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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)
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.
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.
No less than 450 F-84F’s were delivered to the Luftwaffe (that is to say the West German Air Force) commencing in 1956 with assignments to the Fighter Training School and Weapons School at Fürstenfeldbrück and Erding respectively.
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.
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.
Many Thunderstreaks of the Belgian Air Force ended their service lives at the aircraft-depot at Koksijde AB. Most of them were scrapped but some survived: at first as eye-catchers (“decoys”) – sometimes disguised as Mirages ! – and later in museums or as monuments. This gallery gives an overview on the faiths of various Belgian Thunderstreaks. Note that withdrawn a/c may not be present anymore at the given locations.
This gallery features pictures of aircraft that have been disposed of or preserved in one way or another; the airframes depicted here (gate-guards, monuments, eye-catchers, etc.) are photographed in the years 2011 onward. Airframes pictured in earlier years are in a separate gallery. Note that some of the aircraft portrayed here are no longer present at the given location.
W&R portrayed in the USA are dealt with in a separate gallery (also in this album “Preserved Aircraft”).