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 Note that withdrawn a/c may not be present anymore at the given locations.
Until 2008 Soesterberg Air Base , the Netherlands was in use by the KLu. and in that year the base was closed for operational flying activities.The American 32nd “Wolfhounds“ squadron already disbanded back in 1994.
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.
After their operational service about 30 Streaks were temporarily used as eye-catchers (“decoys”) at air-bases of the KLu: about 4 aircraft were present at each airfield. They were removed and scrapped in 1980.
In this gallery you will find a selection of the pictures we took in the course of years when specific phased out aircraft were still around. Most aircraft have since then been removed for scrap .
The 1978 Tiger Meet was held at Kleine Brogel AB (Belgium) from 19-26 June. Participating were the air arms of 10 different countries including Norway, Greece and Portugal. On 23 June KB was open to the public and on Saturday 24 June the 31 squadron ‘Tiger’ area was open to the public. We all three visited the event.