1,400 to 5,100 feet, depending on approach to target and bomb fusing.

The 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing received the first F-84Gs in November 1951, and this TAC unit was transferred to England in May 1952. Pilots practiced LABS techniques, but F-84 wings never actually possessed nuclear weapons, which remained in Atomic Energy Commission custody. REPUBLIC F-84G-5

F-84s in combat
Thunderjets first entered combat with the 27th Fighter-Escort Wing, whose F-84Es had replaced F-82Es Twin Mustangs in 1950. That Wing began Korean missions on December 6, scoring its first MiG kill on January 21, 1951. The 49th, 58th, 116th, 136th, and 474th Fighter-Bomber Wings also used F-84s as they replaced F-80s in the fighter-bomber role, including refurbished F-84Ds provided in 1952 and new F-84Gs.

As an air-to-air fighter, the F-84 downed nine enemy aircraft for a loss of 18; it was too slow to do well against swept-wing MiGs. Most of the 86,408 F-84 sorties were used to deliver 55,987 tons of bombs, losing 122 planes to antiaircraft fire, 13 to unknown causes on combat missions, and 182 in non-combat accidents. REPUBLIC YF-84F (YF-96A)

Due to the delayed swept-wing F-84F production, deliveries of the F-84G continued until the Korean warís last day, July 27, 1953. Of 4,302 straight-wing Thunderjets built, including 3,025 F-84Gs, Allied nations overseas joined in the Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP - later MAP) were allocated 100 F-84Es and 2,236 F-84Gs.

Straight-wing Thunderjets were flown in 1953 by fourteen USAF Wings (about 75 a/c each) and 21 smaller NATO units. Beginning in March 1951, the Netherlands received 21 F-84Es and 170 F-84Gs to form two Wings and a reconnaissance squadron. Denmark and Norway each organized two Wings of F-84E and F-84G aircraft, while France and Turkey had enough for four Wings. REPUBLIC F-84F-20-RE

Belgium, Italy, and Greece would each form three F-84 Wings. Portugal acquired 119 F-84Gs and some served in Africa. After the Korean war ended, more F-84Gs were available, so 150 could be sent to Taiwan in 1953 for two groups, while 169 for Yugoslavia, 75 for Iran, and 40 for Thailand were the first jet fighters owned by those countries.

The first aircraft completed on Republicís swept-wing contract was a pre-production YF-84F flown February 14, 1951, with an imported Sapphire engine. The fuselage was deepened for the new power plant, but the sliding canopy and belly speed brake of previous models were retained. REPUBLIC F-84F-30

The definitive production contract approved June 8, 1951, produced the first F-84F-1 Thunderstreak, flown a year behind schedule on November 22, 1952. Four store points could hold a pair of 450-gallon drop tanks, four 225-gallon tanks, bombs, or 24 5-inch rockets to add punch to the six M-3 guns with 1,800 rounds.

While the first 275 (F-84F-1 to F-20) had the Wright YJ65-W-1, these had to be replaced with the 7,200-pound thrust J65-W-3. Deliveries were delayed by so many problems that not until January 1954 did TACís 506th Fighter-Bomber Wing get its first F-84F, and SACís 27th Strategic Fighter Wing got F-84Fs with the new engines in June.

These swept-wing fighters were so different from the straight-wing versions that it is regrettable that the F-96 designation was not kept. The cockpit canopy now swung upwards, while an automatic pilot, leading edge slats, twin fuselage perforated speed brakes, and an air-refueling receptacle in the left wing were provided. A low-altitude bombing system (LABS) released a Mk. 7 nuclear bomb under the left wing. Less impressive was the nickname ďHogĒ given the F-84F for itís excessively long takeoff runs. REPUBLIC F-84F-56

A movable one-piece horizontal tail (stabilator) was introduced on the F-84F-25, and the 7,800-pound thrust J65-W-7 was standard on the F-84F-50 in March 1955. By August 1957, 2,713 Thunderstreaks were built, including 237 F-84F-GKs from the Kansas City plant managed by General Motors.

The F-84Fs went to six Strategic Air Command escort-fighter wings and six Tactical Air Command fighter-bomber wings, but by July 1957, the SAC wings were also transferred to TAC. After being replaced in front-line service by F-l00s, the F-84F was given to Air National Guard squadrons, but four F-84F Tactical Fighter Wings were reactivated in 1961 and served until replaced by F-4Cs by July 1964.

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