28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
In 1969 Colonel Kevin McElvain was serving in Viet Nam. In one incident McElvain diverted off a tanker in order to support troops in contact. A Long Range Patrol Team was under extreme fire and unable to be extracted. His flight made multiple low angle passes with high drag bombs and as we were departing the target area the FAC reported that the choppers were able to get in and extract the team intact. He says it was a “Great feeling to provide some real help from the air in the trusty HUN!”
From 1990 to 1993, after serving as a Fighter Pilot, Col. McElvain became an Academic/Simulator Instructor with the 58th Tactical Training Wing at Luke AFB in Arizona. He then went to work for Southwest Airlines from 1991 – 2005 flying the 737-200/300/500/700 as First Officer/Captain.
In 1995 he fully retired and now resides with his wife, Mary, in Litchfield Park, AZ.