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
Richard E. Weizenegger, Jr.
Rick Weizenegger flew the F-100 with the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron out of Phan Rang AB, Vietnam.
Here’s a story of his Dumb Move in a Hun..
“…the dumbest stupidest immortal fighter pilot stunt I ever did I just can’t tell yet. To this day I have never told a soul. But assuming someone did this it would go something as follows. There I was leading a two ship mission that had no mission.
We just got airborne and I noticed an Arc Light flight of 3 B-52s high above us heading north. I knew they were flying at 35,000, 33,000, 31,000 feet. Why not say hi? Burners now and away we go. The first thing I noticed was that they are really going fast that high. It’s a slow closer and I started to think we could run out of fuel before we get to them or find ourselves over Laos with no tanker to get us back. Luckily we caught them and I made it to a position right off the right wing. I kid you not, they are really fast and if I come out of burner we will flat fall behind. Now this is way before Tom Cruise ever even dreamt of this. We need to turn and get back to Phan Rang.
So, I will tell the story because you all are my F-100 mates and you will understand someone had to do it. I’ve done rolls over F-100s, T-38s, AT-33s. Piece of cake. At 31,000 feet, pull up and start the roll over the B-52. Son of a B….., that wingspan is freaking huge. The other wingtip is in Cambodia. I am now completely upside down right over the center of his fuselage and close to it. If I just roll either way to 90 degrees and pull, I will fall on the B-52 and go boom.
Only one way to save this: pray that the Hun can fly upside down and climb away from the monster at 31,000 feet. After some climbing away I have to roll and pull hard to clear the fuselage and the wing. And at 90 degrees I will have no lift and start falling toward the tail. Ahh, the best laid plans of mice and men. I rolled right at least 90 degrees and pulled hard. I have no idea how close I came to any part of that plane. The next thing I noticed was that I was going down through 26,000 feet. I asked my wingman if he had me in sight and he calmly said yes, and I heard him in his mind say, you dumb shit.
There was no mention in the debrief of our encounter and there was never mention of it the rest of my career and life so I’m thinking it was just a figment of my imagination. So I didn’t do it, no one saw me do it and you can’t prove I did it. I sure wish I knew who my wingman was. I’d like to ask him if he had any figments during that flight.” – From Phan Rang AB News No. 237