Thud Pilot

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

Victor Vizcarra

Thud Pilot covers F-105 early combat in 1964 thru 1966, the year of heaviest losses. It details the first counter Surface-to-Air-Missile strike in warfare history, political blunders and inane Rules of Engagement that placed the Thud in unwarranted peril. Thud Pilot goes beyond the air battle; it shares the emotional impact on families left behind.
Date Published :
February 2018
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
Color and B&W photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781556450
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.15 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Thud Pilot is the personal account of a combat fighter pilot who flew the Air Force’s premier fighter-bomber in the most dangerous skies over North Vietnam. In the first five years of the Vietnam War, the F-105 Thunderchief conducted 75 percent of the Air Force bombing missions over North Vietnam. Thud Pilot tells the 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 North Vietnam are described in detail and are accompanied by map drawings depicting the mission routes from take-off to refueling 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 inane Rules of Engagement made them as much the hunted as they were the hunters. Thud Pilot goes beyond the battle air space and shares the emotional impact on the families left behind.

About The Author

Col. Vizcarra, was commissioned in 1960, completed Pilot Training in 1961, and was assigned to F-100’s for eighteen months before transitioning to the F-105. While serving in Japan, he deployed three times to Southeast Asia and flew 59 combat missions in the F-105D. During his third deployment, he 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.


"For those interested in the early air war over Southeast Asia, Thud Pilot is a great place to start."

- Air Power History

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