Republic RF-84F Thunderflash
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Republic RF-84F Thunderflash

Photo reconnaissance version of the F-84F. The first prototype flew in February 1952. 715 built.

Republic RF-84F Thunderflash

Jesse coats, 24.05.2017

Hi. Anyone left from the old 18trs at Shaw back in the 50s

Bill Bass, 18.11.2012

Jesse, I went through Photo Recon training in the 17th in May of '54. When training was completed was transferred as permanent party to the 18th. Flew both the RF-80's until we got the 84F's. As I remember the first 84F had a two piece elevator and the later ones had a slab elevator. Remember going TDY to abandoned North Field in the middle of the winter?

jesse coats, 24.08.2011

I was stationed at Shaw AFB, Sc in 1954,18 TRS We had the Rf80 that was replaced by the Rf84, i was assigned to the first one that came to shaw and was CREW chief on several as they were being upgraded, later i got the second RF101 That came to Shaw and was Crew Chief on it until Operation Sun Run. That day i was discharged.

Bil Bass, 03.06.2011

Ray-- I was stationed at Misawa AFB in the 45th Tac Recon Sqdrn (Polka Dots) from July 1955 through May 1958. I flew the RF-84F. It was a reconnaissance only aircraft. I believe there was a Squadron of F-84G's stationed there that could carry nuclear devices. I believe they used the "over the shoulder" method of bomb delivery. There was also one or two Squadrons of F-86's. Of course my "oldtimers disease" could cloud my memory!

Alvin CAles, 13.12.2010

I arrived at Sembach, AB Germany in MArch,1955 and was assigned to the 66th Tac Recon Wing. We had Rf-80 and RB 26 aircraft. These were replaced by RF-84F and RB-57 aircraft.I was a jet engine mechanic and had gone to Chanute AFB, Illinois to be trained on maintaining the J-65 jet engine. This engine was classified as confidential while I was undergoing training at Chanute. I believe it was the first jet engine with an annular combustion chamber versus the can-Annular chamber. The J 65 was used in both the RF- 84F and the RB-57. The RF-84F was underpowered and on really hot days with external fuel tanks installed they often used JATO for take offs. The 66 TRW also had a squaron at RAF Alconbury that had RB-45 aircraft and these were replaced by RB-66,s. The 66TRW was later transferred to Laon AB , France and the RF84F was replaced with the RF-101 Vodoo which had the J 57 engine with afterburners.

Sammy, 31.10.2010

I was stationed at Spangdahlem AB in Germany from early 1955 until Feb 1957 as a control tower operator. Spang was the home of the 12th TRW. When I first arrived some sqdrns had RF80's and some had RB26's (Douglas). The RF80's were replaced with the RF84F's and the RB26's were replaced with the RB57's. The first RF84's had no drag chutes and used the whole 8000 feet of runway. Drag chutes were added later. We still had the RF80's when I saw my first RF84. When he called for landing instructions, he preceded his call sign with German Airforce.As he taxied in,I got a good view of the Maltese Cross on the fuselage.When I reported for duty in the Montgomery, AL. control tower in Sept'57, the Alabama Air National Guard was flying the RF84 and I continued to work with them until they were replaced with the RF4 Phantoms.

Bill, 05.10.2010

Ray Iwas at misawa 1958 to1960 The RF-84-F was their as a recon with the 45 recon sqd. In 1959 they were replaced with RF-101C

T/Sgt Sammy McIntyre, 12.09.2010

I had never heard of a RF-84F until Aug,1956 while our sqdn was TDY from Osan,Korea to Tainan,Formosa. Our F-86's were scrambled off to fly escort for a damaged Nationalist plane back to base. It turned to be a brand new RF-84F with Chinese Nationalist markings. A Mig had jumped it over the mainland and put a connon hit right in the aft section insignia. Knocked a hole in the tailpipe also. The pilot sure didn't look Chinese to me,then again I saw several Chinese while in Formasa that looked Russian.

Butch, 09.02.2010

I was 11 years old, growing up in Birmingham, AL, when this airplane first flew. 12 years later I had completed USAF pilot training and returned to the 106th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, ALANG, to check out in it.

There were no two seat 'TF-84s' so it was a unique experience to say the least. I flew it from 1964 until 1971. What a trip.

mike1204, 21.06.2009

The upper photo is of an RF-84F Thunerflash photo-reconnaissance aircraft, originally based in Japan in the 1950s to overfly east Soviet and possibly Chinese 'targets'; it was never used as a nuclear bomber (the F-84G was designed for this, for Tactical Air Command, with forward bases in the UK and French Morocco as part of Operation 'Longstride'.

History of FS-265 (lower picture) is an RF-84F Thunderflash that was used on the mis-named FICON program, hence the hook on the nose. FICON was originally investigated the possibilities of conveying a 'parasite' fighter (such as the XF-86 Goblin) hooked into the bomb bay of a converted bomber, with the intention of additional defence for USAAF bomber streams.
The RF-84H, on the other hand, was designed to extend the RB-36's operational range by airlifting the RF-84F to a relaese point, whereby the 'fighter' element was released to carry out high-speed espionage over the 'enemy' before returning and hooking back on to the mothership for its journey back to the USA. It could be refuelled or even re-crewed by the mothership. However, after nearly four years of experimental development (the system was never used operationally), it was found that by merely towing the RF-84F by a probe-and-drogue Tactical AF tanker, the result could be the same, without conversion of expensive reconnaissance bombers.
I am fairly certain that Misawa AFB has now placed these aircraft under cover from the elements inside what became the start of an aircraft museum
Hope this is of interest

Ray, 30.09.2008

If memory serves me right this aircraft was on the runways at Misawa AFB Japan being used as a nuclear strike aircraft. It was never used,however it was in a guarded area on the airfield 24/7. Anyone know if I am correct or does my mind defie me?

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