Posts By Frank & Gijs & Hans
Greece started receiving their first Thunderflashes in 1957, when 348 squadron (Mira) was formed at Larissa. The initial batch was augmented in 1964 by a number of ex Netherlands and German Air Force examples. In Greece the Thunderflashes were replaced by RF-4C Phantoms.
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.
|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.
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.
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.