Republic F-84F Thunderstreak flown by the 174th Fighter Squadron from 1956 - 1958

  • Published
  • By Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

In part two of a week-long series of historic 185th aircraft we take a look at the F-84F. The unit few both the straight wing and swept wing versions of the F-84 at different times in the 1950s. After loosing their Thunderjets at the start of the Korean War the unit eventually picked up newer F-84F in 1956.

The F-84F Thundersteak on display at the Iowa Air National Guard in Sioux City, Iowa, tail number 52-9089 was flown by the Iowa Air National Guard’s 174th Fighter Squadron from January 1956 to April 1958.

According to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force the F-84F prototype first flew in June 1950. Deliveries began in 1954, with most of the aircraft going to the Tactical Air Command as a ground support fighter bomber. Republic built 2,112 F-84Fs while General Motors fabricated 599 more.

Through the late 1950s, the U.S. Air Force replaced its F-84Fs with supersonic F-100s, and the Thunderstreaks went to Air National Guard units. However, some F-84Fs temporarily returned to USAF service in the early 1960s due to the Berlin crisis.

The plaque in front of the aircraft in Sioux City reads:

The F-84 was considered by many to be the best of the first generation of jet fighters. There were 7,899 of various versions built, the 185th flew the straight-wing model from May 1950 until November 1951. The swept-wing F-84F evolved from the straight-wing F-84. The prototype first flew on June 3, 1950 and deliveries began in 1954 primarily to the Tactical Air Command as a ground support fighter/bomber able to deliver nuclear weapons. This is the swept wing version the 174th Fighter Squadron flew from January 1956 until April 1958. Previous, to this aircraft, the unit flew the F-84E Thunderjet. The F-84 stayed in front-line service until the middle sixties.

Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns and 24 5-in. rockets; 6,000 lbs. of bombs externally
Engine: Wright J65-W-3 of 7,220 lbs. thrust 
Maximum speed: 685 mph
Range: 1,900 miles
Span: 33 ft. 7 in.
Length: 43 ft. 5 in.
Height: 15 ft.
Weight: 27,000 lbs. maximum

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