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Captain Ned

Very interesting. Several things stood out to me:

#1: All of the missiles and the Phantom were referred to in their pre-1962 designations (predating the late 1962 McNamara "rationalization" of service designations).

#2: The F-104 as a ground-pounder?? As if. Also, with that T-Tail it should be real careful in rolls to avoid inertia coupling.

#3: Did any of the USAF crew making that film have any idea that the Herky-Bird would remain a front-line and strategically-valuable asset 55 years later?


Yes, the F-104 was used as bomber in Vietnam. It was best suited for air superiority escort but like every other fighter in the USAF it was pressed into ground support.

No one really expected the Herk, the BUFF, the tanker toad or many other airframes to be flying for so many years.


Captain Ned

Just because the USAF used the 104 as a ground-pounder doesn't mean it was a good idea. Might also explain the quick exit of the 104 from the theatre.

That said, the 104 was far more liked in Germany, Italy, and Japan than it ever was by the USAF.


The Starfighter was a relatively short-legged bird, no? I suppose that's less important within Europe, or functioning as part of the Japanese self-defense force.

I always saw the 104 as a predecessor of the F-16.

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