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|No 306 Sqn KLu received its first RF 84 Thunderflash at RAF Laarbruch on 4 April 1956. The squadron was posted to Laarbruch from 8 Nov 1954 till 15 Jan 1958 when they moved to Deelen.|
In their early days they wore a silver livery with the 306 squadron-code (TP-) on the nose; in later years they were camouflaged and subsequently their P- registration was added.
BEST HIT was a NATO competition in which the air forces of Italy, Greece and Turkey took part ( together with a joint “guest-team” assembled from USAFE´s 401 Tactical Fighter Wing ,Torrejon, Spain and U.S. Navy squadrons VA-15 and VA-87 , while on deployment to the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt in the Mediterranean Sea)
This gallery deals with the Thunderstreaks that once flew with the Greek Air Force. Most pictures were taken when Frank and Hans were invited to visit the Greek AFB Larissa to report on the Best Hit Meet in 1972: after a lot of asking we were allowed to picture some operational aircraft of 344 squadron that were based here at Larissa.
The 1976 TWM (Tactical Weapons Meet) was the 12th edition of central Europe’s tactical attack competion. It was was held at Twente AB (NL) from 28 April till 15 May , visited by Frank on the 7th and by Hans on the 10th of May. TWM was a contest between teams of 2ATAF (Allied Tactical Air Force) and 4ATAF. The team from 2ATAF consisted of NF-5As of 316 squadron KLu of Gilze-Rijen AB, Mirages of 1 sqn BAFBierset, Starfighters of 1/31 JaBo Luftwaffe from Nörvenich and Phantoms of 31 sqn RAFG. 4ATAF consisted of 1/32 JaBo Luftwaffe, 1 CAG Canada, 22TFS/36TFW USAF and 23TFS/52TFW USAF from Spangdahlem (flying F-4D’s ). The French AF had sent a guest team, 3/13 Escadre from Colmar, equipped with Mirage 5Fs.The chase planes were NF-5Bs of Twente.
In the mid fifties the KLu (Koninklijke Luchtmacht) acquired 180 Republic F-84F Thunderstreaks, registered P-101 to P-277 and P-298 to P-300. The majority of the Streaks depicted in this album are selected out of the range P-157 to P-300, being the last of the type in operational service, flying with both 314 and 315 squadrons from Eindhoven AB. The Streak entered service in 1955 and the last ones were phased out in 1970. Last departures to other air forces (see below) took place in 1971.
In ITALY the Thunderstreaks equipped 8 air force squadrons: 5th at Rimini, 6th at Ghedi, 8th at Cervia, 36th at Goia del Colle, 50th at Piacenza and the 51st at Istrana. Some Streaks were kept in service till 1972 when the 50th squadron at Piacenza was re-equipped with the F-104S Starfighter.
We have seen the Thunderstreaks of the Belgian Air Force very frequently, both in operational conditions , in storage and/or as museum-pieces. This post deals with pictures of Thunderstreaks in Belgian Air Force service, while they still were operational.