JV.jpg
Artist: Keith Ferris
Medium: Oil
Date: 1970

This painting is a tribute to all F-105 ”Thud Drivers,” particularly those of the 469th Squadron who were based at Korat, Thailand. It is also a tribute to the F-105 Thunderchief which flew the majority of strikes against those heavily defended targets in the sector of North Vietnam around Hanoi.

The F-105D dominating the scene, 60-422, was lost north of Hanoi on 17 December 1957 while flown by the artist’s friend. Capt. Jeff Ellis. Jeff spent over six years as a POW, returned home in 1973 and continued to serve until he retired as a Brigadier General.

The F-4E in the background carried the artist across the Pacific during the 1968 deployment to replace the F-105 with the Phantom. It can now be seen proudly bearing the 469th’s JV on its tail. The F-105s certainly represented mighty big shoes to fill.

On loan from: the United States Air Force Art Collection