Thud Pilot: A Pilot’s Account of Early F-105 Combat in Vietnam

Author(s): Victor Vizcarra 

ISBN: 9781781556450
£11.89 £16.99
A personal insight on how flying the F-105 in combat changed over three deployments during a two-year period.
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  • Details of F-105 combat ‘firsts’

  • Seventeen personal combat zone photographs plus six other period images

  • Personal letter of wife’s reaction to husband’s ejection and rescue over North Vietnam

  • Rich in detail, this will be of interest to aviation and military historians as well as modellers of the Republic F-105 Thunderchief

Thud Pilot: A Pilot’s Account of Early F-105 Combat in Vietnam is the personal account of a pilot who flew the F-105 Thunderchief in the dangerous skies over North Vietnam. In the first five years of the Vietnam War, the F-105 conducted 75 per cent of bombing missions over North Vietnam.

This is the true story of the courageous men who flew the F-105 from its earliest combat deployment in 1964 and on through 1966, the year of its heaviest losses. The author’s more significant missions, including his ejection and rescue over enemy territory, are described in detail and are accompanied by map drawings depicting the mission routes from take-off to refuelling orbits, the target, and return.

The book is full of several ‘firsts’ in the expanding air war over North Vietnam, including Operation Spring High, the first counter Surface-to-Air-Missile (SAM) strike in the history of aerial warfare. The personal perspective from years of combat experience reveals just how the political mismanagement and Rules of Engagement made them as much the hunted as they were the hunters.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556450
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 160 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 December 2017
TERRITORY UK and Worldwide
ILLUSTRATIONS 71 black-and-white photographs


Victor Vizcarra was commissioned in 1960, completed pilot training in 1961, and was assigned to F-100s before transitioning to the F-105. While serving in Japan, he deployed three times to Southeast Asia and flew fifty-nine combat missions in the F-105D. During his third deployment, Vizcarra ejected from his disabled F-105D over North Vietnam and was rescued. He later returned to fly 120 combat missions in the F-100D/F. Promoted to Colonel in 1981, his final assignment was as the Deputy Commander of Maintenance where he flew the F-4E.