SkyMax Models SM6002 USAF Republic F-84E Thunderjet Fighter-Bomber - Robert Lee Scott Jr., 36th Fighter Bomber Wing, Germany, 1952 (1:72 Scale)
"I rolled over and came down fast, and got in a good long burst on the No. 2 MIG. Smoke poured out of his tail, and he turned to the Manchurian side, and that apparently disorganized their attack, as two more of our flights made passes at the field, and nobody got bounced on his run. My wingman said that when he passed my MIG it was flaming."
- Lieut. Jacob Kratt, flying top cover while transiting "MiG Alley", North Korea, February 1951
The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American-built turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Air Force proposal for a "day fighter," the F-84 flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948 Air Force review declared it unable to execute any aspect of its intended mission and considered cancelling the program. The aircraft was not considered fully operational until the 1949 F-84D model and the design matured only with the definitive F-84G introduced in 1951. In 1954, the straight-wing Thunderjet was joined by the swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreak fighter and RF-84F Thunderflash photo reconnaissance aircraft.
The Thunderjet became the Air Force's primary strike aircraft during the Korean War, flying 86,408 missions and destroying 60% of all ground targets in the war as well as eight Soviet-built MiG fighters. Over half of the 7,524 F-84s produced served with NATO nations, and it was the first aircraft to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team. The USAF Strategic Air Command had F-84 Thunderjets in service from 1948 through 1957.
The F-84 was the first production fighter aircraft to utilize in-flight refueling and the first fighter capable of carrying a nuclear bomb. Modified F-84s were used in several unusual projects, including the FICON and Tom-Tom dockings to the B-29 and B-36 bomber motherships, and the experimental XF-84H Thunderscreech supersonic turboprop.
The F-84 nomenclature can be somewhat confusing. The straight-wing F-84A to F84-E and F84-G models are called the Thunderjet. The F-84F Thunderstreak and RF-84F Thunderflash are a different airplane with swept wings. The XF-84H Thunderscreech was an experimental turboprop version of the F-84F. The F-84F swept wing version was intended to be a small variation on the normal Thunderjet with only a few different parts, so it kept the basic F-84 number. Production delays on the F-84F resulted in another order of the straight-wing version; this was the F-84G.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USAF Republic F-84E Thunderjet fighter-bomber that was piloted by Robert Lee Scott Jr., who was assigned to the 36th Fighter Bomber Wing, then deployed to Germany during 1952.
Wingspan: 5.75 inches
Length: 7.25 inches
Release Date: March 2010
Historical Account: "God is My Co-Pilot" - Robert Lee Scott Jr. was a Brigadier General in the United States Air Force. Scott is best known for his autobiography God is My Co-Pilot about his exploits in World War II with the Flying Tigers and the United States Army Air Forces in China and Burma. The book was eventually made into a film of the same name.
After World War II began, he joined Task Force Aquila in February 1942 to fly a group of B-17 Flying Fortress bombers to the China Burma India Theater. Anxious to join the mission, which was to bomb Japan from China, he professed to be an experienced B-17 pilot. He actually learned to fly it en route to Africa. Upon arrival in India, he found the mission had been scrubbed so he became stuck in India when he really wanted to be on the front line in a cockpit flying combat. Within a month he was executive and operations officer of the Assam-Burma-China (Ferry) Command, forerunner of the famous Air Transport Command flying Hump from India to China to supply the Flying Tigers. When the commanding officer left for China on June 17th, Scott was actually left in command of the operation for several days.
Still anxious to get into combat, he obtained the use of a P-40 actually assigned to the Flying Tigers from Claire Chennault, and began flying missions with the Flying Tigers, flying as a single ship escort for the transports, and flying ground attack missions. During this period, he frequently repainted the propeller spinner in different colors to create the illusion of a much larger fighter force in the area than a single aircraft becoming, in effect, a one-man air force.
In July 1942, at the request of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek Scott was named commander of the newly formed 23rd Fighter Group, formed by General Claire Chennault when the Flying Tigers were inducted into the USAAF. Popular accounts stated that Scott inherited command of the Flying Tigers which actually disbanded that same month. The 23rd later become part of the 14th Air Force.
Colonel Scott flew 388 combat missions in 925 hours from July 1942 to October 1943, shooting down 13 Japanese aircraft to become one of America's earliest fighter aces of the war.
Scott was ordered back to the U.S. in October 1943 as deputy for operations at the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida.
He returned to China in 1944 to fly fighter aircraft equipped with experimental rockets directed against Japanese supply locomotives in eastern China. He then went to Okinawa to direct the same type of strikes against enemy shipping as the war ended.